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San Francisco Delegation to Join Border Convergence to Protest Border Wall and TPP

Thursday, October 06, 2016
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Event Type:
Press Conference
Karl Kramer
Location Details:
2940 16th Street (between Mission and S. Van Ness)


San Francisco groups are going to the U.S.-Mexican border to say “no” to the border wall and “no” to the proposed free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Calling themselves the Alliance for Social and Economic Justice, the groups include the Bay Area Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, Global Exchange, Marin Task Force on the Americas, San Francisco Living Wage Coalition, School of the Americas Watch West and Trabajo Cultural Caminante.

They are sending a delegation from the San Francisco Bay Area to Nogales, Arizona, from October 6 to 10, to participate in a convergence on the border to highlight the militarization of the southern border, the U.S.-sponsored militarization of Central American borders, and the human rights crisis of an unjust immigration system. More than 430 human rights, social justice, faith-based, labor and immigrant rights groups called for the international convergence in the lead-up to the November elections.

Members of the delegation are continuing to Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, from October 11 to 14, to support Mexican factory workers who have been striking for an independent union, to highlight the failures of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in protecting workers rights, and to demonstrate the dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The groups see free trade and a repressive immigration system as a couple of the root causes of why U.S. wages are stagnating or depreciating, and why income inequality is increasing. The free trade regime has brought lower wages to both sides of the border. Wages and working conditions in factories are being depressed in Mexico in anticipation of the TPP. With all of the presidential candidates opposed to the TPP, except for Libertarian Gary Johnson, the Business Roundtable, representing some of the largest U.S. companies, is pushing to get Congress to pass it before the next president is inaugurated.

“This is the most dangerous time!,” said Karl Kramer, Campaign Co-director, San Francisco Living Wage Coalition. “It will be a repeat of history. When China joined the World Trade Organization, factory owners in Mexico told their workers ‘either take a wage cut or we will close this plant and move it to China.’ After the passage of TPP, the owners will be saying ‘either take a wage cut or we will move this plant to Vietnam or Malaysia.’”

The militarization of the border and a repressive immigration system is creating more desperate workers, forcing them to accept lower pay.

“Supporters of NAFTA told us that free trade would improve the lives of workers, but NAFTA has lowered the living standards of U.S. and Mexican workers, and has led to the militarization of the U.S.- Mexico border, to counter the forced migration of Mexican workers who have lost their lands and jobs,” said David Frias, Campaign Co-director, San Francisco Living Wage Coalition.
Added to the calendar on Tue, Oct 4, 2016 9:43PM
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