L.A.S.C. wny

L.A.S.C. wny Latin America Solidarity Committee of Western New York. LASC (the Latin American Solidarity Committee) began in Western New York in the 1980s as part of the Pledge of Resistance, with members committed to non-violent civil disobedience if the United States invaded Nicaragua.

Members had a shared concern about human rights abuses in Central America and our government's support of repressive regimes. When that conflict cooled down, the organization broadened its scope to include activites in solidarity with peace and social justice movements all over Latin America. It also joined the Western New York Peace Center and became a task group of that organization.

Members had a shared concern about human rights abuses in Central America and our government's support of repressive regimes. When that conflict cooled down, the organization broadened its scope to include activites in solidarity with peace and social justice movements all over Latin America. It also joined the Western New York Peace Center and became a task group of that organization.

Mission: LASC is the Latin American Solidarity Committee, a taskforce of the Western New York Peace Center. We support farmworker issues, dental clinics in Chiapas and Nicaragua, Pastors for Peace aid caravans to Cuba and Latin America, community centers in Chiapas, and many other projects. We link our Latin America issues to globalization, US militarism, cultural tolerance, and the environment.

Operating as usual

Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) and Center for Migration Studies New York (CMSNY) conducted a series of national listening s...
01/18/2021
Inauguration Week 2021 | Refugee Council USA

Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) and Center for Migration Studies New York (CMSNY) conducted a series of national listening sessions bringing together resettled refugees, resettlement workers, and community and government partners to think about just this future. The result was a first-of-its-kind report detailing what was working, internal and external challenges facing the program, and how the program could be rebuilt. https://rcusa.org/inauguration-week-2021/?

On January 20th, a new president will be inaugurated providing opportunities to both address and correct the harms Trump levied against refugee resettlement, and to reimagine and build a more robust, inclusive, and equitable resettlement program.

Beloved Peacemaker and Devoted Activist Jim Mang (our director 1979-2000 of WNY Peace Center) passed yesterday noon. Dee...
01/10/2021
Obituary for James Francis Mang | D. Lawrence Ginnane Funeral Home

Beloved Peacemaker and Devoted Activist Jim Mang (our director 1979-2000 of WNY Peace Center) passed yesterday noon. Deep condolences, gratitude and love..... Even after stepping down, he continued his work - always committed to care for people and the creation, in truth and love. Calling hours Mon, 1/11, 3-7PM; GINNANE FUNERAL HOME, 3215 Delaware Ave., Kenmore. (Masks, physical distancing; and capacity rules will be followed.)

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In case you can't access this tribute published in 2000, here it is:  GENTLE WARRIOR. By CHARITY VOGEL AND PAULA VOELL, ...
01/10/2021
GENTLE WARRIOR

In case you can't access this tribute published in 2000, here it is: GENTLE WARRIOR. By CHARITY VOGEL AND PAULA VOELL, PAULA VOELL Dec 17, 2000. Buffalo News

After decades on the front lines of the struggle for worldwide peace and justice, Jim Mang is stepping down as director of the Western New York Peace Center. But he won't stop working, because what he does is who he is For more than 30 years, whenever a peace and social justice issue bubbled to the surface almost certainly, so did the name of Jim Mang.

The Vietnam War. The nuclear arms race. United States support for Nicaraguan rebels. Jobs headed out of Western New York and moving to Mexico. Mang was in the forefront of all those political actions, and many more.

For the past 21 years as the director of the Western New York Peace Center, Mang has not only spearheaded action in the street, he also has taken the more quiet route to change what he sees is wrong with the nation and the world.

Looking back on his career, Mang, 61, says, "When I see people continually struggling and wanting to make changes, that's where the satisfaction comes, seeing the faithfulness of people to a cause and seeing the goodness of people in trying to work with others.

"It's a lot more than just the issues. It's a belief that something can be better."

And though he still holds firmly onto that belief, Mang will retire at the end of the month.

His decision was prompted partly by the sense that it was time to step back from leadership, he said, along with concerns about his health. In March, he had a quintuple heart bypass operation, which took him by surprise.

"I was flabbergasted," said Mang, who regularly played tennis, basketball and volleyball and who hadn't experienced warning signs typically related to heart problems.

When Mang returned to work, two months after the operation, he no longer had the stamina for the long hours he had once taken in stride.

"In August, I was talking with Audrey," he said, referring to his wife of 23 years who has been his partner in many activities, "and I told her that things were different for me. That some of the things that would come up in terms of decision-making seemed much bigger to deal with."

