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After 46 Years, Another Ride for Freedom, This Time From NM

May 4, 2007


Forty-six years ago today the historic "Freedom Rides" through the South began in Washington, D.C. Now, a "Freedom Caravan" is planned for next month, leaving from Albuquerque for the U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta. Joann Gutierrez-Bejar with the Southwest Organizing Project says the goal is to unite communities across the Southern U.S.

“You know, in this country there's a democracy divide that really pits low-income people of color against each other. By going on this caravan, we see people struggling in the same way and that we're no different.”

The caravan leaves on June 22, making stops in San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans and Jackson, Mississippi before reaching Atlanta five days later. The U.S. Social Forum is expected to be one of the largest gatherings of progressive groups in the country. It runs until July 1.

Gutierrez-Bejar adds that the caravan will arrive just as the opening march of the U.S. Social Forum is getting underway. She believes the forum represents a unique opportunity for change, and she hopes others will make the trip to Atlanta.

“People really need to attend. This is our chance; this is our opportunity, and we need to just take advantage of the space that has been made for us.”

More information is online at www.swop.net.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM