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(en) Issue #1 http://anti-politics.net/incendio/ - Editorial/Introduction +

Date Sun, 11 Jun 2006 08:59:55 +0300

Welcome to our first issue of Incendio. We are quite excited about
this project and the effect it may have. Hopefully it will be useful in
creating and strengthening solidarity between those fighting the state
and capitalism throughout the Americas. This is a big project that
takes a lot of time and we're just starting to get into the swing of it.
So we expect to see the next few issues dramatically improve as our
correspondents become more numerous and the journal gets wider
distribution. We were also a bit rushed with this issue because we
wanted to have it ready for the San Francisco Anarchist Bookfair
(March 18th). This is the largest gathering of anarchists on the U.S.
west-coast and probably the biggest in North America, with over
3,000 (and growing each year) annual attendees. Unfortunately, we
did not have it ready in time.

With each issue we have decided to pose a question for anarchists in
Latin America. We will compile these responses and print them in
our next issue. We thought that this might be a good way to get a
variety of view points on a particular topic and stimulate discussion.
Hereïs the question:

"What is the relationship of anarchists to national liberation

Anyone can respond. We want the response length to be about a
paragraph (i.e. short and precise). We ask this question in part
because weïve noticed some anarchists in Latin America frame
their struggle in terms of fighting for national liberation. This is an
uncommon orientation for anarchists that we are more familiar with.
So, in order to better understand what is meant by this we decided to
open up a discussion on this question to better explore how it affects
ones practice.

With each issue (starting with the next one) we will be translating
and reprinting an article from Wolfi Landstreicher, an individual
whom we feel has made a great contribution to anarchist theory. We
would like to give this individuals writings greater exposure,
especially in Latin America.

In general we are seeking content to come from Latin America but
with each issue we may print something from elsewhere that we
think people will appreciate. In this issue we have two articles that
arenït focused on Latin America. The first essay is about
"operation backfire" by the FBI, targeting environmental resistance
in the U.S. This is the most widespread sweep and the biggest trial
for anarchists in this country for a very long time. The other article
included is about Italy entitled Strangers Everywhere. It is about
anarchists in Lecce, Italy who are accused of actions in solidarity
with the Mapuche, among other things. We feel that this article
exemplifies what we mean when we use the word solidarity.

Above all we hope that this publication will serve to better network
resistance and inspire action.
A few things you can help us out with for the upcoming issue:

-Action Listings: We are looking for good resources for action
listings of resistance. If you have any good sources for news of that
sort, please let us know.

-We'd like to have an events calendar. Send us info. on gatherings,
conferences, demonstrations, etc. that are coming up. Send us
reports of these events highlighting key parts.

-Prisoner Reports: With our next issue we will be reaching out more
to the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) and other prisoner support
groups, so as to stay current with the situation of prisoners in Latin


From January 23rd-29th, 2006, ten social and political organizations
from Venezuela offered an alternative social forum. The result was a
small-scale event (in contrast to the World Social Forum), however,
it reflected the true capacity to organize independently and to
self-manage, accumulated from years of experience in the
Venezuelan context.

The Foro Social Alternativo (Alternative Social Forum ï ASF)
confronted the institutionalized progressiveness assumed by the
World Social Forum (WSF), which through the past five years has
degenerated. Contrary to its genesis and original foundations, which
spoke of a convergence of diverse and contradictory movements, a
ïmovement of movementsï. Realistically, the WSF has served
as a slingshot and legitimization of leaders, governments,
institutions, NGOs and leftist political parties. This has facilitated
great access to political power and economic resources, therefore,
giving them [leftist agendas] a greater possibility to acquire lobbies in
their favor, and thus marginalize a trajectory of ïuncomfortableï
radical and/or minority positions. The Alternative Social Forum was
able to articulate a replica of the local political spectrum, generating
an autonomous space that dealt with different social movements,
diverse subjectivities, and offered an alternative vision that contrasts
with the imposed Manicheism that has been prevalent the past years
in Venezuela.

