archivi delle proteste globali
archives of global protests


by Patrick Cuninghame (fHUMAN, London)

Despite some serious organisational problems which effectively negated the purpose of holding the 2nd European Encuentro in an Eastern European country, this was a far more constructive preparatory meeting than the Zurich one had been. Two German comrades made a huge effort to set up things at the Black Hand Anarchist Centre (unfortunately about to be demolished and turned into a parking lot) in the centre of Prague, but their efforts don't seem to have been matched in Prague itself, resulting in only a few participants from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. For other Eastern Europeans, especially Russians, the $100 visa fee (equivalent to a month's salary) was a major turn off - something we should have anticipated. The European movement thus still remains firmly Western in its composition, but the German groups have taken the responsibility for inviting more Eastern European movements against neoliberalism to the 2nd Intercontinental Encuentro in the Spanish state, to be held from Friday, July 25 to Sunday, 3 August. However, the lack of a significant Eastern European input did not dampen the much-improved spirit of co-operation and understanding, greatly helped by excellent translating (Spanish & English were the main languages used), unrecognisably better moderation, and the good work put in by those who arrived a few days early which helped to speed up the decision-making process. The result was that almost all the major organisational/technical decisions have been tortuously agreed upon through the process of consensus building rather than the imposition of "majorities" on "minorities" by mechanical voting. However, the organisation and contents of the Women's Table has still to be finalised at the Women's Meeting in Vienna in early May (if you wish to attend contact: Gita or Christiana, Mexico Gruppe, Gneisenaustrasse 2a, 10961 Berlin, tel: 49-30-6934029, fax: 6926590). Some loose ends may have to be tied up at a further preparatory meeting by any of the 5 organisational commissions who feel the need. Overall, for the first time I had the feeling of an international movement beginning to work together against neoliberalism, rather than a disparate collection of solidarity activists and politicos talking about it.

After an opening plenary where those who had arrived early and had already started to work on the 5 organisational commissions (contents, contacts, finance, documentation, press & propaganda) reported back and the (provisional) results of the Consulta on the Second Declaration of La Realidad and the organisation of the next Encuentro1 were discussed, we split up into our respective commissions before reporting back our discussions in turn to the final plenary, which was the ultimate decision-making body where everything had to be thrashed out (fortunately, the centre closed at 10 o'clock otherwise we would have been in for some all-nighters!). There was also a talk by a group from the Ladronka squatted social centre in Prague about the anarchist/autonome scene in the Czech Republic which sounds as fractured and ghettoised as the English one! Anyone wanting a copy of a document on the effects of neoliberalism on ex-Czechoslovakia and details on the European-wide demo on July 12 against the projected nuclear power station at Temelin, contact me. Finally, a letter of protest was sent from the meeting to the Mexican government in protest at its rejection of the San Andrés Accords and the intensification of repression throughput Mexico. This was the only reference to the Zapatistas in the whole meeting, which was otherwise exclusively dedicated to the construction of a global movement against capitalism in its neoliberal form.


For a full description of this commission's work and the decisions taken, see Massimo's report. This is a provisional outline of the main themes & sub-themes of the 6 Tables.

The 3 main cross-table themes are:

All the 6 themes / tables to be discussed at each of the 5 venues in Spain, July 25 - August 3 1997.





2 alternatives (to be at Vienna meeting on 1-2 May):

either: 1 table only for women in 1 site and mixed in other sites, themes to be decided by women-only table or: mixed tables, but guarantee separate space for women if they want it and again they decide the themes to be discussed.



( see attached sheet for details)


The main issues discussed were:

1. the letter of invitation to the Encuentro and special invitations

2. the inscription (no longer called "accreditation" as felt to be too selective sounding) form and process

3. dividing up which non-European countries to contact

4. criteria for aid from the Solidarity Fund

what to do from now until the Encuentro

The following is a translation of the official minutes received from the Zaragoza node (, responsible for the overall co-ordination of the Contacts Commission:

1. MEMBERS OF CONTACTS COMMISSION (see attached list )

2. AGENDA & MEETINGS AT PRAGUE (not translated)


The following documents are attached to the minutes:



1. There will be inscriptions. The following will register for the 2nd Encuentro: Organisational Commissions (OC) (or preparatory assemblies) of each country, state, region, city, or geographical zone.

