Feminist International Radio Endeavour 

September 2007

The power of no: Costa rican women adding power to the no

September 14,  2007
Feminist International Radio Endeavour- FIRE
By Katerina Anfossi


"The power of No" is the name of a national women´s day against CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) that will take place on Saturday, September 29th in San José, Costa Rica.

Around 1000 women from all around the country will participate in this day of activism, which is  being organized by Women against the Free Trade Agreement (Mujeres contra el TLC).   The women’s activity will take place the day before the Great Victory March (Gran Marcha del Triunfo) convened by all the social movements on Sunday, September 30th, which is expected to draw massive participation.

Women from hundreds of organizations, activist fronts, religions, professions, etc., have united with voices of NO to CAFTA, as organizers in individual and collective, public and anonymous actions that have marked the path of the “No”.

Weaving History

The women’s event will start at 10 a.m. with simultaneous activities designed for dialogue and analysis of the consequences of the CAFTA in the region and its impact on the female population in particular.

For this reason, a space for dialogue between Costa Rican activists, guests from México, Central America and the United States, and members of the Feminist Observatory of Transformational Politics (a regional group that monitors women crossing the line towards social change) has been created.

A second activity is designed to help distribute general information about the Referendum on CAFTA that will take place on October 7 this year, with a booth set up to support the costs of the campaign on the Referendum, by offering consultancy services related to the process through dynamic training.

Documenting the process

A Citizens Monitoring Office - formed by feminist lawyers - will receive throughout the day the testimonies and complaints of those who have suffered violation of rights related to the process of the CAFTA referendum.  The newly created initiative will also formulate  legal recommendations and actions at the national (Constitutional law), regional (Organization of American States) and international (United Nations) levels  in order to guarantee the rights of the population in situations where many complaints have been made but that need to be formulated in legal terms.

The banner of dreams  

A Banner of Dreams (manta) of multiple colors in which thousands of reasons that make clear the importance of the NO perspective will be completed that day.   In this long banner are  captured in thread and needle and inks and brushes the dreams of a better Costa Rica in resistance to CAFTA. The “manta” forms part of this great POWER of NO, and when sewn together it reflects the diversity of hands that form part of the Costa Rican social weave.

Vital to this movement is the creativity expressed by women as reflected in the banner, which is a collective symbolic and physical space for the elaboration of messages and symbols that allow the participants to keep weaving their personal mark.  Likewise, this great collective banner documents the process of peaceful and creative citizen resistance to the free trade agreement. This banner will be present in the Victory March of September 30th, as testimony of all the people who have constructed and form part of the POWER of NO.   

Concert: The Power of No

Music as a mobilizing force, will be played in the voices of Guadalupe Urbina, María Prétiz and the group Amigos Íntimos,  the percussion of Gladis Chiny and the acoustic guitar of Larissa Coto. From Honduras comes the solidarity of Carla Lara and Nicaragua will be present in the voice of  Elsa Basil.

The Power of No will be transmitted live through Feminist International Radio Endeavour who will link via the Internet to sister radio stations in Nicaragua, Chile, México, Argentina, The United States and  Canada.   You will be able to listen to it at www.fire.or.cr that day.

Included in the program is the participation of the Feminist Observatory of Transformational Politics, the radio program Petatera  and another radio program of recently created by FIRE and “Mujeres del No” as a local radio initiative which has allowed women to be the main voices in the gender analysis of the  CAFTA and its various impacts.

 Women building the present 

Women against the Free Trade Agreement is a collective initiative that encourages the political power of women, contributing and validating their creative expressions, which constitute significant inputs to the current national political process and as such need to be recorded in history.  

Place: Law School Auditórium, Universidad de Costa Rica

Time: 10 am – 4:00 pm

Day: Sepetember 29th, 2007


For more information visit http://www.mujerescontraeltlc.blogspot.com or email us at  mujerescontraeltlc@gmail.com

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Source: Feminist International Radio Endeavour/www.radiofeminista.net