Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Latina/o Anti-War Breakthrough: Moratorio Irak!

37 years ago today, the Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War rocked Los Angeles and the country. One of those historic events that somehow elude US history classes in high school, the 1970 Chicano Moratorium played two historic roles. It marked a decisive step by the new Chicano movement onto the political stage and delivered a sharp shot to the head which blindsided the diehards in US government and ruling circles who were trying to keep the Vietnam War going.

Today, the launching of Moratorio Irak, a Spanish language wing of the Iraq Moratorium with its own website, marks that anniversary. El Moratorio has been pulled together in recent weeks by a group of Spanish-speaking and bilingual activists based mainly in the veterans and military families movement. Among them are Gold Star family members like Fernando Suárez de Solar, Carlos & Mélida Arredondo and Juan Torres: and Iraq vets like resister Carlos Mejía and Edgar Cuevas, both recently-elected officers of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

As part of the Iraq Moratorium, Moratorio Irak aims to mobilize many who now are against the war, but have yet to act against it, by undertaking local actions that have a low threshold of entry on the Third Friday of every month, commencing September 21.

This is a very big deal, friends, for two reasons.

First, the Pentagon, increasingly desperate for cannon fodder, has made a special target of immigrants from Latin America, especially recent ones who are primarily Spanish speakers. Stronger networking can raise anti-war voices and visibility in these communities, and in particular help hardworking activists counteract the predatory recruiters who prowl the schools and malls.

Second, the Moratorio Irak website and its blog seek to address one of the most glaring deficiencies in the movement against the Iraq War thus far. This is the first time, as far as I can tell, that a national level anti-war organization, coalition or campaign has developed an independent, interactive, stand-alone website with both translated and original material. It will, let's hope, provide inspiration and an example for others to take up.

Finally, an appeal for support from those of you who feel that these courageous men and women have begun something that will damage the war machine and expand the movement to get out of Iraq. Moratorio Irak requests two things of you. Please, spread the word, especially to friends, lists, blogs and websites which might be interested. You can use the rollout announcement in Spanish will be included in the comments and can also be seen as the first post on the blog at the Moratorio Irak website.

Also, the Iraq Moratorium urgently needs financial support! Hosting, designing, translating and maintaining the website are not yet paid for. The production and distribution of literature and buttons, armbands and so on will cost. So will travel by those coordinating the campaign. Please donate, even if it’s only ten or 15 bucks. You can give online directly, or via PayPal or by mail at click "contribute" in the menu on the left hand side.

[crossposted at DailyKos]