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The story:"It's worse than the first years of the industrial revolution," said a top Latin American labor leader, visiting the Mexico/Texas border in 2001, and referring to employers in the maquiladoras. "They act like they discovered mass production but have not yet heard of human rights," Fortunately, it did not stay the same.Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera (Austin So Close to the Border) has been a small part of big changes. We have been visiting the border since 1999 and forming a solidarity relationship with an organized group of maquiladora workers due to concerns about NAFTA and its effects on human rights. As allies, moral supporters and witnesses, we have seen the growth of a movement of workers which claims some material victories, suffers occasional setbacks, yet never fails to generate consciousness of labor, human, and women's rights in individuals and communities. We see how people react. Human beings need love and community; they also need justice.We have also offered material support. And we need your help to continue.Our Quinceañera Solidarity Campaign:When we met the Comité Fronterizo de Obreras/os (The Border Committee of Workers) 15 years ago, we were so impressed with their dedication to workers who had no voice, we made a commitment to provide a $500 per month salary to a trained organizer, a woman who comes out of the maquiladoras and knows the difficulties of life inside and outside the factories. This year, our Quinceañera, we are asking you to step in and provide funds to pay that salary, $500 per month, or $6,000 for the year, our campaign goal. Every penny of the $6000 we raise will go to the organizer in Mexico. This can truly be a community effort, from our community to theirs. That means your $200 is very important—and so is your $2!Accomplishments:For the second year, our Mexican partners, with our support, are pioneering a women’s empowerment workshop (GEMA). It dovetails with a drive to establish the first-ever union in Ciudad Acuña (across from Del Rio) and make sure it's democratic, including women’s voices. We are proud to be a part of that—our volunteers have offered creative writing workshops and video and word documentation. Join us; be proud with us. Support these women and men as they slowly change social patterns and power structures and move in the direction of freedom.Thank you for being a part of this movement. We appreciate your support.
The Women & Fair Trade Festival is an annual Austin marketplace, now in its 11th year, that hosts eight artisan producers from women’s cooperatives all over the world. We gather in Austin to celebrate cultural exchange, solidarity, fair trade, live music and poetry with vendors and members of our community. Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera sponsors the two-day event, this year on November 22 & 23, 2014.
*10 am - 6 pm both Saturday and Sunday*
Enjoy live music and the CantoMundo Latina Poetry Reading while you shop!! (schedule coming soon)