The Alternative Social Forum took place in three venues throughout
Caracas: at the Central University of Venezuela, at the Engineering
College, and at the Nelson Garrido Organization. Three types of
activities were developed: forums and conferences, theoretical and
practical workshops, and independent film showings ï overall the
forum was diverse and kaleidoscopic. The conferences involved an
array of international speakers who shared their experiences and
visions. Among these speakers was John Holloway from Ireland
who directed a discussion on ïChanging the World Without
Taking Powerï to an enthusiastic audience whose subsequent
debate lasted over four hours. Other talks included: Daniel Barret
(Uruguay) on ïHorizons of Change in Latin Americaï, Ezequiel
Adamovsky (Argentina) on ïNew Social Movements and
Anti-Capitalism in the 21st Centuryï, Frank Fernandez (Cuba) on
ïAnarchism in Cubaï, Christian Guerrero (USA) on ïRadical
Ecology in the United Statesï, Javier Garate (Chile) and Andreas
Speck (UK) on ïThe Relationship Between the Arms Race and
Transnational Corporationsï, Radical Critique (Brazil) on
ïLeftist Politics in Latin Americaï, Ricardo Garcia (Mexico) on
ïAutonomy and Magonism in Mexicoï, Rob Block (USA) on
ïThe Anti-Prison Movement in the USAï and Kristina
Dunaeva (Russia) on ïThe Chechnyan War and Anti-Militarism
in Russiaï.

The local contribution was no less impressive, opening events
included a conference with Domingo Alberto Rangel on ïIslamic
Fundamentalism and Globalizationï. Humberto Decarli
conducted a discussion on ïMilitarism and Social Change in
Venezuelaï. Maria Pilar Garcia and the Amigransa collective
hosted an eclectic day-long panel discussion on current ecological
and indigenous struggles in Venezuela and the world. The Anarchist
Black Cross of Venezuela organized a forum on prisons in the
country. Others included: Francisco Prada on ïExternal Invasion
and the Integrationist Responseï, Ricardo Benaim on
ïXenophobia and anti-Semitismï, Lenin Ovalles on ïUrban
Cultureï and Alfredo Vallota on ïFoundations of Socialism in
the 21st Centuryï. Participants lamented the absence of Douglas
Bravo, whose dialogue on ïProposals for Today and the
Futureï had to be suspended due to family tragedy.

Workshops for Activists
The workshops of the ASF offered a variety of tools for change
among social movements and were initiated by volunteer efforts
from a variety of organizations. A two-day long ïIntroduction to
Videoactivismï workshop was repeated on demand of enthusiasts;
it was facilitated by Sonya Angelica Diehn and co-funded by
Indymedia Arizona and Pan Left Productions (USA). This workshop
developed basic knowledge and skills needed to actualize an
independent audiovisual project. Carlos Nieto & the Venezuelan
Anarchist Black Cross facilitated a workshop on ïHuman Rights
in Times of Crisisï, elaborating judicial and legal strategies for
defending Human Rights. Fabian Unlogistic, of the French band
Unlogistic gave a workshop on ïBasic Sound-Techï teaching
amplifying/ recording art and skill for musicians. Two other
workshops were given by the International War Resisters, one of the
oldest anti-militarism groups in the world. The first of these was on
ïNon-Violent Direct Actionï and taught practical skills related
to civil-disobedience as well as steps necessary to organizing actions
and mounting campaigns. The second was on ïConscientious
Objection and Anti-Militarismï.

All week long, the film series held showings in the university (UCV)
and every night as of 7 pm in the Organizacion Nelson Garrido,
where films were projected simultaneously in two different rooms.
Among the many films presented, coming from over 8 different
countries, the one to provoke the most commentary and enthusiasm
was ïNuestro Petroleo y Otros Cuentosï [Our Petroleum and
Other Stories], a film that has been censured by the Venezuelan
government. It was shown at three different times to enthusiastic
audiences in rooms at maximum capacity.

