Dear All – Obama and Congress is hoping to slip in a Colombia Free Trade agreement this summer.
This would be disastrous for the majority of Colombians adding to the profound poverty, displacement and violence that is already prevalent in Colombia.
Obama promised when he was still a presidential candidate that as President he would not “reward” Colombia with a free trade agreement when it continues to have the highest death rate of union members in the world. Guess what? It still does.
Join with the Washington Office on Latin America and many others to remind the President and Congress that we want fair trade not free trade!
Washington Office on Latin America
Good news! We received over 400 signatures from organizations, academics, and individuals in the United States and Colombia on our letter opposing the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Click here to read it.
Not so good news: The Obama Administration has announced that it wants to push all three trade agreements through before August and the republican controlled house may move on it as soon as this week.
So we have to act now. We’re going to send the sign-on letter to Congress this Thursday, June 23, at 10 am. And we need your help to generate as much buzz as possible about it throughout this week.
How you can help:
1. Send the letter to congress. Stay tuned for more one-click actions to share with your networks.
2. Send out a press release. Click here to read our sample press release from WOLA. Feel free to use as much of it as makes sense for your organization or background.
3. Write an op-ed and send it your local newspaper. Click here for a sample op-ed. Check out these great resources to use in crafting your own press strategy:
- Videos by the U.S. Office on Colombia provide testimony from Colombia on the impact of the FTA on small-scale farmers and workers, in addition to Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities.
- Today’s blog in “The Hill” by Jess Hunter-Bowman of Witness for Peace
- Karen Hansen-Kuhn’s op-ed in the “Winona Daily News”
- LAWG’s video on “What will you do if the US-Colombia FTA is passed?”
4. Tweet it! Share it on Facebook! Use #nocolombiafta! If you’re active on social media, click here to read a great strategy from the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and adapt it to your needs.
We know you all are really busy, but if there was ever a time to push on this, it’s now. So please do what you can to get the word out to Congress and the press starting this Thursday, June 23 at 10 AM EST.
If you have any questions or need any help, please contact Anthony Dest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo note from Liz: The above photo was taken while I was in Colombia for an ethics march (2010).
“We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continued bondage of poverty, deprivation…” Nelson Mandela
Dear All – It is very good to be back after travelling to Italy for an International meeting on Human Rights and to France for an International Citizens Hearing on the rights of people in asylum in foreign countries. Both meetings were very enriching and left me full of ideas and the hope that comes from sharing in the struggle. It is amazing to think of the connections the FSPA community can bring to the world from La Crosse, to Chicago, to Bogota, to Paris – connections for transforming structures and systems continue to bloom so much further then we can initially see or know – thank you so much for all of the support.
This week I wanted to follow up a little bit on a presentation that was given on Free Trade Agreements by another 8th Day staff member Katie Varatta. She gave a presentation this past weekend in La Crosse and mentioned that some folks were curious about strategies or ways to oppose the Free Trade Model.
Most of us know free trade through the NAFTA agreement signed into treaty law in 1994 between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico – former President Clinton heralded NAFTA as a way to “raise all boats.” In the past fourteen years however many of us have seen our communities diminished as many small business and family farms were lost to the broad economic consequences of the Free Trade Model.
The current agreement up for consideration is the Colombia Free Trade Agreement – the complexity of the human rights situation in Colombia is too much to go into in this sort email. But I am attaching an article that gives a good quick synopsis about why it is important to oppose this particular agreement with Colombia as well as the larger model of “free trade” that has been so destructive to communities and in particular poor communities.
It is a very good time to be contacting both your State Representatives and Senators and asking how they plan to vote on the Colombian Free Trade Agreement and what is their stance on the Free Trade Model – public pressure before this hits the floor for a vote will be key to helping to counter the strong push from the White House to pass this measure. It is wonderful to be back home and I hope this finds everyone very well! Much Peace Liz