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Hi friend,  

We are pleased to announce the speakers for the 2021 SOA Watch Virtual Conference "Flowers of Resistance" on Saturday, November 6th. Don't forget to register for the conference here. The virtual events are free, bilingual (Spanish and English, interpretation will be provided), and all are welcome to attend. You will receive an email confirmation with all the conference Zoom links after registration.

Panel 1 Speakers

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM CST | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST 

Doña Taide at the 2016 SOA Watch Border Convergence


Click image to Watch AJ+ Interview with Dena Takruri

Taide Elena (Doña Taide) has led a 9-year struggle for justice following the cross-border shooting death of her 16-year old grandson José Antonio Elena Rodríguez. In 2018, an Arizona court acquitted the shooter––U.S.Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz––of involuntary manslaughter and last year, the Supreme Court ruled that Border Patrol agents who kill foreign nationals cannot be sued. Today, alongside the Border Patrol Victims Network, Doña Taide continues the struggle for justice and prepares to take her fight to a new level. 

Jenn Budd is a former Senior U.S. Border Patrol agent and a whistleblower who speaks out about racism, violence, and corruption in the most unaccountable agency in the federal government. Today, Jenn is a Border Patrol Accountability Activist confronting her own actions as a former agent and telling the truth about the brutality of her former agency. Jenn will speak about Border Patrol's internal investigations following the killings/shooting deaths of migrants as well her advocacy work to make the agency accountable to the victims of Border Patrol violence. 

Representative from Haitian Bridge Alliance, which works to develop a self-sufficient community of Haitian immigrants, in California and beyond, that is strong at its foundation so that it doesn't crumble when crisis hits.

This panel will be moderated by John Lindsay-Poland. Register here.


Panel 2 Speakers

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM PST | 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM CST | 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM EST 

Yesenia Portillo from CISPES (the Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador), Xochitl Sanchez of CARECEN-LA (Central American Resource Center-Los Angeles), and Brigitte Gynther of SOA Watch will discuss the Biden Administration's strategy for addressing the 'root causes' of migration from Central America and why it is destined to do the exact opposite: exacerbate displacement, human rights abuses, and migration. The panel will also address opportunities for advocacy to address U.S. policies and financing that are actual root causes of forced displacement, state violence, and repression. Register here.


Panel 3 Speakers

1:30 AM - 2:30 PM PST | 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM CST | 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM EST 

Representative from CONPAZ-COL (Communities Building Peace in the Territories). CONPAZ-COL is a network of more than 140 Black, Indigenous, small-scale farming, and LGBTQI frontline organizations and communities working to safeguard life and dignity by defending their territories and rights from the devastation and destruction wrecked by large-scale economic projects and the country’s ongoing armed conflict. According to Frontline Defenders, Colombia is the world’s deadliest country for environmental and human rights defenders with 177 murdered in 2020 -- more than half of the 331 murders documented globally.

Representative from OFRANEH (Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras). OFRANEH is the leading voice for the self-determination and dignity of the Garifuna people, whose ancestral territory in Honduras is under constant threat from African palm plantations, Canadian and U.S. tourist operations, mining, energy projects, and drug trafficking. In the last two years more than 40 Garifuna have been murdered and many more have fled their communities due to threats, criminalization, and persecution. In 2020, an OFRANEH community leader and other young men were forcibly disappeared from their community in Triunfo de la Cruz. Earlier this year the organization launched the Garifuna Research and Search Committee for the Disappeared of Triunfo de la Cruz (SUNLA). Register here.


OFRANEH protests to demand the safe return of community members who were forcibly disappearance. Image by OFRANEH.


If you are able, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our work.

Nearly 100% of our funds come from individual donors like you -- thank you for making our work to end all forms of US-sponsored violence possible!



9 years of Resistance and Resilience

On October 10, 2021, as part of the 9th anniversary vigil of 16-year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez's murder at the hands of US Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz, SOA Watch and the Justice for José Antonio Elena Rodríguez Collective gathered at the US/Mexico border in Nogales, Sonora to stand with José Antonio's family as they continue their tireless fight for justice. Armando of the group Abya Yala in Magdalena, Sonora offered an interpretive dance of "El Arado" by Victor Jara to honor the memory of José Antonio.

Click image to watch video clip 01:12 


31st Annual Vigil - November 21st 

11:30-1pm PST | 1:30-3pm CST | 2:30-4pm EST

Join the SOA Watch Musicians Collective to honor the memory of victims of state violence. Through song, Presentes, and collective sharing, we will honor the memory of victims of state violence and fortify our collective resistance for justice and peace in the world. Register here.

Image from 2018 SOAW Border Encuentro


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