He thought, at first, that he just needed time to regain his strength, "but after three months, I knew that it was something different."

Mang's activism began during the Vietnam War when he spearheaded Friend Shipment to raise money to rebuild bombed Vietnamese schools, hospitals and churches. After the war ended, he shifted his focus to include social issues, and he is never at a loss for places to focus his energy.

In 1977, he led a prayer service for victims of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1981, he participated in a protest against the MX Missile system. In 1983, he lobbied in Washington for a bilateral nuclear weapons freeze and addressed the Christian Peace Conference in Budapest on the initiative. In 1985, he protested at the Federal Building against the United States' support for Nicaraguan rebels, for which he was arrested. In 1986, he and other sleet-soaked pickets objected to Trico Products moving some of its plants from Buffalo to Mexico.

"He's a moral giant," said the Rev. Richard Zajac, chaplain of Sisters Hospital. "He's the bar we all strive to reach when it comes to integrity and principles."

Nuclear freeze activist Jim Tomkins describes Mang as "the genuine article."

"He never opens up his mouth unless his brain is working first," said Tomkins, a general contractor who describes himself as a "tough-talking Irishman."

"He's not in it for the notoriety or power or any of that foolishness that goes down. I sometimes steamroll over folks, but Jim will finesse them."

Walter Simpson, the peace center's director for three years before Mang took over, finds it amazing that Mang held the position for two decades, saying that it requires tremendous psychological and spiritual fortitude.

"It's a subsistence wage, it's not a 40-hour-work week," said Simpson, now the energy officer at the University at Buffalo. "You have to sustain yourself while addressing some of the most difficult global problems that we face, problems that most people don't even want to face for five minutes."

For now, Mang said he doesn't have specific plans, other than to stay involved, catch up on reading, do some writing about his work.

"As I said to somebody, I just want to be for a while."

Confined to the rectory

Mang, who grew up in Kenmore, was influenced by the writings of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi, whom he discovered as a seminary student.

"Everything I studied at the seminary then took on a different light," said Mang, who was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1965.

Ironically, in 1972, Mang and five other priests were suspended from the priesthood for doing what he thought it expected of him.

That year his anti-war activity included protesting in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda and being arrested. Though he was reinstated as a priest, he wasn't allowed to continue the work for social justice, even in his free time.

"The bishop wanted me to stay in the rectory," said Mang. "I was being called to do things because I was a part of the Church and yet I got called on the carpet when I did.

"At that time, and a couple of other times, it was a real temptation to wonder why I should bother, if the diocese didn't want me. Sometimes I stayed because of my stubbornness, but I always felt that if I ever decided to leave it shouldn't be out of anger or frustration."

In 1977, after 12 years of not being allowed to work on causes of social justice, Mang asked to leave the priesthood. His resignation came on good terms and the former Bishop Edward D. Head continued his salary for a time and helped with Mang's transition from priest to lay person, according to a previous interview.

Prior to Mang's decision to leave the priesthood, he had met Audrey, who was working at the seminary as a secretary.

"We got to know each other and she had a major role in my decision-making, along with the deepening call to do peace and social justice work," said Mang.

Mang continues to attend alumni meetings at Christ the King Seminary, and, in fact, was honored by the group for his work. He is an active member of St. Joseph University Heights Church and he cherishes his priestly ministry, which included working with impoverished people in Puerto Rico for a year, parish work and teaching at the seminary.

"In fact, some of the young men I taught in high school are teaching at the seminary now," he said.

During those years, Paul J. Bloom, now a counselor at Hamburg High School, had Mang as a basketball coach.

"I admire his tenacity and courage," said Bloom, who has also worked with Mang at the peace center. "When you get his monthly reports they are jam-packed with things he's done, day after day."

Frustrated, not discouraged

Mang, who was interviewed at the peace center on Bailey Avenue near Genesee Street, exudes a true serenity.

"He wasn't the angry rebel," said the Rev. John Mergenhagen, who directs retreats at various local sites. "There seemed to be so much rage in some of the people in the peace movement, with a chip on their shoulder. The thing about Jim is that he's always been gentle."

Others describe Mang as thoughtful, soft-spoken, focused, committed, steadfast, a "most unlikely radical," a voice for the voiceless.

"He's one of the most non-judgmental people I've ever known, and he's not into his ego," said Patricia J. Griffin, program director of Food for All. "You know you aren't being conned into anything. He's calling out of his true spirit and his true heart, which is always for the good."

