archivos de los protestos globales

PCN Tour Letter

in german

Quéubo Combo!

A group of six representatives from the Process of Black Communities (PCN) from Colombia have been in Europe since the end of January. They will stay until the beginning of April. They are here to talk with people interested in continuing a process of increased communication and co-operation at the global level between people who are constucting (or would like to construct) collective autonomous alternatives in response to the economic, political and cultural power of globalised capitalism. Alternatives which are articulated in a horizontal and participative manner, which revindicate and put into practice the right to difference and one's own identity, which recuperate and strengthen collective capacity for self-management, and which generate an emancipatory and free space independant of state structures.

The PCN invite us to launch this processof convergence by way of concrete activity which allows us to get to know each other personally and politically through direct human relations. For this, they are planning a series of initiatives against Plan Colombia and in favour of self government of the black, indigenous and peasant communities. The situation in Colombia, already terrifying, is becoming ever more inhuman due to the preparation of a massive military intervention. This is being directed and financed by the United States under the name Plan Colombia. In this context, the active involvement of groups and movements from other countries becomes one of the key factors to avoid the annihilation of struggles for the right to exist as black, indigenous and peasant communites have for generations.

Since last summer massacres by paramilitaries have intensified, following a strategy designed by the CIA and supported by the Colombian government. At the beginnning of December the paramilitaries committed the biggest massacre to date, killing an undetermined number of people (according to CNN it could have been up to 87, perhaps more, because the corpses were cut into pieces and thrown into a swamp it was impossible to tell). This intensification of the conflict is intended to exterminate all forms of resistance and self expression of the rural population, which global capital concieves as "surplus population" who have no place in the economic system. The aim of all this, and the motivation behind Plan Colombia, is to "clear the land" for investors and to give them free access to the natural resources.

The war in Colombia will certainly spill into other countries of the region; already the situation has provoked the extension of paramilitary operations and other actors in the conflict beyond the Colombian borders into Panama, Venezuela, Brasil, Peru and Ecuador. The US army has already built new military bases in the whole region, specifically for Plan Colombia, including a large US army installation in Manta (Ecuador), and many other bases in countries as far afield as El Salvador. Also it has received permission from the Dutch government to use its intallations in the Dutch colonies of Curacao and Aruba (off the Venezuelan coast) with military objectives.

This plan is the cruellest expression of globalised capitalism, which will manifest itself with a ever greater frequency unless the social response is strong enough to attack the legitimacy of these interventions in the countries which gain the most from them (that is, the USA, western Europe) and its implementation over the territory where it is taking place ( in this case, Colombia). It is a war against social movements which incorporates the massive use of genetically modified biological warfare, under the guise of a strategy against drug production. But, as the Colombian analyst, Hector Mondragon says: "The explicit objective of Plan Colombia is to strengthen free trade through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and this is the best way of assuring the continued existence of illegal crops".

The companer@s from PCN have come to tour Europe with various objectives and expectations. On the one hand they want to inform European networks about their way of organising, their history of resistance, the alternatives they have built up and their perspective on the terrible situation in which people live their lives in Colombia. And, on the other hand, they also would like to get to know about struggles and ways of organising in Europe, to discuss possible common interventions in the future with regard to the concrete situation implied by Plan Colombia, and to explore ways of continuing, to connect and strengthen long term global processes of convergence amongst those in struggle who have a clear and critical perspective towards power. As such, an important part of this tour will be the initiation of a discussion process with people from all over Europe, on the basis of two proposals combined. One of these proposals concerns a common intervention in the situation in Colombia, and will include elements such as the generation of technical capacity for communication for Colombian communities, as much amongst themselves as with the rest of the world, and a proposal of a direct physical presence in the regions where the black (indigenous and peasant communties) are constructing processes of autonomous self government. The other proposal, closely connected to the first, concerns the process of convergence of non-hierarchical ways of organising, to achieve autonomy from capitalism and the state.

The ancestors of the black communities taught the saying that "I am because we are", which expresses that a person can only be free if the people around are also free. This was one of the fundamental principles in their struggle against slavery and in the building of their movement. Now, in the age of globalised capitalism, they say that their struggle for freedom can only advance on the basis of a collective advance for struggles around the world for freedom, autonomy and the right to difference and diversity. They want to develop new forms of solidarity based on this principle.

With this letter, we include:

a group of people in support of the PCN

PCN Tour | Plan Colombia | PGA