archivos de los protestos globales

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000
PCN Tour | summary of Tour and situation

Dear everyone

my Name is Luciano, I was one of the persons to accompany our two friends
>from PCN (Proceso de Comunidades Negras) after Prague in an improvised
Tour through a few European cities. We had the chance to talk with people
face to face in Berlin, Vienna, Milano and Lugano (CH). Thanks a lot for your
support and making this Tour happen.

I'd like to try and sum up the discussions, ideas and the situation the way I
see it so far:

The PCN is trying to internationalise their struggle. In fact it's their only
chance to survive. This is a decision they have taken as movement a few
years back, but only now they are taking steps towards concretising a form
of international solidarity.

Prague and the contact with other European activists was very helpful for
them in order to see what was going on here, how people felt about the PCN
when they told about their situation and in general get a sense of what kind
of solidarity they can expect. The PCN is at a stage of developing an
international strategy which they would like to develop in co-operation with

They felt very inspired to see that people here do large protests like in
Prague, run social centres and squatted houses as spaces of self
determination, occupy trains to attend protests, fight racism and growing
fascism. Even though it is a minority of people that is struggle against the
dominating ideology and power structures, they felt immediate identification
with 'us', with the caravan of refugees and immigrants in Germany and with
all those in Europe who suffer from criminalisation and exclusion as soon as
they start organising to challenge the system.

In Prague and during the mini Tour the following aims and areas of work were

* giving international visibility and legitimacy:

The armed conflict in Colombia has lead to an apparent polarisation between
guerilla and State - as the only two actors in the conflict, leaving several
other sectors of society and social struggles invisible. As we all heard, the
PCN is the product of several hundred years of struggle of the black
community. They have a clear political project - they struggle for autonomy,
identity and territory.
The black communities even have the constitutional right to collective land

So our main first goal should be to give visibility to the invisibles. This means
informing as much as possible about the situation in Colombia, the true
impact of Plan Colombia on people and nature, the true motivations behind
this war . Show the legitimacy of the right to live of the black people in
Colombia and to live according to their process of political project. To show
that this war is one the most cruel forms of capitalism, and that it only aims
to secure access to oil, natural resources; secure the implementation of
large megaprojects like harbours, pipelines, canals and especially to crush
any form of social resistance opposing these developments.

More concretely this will mean:

- producing information : This is a serious task. Because it seems that the
PCN has no so much written and visual information about themselves. (It
was already a challenge to get them type their thoughts on my laptop ! ). We
have to create leaflets, webpages, videos etc.

- Doing Speaker Tours: The two people that were here are currently feeding
back their experience to their movement. They had in mind coming back in
November / December for another Speaker Tour. We're waiting for more info.
In Prague we discussed the idea to have a large presence of people from the
PCN (possibly other movements) in Europe, both visiting people, groups,
networking and informing about their situation, but also learning from our
political realities, living with us, sharing skills, do things together etc etc.
This exchange could be built on the experience made by the Intercontinental
Caravan (see, learning from the successes and
mistakes we made. This needs to be discussed with the people in Europe
and will probably be one of the topics of the speaker Tour this winter.

- creating information and support networks all across the continent.

- creating communication structures: We identified the need to have a direct
communication with Colombia and the region. This means

a) helping to improve the communication between the black communities
themselves. Providing material support and skills: from boats to satellite
b) creating communication structures between Colombia and other parts of
the world

We identified the need to pass on 'indymedia skills' to PCN [use of digital
cameras, digital recordings and how to put them on the web..] so that they
could document themselves what is happening in Colombia, ideally almost in
real time. (

* International presence in Colombia
This has been discussed too. But it was clear to everyone that as opposed
to situations like in Chiapas, the situation in Colombia is waaaaaaaay more
dangerous and that this would need very very very careful preparation. Such
an international presence needs to be discussed face to face with European
activists during the Speaker Tours.

* Davos and other movements from the region

It was identified during the small Tour that it was necessary to work together
with other movements that will be affected by the Plan Colombia, as it is
clear that the conflict will expand to the whole region (Bolivia, Ecuador,
Panama, Venezuela...). But PCN is so far the movement we've had the best
direct contact and identification with, so it makes sense to start creating
bonds with them first.
The PCN along with other movements from the region will have a regional
meeting in Panama in November to discuss and develop further international

As you may know, there will be a large mobilisation to protests against the
Davos World Economic Forum on January 25-30 (in the Swiss alps). We
took part in one of the European meeting and it was proposed to use the
protest in Davos to denounce the Plan Colombia and announce the world
wide resistance against it. Our two friends were going to propose back home
to have some kind of large action, event or mobilisation simultaneously with
the Davos protests in Switzerland. The same proposal would be taken to the
movements attending the meeting in Panama.

As everyone is consulting its basis about the idea, we have to wait for
feedback. It was agreed that the next preparation meeting for Davos should
be attended by people from Colombia (and region) to discuss further co-
ordination - in Geneva Decembre 16th/17th.

* new forms of international solidarity
Remember PCN supports the Peoples Global Action principles (see - i am pasting them below just in case). They have been
convenors of PGA.
Their ancestors have taught them a saying " i am because we are" (soy
porque somos) meaning that an individual can only be free if the people
around are free too. This was a fundamental principle in the struggle against
slavery which built their movements. Now in this age of globalised capitalism
they said their struggle for freedom can only be successful if other struggles
for freedom succeed to. They would like to develop new forms of international
solidarity based on that principle.
I think most people agreed on the fact that this is about a grassroots to
grassroots solidarity.

These are the most important points put forward so far. Maybe people want
to add stuff.

What we could be doing NOW (personal proposals)

- collecting good and reliable information about Plan Colombia (ie. Figures,
impact studies of the biological weapons used, multinationals involved
[apparently Monsanto is involved in the production of the different chemicals
used to destroy the coca plantations]...)
- finding webspace and a webmaster willing to put up that information so it
can made accessible to everyone.
- finding translators so we can translate the information from/into Spanish,
English, German etc etc
- finding a sympathetic server, it'd be great if we could get away from
egroups which involves stupid ads and is monitored by the CIA.
- preparing the ground for the upcoming speaker Tour in nov/decembre. I am
trying to get hold of the PCN so they send us a letter with a call for that Tour,
the aims and what they concretely expect from it. As soon as I have more
info I'll let ya know. In the meantime people can start creating contacts in
your country/city/region of groups and people that may be interested in doing
stuff together like gathering info, hosting the Tour, giving money....
- start thinking about regional meetings. We will need a European meeting at
some stage !

- getting people in the USA involved ! The US is the belly of the beast, it is
importnat to have agrassroot resistance to this war right there. There is a
Columbian Support Network (see which has some
useful information and are definitely worth checking out. There is also the
rainforest action network who's been doing good stuff around the Uwa's
situation ( Does anyone feel like networking with US groups ?


* To get in contact with PCN: (for Hernan and Luz Mary)
in Spanish !!

* There is good information about Colombia distributed by a colombian
woman in Canada:
"Yvonne A. Truque" <>
ask her to be added to her distribution list. Depending on what is happening
in Colombia you may get 3 emails a day sometimes nothing during 5 days
etc. She is a good person to ask for good resource sites and information.
The info is generaly in Spanish but sometimes in other languages.

That's all I can think of right now. More soon.
Freiburg, Germany

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