Mark the date for our first cafe of 2019 on January 25!
1923 Fernwood Road Doors open at 7 Live Music at 7:30 pm Presentation at 8 pm
Slide show and panel lead by Eric Doherty with other speakers, Followed by ample time for discussion and action ideas. Climate change is affecting the lives of many Central Americans as well as Canadians and has widespread global consequences. We can be part of the solution!
Refreshments: Fair Trade Organic Coffee from Nicaragua
Admission by donation All welcome!
Sponsored by the Victoria Central America Support Committee
The Zapatista Movement in Chiapas
“¡Zapata vive, la lucha sigue!”
(Zapata lives, the struggle continues!)
In 1994, the day the NAFTA agreement became operational, threatening the survival of Mexican campesinos, the Zapatista National Liberation Army staged a 12-day-long uprising. Mexican society shook to its core.
After 24 years of resistance, the Zapatistas remain well organized and continue to protect their Indigenous culture, their right to land and their autonomy.
Music by: Héctor Vázquez, classical musician from Mexico and PhD candidate at UVic.
1923 Fernwood Road
Doors open at 7:00 pm
Music at 7:30 pm
Presentation at 8:00 pm
Admission by donation
Nicaraguan Fair Trade Organic Coffee for sale
Sponsored by: Victoria Central America Support Committee
Real life super heroes and the quest for mining justice in Canada and Guatemala
Activist and MJAC member Kay Gimbel will talk about his trip with Rights Action in June. This was Kay’s second trip to Guatemala and he will discuss the ongoing social justice issues introduced by Canadian mining activities.
Presented by the Mining Justice Action Committee and the Central America Support Committee.
The BC premier of a wonderful Canadian film about western Sahara with the story of two women and their grandmothers, refugees from Africa’s only colony. The film also explains Canada’s role in the colonization of Western Sahara.
Peter Golden, founding member of CASC, human rights and solidarity activist, refugee lawyer, friend of many, died July 31. He had lived with cancer and true to his spirit he carried on until almost to the end, engaged and involved in life.
Peter was a constant presence and strength in CASC for more than 30 years. He went on human rights delegations to Central America, met with endangered activists there; helped lawyers and others threatened with death and disappearance. He will particularly be remembered for his hard work for Coca-Cola workers and union organizers in Guatemala. Only recently was CASC with Peter’s support able to help the creation and installation of sculptures of nine assassinated Coca-Cola activists in a prominent place in Guatemala City.
CASC activists will remember Peter’s wealth of knowledge, his compassion for the oppressed, his reasoned discussion of contentious issues, his positive contributions to organizing our Cafe Simpatico gatherings and his humour and warmth.
We remember with fond laughter his incredible ability to fund-raise at Café- going through a performance with his wallet, $20 bills and the collection basket on his head. People always responded and gave generously to his appeal.
Peter attended our last Café Simpatico on June 27, frail, but in good spirits. We treasure this last photo taken with some CASC activists and our Guatemalan guest speakers.
We give our heartfelt sympathy to his life partner, Charlotte Bell, his daughters, brother and the rest of his family. They were with him until his last breath.
His steadfast commitment to social justice will continue to inspire us.
We will miss you Peter.
Peter Golden ! Presente!
TW on behalf of CASC planning committee
Photo at Café Simpatico, June 27, 2018: Peter standing tall 2nd from left in back row. We are wearing photos of murdered and disappeared people in Guatemala.
When Oscar Romero was chosen to be Archbishop of El Salvador at the time of a brutal military dictatorship, backed by the USA, in 1977; it was expected that this quiet scholarly man would not create any problems for the military and the oligarchy which the military supported.
After Romero took office his best friend was assassinated for speaking out for justice, Romero started to look carefully at what was happening in his country; he started to speak and act on behalf of the oppressed and particularly those who resisted the cruel dictators.
Before he was gunned down in a church while giving mass, Romero had received more than 400 death threats. That made him even stronger in his convictions and actions. He said:
I do not believe in death without resurrection. If they kill me, I will rise again in the people of El Salvador.
Those were prophetic words. Now thirty-eight years after his death, he is still remembered and honoured in El Salvador and the world. He will soon become a saint of the Roman Catholic faith.
Recently the Victoria Central America Committee honoured Romero in an evening of words and music. The special guest speaker was Remi De Roo, the retired bishop of Victoria who knew Romero well. He recalled that the legacy of Romero to people of all faiths and beliefs was the call to resist injustice and to support the poor and oppressed.
The author of an important book about Romero was also present at the gathering: Matt Eisenbrandt,: Assassination of a Saint, University of California Press, 2017.