Help me raise money for CISPES!

28 Sep

Dear Friends on the Internet,

Guess what? On October 9-11, I will be participating in Solidarity Cylers, a 180-mile bike ride through the hills of Virginia. You may think, whaaaat, JB you are so out of shape, but I am not just riding for me, I am riding for CISPES, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, a national grassroots organization that has been working since 1980 to stop U.S. intervention in El Salvador and Central America.

Yes, you heard right. 180 miles. 3 days. On a bike. Me.

Why would I undertake such a Herculean feat? I am not even a competitive cyclist! I am not even a regular cyclist! I don’t even own one of those weird shirts people ride fancy bikes in! It’s because I have a commitment to CISPES and their continued support of the Salvadoran people in the struggle for social and economic justice.

I got to know CISPES through the involvement of some of my close friends, and I have been really impressed by the amazing work they do to support social and economic justice in El Salvador. Therefore, I have pledged to raise $500 by October 9th. Will you help? It may seem like a lot, but if 30 of my friends will contribute $25, I have already exceeded my goal. If you need more of a reason to give besides photos of me in killer padded bike shorts, please read on!

This is a very critical time for El Salvador. The FMLN, the leftist political party in El Salvador, won the Presidential elections for the first time last year!

The Salvadoran social movement is now organizing to defend their natural resources, including land and water from the clutches of multinational corporations. I have been inspired by their successful struggles, especially to shut down environmentally-destructive gold mining projects. (This kind of gold mining uses one ton of cyanide every day!)

But the corporations are striking back. Two North American gold mining corporations are now suing El Salvador for $100 million each in “lost profits” because their permits were revoked. In terms of El Salvador’s GDP, $100 million is equivalent to $138 billion in the U.S.!

Imagine if El Salvador’s first people-centered government has to spend the little resources they have paying off corporate shareholders rather than providing school lunches, community health clinics, youth employment programs and monthly pensions for the elderly!

How is such an injustice possible? It’s because of CAFTA, the U.S.- Central American Free Trade Agreement and its far-reaching “protections” for foreign investors.

Going on the Solidarity Cyclers ride is one way for me to take action and express my outrage that the U.S. government created these “rules” that allow transnational corporations unfettered access to Central America’s resources. This fall, CISPES is taking the case to the U.S. Congress, whose support for unjust trade policies like NAFTA and CAFTA has caused untold suffering for workers, immigrants, and farmers throughout the hemisphere.

But they need our help to do it! Will you sponsor me at one dollar per mile ($180), fifty cents per mile ($90), twenty-five cents per mile ($45), or ten cents a mile ($18)? I mean, 5 cents a mile is like 9$. And that totally helps too.

Please make a secure, on-line gift today to sponsor me on this ride! Make sure you put my name in the “I’m donating in support of:” box.

Thank you! Our movements only march forward with our commitment and generosity, to each other and to the collective struggle for justice and equality. As the Salvadoran people have proven again and again, ¡Sí, se puede! (Yes, we can!)

En solidaridad,
Jenna Brager.

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