On February 6th, 2003, CISPES activists occupied Salvadoran consulates in San Francisco and New York City, and march on Boston consulate, and seven people are arrested in a solidarity action with a march of 100,000 people in San Salvador demanding that the government not privatize the health care system.
February 6th was the fifth massive march in El Salvador during what was then a nearly 5 month national health care strike in which hospital workers, doctors, and hospital users all joined forces. CISPES activists throughout the country supported the health care workers’ union by educating about the issue of privatization and free trade, raising money to support the strikers, and by high-profile actions like these consulate take-overs. Pictures of the actions and the arrests made national news in El Salvador. The movement was eventually successful in stopping the privatization of health care!