International Indigenous Solidarity Gathering
Latin America, Asia & the Pacific
23-26 October 2008, Melbourne - Australia
For our LAND, our CULTURE, our SOVEREIGNTY...
Protecting our planet, defending our communities!
Attending The Gathering
From Latin America:
Eduardo Issa from Social and Indigenous Organisations Coalition of Bolivia
Mery Mollar Coalition in Defense of Water and Life from Cochabamba Bolivia
Marcelo Chimbolema, From CONAIE Ecuador
Representative from Mapuche Communities from Chile
Representative from Colombia
From Asia Pacific:
Papua New Guinea
From Northern Territory, South Australia,`New South Wales and Victorian Communities
The Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET), Friends of the Earth (FOE) in conjunction with other solidarity organisations will be hosting a gathering for Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists who are supporting Indigenous and popular graassroots organisations resistances and struggles against dominant elites.
We hope to bring together activists, indigenous leaders and communities from Aotearoa (New Zealand), Great Turtle Island (North America), Melanesia and the Pacific Islands, and our Indigenous brothers and sisters from Latin America, as well as from the Aboriginal nations of Australia.
This is a time of great struggle for Indigenous peoples. On September 13th 2007, the governments of Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia voted against the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which calls on countries to give more control to tribal peoples over the land and resources they traditionally possessed, and to return confiscated territory, pay compensation, or at least say “sorry” for all the abuses.
It is not hard to see why. New Zealand’s government has just unleashed its anti-terror security forces on Maori activists in New Zealand, while the Australian government reinvaded Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory under the guise of “child” protection. Both these governments use their influence in the Pacific, Melanesia and the Pacific islands to open up Aboriginal lands to Multinationals mining interests.
Throughout the Americas, from Great Turtle Island down through Latin America, from the Tahltan of Canada to the Mapuche of Chile/Argentina, from the Quechua /Aymara to the Kulin, Wotjobaluk, Mara and Kurnai Nations of Australia in the south, Indigenous peoples are under greater pressure than ever from multinational corporations’ interests (including mining, forestry, fuel), free trade agreements and the security apparatus of settler governments, determined to finally put an end to centuries of struggle against dominant elites and against economic rationalism in the form of neoliberal capital policies.
Indigenous peoples and popular organisations are fighting back, organising, and teaching new generations what they have learned from hundreds of years of unending struggle against land expropriation, exploitation, assimilation and the various attempts to wipe them out from our planet.
Gathering (Encuentro)/Conference Contents:
The Gathering (Encuentro) aims to build bridges of struggle, friendship and collaboration between Indigenous and grassroots organisations throughout Latin America and Australasia.
During the first two days of the Gathering (October 23 and 24) there will be a welcome to country and a public meeting. The second two days (October 25 and 26) will feature plenary sessions, workshops, documentary films, photo exhibitions, stalls and other activities.
Participants from Australia and overseas will explore the questions of WHY and HOW we resist and struggle to protect our planet and defend our communities, and WHAT we propose as Indigenous people and supporters from grassroots and community organisations to achieve social transformation..
Topics to be discussed include:
Genocide suffered by Aboriginal nations
Ancestral rights to land and culture
Sovereignty and the global order
Sovereignty and neo-liberal policies
Land sovereignty and nation
Aboriginal control of Aboriginal affairs
Human rights/Aboriginal rights
Treaty or/and reconciliation, and
Other topics presented by Gathering participants.
Our idea is to be open and inclusive to ideas and discourses supporting Indigenous peoples’ self-determination and grassroots struggles for justice, peace, dignity and democracy from below. We would like to develop the concept of an alliance between Indigenous and non- Indigenous marginalised people as they share similar problems of exclusion, exploitation, racism, repression.
We are inviting individuals and organisations to support this initiative by contributing to our organising fund, and by supporting the Gathering itself when it takes place October 2008.
Costs are significant as there are several international airfares to cover, and therefore any contributions would be appreciated.
If your organisation be able to provide some assistance or be interested to becoming a Gathering supporter or sponsor write to us to P.OBOX 813 North Melbourne, VIC. 3051 or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Solidarity Gathering/Encuentro presented by: Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET) & Friends of the Earth (FOE) In conjunction with: Aboriginal organisations from Victoria and other cities, ANTAR, Union Solidarity, Community Radio 3CR, AISD, MASN, FREE WEST PAPUA, FAIRWEAR CAMPAIGN, Pro-Bolivia Sydney, Chilean popular and Indigenous Network, Colombia Solidarity Network, Colombia demand Justice Campaign and Others...
Contacts and further information:
General Information Marisol 0413 597 315
Program and Logistic Sub-committee: Lucho 0400 914 944
Media and Communication Sub-Committee: Natalie 0421 226 200
Volunteer Coordinator: Rodrigo 0414 970 418 or Juliet 0413 893 495
Stall Coordinator: Anna 0439 891 832
Donations and Registration
Your contributions and donation are Tax deductible:
Please send Cheque or Money Order made out to FOE - Indigenous Gathering and posted to P.O BOX 813 North Melbourne, VIC. 3051 or online through Foe webpage www.foe.org.au
2 days weekend