Report from Border Social Forum in Ciudad Juarez, Oct 2006 (vom 31.10.2006),
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[31. Oct 2006]

Report from Border Social Forum in Ciudad Juarez, Oct 2006

More than 900 people from 150+ organizations gathered in Ciduad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, for the first :: Border Social Forum.

The BSF took place on the Mexico-US border with the backdrop of millions of migrants mobilizing in the US for full rights and increasing militarization after President GW Bush Jr's recent assignment of over 6,000 military troops of the National Guard to "secure" the border. Since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, Ciudad Juarez has become the Mexican border city with the most maquiladora factories. The systemic violence of neoliberal globalization has :: manifested locally in an epidemic of femicide, as hundreds of poor young women have been brutally raped and murdered in Ciudad Juarez since 1993.

The BSF commenced on Wednesday the 12th of October 2006 with a March against NAFTA and Violence on the Border. john reports: The march from a local park in Ciudad Juarez to one of the main bridges had about 500 people. Representatives from a number of local grassroots organizations, from both sides were involved. Once at the center of the bridge was reached, a rally was held, attacking NAFTA and its effects on working people, on both sides of the border. :: Full Story with Photos :: Video

The BSF continued through the 15th of October with workshops, cultural performances, and a march to "tear down the wall of death." It concluded by passing a :: 23-point Final Declaration that included resolutions to promote Latino desertion from the US Army, resist the US-Mexico planned Wall in solidarity with Palestinians fighting the Apartheid Wall built by Israel in the West Bank, set up border city networks against labor abuse, and nurture human rights like health, education and access to water by blocking privatization schemes. :: Photos from Friday Morning :: Report from the opening ceremonies :: Photos from workshops and other events

On Saturday there was a march of around 800 people to tear down the wall of death, which proceeded through downtown Juarez to the top of the Paseo Norte bridge on top of the Rio Bravo, where a brief rally was held before returning to the University for a concert. :: Photos :: Video

There was online Radio Coverage from :: RadioBemba of Hermosillo Mexico and :: Radio Bilingue of Fresno California. :: Houston Indymedia covered the story as well as other alternative and movement media organizations: :: NarcoNews Article :: SouthWest Workers Union :: SouthWest Organizing Project ::

Meanwhile, border-area capitalists were also organizing. October 12 and 13, hundreds of Mexican and foreign business leaders and government officials gathered at the exclusive :: "First Forum: The Northern Frontier" in Mexicali, a Mexican border city in Baja California state. Hosted by Mexicali's Business Coordinating Council, an influential umbrella group, the capitalists presented their ideas to an audience that included current Mexican President Vicente Fox and billionaire owner of the TelMex monopoly Carlos Slim, among others. Within a month, the Frontier Forum organizers plan to present a document to Mexico's next president Felipe Calderón that lists the priorities they see for the northern border, including the building of an east-west highway from Tijuana to Laredo and strategies for drawing more tourism development to the border. :: Schedule of the Northern Frontier Forum :: SanDiego Union-Tribune story

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