International Tribunal on U.S. Colonial Crimes Against Puerto Rico

International Tribunal on U.S. Colonial Crimes Against Puerto Rico

Convening an emergency international people's tribunal against the United States government for the crimes of 120 years of colonialism in Puerto Rico.

Join Rafael Cancel Miranda and other Puerto Rican and international personalities and organizations at the PEOPLE’S TRIBUNAL ON U.S. CRIMES AGAINST PUERTO RICO
Grass Roots Organizations to hold a People’s Tribunal on October 27, 2018, at the Holyrood Church/Iglesia Santa Cruz, New York City.

Since the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria of September 2017, the world has heard of Puerto Rico’s economic, social and environmental crisis. This crisis is not new nor even due primarily to the hurricanes, but is the culmination of the savage colonialist domination and capitalist exploitation that the United States of America has imposed ever since its 1898 military invasion of Puerto Rico. On October 27, 2018, activists and witnesses from Puerto Rico (including eyewitnesses to US crimes), the Puerto Rican diaspora, the US and the world, will meet in New York City to take part in a colonial crimes tribunal. The tribunal will present a people’s investigation of the role of the US government during its 120-year colonial rule, and particularly since the hurricane’s devastation put Puerto Rico in the world’s media. They will be joined by renowned Nicaraguan legal scholar and attorney Dr. Augusto Zamora, who will serve as prosecutor, and a distinguished jury of US and international human rights leaders.

CALL TO ACTION
What is happening now in Puerto Rico is the culmination of a process of national destruction that began with the US military invasion of Puerto Rico on July 25, 1898. Almost immediately the US commenced destruction of Puerto Rico’s autonomous economy, suppression of historical knowledge, and repression of the independence movement. US colonial rule imposed a parasitic economic model that blocked self-sufficient development. The US imposed its own citizenship, which provided cheap labor as well as cannon fodder for its bloody imperialist wars. Puerto Rico’s economic dismantling continues today, with the US imposition of an illegitimate and unpayable public debt, and since 2016 the Fiscal Control Board (called “La Junta” in Puerto Rico) created by Congress’ “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act” (PROMESA). The Junta’s members represent colonial government and corporate interests who ran up the debt and sold out to Wall Street. This is like putting wolves in charge of sheep.

The world has heard of Puerto Rico’s crisis as a result of the September 2017 hurricanes, which demonstrated the power of nature and the failure of capitalism to prioritize the most basic of needs: our planet’s health. But the aftermath of the hurricanes also demonstrated the criminal cruelty with which the US has responded to devastation by speeding up its plans to restructure Puerto Rico for corporate and imperialist profit. Nearly a year after the hurricanes, Puerto Rico has not made real progress in its recovery. On the contrary, “real progress” refers to imposing the most terrible austerity policies, from privatization of basic services such as electricity and education, to cost of living increases while reducing benefits, pensions, and workplace security. The Puerto Rican people are being suffocated by a neoliberal
economic policy, combined with a colonial political status that sequesters its sovereignty in Washington. On the one hand, the US does not provide the necessary disaster recovery assistance, while on the other hand, prohibits the entry of solidarity aid from neighboring countries. This is the colonial, neoliberal vision of a thoroughly privatized Puerto Rico; vision that the current policies regarding the reforms of education and other essential services contemplate: A country being bought up and “resettled” by vulture capitalists and other foreign billionaires, with the sole purpose of increasing their income free of all restrictions, free of taxes or oversight, who are served by
impoverished, poorly educated, politically repressed youth. With a diminished population since thousands of Boricuas have been forced to migrate in order to survive. This vision contemplates a Puerto Rico without Puerto Ricans - echoing the martyred independence leader Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos’
warning that the US “wanted the cage without the bird.” Ethnic cleansing and population substitution are recognized internationally as war crimes.

It is for the Puerto Rican movement - for decolonization, for independence and sovereignty, for social and economic justice - to give a strong response to this assault. As part of this effort, our international tribunal proposal aims to expose the policies and their consequences, for which the US has an enormous responsibility.

The Puerto Rico Tribunal AdHoc Committee is convening this important colonial crimes tribunal in order to expose the true nature of the U.S. war against Puerto Rico. This call for action is not made solely for the sake of posterity, but also seeks to strengthen the worldwide struggle for self-determination today. What is happening in Puerto Rico is different only in scale and duration from US-perpetrated destruction elsewhere.

Only a people’s campaign in solidarity with the Puerto Rican struggle for decolonization, self-determination, and justice can begin to end the continued U.S. presence and domination not only of Puerto Rico, but in the Caribbean, Latin America and elsewhere. We hope that your organization can endorse this very important organizing effort and can join with us on October 27th in New York City.