2. In April and May, each Organisational Commission will receive preinscriptions from participants from their particular area (see attached preinscription form). these commissions will then send the list of preinscriptions, together with a list of translators, before 31 May to the European Contacts Node (ECN) in Zaragoza.

3. From 1 to 15 June the ECN will process the preinscriptions (limit of places, distribution of tables etc.) and will send a report with the definitive lists to the other Organisational commissions (stating distribution by table, fixed fee, and identity cards for participants) so that the inscriptions can be ratified by 30 June. Keeping to these deadlines is essential to guarantee the organisation of the Encuentro, although there will still be some flexibility, especially towards non-European countries.

4. The OC will accept the preinscriptions of all those people who express an interest. In extreme cases ( danger of a boycott, or violence, security problems etc.) the OC will mention it on the preinscription form and call on the ECN to evaluate it. Appeals against exclusion are to be sent to the ECN in Zaragoza.

5. If at the time of processing the preinscriptions (1-15 June) these are considerably more than the number of available places, the latter will be limited according to the following criteria, in order of importance:

a) preference will be given to applicants from outside Western Europe

b)among W.European countries, a balance of representation according to population size and the special case of Spain because of its key role in organisation.

c) Assure the participation of socially excluded groups.

6. If at the time of processing the preinscriptions (1-15 June), these are less than the number of places, preinscription will continue.

7. The "participation card" to be worn by every participant at the Encuentro, will be sent to each OC at the time of carrying out inscriptions and charging the minimum fee (approx. £100, but not yet fixed). The card will contain the following information: name or pseudonym, country of origin and photo. The ECN will decide between 1-15 June whether a number and table will be added.

8. The stewarding and organisation of the Encuentro will be self-managed, maintaining the autonomy of each venue.

9. Apart from as participants enrolled at the Encuentro, other forms of participation will be as press or as neighbours of the venues.


1. There will be no formal invitations , so that the OC will not be those who choose who participates in the Encuentro. There will be an open invitation (model enclosed) to all people and collectives in struggle against neoliberalism who agree with the Second Declaration of La Realidad and with the Manifesto and objectives of Encuentro 2. The invitation must be publicised as far as possible , but these organisations must express an interest in going and initiate the enrollment procedure.

2. Even though the wording of the invitation is the same throughout the world, each OC will be able to carry out its own specific invitations, which will in anycase be added to the official invitation. the translation of the official invitation will be adapted by each OC according to the political language and culture of every region.

3. As an exception, the OC will be able to invite participants at other Gatherings of Struggle against neoliberalism, e.g. the World Indigenous Congress in Geneva, the World Youth Festival in Cuba, or to "great movements in struggle" e.g. the Zapatistas. A special invitation was sent by the Prague meeting to the World Indigenous Congress in Geneva which shares the same dates as the Encuentro.

4. Once a preinscription has been solicited, a formal invitation can be given to those who need it for visa applications etc.


1. Contacts with different persons and organisations, such as the distribution of open invitations and inscription forms, will take place simultaneously along two channels of equal importance:

a) The European Contacts Commission (Zaragoza) shares responsibility in the contacting and diffusion of the Encuentro among the OCs, on the basis of the attached list of different geographic areas of the planet. This responsibility includes its own local area.

b) On the other hand, any OC which could contact or has relations with any collective outside its designated geographic area, is free to contact them as well. It would be convenient if they could then inform the OC responsible for that particular geographic area and/or the ECN(Zaragoza).

2. The European OCs will make the greatest effort to create OCs throughout the world which in turn would then be responsible for the inscription process of the participants from their country. (SEE IRISH MEXICO GROUP WEBSITE FOR THIS DOCUMENT & OTHERS IN ENGLISH ON ENCUENTRO 2: If it is not possible to create these OCs in certain geographic areas, the European OC which made contact will be responsible for the registration and distribution of participation cards in that area.


1. Registration and participation in Encuentro 2 will always be on an individual basis even if papers and the further development of the Encuentro can be representative of a collective struggle.

