In a few hours I get on a plane for Miami, joining tens of thousands of others to protest the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which is being negotiated there this week. If this trade agreement is ratified and implemented, it threatens to further erode environmental regulations and workers rights across the western hemisphere, and it further establish an economic system that concentrates the majority of the world’s wealth into the hands of a very few wealthy elite.
I’ve started a little website of my own, which I hope to update with news while I’m in Miami (It also includes links for more information if I’m not able to spend much time at a computer.)
Over the past several months, the City of Miami has been doing everything in its power to silence the voices of activists, coming to Miami to exercise our First Amendment rights. A restrictive ordinance was just passed by the city council that essentially makes protesting a crime for the next week. One of my roles in Miami will be as a legal observer, documenting police response to our nonviolent direct actions throughout the week, including possible violations of civil liberties or excessive force on the part of law enforcement.
My website includes contact information for Miami officials, so you can let them know you support the protesters’ rights to assembly and free speech (even if you’re not completely opposed to the FTAA). And if you’re of the spiritual persuasion, please offer prayers for the safety and health of all of us gathering this week, in particular for people of color and undocumented immigrants, both of whom are often singled out and receive worse treatment from law enforcement.
I hope you all are well, and I hope to write more soon.
[note: this post is taken from a previous blog of mine, and the links mentioned are no longer active]