rn: Call to action re: Colombia (another Viet Nam)


Jan Slakov

Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 12:12:20 -0600
From: Jessica Sundin <•••@••.•••>
Reply-To: •••@••.•••
Organization: University of Minnesota
Subject: Colombia: A Call to Action

Advance apologies for any duplicates. Please let us know if you received
this message more than once. Thank you.

A Call to Action ~ Colombia Action Network ~ •••@••.•••
                        U.S. OUT OF COLOMBIA NOW!
   * Organize nation-wide protests against military aid to Colombia *
    * A call for emergency actions the Monday after the Senate vote *

In the coming weeks, the House and Senate are expected to pass a $1.7
BILLION military aid package for Colombia! This is the biggest package
ever proposed for Colombia, and will put massive military weaponry,
equipment and training into the hands of Colombia's corrupt army and
brutal death squads. People of conscience around the country must stand
up and speak out against this disaster.

Colombia is already the world's third-ranking recipient of U.S. military
aid. Hundreds of U.S. military personnel, stationed in Colombia, work
with and train Colombian soldiers, who are armed with U.S. weapons, and
who fly U.S. spy planes and attack helicopters.

Stop the Push into Southern Colombia!
Most of this aid package, almost one billion dollars, is aimed at
backing a Colombian Army offensive into the southern portion of
Colombia. This is the area controlled by the guerrillas of the Armed
Forces of Colombia (FARC). To open a door to peace talks, Colombia's
government agreed to withdraw all forces from this area. Sending in
Colombian Army personnel, or North American soldiers, is a plan for U.S.
defeat. The guerrillas view this proposed aggression as a declaration of
war. Even members of Congress argue that a push into southern Colombia
will drag the United States into a terrible counter-insurgency war.

No Aid to Human Rights Abusers!
Recent reports by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the U.S.
State Department all prove that the Colombian Army uses financial and
material backing from the United States, to work hand-in-hand with the
paramilitary death squads. Military and paramilitary forces commit 70%
of the human rights abuses in Colombia; they massacre and terrorize tens
of thousands of human rights workers, labor union members, indigenous
activists, and other Colombian civilians.

Paramilitaries and the military plan and carry out joint operations. The
Colombian Army provides weapons and munitions, helicopter support and
medical aid to death squad activities. Some death squad members are
off-duty or retired military officers, many are trained at the School of
the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. Government-sponsored repression
has displaced over one and a half million Colombians who have fled from
their homes.

The Drug War is a Lie!
As the U.S. War on Drugs has escalated, pouring hundreds of millions of
dollars into weapons and equipment for the Colombian military, drug use
in the United States has continued to rise. As Clinton and Congress have
increased the size of U.S. police forces, empowered police to use more
force, and mandated that judges jail North American drug users for
years, drug use has continued to rise. In fact, the only countries that
effectively combat drug abuse, use a strategy of treating drug
addiction. Clinton's so-called War on Drugs is a flimsy excuse to wage a
massive intervention in Colombia.

Build an Anti-War Movement
Clinton's proposal, if passed, is the beginning of a long war against
the people of Colombia. In opposing today's aid package, we are starting
to build a movement to stop U.S. intervention in Colombia. We must speak
out against this attack, expose the truth about U.S. involvement in
Colombia, and use this opportunity to bring more people into a movement
that will continue to challenge the U.S. role in Colombia's Dirty War
against its own people.

In cities across the country, activists are watching Congress closely.
If the House and Senate both vote for the proposed aid package, of one
and a half billion dollars, to Colombia, we need to organize an
immediate and visible response. In your community, this might be a
modest bannering beside a busy road, a large demonstration at a Federal
Government building, civil disobedience at your Congressperson's office,
or a candlelight vigil at your church. You may be able to involve local
peace and justice, human rights, student or labor organizations in these
actions; and you should definitely notify your local media and
politicians. Together, we can have a major impact. We may not force
Clinton to veto this package, but we can raise the stakes on sending
this military aid or more in the future.

Sign On! Pass the word!
If you will plan an emergency action in your city, please let us know.
If you know others who may be interested, in your community or
elsewhere, please forward this call to them. If you need help organizing
an action, please let us know. We have resources available: sample
flyers and press releases, how-to information. We'll include your city
on all our materials. Are you going to do an emergency response action,
but not on the Monday after? Let us know anyway. And good luck
organizing! To sign-on, reply to this e-mail, at

Resources for local organizing available on-line:

Flyer for emergency actions coming soon!


Jessica Sundin                            Heather Truskowski
Anti-War Committee, MN         Colombia Solidarity Committee, Chicago

for the Colombia Action Network