We have a responsibility with that information to impact society, to change things. Heredia: … The idea here is how do we decriminalize [migrants] such that they can fit within the law. Heredia: … One of the other things that I think helps in the discussion around the deservingness and un-deservingness [of migrants in the New Sanctuary Movement] are the two concepts or mechanisms that Yukich brings up, through this dramaturgical approach. Rizvi: Both serve to increase credibility. Heredia: Yukich is emphasizing the shifts in language in the script [of the New Sanctuary Movement].
The question here is: Does this matter? At the same time, these writers, journalists, and filmmakers were anything but aloof from the solidarity movement — not simply trying to reach movement audiences but fully integrated in the debates shaping movement activism. This is particularly evident in the first chapter of the book, which examines the historical scholarship of Walter Lefeber and Gabriel Kolko through a cultural lens.
Whereas Witham is smart about drawing distinctions between the anti-intervention and anti-imperialist modes of his cultural figures, he is less inclined to sketch the distinctions between the diverse groups that gave life to the cultural critiques through activism that extended beyond the solidarity that Witham is focused on.
To be fair, this focus is driven by his research agenda, which explicitly highlights the work of CISPES, NicaNet and a handful of other groups to join in the struggles and travails of the Central American Left. But even a brief discussion of the wider range of movement groups would allow readers to locate this solidarity in relation to the more political means of activism employed by groups like the Washington Office on Latin American Affairs, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, and Americas Watch. The lack of any systematic engagement with human rights is a particularly unfortunate symptom of this scope.
It is in the chapters where Witham does engage directly with the possibility of politics that his cultural approach bears the most fruit. In particular, as Witham points out, Verso Books became an outlet among groups on the Left for voicing a distrust of dogmatic support for revolutionary movements, a tack that helped broaden the reach of solidarity groups p. Campaign: Selling of Revolution. Roberts, Steven. Shaw, Terri. Fitch, Stona. Murphy, Caryle. Policy in El Salvador to Rally.
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Policy Roundtable: Reagan and Latin America - Texas National Security Review
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