Chicago–On June 10, several dozen activists from FSPA Justice & Peace Coordinating Committee, 8th Day Center for Justice, News and Letters Committees and others marched to Obama’s campaign headquarters here to forcefully remind the President of the promise he made as a candidate in 2008 to “oppose the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA)” while trade unionists are being killed there. He is now planning to approve the FTA, although over 50 trade unionists have been murdered in Colombia just in the last year.
We carried coffins in a solemn procession and laid them at the doorway to the Prudential Center which houses Obama’s campaign headquarters and sent representatives to meet with his staff. Magda Castaneda, a Mexican community activist from Campaign Against Militarization of our Youth, spoke for many when she said, “President Obama: Don’t you know that by signing the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement you will only make working conditions worse because this trade agreement only serves the interests of the rich and greedy capitalists in both the U.S. and Colombia?
“Let’s remember what has happened to Mexican workers with the North American FTA. Mexico’s poor working class–especially its farmers–has been displaced and greatly impoverished. So President Obama, let’s not underestimate the clamoring for justice. Build fair trade, not unfair free trade!”