Welcome to the homepage of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN).

Mission: The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)  builds partnerships among social movements and organized communities within and between the U.S. and Latin America. We work together through popular education, grassroots organizing, public policy advocacy, and direct action to dismantle U.S. militarism, neoliberal economic and immigration policy, and other forms of state and institutional violence.We are united by our liberating faiths and inspired by the power of people to organize and to find allies to work for sustainable economies, just relationships and human dignity.  

Misión en español: La Red de Líderes Religiosos de Chicago para Latinoamérica (CRLN) construye alianzas entre movimientos sociales y comunidades organizadas en EE.UU. y entre los pueblos de las Américas. Trabajamos juntos por medio de la educación popular, la organización de base comunitaria, la promoción de políticas públicas, y la demostración no violenta pero energética para desmilitarizar nuestras sociedades, crear alternativas a la economía neoliberal y desmantelar la política de inmigración de EE.UU, y otras formas de violencia institucional y de Estado. Estamos unidxs por nuestras fes liberadoras e inspiradxs por el poder de la gente para organizar y encontrar aliadxs para trabajar por economías sostenibles, relaciones justas y la dignidad humana.

 
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CRLN gratefully acknowldges the support of the following Foundations: Crossroads Fund, Helen Brach Foundation, Landau Family Foundation, Pierce Family Charitable Foundation and Woods Fund of Chicago. 

Holy Week Report Back: Expanding Sanctuary!

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(Please see below for action items.)

This year, CRLN members and partners took action during Holy Week for the campaign to Expand Sanctuary in Chicago . Participating in OCCUPY PALM SUNDAY and the GOOD FRIDAY WALK FOR JUSTICE, we urged city officials and faith communities to take concrete rather than symbolic action to end threats to immigrant communities and over-policing and criminalization of communities of color.

On Palm Sunday (4/9), we joined the LSEA (Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance), LSNA (Logan Square Neighborhood Association), CRS (Community Renewal Society), Arise Chicago, NIJFON (Northern Illinois Justice for our Neighbors), and others in the Logan Square & Humboldt Park community. We hosted a march, public prayer, and rally to call on city officials to expand sanctuary via the Chicago Welcoming City Ordinance and to amend the Fraternal Order of Police contract to reduce Chicago Police violence and use of force. Community members directly impacted by the exceptions to the Welcoming City Ordinance and police violence in Chicago, local religious and community leaders, community organizations, and Ald. Carlos Ramirez Rosa gathered to reenact the Palm Sunday story with a modern, Chicago-based adaptation of the moment when Jesus overturns the tables of the money changers. As Jesus entered a temple and scattered the money changers, the street theater action demonstrated the need to overturn tables of exploitation and criminalization in Chicago. With over 150 people in attendance, we gathered to urge Mayor Rahm Emanuel and local aldermen to support safety and sanctuary for all communities, and vote yes in favor of the two policies, both have already been introduced to the Chicago City Council.

HOLY WEEK 2017: EXPANDING SANCTUARY

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[ Image credit: Design Action Collective ]

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Join CRLN and our community partners in calling for Expanding Sanctuary all throughout Holy Week!

This year, Holy Week kicks off for us with the 6th Annual Occupy Palm Sunday in the Logan Square & Humboldt Park community of Chicago. We join the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance (LSEA), the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA), and others this Sunday starting at 12:30pm to Rally and Public Prayer at Palmer Square Park (east-side of the park) at 1PM. Second, join us downtown on Good Friday for the 8TH Day Center for Justice’s Annual Walk for Justice . Join the CRLN contingent for the Fourth Station: ‘Helped in the Struggle,’ two Fridays from now from 12PM-3PM at the corner of Michigan and Congress! Each year we join together for this modern-day Way-of-the-Cross to shed light on unjust societal structures and to reflect on how we can work to dismantle them.

Colombia Peace Accords Face Ongoing Challenges

(Español Aqui) The end of 2016 and 2017 have seen the adoption of Peace Accords between the Colombian government and the largest rebel group, FARC, and a new round of Peace Talks begun between the government and the smaller rebel group, ELN. At this point, the FARC has demobilized and is moving into designated “camps,” where they will live for an allotted amount of time before being free to relocate. They have been given the right to form a political party and run candidates for public office.

However, other armed groups who were not part of the Peace Accords still roam the countryside and are moving with their weapons into the spaces that the FARC used to control. These are the right-wing successors to the paramilitary groups that were supposedly dismantled ten years ago.

Call Congress to Lift the Blockade!

