Saturday, July 30, 2005

Sunday Evening Vigil + Rice & Beans

Vigil Information
This week, instead of having our usual Sunday Night vigil, we have decided to join our friends at Pastors for Peace at St John's Parish, as per the attached: This will also allow our staff to join us. See you there!

Thank you so much for your warm welcome to McAllen.

It is such a blessing to discover the people in the Rio Grande Valley that are organizing for peace and social justice. Homeland Security has given us an unexpected gift-- an extended visit to your Valley to get to know each of you as we fight for passage of seized humanitarian aid bound for Cuba.

We are Pastors for Peace ( Twice a year we gather in McAllen after traversing the US collecting donations and raising awareness about US foreign policy in our destination country. This year, over 100 volunteers gathered about 140 tons of humanitarian aid for Cuba; our 16th direct challenge to the immoral blockade. After a 20 hour stand-off on July 21st, the majority of the aid and caravanistas were allowed to cross the border, but seven of us stayed back with a bus filled with computer equipment for children with special needs in Cuba-- These items are specially prohibited by the Commerce Department as a threat to security.

Sunday evening, July 31st, we will gather at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church (on the SE corner ofthe San Juan Basilica) at 6:30 for a potluck. It will be a chance for all of us to learn and grow from sharing the stories of your work here in the valley and how it can connect with the Pastors for Peace International Caravans of Solidarity with the people of Cuba, Mexico & Central America. We are new to McAllen and counting on you to spread the word to your contacts and neighbors.

Please invite everyone to join us Sunday night at St. John's and again on Monday morning at the Hidalgo-Reynosa Bridge, as we welcome the caravanistas who made it through the border back from Cuba. We'll look forward to seeing you there!

There are a few more things you can do to help!
1. Call your congressional representative and senator: (switchboard: 202/225-3121)

2. Call the Cuba desk at the State Departmen: 202/647-9273.

3. Call Jayson Ahern, assistant commissioner for field operations at Customs: 202/344-1620.

4. Call Michael Turner at the Commerce Departmen: 202/482-1208, ext. 3.


6. Media coverage really helps us to get the word out. Caravanistas are available for media interviews and press releases are available on our website:

For Peace & Justice,

Taleigh Smith & Mark Lamalfa
16th Caravan to Cuba
Pastors for Peace
646-319-0372 or 646-245-9931

Also,... Don't Forget to bring Rice & Beans to Mass for the Poor!

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