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Únase a Rafael Cancel Miranda y otras personalidades y organizaciones puertorriqueñas e internacionales
en el TRIBUNAL DEL PUEBLO SOBRE CRÍMENES DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS CONTRA PUERTO RICO, el 27 de octubre de 2018, en la Iglesia Holyrood/Iglesia Santa Cruz, Ciudad de Nueva York

Desde la devastación de los huracanes Irma y María en septiembre de 2017, el mundo se ha enterado de la crisis económica, social y ambiental de Puerto Rico. Esta crisis no es nueva, ni siquiera se debe principalmente a los huracanes, sino que es la culminación de la salvaje dominación colonialista y la explotación capitalista impuesta por los Estados Unidos de América desde su invasión militar en 1898 a Puerto Rico.

El 27 de octubre de 2018, activistas y testigos de Puerto Rico, de la diáspora puertorriqueña, de EUA y del mundo, se reunirán en la ciudad de Nueva York para participar de un tribunal de crímenes de colonialismo. El tribunal presentará una investigación del pueblo sobre el papel del gobierno de los Estados Unidos durante su dominio colonial por 120 años, y particularmente desde que la devastación de los huracanes. A ellos se unirán el renombrado jurista y abogado nicaragüense Dr. Augusto Zamora, quien servirá como
fiscal, y un distinguido jurado de líderes de derechos humanos estadounidenses e internacionales.


UN LLAMADO A LA ACCIÓN
Lo que sucede ahora en Puerto Rico es la culminación de un proceso de destrucción nacional que comenzó el 25 de julio de 1898, con la invasión militar estadounidense. De inmediato comenzaron la destrucción de la economía autónoma de Puerto Rico, la supresión del conocimiento histórico y represión del movimiento de independencia. El dominio colonial estadounidense impuso un modelo económico parasitario que bloqueó el desarrollo autosuficiente. Estados Unidos le impuso su propia ciudadanía al pueblo puertorriqueño, que proporcionó mano de obra barata y carne de cañón para sus sangrientas guerras
imperialistas. El desmantelamiento económico de Puerto Rico continúa hoy, con la imposición estadounidense de una deuda pública ilegítima e impagable, y desde 2016 la Junta de Control Fiscal creada por la ley del congreso estadounidense conocida como “PROMESA.” Esa Junta incluye oficiales que ayudaron a crear la deuda y se la vendieron a los buitres de Wall Street. Éste es como poner los lobos a cargo de las ovejas.

Los huracanes demostraron el poder de la naturaleza y el fracaso del capitalismo para priorizar las necesidades más básicas: la salud de nuestro planeta. Pero las secuelas de los huracanes también demostraron la crueldad criminal con la que Estados Unidos respondió a la devastación, al acelerar sus planes de reestructurar Puerto Rico para obtener ganancias corporativas e imperialistas. Casi un año después de los huracanes, Puerto Rico no ha logrado su recuperación. Por el contrario, el "progreso real" se refiere a la imposición de las políticas de austeridad más terribles, desde la privatización de servicios básicos como la electricidad y la educación, hasta aumentos del costo de la vida y la reducción de beneficios, pensiones y seguridad en el lugar de trabajo. El pueblo puertorriqueño está siendo sofocado por una política económica neoliberal, combinada con un estatus político colonial que mantiene secuestrada su soberanía en Wáshington. Estados Unidos no brinda la asistencia necesaria para la recuperación, sin
embargo prohíbe la entrada de ayuda solidaria desde los países vecinos. Esta es la visión neoliberal y colonial para un Puerto Rico completamente privatizado que las políticas
actuales con respecto a las reformas de educación y otros servicios esenciales contemplan: un país comprado y "reasentado" por capitalistas buitres y otros multimillonarios extranjeros, libres de impuestos o supervisión, que son atendidos por jóvenes empobrecidos, mal educados y políticamente reprimidos. Con una población disminuida ya que miles de Boricuas (puertorriqueños) serán obligados a emigrar para poder sobrevivir. Así que vislumbran también un Puerto Rico sin puertorriqueños, haciéndose eco de la
advertencia del líder de la independencia martirizado, el Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos, de que Estados Unidos "quiere la jaula, pero no los pájaros". La limpieza étnica y la sustitución de población son reconocidos internacionalmente como crímenes.

Corresponde al movimiento puertorriqueño por la descolonización, la independencia y la soberanía y por la justicia, responderle de forma contundente. Como parte de ese esfuerzo, nuestra propuesta para un tribunal internacional tiene como objetivo exponer las políticas nefastas y sus consecuencias, para las cuales Estados Unidos tiene una enorme responsabilidad. El Comité Ad Hoc del Tribunal de Puerto Rico está convocando a este importante tribunal.. Este llamado a la acción no se realiza únicamente para la posteridad, sino que también busca fortalecer la lucha actual por la autodeterminación a nivel mundial. Lo que está ocurriendo en Puerto Rico es diferente solamente en escala y duración, a la destrucción perpetrada por los EUA en otros lugares.


