Monday, June 19, 2006

Witness the Drug War Firsthand in Colombia

I'm passing the following message on from Witness for Peace's Erik Cooke. This is an exciting opportunity being jointly offered by SSDP and WFP. (Some of you may remember that Erik used to be SSDP's legislative director.)

Witness the Drug War Firsthand in Colombia

Friends,

We all know that the Drug War is an abysmal failure in the U.S.: gleaming new prisons, hysterical government propaganda, invasions of privacy, racial discrimination, and a massive waste of taxpayer dollars.

But, the impact of the Drug War in the U.S. is only part of picture.

Another Drug War is being waged even more violently in South America. This war fumigates subsistence crops along with coca. This war inflames a 40 year-old civil war in Colombia. This war classifies impoverished farmers as narcotraffickers. This war sends military aid to human rights abusers. This war has helped cause the largest internal displacement in the world. This brutal war is the same one that we all fight so passionately against here at home.

Witness for Peace has teamed up with Students for Sensible Drug Policy to host a delegation to Colombia, this August, to witness firsthand the devastating implications of the Drug War in Colombia. Led by Sanho Tree of the Institute for Policy Studies, myself, and in-country guides, during this delegation, you will have opportunities to meet with experts, U.S. and Colombian government officials, farmers, human rights leaders, and many others drawn into this struggle. You will visit communities that have been impacted by U.S. military aid and anti-drug efforts. You will also gather tools and understanding that will enable you to educate your policymakers on how U.S. policy is impacting Colombia. Most importantly, you will experience the irrefutable physical impacts of U.S. policy – on the people, the land, and the government.

Yes, this Drug War is an awful reality that we have inherited. However, we have the power and the responsibility to correct this horrible injustice. The first step in that process is to understand what forms injustice takes.

You can find the flyer for the delegation, including dates and costs, at: www.witnessforpeace.org/pdf/del_col_ssdp_aug_06.pdf.

If you need further information on the situation in Colombia or about the delegation, please be in contact with me by phone at 202-547-6112 or by email at erik@witnessforpeace.org.

I challenge and urge each of you to strongly consider signing up for this delegation. You will return changed.

In solidarity,
Erik

P.S. Witness for Peace offers several other delegations, on a variety of themes, to not only Colombia, but also to Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and an upcoming Bolivia delegation. For more information visit http://www.witnessforpeace.org/travel/schedule.html.

2 comments:

800 pound gorilla said...

Authoritarians did learn something from the Volstead Act: the country could not unilaterally stem the supply if banned drugs could be purchased elsewhere. We have been very good at shutting down legal availability elsewhere. Even so, the product available became increasingly more potent as bootleggers found their market: alcoholics and problem drinkers - and catered to them, so that anyone wanting alcohol couldn't drink responsibly with beer and wine but had to drink hard liquor.

I frequently chide religious conservatives - with impunity - about their "pick and choose" scriptural denunciation of homosexuality. Homosexuality is specifically denounced in only one section of the Bible [Leviticus] and nowhere else. And with over 500 personal matters declared sinful in the chapter it is impossible to live a modern sinfree lifestyle. And yes, they don't even try. They pick and choose what godly mandates to follow and deride anyone who picks and chooses differently. We know that religious conservatives love prohibition, but there is no scriptural mandate to support it. They can't even pick and choose; they have to use false choices: drunkenness = use of alcohol.

I love it! Carrie Nations supporting a policy that her alleged lord and savior Jesus would certainly break: he bonded with his disciples using alcohol. Does anyone doubt that Jesus would have bonded with others using marijuana? Would Jesus have been drunk or stoned? I seriously doubt that someone with as much personal discipline as he showed would have. But Pat Robertson would have associated him with gutter drunks and stoners to derail his message of love and tolerance - if he were around today.

Anonymous said...

What the hell? Does Gorilla's posting even make sense? Seriously, folks, can we get him committed?