(en) Encuentro - =?iso-8859-1?Q?Almu=F1ecar?= Press Conference

Steve Wright (sjwright@vaxc.cc.monash.edu.au)
Thu, 31 Jul 1997 09:29:14 +1000

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A press conference hasjust been held here at the Discussion Table in Almu=F1ecar (Spain), to present a number of the themes under discussion to both the official and alternative press.

=46rom Brazil there was Jos=E9 Das Grasas, who is occupied with the situatio= n facing minors in his country, and above all with the "meni=F1os de rua" (street kids). Human rights are denied to more than 8 million children in Brazil. Many are meni=F1os de rua who have been left completely to their own devices -- a social drama which seems to have no solution, and has been exploited in the most shameful manner by the speculation of the opulent West. Alongside the use of child prostitution in promotional publicity for travel to exotic lands, there are the death squads which wage their own bloody and unilateral war against minors. Nonetheless mobilisation within Brazil and elsewhere is increasingly strong, and the association "Meni=F1os do Brasil" of which Jos=E9 is part has opened new offices of solidarity and struggle in Europe, a continent which is certainly not foreign to the exploitation of children under the guise of tourism.

Pierre Alain Baud of the Gay and Lesbian Federation of France spoke on the theme of sexuality, around which a discussion table has also been organised. Pierre explained that their presence at this table was prompted by the need to know more about a reality -- the movement of sexual liberation -- which now includes more than 300 groups across five continents, spreading as it has to the global south. His group was proposing the establishment of a network that would allow a range of groups to establish contact and create new forms of struggle.

The idea of creating a network of information was also raised by Said Souw of Senegal -- in this case one concerning immigration. For as they course across the continents, the flows of immigration can also be seen as a mobilisation against capitalism.

Those in attendance from Mexico spoke instead of the various forms of repression which have continued to develop over the past year. The situation in Chiapas has not changed greatly after the recent elections. Alongside the breakdown in dialogue between government forces and indigenous communities, there is a massive military offensive aimed at repressing a society struggling to acquire basic rights. In effect the elections hadn't been held in Chiapas, as the indigenous movement did not feel represented by any of the institutional political forces taking part. The climate of repression only intensified as the elections drew near, thanks also to the presence of genuine paramilitary groups. In March 1998, in Santiago, Chile, will be held the first social conference in the hemisphere (indigenous collectives, environmentalists, women) to discuss the worker as commodity and all those rights which have been negated (land, sexuality etc, etc) and to construct an alternative network opposed to imperialist globalisation.

Written by Tactical Media Crew and Radio Onda Rossa

Translated by Steve Wright, Zapatista Solidarity Collective, Melbourne Austr= alia

Visit the TMC Encuentro page for updates on photos from Spain - http://vivaldi.nexus.it/commerce/tmcrew/chiapas

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