November @ MARC & LASNET Solidarity Gathering

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riot_dude
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Oct 26 2010 05:23
November @ MARC & LASNET Solidarity Gathering

upcoming events @ MARC

'Latin American, Asia-Pacific $ Australia Solidarity Gathering'
is also happening on 12-14 November @ Trades Hall.
More details & program

We have the following speakers confirmed:

Jaime Deluquez, Colombia CUT representative and Miners Coal Workers Union from Cerrejon (BHP-Billiton in Colombia).
Wilman Palmezano, Wayuu Indigenous Community from Colombia affected from BHP mining complex in the Guajira.
Fredy Sepulveda, President SINALTRAINAL (Food and Agro-Industry Workers Union from Colombia).
Miguel Suarez, Public relation officer form Mining Workers federation from Chile.
Manuel Morales, Bolivia Workers Factory representative, Bolivia.
Juan Contreras, Coordinadora Simon Bolivar - Venezuela.
Santiago Punina, CONAIE Indigenous national council from Ecuador.
Claudio Tranamil Ñanco , Indigenous leader from Mapuche indigenous communities from Chile.
Paola Masiero from Workers Landless Movement (MST) from Brazil.
Cristina Fermovich from KMU from Philippines.
Clive Porabou, Representative of the Bougainville people fighters against Rio Tinto.

And representatives from Aboriginals communities from different regions of Australia specially from NT, representatives from New Zealand, West Papua, El Salvador and Australian trades unions.

I'm a touch excited!

bastarx
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Oct 27 2010 10:45

I'm very far from excited. A DSP front group organises a bunch of trade union hacks to come and bedazzle naive young icepickheads with their exotic swarthiness.

riot_dude
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Oct 27 2010 15:01
Quote:
I'm very far from excited. A DSP front group organises a bunch of trade union hacks to come and bedazzle naive young icepickheads with their exotic swarthiness.

LASNET has fucking nothing to do with the DSP!

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With Sober Senses
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Oct 27 2010 16:37

LASNET is certainly no front for the DSP but I know a couple of years ago there was some level of tense cooperation with the DSP. I think the DSPers went off to form the RSP.
I have heard good things about their previous conferences
cheers
Dave

riot_dude
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Oct 28 2010 01:44

i understand the confusion, the front group people are thinking of in Melbourne is the Latin American Forum, which is, wait for it... a front for multiple groups!
LASNET is different, and staunchly non-party aligned.
There was co-operation between the two groups a few years ago to host a forum. The problems of working with a front group obviously couldn't last long though...

bastarx
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Oct 28 2010 02:04

Sorry for the mistake, it does sound like the sort of 'solidarity' conferences put on by the DSP. Anyway a bunch of union bosses does not sound very exciting.

riot_dude
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Oct 28 2010 05:32
Peter wrote:
Sorry for the mistake, it does sound like the sort of 'solidarity' conferences put on by the DSP. Anyway a bunch of union bosses does not sound very exciting.

I understand & agree with yr position, unfortunately, about half the names listed above aren't union bosses! They are either Indigenous or non-trade union organisations.

Moreover, I find it problematic to conflate (as an example) the SINALTRAINAL rep & the CUT rep as both bad union bureaucrats. There is, in my opinion, vast differences in these unions, whereby I like the work the former does, and am non-plussed about the later.

Anyway, I think more than anything, the list of speakers points to where the funding for this gathering is coming from, ie Aussie unions.

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Lumpen
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Oct 28 2010 11:18

I've been to LASNET stuff, and they've been great. I don't know about the speakers at this conference, but the last SINALTRAINAL speaker LASNET bought here was pretty good. He was a worker, has had over 20 people he knows murdered for being shop floor delegates and similar.

Pretty dickish move to dismiss someone struggling to unionise their workplace in the face of death squads as a "union boss" or "trade union hack" just because the conference sounds vaguely trotty or there are a few Che devotees involved.

I'm looking forward to the conference.

riot_dude
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Oct 28 2010 11:31
Quote:
He was a worker, has had over 20 people he knows murdered for being shop floor delegates and similar.

Pretty dickish move to dismiss someone struggling to unionise their workplace in the face of death squads as a "union boss" or "trade union hack" just because the conference sounds vaguely trotty or there are a few Che devotees involved.

Yeah, its hard to say anyone in positions of responsibility or power in Colombian unions are there as careerists or for personal gain.

Thanks lumpen

here's a pic of recent death threats mailed to members of the SINALTRAINAL executive...
link
by the 'Aguilas Negras' (Black Eagles) death squad.

kuro
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Oct 28 2010 11:56

The last one was worth going to, met some strong people and brought up a lot of issues I had no idea about.

