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June 3.- Melbourne (Australia) "Argentina Open Forum"

Thursday 21 May 2009, by ps

International visitor from Patagonia, Argentina, Elio Brat,
will speak about workers self-management factories(Zanon) and indigenous struggles(Mapuche) in Argentina

Wednesday June 3rd, 7PM

Old Chambers Council, Trades Hall

corner of Lygon and Victoria streets, carlton

Dear Friends,

Due to our commitment and solidarity with the West Papuan People (Free West Papua Campaign), we decided to change The Open forum about Argentina to Wednesday June 3rd, 7PM; our brothers & sisters from Free West Papua are organising a fundraising activity for June 4.

Elio Brat a committed journalist who lives in the Patagonia is visiting Australia, he will be speaking about Neuquén - Patagonia indigenous communities struggle for recovering their land and for the rights as people and Zanon FASINPAT (Factory without bosses) a factory recovered by their workers in Neuquén 8 years ago.

Zanon ceramics factory, one of the most prominent of the recuperated, worker-run factories in Argentina, was taken over by workers in 2001 and since then has been economically successful as a cooperative. However, as a major symbol of Argentina’s recuperated factory movement, (over 200 such cooperatives exist in the country), it has been a target for right-wing hostility. Workers at the factory have received death threats and have been violently oppressed during protests.

In the province of Neuquén, where the Mapuche (indigenous people in Argentina & Chile) are not taken into account by local authorities in dolling out hydrocarbon or mining concessions, or tourism areas on their lands. In December, state prosecutor Raúl Gaitán said that the International Labour Organization´s Convention 169 is only a policy guideline and is not regulated yet under local law.

During the founding of Indigenous Law Lawyers´ Association, Ñancucheo said that “the time has come to define, not just from the government but the other powers that this country has, who are indigenous, who make up the people, who make up the communities. We understand that we have to strengthen the work that is being done because we need to come out with a strong position faced with what´s coming to us.”

Elio is an Argentine Journalist since 1980; he is the correspondent in the Patagonia of National Newspaper PÁGINA/12, in the Patagonia CHANNEL 26 TV, and correspondent in the Patagonia AMERICA TV. Elio is " DESDE EL PIE" radio program broadcaster - current affairs news of the South for the South, "Desde el pie" has been on air for 12 consecutive years at the Comahue - Neuquén National University Radio, dial 103.7 FM (repeated to the whole Argentinean radios and Sweden).

He is a collaborator of the Web page REBELLION (www.rebelion.org <http://www.rebelion.org> ) and coordinator of cultural activities in the Municipality of Cipolletti, Río Negro, Argentina. A member of ZAINUCO organisation (Human Rights in Neuquén) and the FOPEA (Argentinean Journalists Forum).

Today in Melbourne - Australia, The Latin American Solidarity Network(LASNET) is proud to have the opportunity to organise this forum with this important visitor which will give some light in building new possibilities for change and to strength the solidarity movement with Latin America.

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