*This blog entry is part of our week-long response to the World Social Forum's Global Week of Action (January 21-26, 2008). Our theme for all blog entries this week is: "Another World is Possible: International Labor Solidarity Success Stories." If you would like to contribute, contact Tim at tim.newman[at]ilrf.org!*
By Lyn PeggThis past fall, Witness for Peace brought Lydia Lopez to the Upper Midwest U.S. to talk to area schools and community groups about the impact of globalization and free trade agreements on the cut flower industry in Colombia. Lydia has worked on flower farms outside of Bogota, Colombia for 24 years, and more recently was elected president of her local Untraflores union. She spoke from the heart and with specific data about violations of labor rights, lack of environmental protection, and the deterioration of their local economy. After Lydia's successful tour throughout the region, I helped to organize a local campaign in Duluth, MN to support Colombian flower workers. Opportunities for international exchanges like the ones organized by Witness for Peace help people around the world to learn about each other's struggles and develop campaigns together.
We have a chance to connect with and support their emerging labor movement by joining the upcoming Witness for Peace delegation. Act now!!! Keep reading for details on how to join.
March 5 – 15
Flowers and Food: The Impact of Free Trade on
Witness for Peace delegation to Colombia
• Hear testimonies from displaced people and learn about their efforts to develop food security and peaceful communities
• Talk to flower union organizers about the struggles they face in advocating for better working conditions and environmental protection
Applications must be submitted by January 27th.