(en)Montreal Conference Against Neoliberalism, Mar 17 (fwd)

Grrrl (s_linds@alcor.concordia.ca)
Tue, 18 Mar 1997 19:00:24 -0500 (EST)

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---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 12:59:24 -0600 (CST) From: Chiapas95-Lite <owner-chiapas95-lite@mundo.eco.utexas.edu> To: chiapas95-lite@mundo.eco.utexas.edu Subject: E;Montreal Conference Against Neoliberalism, Mar 17

This posting has been forwarded to you as a service of Accion Zapatista de Austin.

---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 17:15:39 -0500 (EST) From: coughlin@CERCA.UMontreal.CA To: owner-chiapas95@mundo.eco.utexas.edu Subject: conference

Hello, I would like to post the following info to Chiapas95

Katie Coughlin Reseau de Solidarite avecl le Mexique Montreal



Solidarity enters the 21st century _______________________________________________________________________

Conference April 4-5-6 1997, Montreal, Quebec, Canada _______________________________________________________________________

Alternatives and RSM-Montreal (the Reseau de solidarite avec le Mexique/ Mexico Solidarity Network) are organizing a conference on "The struggle against Neo-liberalism here and in Mexico" which will be held April 4-6, 1997 in Montreal.

Mexico is currently suffering one of the worst political and economic crises in its history. Since its inception in 1994, NAFTA has profoundly affected Mexican society, intensifying the already widespread poverty and exploitation, and contributing to a dramatic rise in militarization and the attendant violations of basic human rights. The Zapatista struggle against what they have called `the neo-liberal economic model' is part of a broad-based movement for social justice, both inside and outside Mexico. The conference will bring together actors in this movement, from Mexico, Quebec, the US and Canada, to share information, to establish and strengthen relations of solidarity, and to collaborate in the search for practical strategies of resistance.

Canada is also suffering from the negative repercussions of NAFTA and other neoliberal economic policies, but we rarely see these issues discussed in a meaningful way in the mainstream media. The conference will provide a forum for critical evaluation of the neoliberal economic model, how it affects our lives, and how it relates to our ideas about democracy.

Representatives from the following Mexican groups will attend the conference; * Center for Human Rights-Fray Bartolome de Las Casas * El Barzon (a heterogeneous association of debtors) * FZLN (Zapatista Front for National Liberation) * The National Indigenous Congress * University Student Council (CEU) - UNAM * FAT (Authentic worker's front)


Conference Schedule ___________________

Friday p.m. 5:00- 7:00 Registration 7:00-10:00 Opening Plenary

Saturday a.m. 9:00- 9:30 Opening Remarks 9:30-11:30 Morning Workshops(+) p.m. 12:00- 2:00 Lunch 2:00- 4:00 Afternoon Workshops(+) 4:00- 4:30 Coffee 4:30- 5:30 Plenary: Summary of workshops 5:30- 6:00 Closing Remarks

8:00 Benefit party

Sunday a.m. 10:00-12:00 Plenary p.m. 12:00- 2:00 Lunch 2:00- 5:00 Informal meetings, working groups

The format of the conference has been designed to include both group discussions and opportunity for personal interaction. The opening plenary will give an overview of various aspects of the current situation in Mexico and in Canada. Saturday will consist of two workshop sessions, with four workshops held in parallel in the morning, and four in the afternoon. The schedule will be arranged to allow as many pre-registered participants as possible to attend their preferred workshops. There will also be a benefit party Saturday night. Sunday morning, a longer plenary will allow a more in depth discussion of the topics raised in the workshops, with a focus on how these ideas can be translated into action. The afternoon is reserved for informal meetings among the conference participants.


Registration ____________

We encourage people to pre-register, both to help finance the conference and to allow us to arrange the schedule to suit you.

Registration fees are $15, $10 for students and unemployed. Tickets for the benefit party are $5 in advance, $7 at the door. You may pay be cheque (mailing address below), or by credit card.

Regstration fees will be used to finance the direct costs of conference. Any surplus will be sent to the indigenous communities in resistance in Chiapas.

To register, you can send an email to alternatives@alternatives.ca, subject `conference-Mexique' with the following information:

Name: Address: Telephone: Organization (if applicable): Fax: Email: Workshop choices (2):

Cheques may be made out to `Alternatives-Conference Mexique' and mailed to:

Alternatives 3680 rue Jeanne-Mance #440 tel: (514) 982-6606 Montreal (Quebec) H2X 2K5 email: alternatives@alternatives.ca


Workshops _________

Each workshop will begin with presentations by panelists from Canada and Mexico, followed by discussion. Please note that the descriptions below are suggestions only; we encourage all participants to come prepared to share their ideas and experiences.

1) Demystifying the debt: where did the debt really come from, and who should pay it; how is the spectre of indebtedness is used to legitimize socially damaging (and economically unnecessary) policies.

2) Reorganizsation of work in the context of globalisation: What are the causes and consequences of permanently high levels of unemployment and job insecurity? What particular problems does this create for women? What kinds of solutions should we seek?

3) Education: What is the most effective means of organizing students? What common interests exist between students and other social groups? How are teachers and their unions challenging the neoliberal agenda in education?

4) Politics and community mobilisation: Behind the propaganda of economic necessity, somebody's political agenda is being advanced? Whose? What are the effective forms of resistance? How can we mobilize the public to define and advance its own agenda?

5) Human rights: How do we expand the notion of human rights to include the right to resist economic exploitation? Should human rights organizations play a more active political role? Does the widespread acceptance of violence in our culture favor human rights abuses?

6) Social rights: Aren't governments obligated to provide public services in return for tax revenues? How can we go beyond reacting to spending cuts, and play an active role in deciding social policy? How can we reduce our dependence on government institutions, and increase the autonomy of our communities, without conceding basic social rights to services such as education, health care, etc?

7) Autonomy and inidigenous communities: what legal and political definitions of autonomy are relevant to indigenous communities? (This question will be discussed with reference to the San Andres accords on Indigenous Culture and Rights, signed by the Mexican government and the EZLN in 1996, but not yet implemented). What is the role of non-native groups in supporting the causes of indigenous peoples?

8) Environment and collective life: Does nature exist only to serve human needs? Who has the right to decide how the earth and its resources are to be used? How can we move toward an equitable distribution of resources? Can `green' business and sustainable development work, or is capitalism (i.e. permanent, exponential growth of the economy) incompatible with conservation of the natural world?


For more information: __________________________________

For information in english or french : coughlin@cerca.umontreal.ca For information in spanish or french : alternatives@alternatives.ca

Conference Web page: http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/WWW/oscarh/CONF/ RSM-Montreal Web page: http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/WWW/oscarh/RSM/ Alternatives Web page: http://www.cam.org/~alanroy/Alternatives/ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

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