Join us for CRLN's 2013 Annual Luncheon!

Groundswell: Challenging the U.S. War on Drugs in the Americas 

With Mexico's Javier Sicilia

& Chicago's Walter Boyd

November 6th, 2013, 12:00PM-2:00PM

Old St. Pat’s Church, 700 W Adams

For Tickets click HERE 

Volunteers also needed. Contact Celeste:


Groundswell: a broad deep undulation of the ocean caused by an often distant gale or seismic disturbance (as defined by Merriam Webster)  

The word Groundswell refers to a deep and broad movement in resistance to the US-led War on Drugs, a movement catalyzed by a profound disturbance in our vision of dignity and justice. Resistance is happening in Colombia’s countryside, on the streets of Tegucigalpa, and in the communities of Chicago. People throughout the hemisphere are questioning and challenging the violence and misdirected use of war to achieve healthy, peaceful communities.


In memory of his 24-year-old son who was murdered in 2011 by drug traffickers in Mexico, Javier Sicilia created the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) to urge an end to the drug violence that has left an estimated 70,000 people dead and 27,000 disappeared in Mexico over the past 8 years. The MPJD movement organized enormous caravans led by victims of violence who traveled through Mexico and the U.S. carrying a message of peace and resistance. The caravans addressed drug policies that must be reformed as a bi-national, U.S.-Mexico project; counted the costs of gun smuggling, money laundering and border militarization; and lamented the widespread violation of the human rights of migrants. Javier Sicilia is currently on tour through the U.S. and Canada with Global Exchange, talking about MPJD’s mission and connecting it with movements of resistance to racialized mass incarceration and the war on drugs in those countries.


The drug war has fueled the activities of brutal cartels, spawned extensive corruption, and increased state-sponsored militarization and severe violence in Mexico and Central America. In addition, U.S. prisons swell with people targeted and locked up by law enforcement for minor and non-violent drug offenses. As The New Jim Crow author Michelle Alexander says, these disproportionately African American and Latino prisoners are being locked out of a viable future in this country. Walter Boyd, formerly the Director of Criminal Justice Initiatives at Protestants for the Common Good, now Executive Driector of St. Leonard's Ministries, will be a respondant to Javier Sicilia, illuminating the affects of the drug war on the U.S., specifically Chicago, side of the border.


Communities on both sides of the border are creating a groundswell of resistance to the drug war’s injustices. They increasingly challenge the human and financial costs of militarized assaults on the supply of drugs and incarceration for drug use. Instead, many suggest that a focus on reducing the demand for drugs would be more cost effective in reducing drug addiction, without the violent side effects of a War on Drugs approach. We hope to strengthen this movement across borders with the presentation of speakers. Join us in the groundswell of resistance.


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