Young Greens reports from SOAW
Brendan Phillips Report:
Day One Report: On Friday morning, we began the days activities at 7 AM by attending the introduction. There were a couple of speakers who talked about the SOA, US Imperialism in Latin America, and the criminalization of migration. This was followed by a know your rights workshop. After this, it was time for the day's workshops. I attended a workshop titled "Trans-Gay Migrant Caravan: The Struggle Continues". There were four trans migrants who shared their stories and experiences migrating northward from Central America, the persecution they faced on this journey, and their stories of arrest and incarceration.
Following this workshop I attended "From Palestine to Mexico, All the Walls Have Got to Go: BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) and Border Militarization". This workshop was very interesting. First it talked about the BDS movement, and how it works. My eyes were opened to a number of corporations who have been complicit in human rights violations in Israel. They then talked about the implementation of militarized border walls in Israel, and the correlations between these border walls, and the US-Mexico border. Following the workshops, we traveled to the Federal Courthouse in Tucson for an "Operation Streamline" rally. Operation Streamline is a process through which migrant detainees are quickly moved through the judicial system, and placed in a detention center. Detainees are not even given opportunity to present documentation, speak with an attorney, or question their detention. They are deprived of due process, access to medical care, and are frequently subject to racism, violence, and persecution.
Damian Gonzales' Report
I agreed to represent the Youth Caucus at the SOAW because I wanted to be able tell other organizers from around the country about YGUS and some of the work we're doing. I also wanted to try and get into contact with the presenters about the possibility of being a guest on our Organizing Calls. Long term, I want this to be considered Green Party turf, and given who showed up, we are on our way there. Now that I'm back home and I can really appreciate the event I would like to be able to use next year's event to complete our documentary.
Overview: On November 10 through 12, the Green Party of the United States attended the School of the Americas Watch yearly gathering, now called the SOAW Encuentro.
This event, once held at Ft Benning GA, has now been held for the last two years in Tucson-Nogales-Sonora border area to raise awareness about the direct connection between failed US foreign and domestic policies and border militarization, economic injustice and the violation of democratic processes and human rights in Latin America, and the daily plight of undocumented workers.
This event attracts thousands of human rights, and peace and justice activists from across the country. As such, it was identified as a "must attend" event by the Outreach Committee, the International Committee, the Young Greens, and several members of the Steering Committee. The National Political Organizer coordinated the collective participation of these diverse party bodies.
Additionally, the National Party collaborated and coordinated with various members of the Pima Co and Maricopa Co Arizona Greens on some of the necessary local logistics.
GP members in attendance received direct and real-time remote strategic support from Outreach Committee chair, Joy Davis, Young Greens of Texas organizer, Natalia Schuurman, and National Political Organizer, Adrian Boutureira. Also involved in the information sharing efforts were various individual Greens actively engaged in sharing Brendan's, Damian's livestreams and supplementary educational materials produced by Natalia Schuurman.