Friday, October 8, 2010 - 8:30am - Sunday, October 10, 2010 - 8:30pm
Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera Delegation to Piedras Negras, Mexico, October 8-10, 2010…
where we will meet maquiladora workers in their homes and communities, find out about current conditions of life and work and learn what strategies they are using to advocate for themselves. Our Mexican partners, the Comité Fronterizo de Oberas/os (the CFO), continue to find innovative, often bold ways of organizing despite the intense anti-labor climate of Mexico—and the world—that they and we are facing.
In February 2010, 11 of us trooped down to Piedras Negras Mexico to celebrate our 10-year anniversary with our Mexican partners, the CFO (Comité Fronterizo de Obreras/os). We looked back; we looked forward. We evaluated, sang praises, and ate barbeque chicken. They gave us plaques of recognition and gifts. Some of us, Mexican and US, were awed. Some of us were new to the idea of our solidarity and were thrilled--or confused.
I was in Mexico, Reynosa, when the time changed; It sprang forward. Like so many other things, time can get lost. And I definitely lost track of time, on this visit. The border is so compelling and challenging to process. I began to write this, on my third day back, in Austin, and I am just now beginning to come out of my own kind of fog and awaken. I wrote today, in my journal. I had many emotions. I remembered family and parts of my life I'd filed away.
“A very appealing feature of the CFO philosophy is that they never impose an agenda on the workers, but instead respond to needs that workers articulate. They say ‘Always go to the workers with empty hands’—equivalent to our idiom of an open mind.” - Judith Rosenberg, Co-founder of Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera
AFSC-Austin has supported grassroots initiatives among workers, migrants and activists for over a decade.
Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera (ATCF) organizes quarterly delegations to visit maquiladora workers and communities along the Mexico-U.S. border. The Comité Fronterizo de Obreras (CFO: Border Committee of Women Workers) hosts each group’s visit, enabling U.S. delegates to meet with workers who are defending human rights, justice and dignity in a harsh labor environment.
The quarterly delegations rotate between five border cities: Ciudad Acuña, Piedras Negras, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Ciudad Juárez.
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AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
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