Lawrence Birns

From KeyWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Template:TOCnestleft Lawrence (Larry) Birns is the director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs , a nonprofit, tax-exempt independent research and information organization founded in 1975 to promote the common interests of the hemisphere, raise the visibility of regional affairs and increase the importance of the inter- American relationship, as well as encourage the formulation of rational and constructive U.S. policies toward Latin America. It has been described on the Senate floor as being “one of the nation’s most respected bodies of scholars and policy makers.[1]

Chile petition

In 1973;

Circulated a petition opposing the anti - socialist military government of Chile.[2]

We urge that the people of the world join in pressing upon the military junta of Chile the realization that they must abide by the norms of civilized practices and human decency.

DSOC/Socialist International

In 1978 Lawrence Birns, a Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee member and the director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, represented DSOC on a Socialist International delegation to Latin America (headed by Portuguese Prime Minister Mario Soares).[3]

Cablegram to Portugese Socialists and the M.F.A.

In 1974, after a pro-communist military coup in Portugal;

More than eighty Americans, all identified with opposition to the Vietnamese war and with various radical and liberal causes, sent on August 9 a cablegram to to the Portugese Armed Forces Movement, to Portugese president francisco da Costa Gomes and to portugese socialist leader Mario soares expressing the hope that "democratic freedoms"...will continue to grow in Portugal".

Michael Harrington, the national chairman of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, organized the effort with help from 5 "Initiators" - Lawrence Birns (writer), Sissy Farenthold (past president National Women's Political Caucus), Congressman Michael J. Harrington, Martin Peretz (chairman, editorial board New Republic), Cleveland Robinson (vice president, Distributive Workers of America), Leonard Woodcock (president United Auto Workers, Jerry Wurf (president AFSME).

Elected officials who signed the cablegram included: Julian Bond, Willie Brown, Jr., John Conyers, Jr., Don Edwards, William Gluba, Edward J. Koch, Parren J. Mitchell, Henry S. Reuss, Benjamin S. Rosenthal and Louis Stokes.[4]

Democratic Left article

Larry Birns contributed an article "Will the Democrats Cut and Run from Bush’s Deeply Flawed Latin American Policy?" to the Winter 2007 edition of Democratic Socialists of America's Democratic Left.[5]

Letter to Presidents Clinton and Samper

Action on Colombia, Summer 1994

In 1994 a letter was sent to US President Bill Clinton, and Colombian President Samper, apparently from the Colombian Support Network.

It called on the US to "cut off all aid to Colombia until the violence has ended", and called for the appointment of a UN Rapporteur on human rights in Colombia.


Colombia Support Network

As of 2009, the Colombia Support Network Advisory Board consisted of ;[6]



  1. Dem. left, Winter 2007
  2. [1] Newsletter of the Democratic Left, October 1973, page 3
  3. [2]
  4. Democratic Left, Sep. 1975, page 2
  5. Dem. left, Winter 2007
  7. CSN Advisory board