A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

Posts tagged ‘8th Day Center for Justice’

SOA Vigil coordinator honors her disappeared father

“My name is Maria Luisa…I am here today to honor and remember those who are taken.”

I captured this interview with Maria Luisa Rosal today, the closing day of the School of Americas Watch vigil; Maria is on staff with SOA and helped to coordinate this vigil. Her father is “disappeared.”


More news from Maria Luisa

SOA News Alert: Human Rights Activists Demand the Extradition of SOA Graduate who killed Famous Singer Victor Jara from the United States to Chile


Survivor to SOA Watch Vigil crowd: Don’t attack the people

On this, the final day of the School of Americas Watch Vigil at Fort Benning, we hear from a Chilean survivor who was tortured under the Pinochet dictatorship. Her message: “Don’t attack the people.”

More about our schedule today (from SOA Vigil):

On the final day of the vigil weekend we gather at 9:00 am once again at the gates of the School of the Americas to remember the martyrs and those who have been killed by soldiers trained at this site.

The ceremony begins with an indigenous blessing, a group commitment to the guidelines of nonviolence, then statements of solidarity from some prominent Latin American activists. The funeral procession will then begin to remember and honor the victims of this institution. As the names of victims are sung out to the crowd, we respond “Presente!”

Hungering for Justice – 10 Years of Guantanamo

Folks gathered at 8th Day for Witness Against Torture

 8th Day Center for Justice joins with groups around the globe to mark the 10th anniversary of Guantanamo Bay Prison and the practice of indefinite detention, enhanced interrogation and torture.

We will spend the next nine days leading up to January 11 going to teach-ins, actions, vigils and walks to help raise up the voices of those disappeared by fear, prejudice and the abuse of the law.

Check out the link below to see how you too can “hunger for justice” this next week and support the end of torture!


Hungering for Justice

January 2-12, 2012
To mark and mourn ten years of torture, abuse, mistreatment and miscarriage of justice, Witness Against Torture began a liquids-only fast on January 2. We will break the fast the morning of January 12. We fast for ten days to remember ten years of Guantanamo. We fast for the closure of Guantanamo and Bagram and other sites of indefinite detention and abuse. We fast for an end to torture. We fast for the restoration of justice and decency.

We remember those held at Guantanamo, Bagram and other similar prisons around the world – those who have been deprived of food by their captors, and those who have voluntarily deprived themselves of food in protest. We stand in solidarity with them, and our fast is our small piece of understanding. Join Us! Also read Practical Information About Fasting

Occupy Wall Street Spreads Across the Country

The 8th Day Center for Justice participated yesterday in march in downtown Chicago as a part of the new national movement that originated as Occupy Wall Street.  We marched to the call of ,”We are the 99%” teachers, public workers, students, college students, union members, high school students and even grade-schoolers” in order to call attention to the spreading disparity, inequality and want.

I was behind a group of fourth graders that carried signs saying, “I am in the fourth grade and I want recess back” pointing to the recent Illinois budget cuts that shortened the school days and took recess away. To my left was a high school marching band that was out in support of their teachers who may lose collective bargaining rights and behind me was the Jane Addams Senior Caucus calling for politicians to take their hands off Social Security and Medicare.

It was diverse, nonviolent and full of the palpable needs so many of our communities across the United States are facing. Check out the pictures below and link from Daily Kos to see what groups around the country are doing…



Daily Kos


Coming to Georgia: SOA Vigil

Watching everyone come into town for the SOA vigil is one of the best parts of the weekend. You see folks from all over pull up in busses and cars, they spill out in lobbies and restaurants, and everyone is greeted like an old friend.

We begin immediately to build a new space. A space that is not dependent on power or privilege but rather a space that thrives on creative open relationship. A radical idea that community exists in each of us (like breath) and we are able even in a crowd of thousands to say we, in this moment, are one.

It is always a joy to me each year to watch this space open over the days of the weekend. To watch as all the elements of organizing come together and the key ingredient of the people arrive and gently like a bloom another world rises before our eyes.

I think of Francis and how he did this everyday. He held open space for a radical loving community and watched as a different world bloomed before his eyes. A world built on the foundations of trust, love and complete equity. We carry on, grateful for our inheritance from this particular peacemaker.

We are here, working to build that world and I will do my best through this blog to have the world bloom for you, too! Many blessings and much gratitude for the support of the FSPA community!

p.s. I’ve learned that the FSPA sponsored bus has left La Crosse, Wis., and is headed for Georgia.

This picture was captured this morning as the Franciscan Sisters blessed the students before they boarded the bus!

FSPA bless the students departing for the SOA Vigil.



Good Friday Walk(s) for Justice

La Crosse, Wis.