If anyone's interested here's some notes from the last Brisbane conference:

On the 25th of November delegates from around the world came together to share concerns over uranium mining and human rights violations, specifically focussing on BHP Billiton, whos AGM was happening the following day.

Peter Watts (Arabunna):

Its not fair that the greater public aren't aware of this. This is a union issue - cancer takes many haircuts to show.

BHP is under application to dig an open cut mine within the existing mine. Kokatha and Arabunna custodians have opposed the mine since its construction.

Age old springs in Arabunna were being drained dry by BHP Billiton.
People who live in the region have been exposed to radiation -- autopsies have revealed critical levels of radiation. BHP currently drains 35 million litres of water a day - they plan to push this up to 220 million as well as increasing their intake from the Artesian basin.

Dr Helen Caldicott:

I'm 26, i'm already excreting uranium in my urine what does that mean?

Uranium mining has been shown to be a danger to the miners themselves - lung cancer, testicles irradiated, producing genetically deformed children, bone cancer & Leukemia from rayon and other radiation. BHP doesn't provide checks on their workers and doesn't follow them up to see if their is an increase in malignancy; this is grossly medically irresponsible - uranium is a class issue - Roxby Downs mine has no active workers organisations or unions.

When uranium is fissioned in a reactor 100 tonnes of it becomes intensely radioactive. There was a leak accident 2 days ago at three mile island which had a major meltdown. Workers were exposed and the company claimed it wouldn't hurt them - like its nothing - but it takes, like asbestos, 10 to 50 years to get to cancer, its not like swine flu! You have to follow the workers up for the rest of their lives! Reactors can't operate without emitting radiation all the time - they call this routine emissions - the radioactive waste lasts for half a million years.

Duban Velez, President of the National Union of Food Industry in Colombia:

Spoke of the human rights violations affecting indigenous communities and workers in Colombia by multinational corporations, specifically highlighting cases by BHP-Billiton & Coca Cola.

The organised labour/trade union movement in Colombia has been dramatically dismantled in the face of privatisation and flexibility of labour. Since the murder of its unionist Isidro Segundo Gil by paramilitaries inside a Coca Cola bottling plant on the 5th December 1996, the Colombian food and drink workers union SINALTRAINAL has been the victim of over 180 human rights abuses. In a recent statement the union attacked the complicity of the state and multinationals in the campaign of paramilitary terror inflicted upon them and the trade union movement as a whole.

All these crimes, past and present, remain unpunished and this constitutes a state policy. The killings are pardoned, their ideologues are decorated and the transnational's are rewarded with nonpayment of taxes and the surrender of more of Colmbia's natural resources"

For over 30 years the Food industry union has tried to defend against the increasing assaults made by transnational corporates, above all Coca Cola. The price to pay were 9 murdered Nestle unionists as well as death threats, abductions, threats and attempts at intimidation by the ultra right paramilitary. In 2002 the union initiated the international campaign against coca cola to bring attention to the persecution.

Edit: Also get some photos up of MARC I'm keen to see what you've done with the place

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 28 2010 11:58
riot_dude wrote:
Juan Contreras, Coordinadora Simon Bolivar - Venezuela.

is a chavista front

Quote:
Santiago Punina, CONAIE Indigenous national council from Ecuador.

also have a pretty sketchy record, including participating in the 2000 military coup and (briefly) having their leader as part of the junta!

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Lumpen
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Oct 28 2010 13:53
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
riot_dude wrote:
Juan Contreras, Coordinadora Simon Bolivar - Venezuela.

is a chavista front

Quote:
Santiago Punina, CONAIE Indigenous national council from Ecuador.

also have a pretty sketchy record, including participating in the 2000 military coup and (briefly) having their leader as part of the junta!

That's good to know!

riot_dude
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Oct 28 2010 14:12
Quote:
also have a pretty sketchy record, including participating in the 2000 military coup and (briefly) having their leader as part of the junta!

How dare the CONAIE challenge 'democracy', IMF austerity measures & dollarisation of the economy by, like, overthrowing the Government! Pesky CONAIE! (Not that it wasn't problematic, but come on!)

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 28 2010 16:13

Yeah, overthrowing the government as part of a mass working class movement which then goes onto install workers' democracy right? Oh, wait...

Wiki wrote:
On January 21, 2000, in response to President Jamil Mahuad's proposed dollarization of the Ecuadorian economy, CONAIE, in coordination with organizations like CONFEUNASSC-CNC, blocked roads and cut off agricultural supplies to Ecuador's major cities. At the same time, rural indigenous protesters marched on Quito. In response, government officials ordered transit lines not to service Indians and individuals with indigenous characteristics were forcibly removed from interprovincial buses in an effort to prevent protesters from reaching the capitol. Nevertheless, 20,000 arrived in Quito where they were joined by students, local residents, 500 military personnel, and a group of rogue colonels.

