Join the Drug War Peace Train
Caravan for Peace in Austin this weekend
By Jordan Smith, 10:30AM, Wed. Aug. 22, 2012
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A "peace caravan" of Mexican activists – including renown writer Javier Sicilia – will make their way through Austin as part of a month-long protest to bring awareness to the ongoing drug war violence in Mexico.
The drug war south of the border has seen at least 10,000 disappearances and 60,000 deaths since 2006 – including Sicilia's son, a 24-year-old student killed by drug traffickers in 2011, according to a profile of Sicilia in Time magazine. (Find that article here.)
The caravan is a program of Global Exchange, an international human rights organization, that kicked off it's month-long cross-country journey in San Diego on Aug. 12. The route takes protesters across the Southwest and into the Southeast before cutting up to Chicago and over to the East Coast before arriving in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Sept. 10. The group will be in Austin on Saturday, Aug. 25, its fifth of six Texas stops, where there will be a public rally on the south steps of the Capitol, starting at noon. (More info on the rally on the caravan's Austin Facebook page, here.)
The goal of the protesters is not only to bring awareness to the ongoing violence, but also to advocate for an "end to the bloodshed" and for new government policies – on both sides of the southern border – that would help to combat ongoing violence, according to a press release, issued by local protest organizers, including the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, Texas NORML, and the Austin Immigrants Rights Coalition, among others. The group expects more than 100 "victims" of drug war violence to be with the caravan and in town for the event.
Find background on Global Exchange and the caravan here.