A social justice Stations of the Cross, with a 1.6 mile route through
downtown La Crosse, will begin at 10 a.m. Good Friday, April 2,
outside the Franciscan Spirituality Center, 920 Market St.

The event, organized by the La Crosse area Pax Christi group, is
inspired by the traditional Stations of the Cross processions that
Christian communities lead prior to Easter.For more information call the Franciscan Spirituality Center at 608-791-5295 or e-mail fscenter@fspa.org.

Chicago, Ill.

The 8th Day Center for Justice will host the 30th annual Good Friday Walk for Justice on Friday, April 2, noon, meeting on the corner of  Congress and Michigan Streets. The theme for this year’s Good Friday Walk – Trouble the Water – reflects 8th Day Center’s belief that each of us must bear the responsibility to be in solidarity with those who suffer at the hands of dominating and abusive power. Those who are condemned, burdened, stripped of dignity, tortured and killed by unjust public policies.

Get more information and download the Prayer Guide at the 8th Day’s Web site.

Other “justice” actions

During this Holy Week, our friends at Catholics Confront Global Poverty invite you to consider the issue of poverty here in the United States.
Learn how 25 percent of contributions to CRS’ Operation Rice Bowl support local hunger and poverty relief efforts in the United States. 
As Catholics, we have a global responsibility to assist those in need both in our own communities and around the world.  Pray for our brothers and sisters who struggle with poverty, wherever they may live, using this prayer and support CRS’ work in reducing hunger and poverty.

Whitewashing a coup…elections in Honduras

Dear All – This past week 8th Day Center for Justice staff member Erin Cox went with a delegation to Honduras to serve as a protective international presence for the Honduran people wishing to peacefully boycott the elections held this past Sunday.

Honduran civil society has called for a boycott on elections for several important reasons.

One: The coup that unseated the democratically elected Zelaya has not been addressed – the Honduran government has refused to follow requests made by international bodies – including the U.S. – most importantly to recognize Zelaya as the legal leader of Honduras.

Two: A high level of repression by military and police forces has erupted in Honduras since the coup. This has included the enforcing of a curfew, detainment, arrests, torture, and the death of 22 peaceful protesters at the hands of the military and police. How can a democratic election take place when people are being arrested for exercising their right to dissent?

Three: The country has existed in such chaos for the past several months there has been no ability for a normal campaign process to happen. Citizens have not been given a chance to educate themselves and choose between a diversity of candidates.

The reports we have received from Erin have been serious and heart breaking. The police and military were out in huge numbers. They used rubber bullets, tear gas and physical intimidation to prevent peaceful protests. They forcibly arrested leaders of social movements before the day of election on trumped-up charges as well as asking  mayors for “lists” of organizers in their communities so these individuals could be “targeted” before Sunday’s elections. And in communities where people were boycotting the vote they used intimidation and threats to force people to the polls.

Democratic? Transparent? Legal? Why is the United States recognizing these elections? Please check out the link below (it is a cartoon story that depicts the lead up to the coup…very useful tool!) and an action to call the White House and State Department and demand we do not recognize this election.

Remember, if the election is seen as legal then all of our military aid will once again flow to Honduras. Do we want to fund a regime that disappears social leaders, tear gasses peaceful assembly, intimidates voters and flies their legally elected President out in the middle of the night? I am thinking no…Much Peace Liz


Action:  At April’s Summit of the Americas, President Obama promised Latin America’s leaders a new relationship with Latin America. However, instead of a new direction, President Obama has deeply undercut his promise by failing to take timely, effective action in concert with the OAS to reverse the illegal coup in Honduras.

Equally cynical is the promised U.S. recognition of scheduled coup-regime elections, despite opposition by the United Nations (UN), the Organization of American States (OAS), the 23-member Rio Group, and an active national coup resistance movement within Honduras .

Add to this mix the placement of seven (that’s 7!) new military bases in Colombia and certification that Mexico and Colombia have complied with human rights conditions to receive U.S. military aid despite comprehensive evidence to the contrary. Change we can believe in? Sadly, it does not even appear on the horizon.


Through these actions, President Obama and his top advisors risk driving a whole new generation of Latin Americans to become mistrustful of and hostile to the United States.



For this reason, each of us must give voice in the USA to the courageous civilian coup resistance in Honduras, and human rights defenders in Colombia and Mexico!

To start, please contact President Obama and the State Department this week urging them to reject these coup regime-sponsored elections and their results, and to instead encourage constitutional reform in Honduras to make more inclusive participatory democracy a reality.

Call the White House: (202)-456-1111 or (202)-456-1414   (to email go to www.whitehouse.gov )

Call the State Department: (202) 647-4000 (to email go to www.state.gov)


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