Rally for Colombia’s Displaced
Monday, April 20
5-6:30pm Rally at Lafayette Park
Greetings from Trinidad. I’m here participating in the People’s Summit of the Americas–a forum in which social movements from across the hemisphere have converged to hash out collective proposals for overhauling US-pushed policies in the region. Just down the road, President Obama is meeting with the rest of the hemisphere’s Presidents in the official Summit of the Americas to discuss the policies that will define the post-Bush era. The Summit marks an early test of how committed President Obama will remain to his platform of change. Will the destructive war-on-drugs and free-trade models of past administrations persist, or will our longstanding calls for just and humane policy be heard?
In particular, will the Summit include any mention of the failure that permeates US policy towards Colombia? Will the fact that Colombia now has the world’s largest displacement crisis receive the attention it merits? Will there be any recognition that billions of dollars in US military aid and fumigations have exacerbated, not diminished, this crisis?
In case such points are not raised in the Summit, we intend to raise them in the streets. On this Monday, April 20, as President Obama returns home, we will take our call for a new Colombia policy to the White House. We’ll be bringing with us 4000 paper dolls, crafted by advocates throughout the Mid-Atlantic, to symbolize Colombia’s 4 million displaced people. Please join us, and bring your friends. Here’s the plan:
4:30pm: March to Lafayette Park
We’ll meet at the State Department–2201 C St NW. Marching with us
will be banners displaying the 4000 paper dolls.
5:00-6:30pm: Rally at Lafayette Park
Rousing speakers, including:
Marino Cordoba (Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians, CASA de Maryland)
Diana Gomez (Sons and Daughters for Justice and against Impunity)
Kelly Nicholls (US Office on Colombia)
Ben Beachy (Witness for Peace)
We’ll be on the southeast side of the park, just north of the White House (Google: 16 and H St NW).
This is a pivotal moment to call for genuine change in war-torn Colombia. Please join us on Monday. For more information, call me at 202-403-1752 or Travis at 815-307-6505. Please forward this widely and help spread the word.