Though Mang doesn't veer from his deeply held convictions, he's always open to suggestions, others say.

"I've always appreciated that he doesn't come across as having the answer," said Sister Bea Manzella, president of the Sisters of St. Joseph. "Even when he takes exception, he's not a bully. He's just a totally good person. He glows with goodness."

The peace center is one of this country's oldest, funded mainly through membership fees, grants and fund-raising events. Currently, Mang oversees programs related to nuclear disarmament, human rights in Latin America, economic justice for workers, prison action and non-violent conflict resolution.

During a recent week, he met with local church leaders, as well as a contingent of peace activists from 16 countries and representatives of Back from the Brink, a group concerned with nuclear weaponry.

And he talked with others about which issues might be most palatable to the new administration.

"We're not going to get congressional support for redirecting military spending for human needs, probably not for the land mine issue, not for comprehensive test ban, not for Iraqi sanctions, not for Cuban sanctions," he said, reiterating just a few of the battles he's taken on.

Asked if he gets discouraged, Mang said: "Basically not. Frustrated a lot of times.

"I can't think of any other work that I ever, ever would have wanted to do," Mang said. "I'm so fortunate that it's been my calling. Even if I wanted to get out of it, I couldn't.

After decades on the front lines of the struggle for worldwide peace and justice, Jim Mang is stepping down as director of the Western New York Peace Center. But he

TODAY AT 4! Riverside Salem hosts Christine Eber who’ll discuss her work along our border with Mexico. This Buffalonian ...
01/10/2021

TODAY AT 4! Riverside Salem hosts Christine Eber who’ll discuss her work along our border with Mexico. This Buffalonian anthropologist has worked with #WeavingForJustice for many years. All are welcome!
On Zoom: http://ow.ly/dWHa50D4y4w (Meeting ID: 363 944 0486 Passcode: 756084)

TODAY AT 4! Riverside Salem hosts Christine Eber who’ll discuss her work along our border with Mexico. This Buffalonian anthropologist has worked with #WeavingForJustice for many years. All are welcome!

On Zoom: http://ow.ly/dWHa50D4y4w (Meeting ID: 363 944 0486 Passcode: 756084)

Links to some events substituting for the LASC-ROCLA presentation on Chiapas postponed from last Wednesday eve.*  https:...
01/09/2021
Home

Links to some events substituting for the LASC-ROCLA presentation on Chiapas postponed from last Wednesday eve.

* https://www.facebook.com/ThinkTwiceRadioStreaming/videos/1033094437187295 video discussion including Bill Jungels, hosted by the Western New York Peace Center a few days ago.

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzB2YxSsTe4 “Maya Voices in a Smoking Mirror" Bill's recently co-produced video on Maya struggles in Chiapas

* https://weaving-for-justice.org working in solidarity with Maya women’s weaving cooperatives in highland Chiapas, Mexico. Cofounded by Dr. Christine Eber, from Buffalo

Our "virtual coffeehouse" series is planned for the first Wednesdays of each month; the Feb.3 event will be first-hand reports from Bolivia. Watch for details.

LASC is the Latin America Solidarity Committee, a taskforce of the Western New York Peace Center. Our sister group, ROCLA, is the Rochester Committee on Latin America.

Home About Us Weaving in Highland Chiapas Weaving Cooperatives Scenes from Weavers' Homes Solidarity Connections Maya Symbols in the Textiles Online Store Become a Member Newsletter Archives Blog Find us on: Facebook

01/06/2021
Think Twice Radio

Dear Friends,

Due to the unprecedented and shocking events in Washington, DC currently unfolding, tonight's event on Chiapas is postponed. It will be rescheduled in the near future.

Meanwhile, here is a link to video discussion with Bill Jungels, hosted by the Western New York Peace Center a few days ago, with background on Chiapas and autonomous communities there.

https://www.facebook.com/ThinkTwiceRadioStreaming/videos/1033094437187295

sorry, Terry Bisson, on behalf of LASC and ROCLA

On this show Vicki Ross talks with Bill Jungels and Talia Rodriguez about Chiapas Mexico and the Zapatistas continuing struggle, indiginous women and women's march.

