archivos de los protestos globales

Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001
open meeting with colombian activists

Dear friends, we would like to invite you to participate in an open meeting
with two companher@s from the Black Communities Network (PCN) of Colombia.
This will take place on friday 2nd of March, 8pm, at Atherden Community
Centre E5, off Lower Clapton Rd. There will be food and music afterwards.
The following text explains the spirit of their visit and gives some info on
the situation in Colombia and the organisation they represent.

In Vienna there is an open meeting with two people from PCN at friday, 2
march 2001, starting 7 pm at ekh-atigf-beisl, wielandgasse 2-4, 1100 vienna
(u1 keplerplatz)

A group of 6 representatives from Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN) are
coming from Colombia to Europe to begin a tour starting in January and
ending in April. They are coming to speak to people who are interested in
continuing a process of greater communication and cooperation at a global
level between those who are building, or would like to build, autonomous
collective alternatives in response to the political, economic and cultural
dominance of global capitalism. These are alternatives which will be
rticulated through horizontal and participatory processes which revindicate
and put into practice the right to difference and to an identity of choice,
which recuperate and strengthen the collective capacity of self organisation
and self management, and generate a space of empowering freedom, free of
state structures.

The PCN invites us to foster this process of convergence through concrete
work which allows us to get to know each other personally and politically
through direct human relations. For this reason, they are proposing a series
of initiatives against Plan Colombia and in favour of self government by
black, indigenous and peasant communities. The situation in Colombia,
already terrifying in itself, is becoming increasingly more horrific due to
the preparation for massive miltary intervention directed and financed by
the US in the name of Plan Colombia. It is in this context that the active
involvement of groups and movements from other countries becomes one of the
key factors in preventing the erradication of the centuries-old struggles of
black, indigenous and peasant communties.

Since last summer, killings by the paramilitaries have intensified,
following a strategy designed by the CIA and supported by the Colombian
government. At the beginning of December paramilitaries committed the worst
massacre to date, assassinating an indeterminate number of people (which
could be as many as 87, perhaps more as the corpses were cut up and thrown
in a swamp). The intensification of the conflict is taking place with the
aim of exterminating all manifestations of resistance and self affirmation
of the rural population, percieved by global capital as a "population
surplus" with no place in the economic system, in order to "clear the land"
for the investors and give them free access to the natural resources- which
is the underlying raison d' etre of Plan Colombia.

The war in Colombia is bound to spread into other countries of the region
and has already propulsed the spread of the military operations of
paramilitary and other armed actors further afield than Colombian frontiers
into Panamá, Venezuela, Brazil, Perú and Ecuador. The United States' army
has built new military bases throughout the region, specifically for Plan
Colombia. This includes the biggest military installation in Latin America
in Manta, Ecuador and many other bases in countries as far away as El
Salvador. They have also received permission from the Dutch government to
use their military bases in the ex-colonies of Curaçao and Aruba (off the
Venezuelan coastland).

This Plan is the cruelest expression of globalised capitalism, which will
manifest itself with increasing frequency unless the response from those
societies of the countries set to benefit most from these interventions (ie.
United States and Western Europe) is strong enough to challenge their
legitimacy both there and in the countries where they will be implemented
(in this case, Colombia). It is a war against social movements which
incorporates a massive use of genetically modified (GM) biological arms,
under the guise of an anti-narcotics strategy (specifically the use of a GM
fungal herbicide in coca-erradication : fusarium oxysporum or "Agent
Green"-Ed.) But as the Colombian analyst Héctor Modragón states, "The
explicit objective of Plan Colombia is the strengthening of free trade
through the "OMC" (¿)that at the same time is the best way of ensuring the
continued esistence of illicit crops."

Our companions at PCN are coming on the European tour with various
objectives and expectations. They would like to inform the European networks
of their organisational processes, the history of their resistance, the
alternatives they have come up with and their perspective on the terrible
situation currently facing Colombia. On the other hand, they want to get to
know the struggles and organisational practices of Europe, to discuss
possible joint interventions in the situation created by Plan Colombia and
explore ways of continuing, connecting and strengthening processes of global
convergence on a long term scale, with those who struggle against power with
a clear and critical viewpoint. An important component of the tour therefore
will be the initiation of a process of discussion with people from all over
Europe, around the basis of two combined proposals. together. One of these
proposals refers to a strategy for collective intervention in Colombia and
will include elements such as: the generation of technological capacity in
the Colombian communities to enable them to communicate better with each
other and the rest of the world, and a proposal of an international presence
in the regions where black, indigenous and peasant communities are building
processes of self government. The second proposal, hand in hand with the
first, is about the convergence of non-hierarchical organisations in order
to achieve autonomy from capitalism on the state margins.

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

for more information go to:

PCN Tour | Noticias sobre Colombia | Plan Colombia (ca) | Plan Colombia (en) | AGP