Angry demonstrators led by Colonel Lucio Gutiérrez stormed the Congress of Ecuador and declared a new "National Salvation Government". Five hours later, the armed forces called for the resignation of President Mahuad. For a period of less than 24 hours, Ecuador was ruled by a three man junta - CONAIE's president Antonio Vargas, army colonel Lucio Gutiérrez, and retired supreme court justice Carlos Solórzano.

The coup was made possible by the support of the military; however, the military's influence also served to deflate the revolutionary potential of the popular uprising.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation_of_Indigenous_Nationalities_of_Ecuador#2000_uprising

This is for reference and informational purposes btw, rather than making a specific commentary on the event itself.

riot_dude
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Oct 28 2010 17:06
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
Yeah, overthrowing the government as part of a mass working class movement which then goes onto install workers' democracy right? Oh, wait...
Wiki wrote:
On January 21, 2000, in response to President Jamil Mahuad's proposed dollarization of the Ecuadorian economy, CONAIE, in coordination with organizations like CONFEUNASSC-CNC, blocked roads and cut off agricultural supplies to Ecuador's major cities. At the same time, rural indigenous protesters marched on Quito. In response, government officials ordered transit lines not to service Indians and individuals with indigenous characteristics were forcibly removed from interprovincial buses in an effort to prevent protesters from reaching the capitol. Nevertheless, 20,000 arrived in Quito where they were joined by students, local residents, 500 military personnel, and a group of rogue colonels.

Angry demonstrators led by Colonel Lucio Gutiérrez stormed the Congress of Ecuador and declared a new "National Salvation Government". Five hours later, the armed forces called for the resignation of President Mahuad. For a period of less than 24 hours, Ecuador was ruled by a three man junta - CONAIE's president Antonio Vargas, army colonel Lucio Gutiérrez, and retired supreme court justice Carlos Solórzano.

The coup was made possible by the support of the military; however, the military's influence also served to deflate the revolutionary potential of the popular uprising.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation_of_Indigenous_Nationalities_of_Ecuador#2000_uprising

This is for reference and informational purposes btw, rather than making a specific commentary on the event itself.

Inre yr last point, I know, cheers.

I just thought yr last post inferred that CONAIE were involved in a right-wing 'pinochet-esque' coup, which was not the case. I'm not saying that I agree with CONAIE's tactics, but it was basically just them ousting a neo-liberal head of state.

Quote:
These constant mobilizations for basic indigenous rights have succeeded in toppling governments that attack the basic principles the CONAIE has struggled for since its founding. In 1998 the movement won the dismissal of President Abdala Bucaram from office. Two years later, the social movements abruptly ended the government of President Jamil Mahuad. With a strategic alliance the CONAIE decided to support Lucio Guitérrez in the presidential elections of 2002. Guitérrez’s main contender was tycoon Álvaro Noboa, who accused Guitérrez of “being a populist radical like Hugo Chávez,” according to BBC News. Gutiérrez won with 54 percent of the vote. Later, due to a shift to the right with the Gutierrez government, the CONAIE definitively broke ties with Gutiérrez in August 2003. Once again, as an oppositional force, social movements composed largely of CONAIE indigenous groups successfully ousted Gutiérrez in 2005.

With the experience of having supported the Gutiérrez government, the CONAIE is in a period that Uruguayan journalist and analyst Raúl Zibechi calls its “reconstruction.” In 2005 “the direction of the CONAIE returned to the grassroots communities…and disappeared from the Ecuadorian political landscape because its direction had returned to the basics. This publicized disappearance allowed it to reconstruct itself from below.”

http://www.narconews.com/Issue67/article4230.html

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 28 2010 17:16

TBF, the distinctions that NN - and by extension, you - appear to be making is really pretty minimal IMO. Their struggle against neoliberalism doesn't really seem to be that consistent, seeing as how they've demonstrated a longterm commitment to selling themselves (and their many members, seeing as how they're a genuinely popular organisation) to any leader who sweettalks them, before being forced to denounce them when they break all their promises. This almost inevitably leads them into blind alleys, such as plotting a coup with the military (who had hardly been kind to them during all their years of rebellion, motorway blockading, etc) and Lucio Gutiérrez (who turned out about to be about as neoliberal as a credit card).

More generally, groups such as CONAIE act as a pressure release valve, mediating between the necessities of the Ecuadorian elite and the wholly ostracised, disenfranchised indigenous majority (?).

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Lumpen
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Nov 2 2010 12:08

More events at MARC: http://mac.anarchobase.com/2010/10/coming-up-in-november/

Plus, there's the End the Housing Crisis! No More Band-Aid Solutions rally presented by City Is Ours on Friday, November 12 at 4:30pm, 112 Smith St, Collingwood.