Sunday, November 18, 2007

hit the streets

hit the streets: quemar pavimento

This is the first year in many many that I'm not hitting the streets on this weekend to close the School of the Americas. Many thanks and saludos to my fantastic interpreter compas who are there in my place. News, photos and videos of the vigil are up at a the SOA Watch site. This is the largest ongoing protest against U.S. imperialism happening inside the U.S., and the largest ongoing act of civil disobedience in the United States. As far as I know we are the only large outdoor protest in the US to have the entire event interpreted simultaneously into Spanish. I'm very proud to be part of organizing the vigil with the interpretation and translation working group.

I am missing the SOA vigil this year because I'm going to be quemando pavimento in a few days with the Ruta Pacifica de Mujeres, who are caravaning from all across Colombia to the border with Ecuador. Some buses are leaving today, we'll leave Bogota on Wed the 21st, and we'll all meet for a march to the border on Friday the 23rd. Ecuadoran women are marching from the other side to meet us. The march is timed around the international day against violence against women, the 25th. The violence in the border region has gone from bad to worse and streams of Colombians have been displaced into Ecuador. The mobilization is focusing on violence against women on both sides of the border, and how militarism leads to various forms of violence (including hunger, rape, displacement, forced prostitution, domestic violence, child abuse, etc). The Ruta has always emphasized that women are the most affected by war, and the best placed to make peace. They reworks the dynamics of war with poetry, and their peace rituals are beautifully symbolic, visual and theatrical. They will march as women in black, woven together with orange ties of resistance. Photos to come. There is some real chance, ironically, that the march will face a violent response, so please hold us in the light next Friday.