Film: The State of Arizona

Film: The State of Arizona

An IPS and Community Cinema [DC] preview that captures the explosive emotions and complex realities behind Arizona’s headline-grabbing struggle with illegal immigration.

Briefing: Investment Rules in Trade Agreements Who Benefits? The Case of Mining in El Salvador

Community leaders from El Salvador will be in Washington to receive the 2009 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award on behalf of the National Roundtable on Mining. This broad coalition of environmental, faith-based, and community activists has successfully worked to block permits for potentially environmentally devastating mining in El Salvador.

The coalition will speak about the investor-state suits recently filed under the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) by U.S. and Canadian mining companies against El Salvador. They will also discuss their work to oppose mining, and the attacks and threats that they and other members of the National Roundtable have suffered in El Salvador.


Representatives of El Salvador’s National Roundtable on Mining: William Castillo, Center for Research on Investment and Trade (CEICOM); Francisco Pineda, Environment Coordinating Committee of Cabañas
Sarah Anderson, Global Economy Project Director at the Institute for Policy Studies. Anderson will report on her recent experience serving on an official advisory committee to the Obama administration on bilateral investment treaties (BITs). The administration is currently reviewing the U.S. Model BIT, which includes rules that are similar to those in the investment chapter of CAFTA and other trade agreements.
Rep. Michael Michaud, Democratic Congressman from Maine and the lead sponsor of the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act. One provision of the TRADE Act would ensure that trade agreements no longer permit foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals over domestic regulatory policies that protect public health and the environment.
Stephanie Burgos, Oxfam America (moderator)

For more information on this event, please contact Manuel Perez-Rocha, Institute for Policy Studies, at or (240) 838-6623 (mobile). For more information on the struggle over mining and the investor-state cases, read El Salvador’s Gold Fight, a Foreign Policy In Focus commentary.

This event was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam America,and the Washington Office on Latin America, and sponsored by Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME).

Panel Discussion: ‘Meltdown: Economic Collapse, a Peoples Plan for Recovery’

National and local political leaders will join a panel of esteemed economists and journalists for a town hall discussion of the economic collapse and how Detroit — and the country — can recover. Putting the needs of workers and citizens (not bankers and stock market speculators) at the center of the conversation, the panel will examine local solutions as well as the role of Detroit in the national economy.

The event marks the publication of Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover (Nation Books, 2009) by Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel and other editors at the magazine.

Moderated by The Nation Magazine’s John Nichols, this discussion will feature:

Documentarian and activist Michael Moore (invited)
Representative John Conyers (D-MI)
Bestselling author Barbara Ehrenreich
Detroit City Council Woman and Radio Host Jo Ann Watson
Robert Pollin, Professor of Economics and founding Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Elena Herrada, co-chair and founding member of the Committee for the Political Resurrection of Detroit

This event will also preview national and local organizing efforts leading up to the 2010 United States Social Forum (USSF), to be held in Detroit. The USSF is a convening of hundreds of thousands of social and economic justice advocates from around the country chartering a course for a reversal of inequality at home and abroad.