7 PM, Wed. Jan 6, 2021. “Update on Chiapas and the Zapitista’s Continuing Struggles”     Bill Jungels and Tom Potts repo...
01/03/2021

7 PM, Wed. Jan 6, 2021. “Update on Chiapas and the Zapitista’s Continuing Struggles” Bill Jungels and Tom Potts reporting on Chiapas, COVID, dental projects, and autonomous communities there. No need to register in advance, publicity & link to join meeting at:

https://rocla.org/events/update-on-chiapas-and-the-zapatistas-continuing-struggles/

Or Zoom (Meeting ID: 861 3900 6249 and Passcode: 217290).

Bill and Tom have both spent many years in Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state, where most inhabitants are impoverished indigenous Maya. They will discuss their in-depth knowledge of the 20-year-old Zapatista movement and the situation of the indigenous Maya of Chiapas. Bill and Tom are both longtime members of the Latin American Solidarity Committee of the WNY Peace Center (LASC), who have been immersed in visiting and volunteering in Chiapas for many years.

As a documentary filmmaker, Bill recently co-produced “Maya Voices in a Smoking Mirror,” the culmination of his 15-year focus on Maya struggles in Chiapas.
Tom is a dentist who founded a clinic in Chenalhó, Chiapas, with the help of a Tsotsil Maya committee. Each year, he volunteers there for 2 months. Tom will share the insights he has gained through his 25 years of volunteering in Chenalhó, and in particular the situation he found there during his recent stay.
A collaborative virtual presentation of the Rochester Committee on Latin America (ROCLA) and the Latin American Solidarity Committee (LASC)

"Dispossession, Resistance & Solidarity in Central Americaby North American Congress on Latin America,"the virtual launc...
12/07/2020
Dispossession, Resistance & Solidarity in Central America

"Dispossession, Resistance & Solidarity in Central America
by North American Congress on Latin America,"
the virtual launch of the winter 2020 issue of the NACLA Report on the Americas, "Fighting for a People's Isthmus: Dispossession, Resistance & Solidarity in Central America."
WHEN: Tuesday, December 8th, 2020. 6pm EST.
WHERE: A Zoom meeting link will provided prior to the event.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dispossession-resistance-solidarity-in-central-america-tickets-130752037865

Join us for the launch of winter 2020 issue of the NACLA Report on the Americas.

"In articles for the national investigative weekly Proceso, Martínez, who was killed at age 48, told her readers that tw...
12/07/2020
A murder in Veracruz: Slain journalist’s story a portrait of a violent, corrupt era in Mexico

"In articles for the national investigative weekly Proceso, Martínez, who was killed at age 48, told her readers that two successive governors in her home state of Veracruz looted the treasury and allowed cartels to operate freely with the help of local and state police. She sought to prove the traffickers and their accomplices had executed hundreds of people: Teenage dealers and entire families. Farmers and politicians. Even young women who attended their sex parties."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/investigations/regina-martinez-mexican-journalist-murdered-veracruz/

A consortium of international journalists has come together to carry on Regina Martínez’s investigative work.

Howard Henry tell us of vigils each Tuesday evening via Zoom in remembrance of those who have died in the desert seeking...
12/05/2020
Frontera de Cristo |

Howard Henry tell us of vigils each Tuesday evening via Zoom in remembrance of those who have died in the desert seeking personal sanctuary and freedom from poverty. You can join our sisters and brothers at the border via Zoom on three special occasions in December:

December 8 (Tuesday) is the 20th Anniversary of the vigil, the 1004th gathering. It will take place at 7:15 pm EST and last about an hour, and maybe more on this occasion.

December 10 (Thursday) brings the opportunity to listen to Jocabed Gallegos (a Presbyterian Peacemaker who visited Western New York several years back) in a coffeehouse presentation about Advent on the border. This program begins at 7 pm EST and lasts an hour.

December 15 (Tuesday) join in the posada (a festival journey seeking shelter for a child to be born). The program begins at 6:30 pm EST.

http://fronteradecristo.org

If you would like to join people of different faith traditions and people of conscience in this weekly sacred liturgy on hallowed ground, email [email protected] to be added to the e-list.

www.saveasylum.org/calltoaction.htmlClick here to make your support of persons seeking asylum known to your elected officials. ... See MoreSee Less

Address

1272 Delaware Ave
Buffalo, NY
14209

General information

We work on Humanitarian Aid Projects and Assistance to Solidarity Organizations there, and Education and Legislation here at home, through informational lectures and coffeehouses, editorials, letter writing/telephone campaigns, congressional visits, and petitions.

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(716) 332-3904

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Solidarity from LASC Milwaukee.