BOLIVIA, Cochabamba, PGA International Conference STARTED

by alex 4:51am Fri Sep 21 '01

Amidst a whirl of terrorist accusations and border controls the third international Peoples Global Action (PGA) conference has begun in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

The third international Peoples Global Action (PGA) conference has begun in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Cochabamba, about 8 hrs east of La Paz is town of around 600,000 people with a strong activist community. A coaltion of community groups, anarchists, academics, workers and citizens recently overturned the privitisation of their water. The campaign involved protests from lobbying to direct action, where the national gaurd were deployed against the people and a 17 year old protester was shot and killed.

The walls of the town are literally covered in radical graffiti, murals, poems and fly posters. This adequately sets the scene for an international gathering of radical activists.

Over 300 people from across latin america and the world gather in Cochabamba for a week to discuss strategies and possible global campaigns for the anti-capitalist movement (see list of applications). There are people from Ya Basta! Italy, CLAC, Canada, AWOL, Australia, Reclaim the Streets, UK, Rising Tide, Netherlands, Chiapas Link, UK, Rainbow Keepers, Russia, IndyMedia, Brazil, Germany, Russia, USA, Aust, Womens Domestic Workers Union, Cochabamba, Aeotearoa Educators, NZ..........

Discussions range from local autonomy and global perspectives, the criminalisation and depiction of activists as terrorists, relations between the North and South, indigenous soveriegnity and much more!

Over the next few days the conference hopes to identify a number of days to suggest for Global Days of Action - such as November 6 when the WTO meet in Qatar (Call for Qatar) - and sustained campaigns - ie anti-water privitisation, and anti-military and Plan Columbia actions (info Plan Colombia).

Disappointing,the meetings themselves leave a lot to be desired, are often long and frustrating especially due to constant translation and inadequate facilitation.

As is often the case at big conferences such as this the moments in between, in the evenings and over meals, are when the most work is done, networks built and debates advanced.

Unfortunately a bus of activists travelling from Columbia and Ecuador has been stopped at the border of Peru and Bolivia (spanish report) and many delegates were remanded by immigration police at La Paz airport.

Further details of the bus will be forwarded as they come to hand, solidariity actions at the Bolivian embassy may be necessary!

AGP - 3ª Conferencia Internacional
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