In this bulletin you will find the following information:
- Welcome message and Nora Cortiñas tour
- IMPORTANT message – Harassment and Intimidation of ASC
- YOUR Participation Needed – ASC’s Testimony of Solidarity for Santiago Maldonado’s family
- Upcoming ASC Events. *23rd Nov Public meeting on Argentina’s worker-recovered companies* *30th Nov ASC Organising Assembly* *2nd Dec ASC panels at Latin America Conference*
- Follow us on Social Media!
What an incredible couple of weeks its been! Our UK tour of Nora Cortiñas, Co-Founder of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Founding Line member) and Beverly Keene (Dialogo 2000) was an enormous success. Hundreds of people attended their talks and have started following ASC. The tour received significant media coverage.
ASC, Nora and Beverly would like to thank everyone who attended, publicised, donated or helped out at the events. We would still really appreciate donations to help us cover the costs of the visit. You can make these at our crowdfunder site or by sending a bank transfer: Account name: Argentina Solidarity Campaign Bank: Lloyds Bank Account number: 23195068 Sort code: 309596
Meanwhile back in Argentina, the Cambiemos government, emboldened by their performance in the legislative elections two weeks ago are wasting no time in deepening their neoliberal economic programme. They will be presenting a Labour Reform Bill to Congress which includes proposals to ‘flexibilise’ the labour market and reduce labour rights. Key points are reducing employees’ possibilities to take their employer to court, reduce employer social security contributions, cut severance pay by up to 40%. Meanwhile Argentina has been named by a credit ratings agency in the world’s 5 most “fragile economies” exposed to interest rate rises, alongside Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan and Qatar. Further, in light of the Paradise Papers leak, Argentina’s Finance Minister, Luis Caputo was among 120 politicians named globally linked to tax havens.
IMPORTANT message – Harrassment and Intimidation of Argentina Solidarity Campaign
Amigxs in recent weeks ASC has hit the headlines. We have repeatedly appeared in the Argentinian & British media. We have met with Jeremy Corbyn. We have brought Nora Cortiñas to the UK. Santiago Maldonado’s family have publically thanked us for our support. We have received praise from esteemed human rights campaigners like Peter Tatchell. We are making a HUGE impact. YOU are part of our incredible story.
But as our reputation and impact grow, we are having to deal with some sinister consequences. First of all, the Argentinian Embassy tried to intervene in our public meetings by writing official letters to the Directors of the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge and the Institute of Latin American Studies, criticising Nora’s talk. The scandal which has become known as #TheCambridgePapers infuriated those in attendance. A copy of the letter went viral and was widely covered in the Argentinian media, including in Pagina 12, Radio 10, El Destape and the Buenos Aires Times. It ended up being a huge PR own goal for the Embassy.
Perhaps more worrying still is that in the days that followed, trolls have been attacking the Campaign and targeting our women members. This Pagina 12 article speculates on who the culprits might be. The findings may shock you. However these interjections are proof that our campaigning here in the UK is working and upsetting those in power or who support them. Analysts speculate that there is a general campaign of harassment against human rights organisations in Argentina and we appear to be a victim of that. We need your active participation now more than ever. Please message us your support, share the above links and join our growing campaign by attending our organising assemblies and meetings.
It is clear that the current Argentinian government are prioritising its relations with the British government and see it as key to its “vuelta al mundo”. This is evidenced by the current charm offensive and fact that last week Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, the Cambiemos Governor of the City of Buenos Aires was dispatched to visit London where he met Sadiq Khan and next week Laura Alonso, another leading PRO politician will also be coming to the UK. We are a thorn in the side because we are exposing the realities of what is really going on in Argentina.
We will not be threatened or intimidated by anyone. We believe that an attack on any one of us is an attack on all. Incensed by these actions we will channel our anger to redouble our efforts to peacefully campaign for human rights and social justice in Argentina, showing solidarity with its social struggles. As Nora Cortiñas told us during her visit “¡venceremos!”
YOUR Participation Needed – ASC’s Testimony of Solidarity to be sent to Santiago’s family
This is an invitation to ALL of YOU who support Santiago Maldonado’s family in their pursuit for TRUTH, JUSTICE AND PUNISHMENT for those responsable for the forced disappearance and death of Santiago.
Over the next two weeks we will be putting together a photo collage of faces of all of us here in the UK, followed by a collective message at the bottom. The canvass that we put together will then be sent to Santiago’s family in Argentina.
