Speaker: Activist Chris Thomas
October 18, 2011 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Chris Thomas is a Syracuse native based in Chiapas, Mexico, working with a small grassroots media collective Popular Communicators for Autonomy (COMPPA by its spanish initials). The collective works in southern Mexico and Central America accompanying campesino and indigenous organizations fighting to defend their land, territory and culture against threats from transnational corporations and their allies in the national governments. COMPPA accompanies the construction and maintenance of more than a dozen community radio stations that pertain to these organizations and the communities where they work, and Chris works in the area of education and formation, primarily in the construction of an itinerant Popular Communication School over the last 3 years with organizations in Honduras and Guatemala.
We will show two short films focusing on Honduras (“The Joy that Defied the Sultan” and “Faluma Resists”) highlighting the struggles of campesino and garifuna organizations promoting community radio projects in their communities to strengthen their struggles against the country’s oligarchy and transnational corporations in their attempts to displace these communities from their land. Before and after the films we will talk briefly about the situation in Honduras, and in general in Mesoamerica, focusing on the formation of the Mesoamerican Community Radio Network – an alliance of indigenous, garifuna and campesino organizations whose radios are at the forefront of these struggles.