Solamente una campaña del pueblo en solidaridad con la lucha puertorriqueña por la descolonización, la autodeterminación y la justicia puede comenzar a ponerle fin a la continua presencia y dominación de los Estados Unidos, no solo en Puerto Rico, sino en el Caribe, en América Latina y en otros países. Esperamos que su organización pueda respaldar este importante esfuerzo organizativo, y pueda unirse a nosotros el 27 de octubre en la ciudad de Nueva York.

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/222592841680891

Website: puertoricotribunal.org

End the Wars at Home and Abroad

End the Wars at Home and Abroad

The continuous and never-ending wars abroad have contributed to the militarization of the U.S. borders, communities and the entire country. Important reforms that have been fought for by generations of activists are under attack by both major political parties. It is by understanding we have a common enemy that we can build a mass movement to fight back.

Hear:
- Ajamu Baraka, Black Alliance for Peace (BAP)
- Joe Lombardo, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
- Lisa Davis, Black is Back Coalition and People’s Organization for Progress (POP)
- Bernadette Ellorin, BAYAN USA

Join this important discussion sponsored by:

1. Black Alliance for Peace (BAP)
2. Black Is Back Coalition
3. United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)


Wednesday, Oct. 31, 7 p.m.

Solidarity Center
147 W 24 Street
2nd Floor
New York, NY

For more information:
518.281.1968
UNACpeace@gmail.com
info@blackallianceforpeace.com

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2205822879694093

Southern Human Rights Organizers' Conference XXII

Southern Human Rights Organizers' Conference XXII

SHROC is a gathering of grassroots organizers and human rights defenders from across the U.S. and Global South. We are committed to respecting, protecting, and defending human rights wherever oppressed peoples exist, through a radical, comprehensive understanding of those rights.

Conference Sites:

Ebenezer Baptist Church
101 Jackson St NE
Atlanta, GA 30312

The King Center
449 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA 30312

Please join us and register today: Early Bird and Student/Limited Income registrations are all available now. We also encourage folks to make an additional donation if they can.

Conference rates:

$100 – General & Onsite Registration
$75 – Early bird rate (Expires Oct 31st)
$25 – low-income & student rate (Low income is under S25K)

Register here: http://www.shroc.org/registration

BACKGROUND

Return to the Source: Advancing a Radical Human Rights Culture as a Weapon for Liberation


Holding SHROC in Atlanta is like coming home. In December 2000, SHROC held its 3rd biennial convening in the A.  This historic gathering was the first U.S. Preparatory Conference of the World Conference Against Racism, which was held in August 2001 in Durban, South Africa. We return to Atlanta now to connect, strategize and organize. We return to Atlanta to unite with organizers who are on multiple front lines of struggle against hetero-patriarchy, homophobia, global white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, imperialism and so much more.

The City of Atlanta has long been considered the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement. Its rich history of hosting and birthing iconic organizations and individuals have helped support Black freedom struggles and the fight for human rights.

In the 1970s, Atlanta became known as the “Black Mecca” and billed itself as the City Too Busy to Hate, attracting Black businesses and Black entertainment with a working-class ethos that kept the city thriving.

Atlanta and the state of Georgia more broadly have a flip side. Bald-face racism and white supremacy have also been a hallmark of Georgia social and political dynamics. Atlanta, GA was the seat of the Confederacy and despite its history of segregation only experienced a single race riot in 1906, which killed scores of Black people.

Many believe that Black church leaders and white economic interests colluded to form an alliance at the exclusion and domination of the mostly Black underclass, which is popularly known as The Atlanta Way. While making Atlanta a less volatile space during the 1960’s upheaval, it has led to economic oppression that still persists.

Despite the Black upsurgence in electoral politics, Atlanta leads the nation in income inequality and has one of the highest per capita poverty indexes and economic immobility. Today the city is facing a decline in its Black population as its economics have tilted toward business interest above those of the working class. Gentrification through costly housing stock is rapidly dismantling entire communities, as poor residents are pushed out of their homes and away from the city and their extended family networks. Immigrant populations are under siege through ICE rapids, detention and deportation efforts. The city and region face growing environmental injustices undergirded by a refusal to expand mass public transit to all.

Poor and working-class residents continue to suffer under conditions of food apartheid (mischaracterized as “food deserts”), where residents lack access to fresh, healthful, and affordable foods and land ownership. In other areas such as education, Atlanta’s public schools continue to rank among the state’s lowest performers and lowest funded, while public education monies are siphoned away from students into private development projects. Within the schools, students face hostile learning environments created by increased criminalization, underpaid and under supported teachers, and ineffective, high-stakes learning methods. Meanwhile, police and other forms of state violence continue to mount against marginalized peoples and communities.

For both its history of resistance and its continued efforts to erode human rights, Atlanta serves as an apt site for SHROC XII. The Conference’s purpose is to bring organizers, human rights defenders, and community activists together to commune, strategize, and amplify work taking place across the global south in order to advance a sustainable and thriving human rights culture in Atlanta and beyond.