Letter to the Chilean Government

To: Chilean Government                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 19 August, 2011

Mr. Sebastian Piñera
President of Chile
Palacio de la Moneda
Santiago- Chile

 c/- Diego Velasco von Pilgrimm
Minister Counselor, Consul General of Chile in Melbourne, Australia>Level 13, 390 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004.

Dear Mr. Piñera,

With the ongoing mass mobilisations of students, and their supporters, across Chile, we write to you to add our voices to those of our Chilean brothers and sisters in their struggle for free, quality education for all, at all levels; justice; and real democracy; amongst other demands.

We feel that quality education is a basic human right, not a luxury consumer good. As such, the Chilean State’s ongoing process of liquidation and commodification of public education (as embodied by the merger, closure and endemic under funding of municipal schools in poor neighbourhoods, the high level of student indebtedness, and the increasing precarity of employment for teachers, amongst others) is reprehensible, and that students have mobilised in opposition to this process is both reasonable and of a necessity to ensure the fulfilment of this right.

 Finally, we remain concerned for the health and safety of the number of students maintaining a hunger strike, and for those partaking in demonstrations and occupations; we find it unacceptable that harm has, and may continue to, come to those mobilised for the basic right to free, quality education.

For an education for the people, not profit!

Yours Sincerely,

Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET)
Movement for Peace and Justice – Brisbane
Colombia Demand Justice Campaign
Chilean Popular & Indigenous Solidarity Network
Andrea Aguilera
Marisol Salinas
Mt Nancy Town No mining No Forestry Campaign Friends of the Earth Melbourne
Rodrigo Rojas
Rodolfo Allamand

Not final version, more people need to be added

Latin American Solidarity Upcoming Events

LASNET-Meeting  Venezuela and the Left Tuesday August 23rd, 7pm
At LASNET Space – Trades Hall Basement corner of Lygon & Victoria Streets in Carlton South
Venezuela and the left – workers control… With Venezuelan Activist, visting Australia, Johan Rivas, from Venezuelan Socialismo Revolucionario.
First hand report from Venezuela under Chavez, all welcome

LATIN FIESTA – PARTY (POSTPONED  due Hall problems to Saturday October 29, 7pm, same place, bands and program)

Northcote Uniting Church Hall, 251 High St. Northcote
Two amazing live Latin American bands
“SON3” & “SON DE LA CALLE”
Plus exiting dance group “RITMO Y COLOR” from Peru &
“Colombia” dance group
$15/10 waged/ conc. – Latrobe Students and staff $10 – Solidarity $20

Chile -Colombia Open Forum
Thursday September15, 6:30pm to start 7pm
Latrobe University City Campus, 215 Franklin St. City
“The other September 11” & the new popular struggles wave…,
“Colombia after Uribe” &
“Relevance of Colombia-Venezuela relationship to South American region”
Speakers: Academics, Activists, music and discussions

Friday October 7, Melbourne Trades Hall, 7pm
Films night Fifth Cycle: “Multinational Corporations and its future”

Importance of Che Guevara after 44 years of his physical disappearance: Doco -“Che Lives” (40 minutes) October 8th, 1967, Ernesto Che Guevara was detained in Bolivia and killed on October 9, under the command of the CIA-USA

Saturday October 8,
Our hopes and new possibilities for change

Seminar Peoples’ Struggles & Multinational Corporations
Latrobe University – City Campus, 215 Franklin St, Melbourne

Space One: 12-4pm
Discussions, short footages, lunch, speakers, activists, ideas, proposals…more
-Multinationals role in war, violence and hunger in Latin America
– Impacts of Multinational policies in Australia and Asia Pacific Region
-How the State and government are accomplices in Multinationals policies and effects.
– Are Multinationals a contribution to development and progress?

Space Two 4-6pm – Speakers, music, poetry, open space/forum
Remembering our pass, our memory homage to all those that gave their life for others, our tribute to Che Guevara, who fell struggling so other can continued their and our life
.
More Info: call 0425 539 149 or 0414 970 410, write to: lasnet@latinlasnet.org
https://latinamericansolidarity.wordpress.com/ and now, again, after been hacked http://www.latinamericansolidaritynetwork.org
Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET) – Red de Solidaridad con los Pueblos Latinoamericanos

Mexico Solidarity Seminar

Thursday, 21 July
Latrobe University City Campus
215 Franklin St, City
Melbourne

6:30 doors for a 7pm start
Food and drinks will be available
Entry by donation – with all proceeds going to support human rights and popular organisations in Chiapas and Juarez.

Everyone welcome

The Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET), in conjunction with the Latin American Solidarity Society at Latrobe University, is proud to present the Mexican Solidarity Forum with activist and academics interested in Mexican people situation. Since 1996, LASNET has been working in solidarity with the Zapatista movement and for peoples’ human rights in Juarez.

Today is time to reinforce our solidarity work with Mexico and we call on all people interested to join us in our effort because justice, dignity, peace and peoples’ rights cannot wait any longer.

Because the only struggle lost is the one that is abandoned.
¡Para todos y todas, todo!, For all, everything!

