LASNET October Solidarity Gathering

22Aug10

Callout:

Latin American, Australian & Asia Pacific Solidarity Gathering
-Defending Workers’ and Indigenous Rights-
“Building bridges and global resistance against Multinational Corporations

For three days- October 15-17, 2010- grassroots activists & Indigenous representatives from a range of organisations, communities and movements will share ideas, experiences and stories of struggle inside their own countries against global capitalism.

The abhorrent business practices of Multinational Corporations, and the struggles against them, will be the central focus of this gathering. It follows that space will be created for discussions on the implications of Free Trade agreements (Australia-Colombia and others), the imposition of the Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA), the implementation of US plans for Central and North America, and more broadly, capitalist globalisation. Our purpose in coming together is to educate ourselves and one another in order to build new, global models of solidarity to combat global corporate tyranny.

Corporations around the world act as a law unto their own. We see this play out in our myriad struggles. In coming together at this conference, we hope to share our experiences from Australia, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

We are operating from the perspective that Multinational Corporations and the above mentioned initiatives serve only to benefit the privileged few at the expense of the majority; to reinforce exploitation of poor people, smash unionism and undermine workers’ rights, terrorise and murder union activists, displace and assimilate Indigenous communities, and trash our natural resources and environment.

While many activists have long lists of complaints against Multinational Corporations, we are focussing the conference on the following companies- BHP, Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold, Coca-Cola, Fonterra, Chiquita Brand, Monsanto, Drummond, Nestle, BP- whose crimes are well-known.

We acknowledge the proliferation of local struggles for workers’ rights/community power, autonomy and self-management, for freedom from corporate domination and devastation.

In order to learn from these struggles and celebrate their achievements, we have secured speakers from:

Mine workers’ unions from Colombia
Copper workers’ confederation from Chile
Factory workers from Bolivia
Factory under workers’ control from Argentina (Zanon)
Indigenous communities from Colombia
Indigenous Mapuche – Diaguitas from Chile
Indigenous national organisation from Ecuador
Communal peoples from Venezuela
Landless Workers’ Movement from Brazil (MST)
Indigenous representative from NT opposing intervention
Representatives of Australian Aboriginal communities
New Zealand Maori representatives
West Papuan representatives
Bougainville Indigenous fighting Rio Tinto
William Osmar Chamagua Director of Radio Mi gente from El Salvador

However, we also must acknowledge the limitations of locally defined struggles. In order to realise their objectives, these campaigns must grow in such a way so they can defy a capital that is global in its scope and aspirations. Against this power that has no morality, we must construct a power of our own.

Therefore, the conference will commit itself to building new, practical models of solidarity that are global in scale. It is insufficient to come together and merely recognise or sympathise with one another. The schedule of the conference will be designed with this practical goal in mind: moving beyond building awareness and towards creating effective and empowering models of global resistance.

We desire your involvement both at this gathering and in assisting to organise it.

Objectives of this Gathering:
· To share experiences of struggle to inform and build solidarity.
· Achieve a clear resolution on united and internationalist action against corporate tyranny.
· To explore developing a popular/community tribunal/watchdog to monitor and disseminate publicly on the behaviour of Multinationals.

We acknowledge that struggles are won when oppressed peoples regain control over their everyday lives. We, therefore, desire the creation of an inclusive international network focused on achieving these results. If you want to be part of this discussion come with a model or ideas.

For more information please contact: Marisol 0413 597 315, Michael 0438 496 433, Rebecca 0439 503 839, James 0417 732 698, Tully 0410 388 187, Sam 0422 507 758 or visit LASNET.

Organised by: LASNET, MADGE, Greek Democritus League, Friends of The Earth, Ace Collective, Indigenous Communities NO mining NO forestry, Salvadorian Community, AAWL, LoopHole, Humanitarian Hub, GM Cropwatch and individuals.

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