(Español Aqui) While diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba have been reestablished and some trade and travel restrictions have been changed by executive order, the embargo remains in place and the Cuban people still experience the shortages of crucial medicines and other essential products . Imposed in the early sixties to "bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of the government” (State Department, April 6, 1960) the U.S. embargo is often called a blockade because of the widespread effects of these policies. CRLN has worked with many other organizations for more than twenty years to end these harmful policies carried...

Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act Reintroduced in 115th Congress!

(Español Aqui) Rep. Hank Johnson reintroduced the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act in the 115th Congress as House Resolution 1299 (HR 1299) on March 2, the first anniversary of the slain indigenous rights, feminist, and environomental activist. The bill would suspend all U.S. military and police aid to Honduras, including equipment and training, until basic human rights conditions are met. The Honduran police and military have been implicated in hundreds of human rights violations since the 2009 overthrow of the government, and we should not be supporting them with our tax dollars.

We have an amazing opportunity in the two years of the 115th Congress (2017-18) to generate enough support for this bill to get it passed . Already, Representatives Schakowsky, Lipinski, Gutierrez, Rush, and Davis from Illinois have signed on to co-sponsor. Here are three good reasons you might give us permission to sign your name on a letter to your Representative in support of this resolution, which CRLN staff will deliver when we are in DC for Ecumenical Advocacy Days:

La Voz de los de Abajo Delegation to Honduras: Visits with Campesinos Fighting for Land

Three CRLN staff and board members traveled to Honduras February 28 – March 8 together with La Voz de los de Abajo, one of CRLN’s partner groups. Below is a reflection by Sharon Hunter-Smith upon visiting two communities engaged in land recuperation as part of the National Center of Rural Workers.

(Español Aqui) Our group from Chicago stood staring at the rough wooden table, which held 2-dozen or so spent tear gas canisters plus a couple of bullet shells, collected by the 9 th of July community from the area immediately surrounding the place where we stood. The largest one, designed to be fired from a rifle, was stamped “Made in U.S.A.” The connection between U.S. military and police aid to Honduras and the violent persecution of impoverished Honduran farmers was crystal clear in the objects before us.

The original rural community of 28 families has been tear gassed and evicted from their simple hand-built dwellings and cultivated land 26 times by the Honduran military or police. In the last surprise eviction on January 13, 2017, the police followed the fleeing people, even women and children, across the valley, shooting all the way. One man was shot in the leg and a pregnant woman miscarried after running away, panicked, from the “security” forces. They also tore down and burned houses, stole or burned possessions and tools left in and around the houses, and cut down some of the fruit trees and crops. Since then, the women and children, have moved to a nearby community while the men have re-occupied the land.

Policy Alert: #ExpandSanctuary in the City of Chicago

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CRLN continues to fight for meaningful and ongoing practices of sanctuary at all levels, from our congregations and neighborhoods to schools and city government. Taking the lead from BYP100 and Mijente nationally, we are working with other Black, Latinx, and im/migrant community organizations in Chicago to expand sanctuary .

Together, we call for real sanctuary that provides protections for ALL communities directly impacted by attacks under the current administration. While Chicago is publicly a “sanctuary city,” we believe that the current Welcoming Cities Ordinance does not go far enough to provide sanctuary for all residents. Chicago has a history of over-policing, racial profiling, and criminalization, which has led to Chicago residents being put in deportation proceedings and in the prison system, even when the police do not directly cooperate with ICE.

January UPDATES FROM HONDURAS

Given Honduras’ human rights situation, CRLN will provide for its members a monthly update on human right issues afflicting the country.

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MLK Day Call to Action & Celebration Report Back

(Español aquí) On January 15th, CRLN joined SOUL, A Just Harvest, Faith in Place, Fight for 15, Women Gathering for Justice, and the Workers Center for Racial Justice for a celebration and call to action to honor Martin Luther King Jr’s life and legacy of direct action to build social change.

A community of faith and conscience filled the space at the Willye B. White Fieldhouse in Rogers Park.

Read more on a report back for the event.

NATIONAL SANCTUARY MOVEMENT DECRIES PRESIDENT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND STANDS READY TO RESIST

The Sanctuary Movement is growing stronger everyday, with more than 800 congregations strongly committed to protecting our immigrant siblings, brothers and sisters and standing with them during these trying times. Following President Trump’s announcement today aiming to curb Sanctuary Cities, turn away asylum seekers, order the construction of a border wall, and increase harmful enforcement policies, we continue to resist! CRLN & The National Sanctuary movement reaffirm their unwavering support for local jurisdictions with limited detainer policies and continued commitment to protect immigrants and refugees by opening their congregations to those being targeted by Trump’s racist and carceral policies. #not1more

Photo: United We Dream

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