Debate over Rainbow Coalition

Starting in 1983, a heated debate developed within CISPES over the role of national multi-issue coalition building.  One faction wanted to keep the focus on Central America and make a big, national, grassroots push against further intervention in El Salvador.  The other faction believed CISPES should prioritize helping to build the newly formed Rainbow Coalition, which was organizing around the candidacy of Jessie Jackson in the Democratic presidential primaries.  This group argued that in order for CISPES to be part of building a broad progressive movement in the U.S., the organization had to work in coalition on domestic issues, especially racial justice.  The former group recognized that it was a key moment for the revolution in El Salvador and therefore believed that expanding CISPES’s scope in such a way could weaken it’s anti-intervention work.

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