In order to challenge the isolation bred from globalization, ATCF's biggest strength has been the intimate relationships we have cultivated with those left behind by the globalizing economy, silenced by patriarchal structures as well as capitalist practices, and indentured by U.S. free trade policies. ATCF provides an opportunity for those on the U.S. side of the border to learn from the women organizing for justice in the maquiladoras of northern Mexico (Comité Fronterizo de Obrer@s - CFO), women cooperative members in San Antonio, Texas (Fuerza Unida) who saw their jobs outsourced, and indigenous women in Chiapas (Jolom Mayaetik) whose communal lands were stripped of protections as a result of NAFTA. We want to highlight our long-term partnerships and transnational relationships.
Comité Fronterizo de Obrer@s (CFO) http://www.cfomaquiladoras.org/english%20site/index_en.html https://www.facebook.com/comitefronterizodeobreras/
The CFO works for the labor and human rights of the maquiladora workers at the Mexican border. ATCF sponsors three solidarity delegations a year to the U.S.-Mexico border where we are hosted by the CFO.
Fuerza Unida is led by Mexican-American women. It was founded in 1990 by over 600 mostly female garment workers who were displaced after Levi Strauss left the city of San Antonio for Costa Rica. Since then, they have continually served their community via El Hilo de la Justicia, their sewing collective, and by a monthly food pantry. Fuerza Unida hosts a community garden and an annual Youth Leadership Program. They hold monthly membership meetings, Loteria Mexicana games and other programming to achieve economic, environmental and social justice. Fuerza Unida is a regular vendor at ATCF's Women and Fair Trade Festival.
Jolom Mayaetik https://cooperativajolom.wordpress.com/
Cooperative Jolom Mayaetik, meaning "Women Who Weave" in Totzil language, is a textile cooperative of women from the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. Indigenous women occupy all leadership and decision-making positions. Over 250 women from 11 groups produce diverse, traditional designs. They weave on traditional backstrap looms. The weavers are experts of brocade weaving and other embroidery techniques, using cotton and self-produced wool as the main materials for their beautiful creations. Jolom Mayaetik is a regular vendor at ATCF's Women and Fair Trade Festival.
United Students Against Sweatshops - Local 18 (USAS) https://www.facebook.com/UnitedStudentsAgainstSweatshops/
In 1999, United Students Against Sweatshop members from UT Austin as well as those who would form Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera met in front of a GAP store on Austin's drag to protest the corporation's human rights violations around the world. The encounter included members of the CFO from Mexico. Meeting them led to ATCF's formation.
Women on the Border https://womenontheborder.org/
WOB is committed to raising awareness of the impact of global economics and trade politics in the lives of women and families who work in the maquiladoras. It is also committed to providing public information about how the rhetoric of corporate free trade and policy intersect with anti-migrant and anti-worker freedom concerns.
TSEU is an organized labor union voice of state workers with 11,000+ members. It is part of the Communications Workers of America, a 750,000-member, national union of telecommunications, media, health care, higher education, and public employees. TSEU stands in solidarity with organized labor in progressive unions on the Mexican side of the border.
The ASN is a coalition of faith communities, immigrants and organizations in and around Austin that supports immigrants fleeing violence or in danger of deportation. With a nonviolent foundation, ASN confronts violent structures and actions with bold compassion and courageous love. It stands in solidarity with undocumented immigrants who are being detained unjustly and denied asylum status. Presently, there are three immigrants in sanctuary who have been fighting for their freedom for several years.
The Accompaniment team drives and accompanies immigrants to their various appointments in San Antonio. Since immigration courts and ICE offices have been closed for the past months due to the pandemic, the Accompaniment team's focus has been helping immigrant families with weekly bags of food provided by Food Not Bombs. The number of families has grown as the pandemic spreads, from 10 to 16 households. These families are at the lowest level of poverty. They are the ones who were first fired from jobs that allowed them no stimulus checks nor have they had access to benefits of any sort yet they still have to pay for rent, utilities and food.