The Nelson Garrido Organization was effectively converted into an
epicenter of dissidence and counterculture all week long. Initial
planning provided for breakfast and lunch to be served to over 60
people per day; water had to be added to the soup in order to feed the
crowds numbering over 100 who arrived at the ASF disenchanted
with the official WSF and seeking a few hours of refuge from the
discrimination and militarization of the official event. The menu
provided both meat and vegetarian meals, coffee from peasant
cooperatives from Portugal and cookies bought from small family
businesses. Many groups held planned and spontaneous meetings at
the Nelson Garrido Organization during the week, such as the
Peoples Global Action Assembly and the International Anarchist
Encounter that involved over 60 activists from 18 countries who
wrote the ïDeclaracion Libertaria de Caracasï or Caracas
Liberation Declaration.

Weaving Connections, Constructing Autonomy
Over the course of the 7 days, the Nelson Garrido Organization was
also host to an independent material/media fair that sold books,
publications, zines, T-shirts and music, resulting in 2 million
Bolivares (800$ USD) in sales that financed and supported the
self-managed nature of the event. The autonomous and independent
nature of the ASF was also made possible by countless volunteer
contributions such as the donation of publications for sale by the
Fundacion Era Ecologica, Federacion Libertaria Argentina (FLA),
and Colectivo Autonomo Magonista (Mexico) as well as the
donation of T-shirts and video-projector by Brennan Wauters
(Canada). Earth First! (US) donated a percentage of vending sales.
The Federaciïn Anarquista Iberica (FAI), the anarcopunk band
Los Dolares (Venezuelans in Catalonia) and the Montreal Anarchist
Bookfair/Salon de livres anarchiste de Montreal, among others,
organized activities in their respective countries to help fund the
event. Added to the 4 months of fundraising previous to the event,
these actions covered the organizing expense of over 7 million
Bolivares (a little over 3000$ USD). Almost a third of these expenses
went to the printing costs of the publication ïAlterforoï. Over
10 000 copies of this FSA program and magazine were distributed,
having an impact that surpassed the most optimistic expectations.

Funds also supported a mobilization organized by indigenous and
environmental groups of the state of Zulia in the west of Venezuela.
This march against the exploitation of coal and for indigenous
autonomy in Zulia was held on Friday Jan. 27th, despite the
aggression and disturbances caused by Chavista [pro-government]
groups. This counter-agitation was due to the fact that the march
was denouncing not just the activities of the government coal
company Carbozulia, but the entire government development policy
regarding mining. This unsustainable development policy involves
the oppression and dislocation of many indigenous peoples and is
congruent with the planned IIRSA [Iniciativa para la Integraciïn
de la Infraestructura Regional Suramericana, a Latin American
free-trade-treaty not unlike the FTAA]. These Chavista
counter-actions were not the only instance of government
intimidations against the Alternative Social Forum; political-police
vehicles were circling the Nelson Garrido Organization all week

The objective of creating a week-long space fermenting dissidence
against the Venezuelan government, the state-centric left, traditional
political parties and Capital was achieved with success beyond
expectation. The goal of spreading a multiplicity of political visions
and strategies was achieved without the logistical support of the
Venezuelan army and without any promotion or funding weighted
with bureaucracy. The second objective, reconstructing a grassroots
network of autonomous social movements, inspiring new ways of
doing politics and building a transformational movement, is a project
that transcends the time-span of a week. For this reason, each one of
the organizations that convened at the ASF is moving forward with
diverse programs at a variety of levels. The recovery of various
movement agendas is critical: ecologists, students, neighborhood
organizations, feminists, indigenous peoplesï movements, youth,
citizens and campesinxs form an emancipatory challenge to our
stagnant political system characterized by redundant electoral cycles
and agendas imposed from above.

More information at:
El Libertario - mendezn@camelot.rect.ucv.ve


03. U.S. Eco-resistance: Arrests and Repression
04. Reviews: Disarmo #11, Aullidos Nocturnos #3
05. Mexico (Sonora): The Border at Risk
06. Cuba: Another Cuba is Possible
07. Bolivia: Insurrection in Bolivia
08. Chile: The Unconquered Mapuche
09. Strangers Everywhere
10. Them or us
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