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|Anti-CAFTA Action at Feinstein's office|
|Date||Wednesday March 01|
|Time||12:00 PM - 1:00 PM|
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1 Post Street (at Montgomery BART Station)
Diane Feinstein's office
**PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY**
Bay Area Says “No” to Feinstein’s “Yea” Vote for CAFTA as El Salvador Becomes First Country To Implement Trade Agreement
Come out and “Thank” Feinstein for being the only California Democrat to vote in favor of CAFTA!
Wednesday, March 1st 2006
In front of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Office, One Post Street @ Market (near Montgomery BART Station)
As mass mobilizations take place in El Salvador to protest the implementation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement, Bay Area Salvadorans and allies will denounce Senator Dianne Feinstein for being the only Democrat in Congress to vote in support of CAFTA. Join us in opposition to corporate-authored trade agreements and politicians that support them.
CAFTA Takes Effect in El Salvador
Bay Area Salvadoran Community Protest Senator Feinstein—the sole Democrat in California to Support President Bush’s Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)
As thousands rally in El Salvador against the implementation of CAFTA, the Bay Area Salvadoran community and allies will protest outside the office of California’s sole Democrat to support CAFTA—Senator Dianne Feinstein. The group will deliver an 8-foot greeting card to Senator Feinstein’s downtown office at 1 Post Street and set up a makeshift sweatshop to facetiously “thank” the Senator for her support of the CAFTA. Senator Feinstein was the only Democrat in California to support an agreement opposed by every major Democratic constituency group in the State. The United States, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua signed the CAFTA-DR in August 2004 and El Salvador was the first to ratify it in December 2004. All but Costa Rica have ratified the Agreement.
The White House refused requests by Democratic leaders, environmentalists, unions and public health organizations to renegotiate the rules addressing worker and environmental concerns. At a press conference in late May 2005, Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) stated, “As Democratic Leader, I will tell you that Democrats will not support the Central American Free Trade Agreement in its current form. We will only support trade agreements with strong labor and environmental protections.”
“Senator Feinstein’s vote for CAFTA is inexcusable. We set up our sweatshop today to draw attention to her support for a trade deal that ensures thousands of Salvadorans, mostly school age women, will be forced to work in sweatshops for poverty wages, unable to access health care or education” said Yeni Solis of the Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES). “CAFTA could have been negotiated to include protections for workers that would allow sweatshop workers to earn enough money to provide a decent life for their families. Instead the agreement establishes a hierarchy in which the interests of transnational businesses take precedence over the needs of communities. We support trade between the U.S. and Central America, but CAFTA’s rules are unbalanced and irresponsible,” proclaimed Zach Hurwitz of the international human rights organization Global Exchange.
Underscoring the debacle that the debate over CAFTA has been in the U.S., El Salvador will be the first Central American nation given the green light by the White House to implement the trade act three months later than the original proposed date. Debate over implementation has been no less tame in Central American countries, where mass mobilizations turning out thousands of protesters have continued to roar throughout the region, with some of the largest and most recent taking place in El Salvador and Costa Rica. Critics of CAFTA in the U.S. are not surprised by opposition in affected countries, claiming that CAFTA will not bring the prosperity it professes but will in fact “accentuate profound economic differences between the United States and El Salvador and consolidate North American domination over the region,” states Jesse Swanhuyser of the California Coalition for Fair Trade and Human Rights. “My heart goes out to the Salvadoran community. While the CAFTA fight is over here in the U.S., the CAFTA battle in El Salvador begins today,” said Swanhuyser.