Solidarity Summer/Delegación Tri-Nacional by Ginny Coughlin and Rafael Pizarro
Solidarity Summer/Delegación Tri-Nacional

     The 300 young people who gathered in the small Mexican
city of Celaya to inaugurate the youth section of the
Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) had been waiting
all weekend for this moment. And when their presidential
candidate, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, finally arrived late Sunday
night, the conference erupted with cheers of welcome.
Conference delegates had spent the weekend hammering out
their differences, which are vast in a party as large and as
new as the PRD, yet the presence of Cárdenas seemed to unite
everyone in the room -- even a few disaffected members of
the ruling PRI and other non-PRD participants. It was an
unfamiliar sight for two young socialists from the U.S. --
a political rally for a presidential candidate filled with
hope, not just for victory, but for the immense changes that
a Cárdenas victory would bring.
     We attended the founding convention of the Convergencia
Juvenil (Youth Convergence) of the PRD to represent a
coalition of youth groups from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico
that is organizing a tri-national student and youth
delegation to observe the Mexican elections August 21. The
project, Solidarity Summer/Delegación Tri-Nacional, was
created by young people who were part of the anti-NAFTA
movement and wanted to continue the work of building
alternatives to the corporate-dominated economic integration
that NAFTA facilitates. An integral part of the delegation
will be a meeting in Mexico City on the Wednesday before the
elections, August 17, to plan an ongoing tri-national
political project for students and youth to organize for a
continental social agenda.
     Delegation members from the U.S. and Canada will work
closely with Mexican youth to help during the elections,
learn about the history and culture of Mexico, and
participate in the struggle for democracy. Young people from
the U.S. in particular will learn about the experience of
building a truly progressive alternative -- which Cárdenas'
candidacy represents to the pro-democratic forces in Mexico.
     The young people working on this project represent
organizations such as Mexico's PRD, New Democratic Youth of
Canada, MEChA, Committees of Correspondence, Democratic
Socialists of America, Committee in Solidarity with the
People of El Salvador, National Chicano Human Rights
Council, Lesbian and Gay Labor Alliance, and several student
organizations at the Universidad Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM).
     Solidarity Summer is currently accepting applications.
We are organizing a delegation that will reflect the
diversity of North American youth. In particular, our goal
is for the U.S. part of the delegation be at least 50
percent Latino/a. We estimate the cost without airfare to be
$400. Airfare ranges from $300-450. Please call 212-727-8610
for further information and applications.
     The most serious obstacle to youth participation in the
delegation will be funding. We would like to make a special
plea to CrossRoads readers for financial help. If you would
like to make a contribution, please make checks out to
Solidarity Summer and send to 180 Varick Street, 12th floor,
New York, NY 10014. --Ginny Coughlin, Field Coordinator,
Democratic Socialists of America, and Rafael Pizarro,
National Co-Chair, Committees of Correspondence