In order to participate please send your name, email and a portrait photo/selfie in digital format to us at firstname.lastname@example.org by 22nd November 2017 the latest.
You are welcome to send us a group photo, in which case you should clarify all of the names (who is who) and include all email addresses.
If you prefer not to send a photo, you can also participate by sending just your name and email.
The collective message to the family will be:
TRUTH, JUSTICE AND PUNISHMENT for those responsible for the forced disappearance and death of Santiago. All our love to Stella [Santiago’s mother], Enrique [father], Sergio and German [brothers] and all the family. From your friends in the United Kingdom.
Upcoming ASC Events:
1) Public Meeting on Argentina’s Worker Recovered Companies movement – 23rd November
Date: 6pm, Thursday 23rd November 2017
Location: Room 246, 2nd floor Senate House, Institute of Latin American Studies School of Advanced Study, University of London. Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Speaker: Dr Andrés Ruggeri, Director of Facultad Abierta (University of Buenos Aires). Chair: Dr Daniel Ozarow, Middlesex University, London & Co-Chair, Argentina Research Network
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/494039250980917
Tickets: The event is free and open to ALL but please reserve your place here.
Following the 2001 economic crisis thousands of workers took over their abandoned or bankrupt workplaces when they were made redundant, occupied their plants, offices and workplaces and began to run them as cooperatives without bosses. As the BBC report, the “worker-recovered company” movement has been operating successfully for at least 15 years in the face of enormous pressure and has become a beacon for the global labour movement to pursue alternative production models that move away from traditional capitalist models of exploitation. Workers in Spain, Greece and Italy have emulated the Argentinian example by also recovering their companies under workers control in recent years.
We are pleased to announce that academic and activist Andres Ruggeri – Coordinator of Facultad Abierta at the University of Buenos Aires and a leading authority on Argentina and Latin America’s workers recovered company movement will be in London and presenting a talk to ASC about the latest situation.
The event is free and open to ALL but please reserve your place here.
Facebook event page with more details HERE:
2) Next ASC Organising Assembly – 30th November
From 6.30pm on Thursday 30th November 2017 we will hold our next organising assembly at the International Transport Workers Federation, ITF House, 49-60 Borough Rd, London SE1 1DR (4th floor)
See the facebook event page for more details:
This is an exciting opportunity to get involved in the campaign, meet other ASC participants and help us to organise our upcoming events. It is also where we take campaign decisions as a collective. Open to all, we especially welcome newcomers!
Last time it was great to see that half of those who came along were new supporters.
3) ASC panels at Latin America Conference – 2nd December
We are supporting this year’s Latin America Conference 2017 which will take place on Saturday 2nd December 2017 at Congress House (from 9.15am), the HQ of the TUC, 23-28 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3LS. This is the biggest solidarity conference with Latin America in the UK and Europe, with over 600 people in attendance last year who heard from over 50 speakers including leading parliamentarians and trade union leaders. The details of our panel are below and will provisionally be held at 11.50am.
Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez of ASC will also be participating in a panel on the forthcoming World Trade Organisation summit at 10.45am (to be held in Argentina), alongside our friends from Global Justice Now and War on Want.
Details of how to reserve your ticket at the conference here: https://latinamericaconference.wordpress.com/
|Argentina – Resistance and solidarity -Neoliberalism, Forced Disappearances, debt and free trade
Ever since President Macri’s election in 2015 Argentina has been rolling back a decade of progressive reforms. Its neoliberal programme, human rights abuses, attacks on labour, record national indebtedness, and most concerning of all, the Forced Disappearance of Santiago Maldonado by the state are facing widespread resistance and global solidarity.
Martina Rodriguez (Ni Una Menos UK/Argentina Solidarity Campaign)
Bert Schouwenburg (GMB)
Dr Pablo Bradbury (Argentina Solidarity Campaign)
Chair: Vicky Grandon (Argentina Solidarity Campaign)
Follow us on Social Media!
For those hundreds of you who are new to Argentina Solidarity Campaign, please follow us on social media and let friends know about us. Our official facebook page https://www.facebook.com/argentinasolidarity/ and twitter https://twitter.com/argsolidarityca We have also recently updated our website: https://argentinacampaign.wordpress.com
If you live in the North of England or in Scotland, do let us know as we have active ASC regional groups there too and we can put you in touch.
That’s all for now, see you at one of our events soon!
Argentina Solidarity Campaign