2. In all matters to do with the organisation and functioning of the Encuentro the OCs are to present themselves as such and not as individuals or as determined collectives.


1. Before, during and after Encuentro2, there will be various events related to the struggle against neoliberalism, such as the World Youth Festival in Cuba, the Indigenous Congress in Geneva, the "Boat for Chiapas" from Marseilles, the Gathering in Brittany, The anti-Maastricht March, the "Sans Papiers" ("illegal" immigrants) march, The Mexican Indigenous Theatre Tour, the Caravan leaving from Italy, and a possible Zapatista tour. The overlapping of dates of these events need not be seen as a problem but as a wealth of events which will strengthen our common struggle and as a political challenge to relate all these initiatives as fronts of broad and distinct struggles. Encuentro 2 in the Spanish State can be seen as part of a global gathering which includes all these activities.

2. For this reason it is proposed that both the World Youth Festival in Cuba and the Indigenous Congress in Geneva be linked up with the Encuentro through the Internet, guaranteeing the maximum exchange of information and communication. The contacts commission will draw up a technical proposal to make these links real before and during the events themselves.

3. Each OC will spread awareness of Encuentro 2 wherever possible and will try to participate itself as part of the union of struggles wherever possible, keeping the ECN (Zaragoza) informed of all initiatives In no case will any attempt be made to centralize nor co-ordinate the different struggles and information.


1. In each of the 5 venues of the Encuentro, specific space will be dedicated to persons or groups who request its use (intellectuals, artists, writers), who can communicate their experiences, ideas or artistic relations (conferences, theatre, exhibitions, dynamic, poetry.


1. So that people with economic problems who want to take part in the Encuentro can do so, and to guarantee that Encuentro 2 is open and inclusive for the whole world and not just Western Europe, the following points of order are proposed:

a) Each OC will contact those local organisations or support groups for particular peoples (e.g. Palestinians, Kurds) and will request that they meet the financial costs in order to guarantee the participation of these peoples.

b) Each OC will promote the establishment of support funds in different countries and areas (USA, Canada, Australia) to guarantee the participation of people from their countries and from others with greater problems, for example Africa.

c) Given that the above measures will probably not be sufficient to guarantee participation from all over the world, the organisers of Encuentro 2 will create a Solidarity Fund (made up of at least 20% of the total budget, including registration fees).

2. The organisers of Encuentro 2 do not promise to pay for travel to the Spanish state, but on the basis of the petitions received will study the possibility of financing travel or part of their cost, and/or the registration fee, according to the following criteria:

a) Preference for requests from outside Western Europe.

b) Among those countries or peoples, seek a balance of representation.

c) Assure the representation of "socially excluded groups".

The different OC will define more exactly what is understood by this term and send it to Zaragoza before 31 May in order to reach a common consensus on this criteria.

3. Children (those under 16) who participate in the Encuentro will not have to pay the registration fee.


Although the discussion issue of the Network belongs to the Contents Commission and will be dealt with in all the Tables, the Contacts Commission assumes responsibility for the technical aspects which will guarantee the functioning of the network, and proposes the following activities:

a) To draw up a directory of the various collectives in struggle against neoliberalism which participate in the organisation of the Encuentro or in the Encuentro itself. Permission will be asked before including details. Each OC will send a directory of its own zone before 30 June to the ECN (Zaragoza)

b) Each OC will send any proposals about the technical functioning of the Network by 30 June.

c) During Encuentro 2 each venue will have a working group dedicated to the discussion of these technical proposals for the functioning of the Network. These groups will caucus during the closing plenary session in El Indiano to make a common proposal.

d) The Contacts commission will meet after the Encuentro to define the proposals worked on, spread them and any other work necessary for the proper functioning of the network.


1. There is an attached list of nodes

2. We will have to guarantee the free flow of all information and proposals between the ECN (Zaragoza) and the OC

3. If necessary the Contacts Commission will meet again in the Spanish state before the Encuentro (one delegate per OC).


A proposal from the Association of the Friends of the Sahara, Madrid, is that the third Encuentro take place in the camps of POLISARIO in Western Sahara.


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