Main speakers

Ralph Newmark, Director of The Institute of Latin American Studies( ILAS) at Latrobe University. He will present an overview and introduction on Mexico situation.

Silvia Rosas, A Mexican Journalist living for the past few years in Australia.
Mexico has been caught in the middle of a spiral of violence since 2006. Roughly 35,000 persons, including numerous reporters, have been killed since then.

According to statistics from the National Human Rights Commission, about 70 journalists have been killed in Mexico during this period, while another 13 remain missing.

In addition, this organization reports 21 attacks on media facilities and says that since 2005 has received 473 general grievance complaints from journalists and human rights defenders.

However, the journalists have declared that the main obstacle to investigating crimes against journalists is state authorities’ lack of collaboration and transparency, as well as reticence from the victims’ families due to distrust of the authorities.

As result, Mexico is considered the most dangerous place in the Americas to be a journalist and the third in the world after Pakistan and Iraq.

Colm McNaughton is a multiple award winning radio documentary producer who focused on unfolding events on the Mexico / US border.

His radio documentary ‘La Frontera’ (available at:http://www.abc.net.au/rn/360/stories/2010/2844252.htm) recently won a silver medal at the New York Radio Festival 2011.

He will speak about the his experiences on the border as well as explaining his understanding of unfolding events in the region.

Rodrigo Rojas, LASNET activist

Will present the solidarity work for Mexican people and follow up discussion on what we can do from Australia to continued helping Mexican people in their struggle for human rights and social justice.

Why is so important to support the people of Mexico Today?

Sociologist and nationally syndicated columnist John Ackerman borrowed a phrase from Argentina’s recuperated factory movement to sum up his proposal for the movement: “Que se vayan todos” (“they all must go”), referring to Mexican politicians. “We have to demand the immediate ouster of all high-ranking officials who are involved in this criminal war at the federal and state levels,” argues Ackerman. “Beginning with, of course, [Secretary of Public Security] Genaro García Luna, [Defense Secretary] Guillermo Galván, and Calderón (current President). These politicians have spent enough time in office, and they’ve demonstrated that they are incapable of assuring social peace.”

When Felipe Calderón declared war on organized crime, some towns racked by violent cartel rivalries initially welcomed the military’s presence. However, it quickly became apparent that the military brought more chaos and abuses, not law and order. “The military doesn’t solve anything because it commits a lot of abuses,” a farmer from Galeana, Chihuahua, told Proceso reporter Marcela Turati. “They beat people, steal vehicles, rob from houses. Their trucks look like moving companies, they drive around loaded with so much furniture.”

Moreover, nearly every sector of Mexican society has confirmed its participation in the protests: labour, indigenous peoples, students, journalists, intellectuals, opposition politicians, feminists, artists, drug war victims and their family members, former political prisoners, Mormons, sex workers, autonomists, peasants, communists, marijuana legalization advocates, migrants in Mexico, Mexican immigrants living abroad, Catholic church leaders…even the commanders of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) have ordered Zapatistas to take to the streets to “end Calderón’s war.”

Extract from EZLN April 2011 Communique:

SISTERS AND BROTHERS:
COMPAÑERAS AND COMPAÑEROS:

THE PSYCHOTIC MILITARY CAMPAIGN BY FELIPE CALDERON HINOJOSA, WHO HAS TURNED THE STRUGGLE AGAINST CRIME INTO A TOTALITARIAN ARGUMENT TO DELIBERATELY GENERALIZE FEAR IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY, IS CONFRONTED NOW WITH THE DIGNITY OF THE ORGANIZED VOICES OF RELATIVES OF THE VICTIMS OF THIS WAR.

…WE CALL ON OUR COMPAÑER@S OF THE OTHER CAMPAIGN IN MEXICO AND THE WORLD, INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS, COLLECTIVES, ORGANIZATIONS, MOVEMENTS, AND ORIGINAL PEOPLES ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, TO JOIN THE RIGHTEOUS DEMAND OF THIS NATIONAL MARCH TO THE DEGREE OF YOUR POSSIBILITIES AND CONDITIONS, BE IT ACCOMPANYING THE MAIN MARCH, WHICH STARTS IN THE CITY OF CUERNAVACA, MORELOS, ON MAY 5, 2011, IN MEXICO CITY ON MAY 8, 2011, OR BETWEEN MAY 5 AND 8, 2011, IN YOUR LOCATIONS, WITH SILENT MARCHES WITH BANNERS AND POSTERS, DEMONSTRATIONS, CULTURAL ACTS, ETC., WITH THE FOLLOWING SLOGANS:

END CALDERÓN’S WAR!

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
FOR THE CLANDESTINE INDIGENOUS REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE – GERENARL COMMAND OF THE ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION(EZLN-Mexico)

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, April 2011.

More Info:

call 0425 539 149 or 0414 970 418

write to: lasnet@latinlasnet.org

visit:
http://observatoriointernacionalcpm.wordpress.com
http://www.latinamericansolidaritynetwork.org
http://www.latinlasnet.org