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Freedom Caravan Across Nation: Southwest and South Caravan to US Social Forum
by People's Freedom Caravan Thursday, May. 24, 2007 at 5:38 PM
504.301.9292

Freedom Caravan Across Nation Bringing a new grassroots vision and innovations to overcome the democracy divide

In remembrance of the courage of the first Freedom Ride that met racist violence in Jackson on May 25, 2006, community leaders again will unite on the People's Freedom Caravan to promote a new vision of democracy. This is a vision based on human rights, a vision that bridges racial, geographic and cultural divides and moves beyond the status quo 'pay to play' politics. From Boston to California, Chicago to Florida, people are getting on buses, vans and cars to share their story as they make their way to the 1st United States Social Forum in Atlanta, Ga. Every one person is a story and the masses of voices are bringing solutions to issues of violence, racism, pollution and poverty. As the freedom riders of the 1960s brought a new vision for the South based on desegregation, the People's Caravan will demonstrate that another US is possible, one that is based on equality, living wages, sustainability and human rights.

"We are going to Atlanta to build a unified voice of the people! We want to make connections across the country to create a domino effect of action and organizing," said Agnes Rivera, Community Voices Heard Leader from New York caravanning to the USSF. "On the caravan and at forum, we will discuss social safety net, jobs, and public housing, learn from each other, and strengthen our work for 'another' world."

The southern part of the People's Freedom Caravan will take off in Albuquerque where organizations are protecting sacred sites and bringing clean water and solar power to unincorporated communities. 100 people will journey to San Antonio to meet another 100 leaders and march for a living wage for all and call for a just, peaceful border. Continuing to Houston, the hub of the oil industry, the group will promote a clean renewable energy for marginalized neighborhoods that struggle against pollution and sickness.

"The stories of Houston will be on the bus, promoting our right and everyone's right to breathe clean air and live in healthy communities. With 250 people joining us here, the local people can share their vision with this social forum on wheels and get their voices to Atlanta," explained Bryan Parras of the Southern Human Rights Organizing Network in Houston.

With over 4 buses, the caravan will stop in Lake Charles, La. to promote education instead of incarceration and protect communities from contamination. In New Orleans, 4 buses will join to highlight the commitment to rebuild, the protection of the right to return, promotion of affordable safe housing and human rights for all workers. The caravan will split as some buses head down the Gulf Coast, tracing the path of the
hurricanes, while other head to Jackson to remember the legacy of the civil rights movement and the steps needed to achieve true equality. Converging in Selma, Alabama, the caravan representing young and old, indigenous, migrants, Latinos, African-Americans and Asians will call for a renewed struggle to overcome the democracy divide and recognize the human rights of all people. As over 1000 people head the Atlanta, they will launch the USSF with a march into the city.

"The People's Freedom Ride is our opportunity to find the wisdom in a united struggle for justice. Post-Katrina life in New Orleans has shown that there is no recovery of the Gulf Coast, but only a massive a privatization scheme that takes away our homes, communities, and human rights. Any hope for displaced hurricane survivors to return to our homes with dignity and justice relies on a mass movement that begins with the People's Freedom Ride to the US Social Forum," said Monique Harden, Co-Director of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights.

Route and stops:

* June 22nd - Albuquerque, NM 505.247.8832
* June 23rd - San Antonio, TX 210.299.2666
* June 24th (afternoon) - Houston, TX 318.514.9924 / (evening) Lake Charles, LA 504.606.8846
* June 25th - New Orleans, LA 504.301.9292
* June 26th (morning) - Jackson, MS 601.982.6400 / (evening) - Selma, AL 617.880. 9208
* June 27th - March on Atlanta to USSF



Participating Organizations:

Action for Community Education Reform, Mississippi
Activists With a Purpose, Grenada (MS)
Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, New Orleans (LA)
Ashe' Cultural Center, New Orleans (LA)
Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, New Mexico
Circle of Love Center, Selma (AL)
Citizens for Education Awareness, Mississippi
Coalition In Defense of the Community, Houston (TX)
Committee for Environmental Justice Action, San Antonio (TX)
Community In-Power Development Association, Port Arthur (TX)
Concerned Citizens for a Better Tunica County, Tunica (MS)
Concerned Citizens of Greenville, Greenville (MS)
Enlace Comunitario, Albuquerque (NM)
Elwood Community Church, Selma (AL)
Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama, Montgomery (AL)
Fourth World Movement, New Orleans (LA)
Friends and Families of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children, Lake Charles (LA)
Fuerza Unida, San Antonio (TX)
Georgia Stand Up, Atlanta (GA)
Houston Indy Media Collective, Houston (TX)
Indianola Parent Student Group, Indianola (MS)
Latino Health Outreach Project, New Orleans (LA)
League of United Latin American Citizens, Houston (TX)
Left Turn, New Orleans (LA)
Lower 9th Ward Health Clinic, New Orleans (LA)
Mary Queen of Vietnam Church, New Orleans (LA)
Millions More Movement, Houston (TX)
MLK Dream Team, Carlsbad (NM)
Mossville Environmental Action Now, Mossville (LA)
Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Slidell (LA)
National Alliance of Vietnamese American Service Agencies, New Orleans (LA)/national
New Mexico Acequia Association/Sembrando Semillas, New Mexico
New Orleans Workers' Center, New Orleans (LA)
Nollies Citizens for Quality Education, Mississippi
One Torch, New Orleans (LA)
Parents and Youth United for a Better Webster County, Webster (MS)
People's Hurricane Relief Fund, New Orleans (LA)
People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, Houston (TX), New Orleans (LA)
People's Organizing Committee, New Orleans (LA)
PODER, San Francisco (CA)
Project South, Atlanta (GA)
SAGE Council, Albuquerque (NM)
Saving Our Selves Coalition, Alabama
Somos Un Pueblo Unido, Santa Fe (NM)
Southern Echo Incorporated, Jackson (MS)
Southern Human Rights Organizing Network, Houston (TX)
SouthWest Organizing Project, Albuquerque (NM)
Southwest Workers Union, San Antonio (TX)
T.E.J.A.S, Houston (TX)
Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Houston (TX)
Vietnamese-American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans, New Orleans (LA)
Youth Innovation Movement Solutions, Mississippi
Youth Leadership Organization, San Antonio (TX)
Youth Media Council, Oakland (CA)

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