Dear friend of the Argentina Solidarity Campaign,
¡Feliz año nuevo! In our January Bulletin you will find the following:
- ASC’s Adolfo Pérez Esquivel UK Tour 5th-6th February 2018!!!
- Our next Organising Assembly – Monday 22nd January 2018, London
- ASC News *Government Minister response to our Parliamentary question *Our Guardian letter *Solidarity montage sent to Santiago’s family *Protest at Residence of Ambassador*
- State authoritarianism and the repression of 18th-19th December (ASC response)
***STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS***
1) Nobel Prize Winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel to visit UK, 5-6 February 2018!
That’s right compañerxs, following our hugely successful Nora Cortiñas tour, we are delighted to announce that together with our friends at PeaceJam UK, we’ll be hosting Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Beverly Keene’s UK speaking tour: “The Struggle for Human Rights in Latin America Today.” Below is their public meetings schedule. Further dates may be added (watch this space). Read the ticketing requirements carefully because they are different in each case:
Please Join & SHARE the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/203509960206757/
1) London Public Meeting: Monday 5 February 2018, 6pm-8pm
Beveridge Hall, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street WC1E 7HU. Hosted by the Institute of Latin American Studies and the Human Rights Consortium, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Free entry, open to all but places are limited so you MUST pre-
register here to reserve your place.
2) London: Tuesday 6 February 2018, Kensington Aldridge Academy for its schoolchildren.
3) London Meeting for trade unions and NGOs: Tuesday 6 February 2018, 12.30-2pm. Trade Union Congress, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS
Open to all representatives of unions, solidarity campaigns, NGOs and civil society organisations but limited spaces. To reserve your place please contact us on Facebook or at email@example.com
4) Oxford Public Meeting Tuesday 6 February 2018, 5pm-7pm
Taylor Institution Library, St Giles’, University of Oxford OX1 3NA. Organised by the University of Oxford Subfaculty of Spanish and its Latin American Centre. Please contact us on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel is an internationally-renowned human rights campaigner and promoter of non-violence. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980 for his defence of human rights in his native Argentina and throughout Latin America.
Beverly Keene is Director of Jubileo Sur-Dialogo 2000, an NGO that campaigns to against illegitimate external debts in Latin America & the Caribbean.
In their talks, Adolfo and Beverly will reflect on the evolution and progress in the field of human and labour rights since the military dictatorships in much of Latin America ended thirty years ago, analysing how these developed under subsequent democratization. Adolfo will also pose some of the urgent challenges being faced today as many of these gains are being rolled back in countries including Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Paraguay, Colombia and Argentina. Questions of debt domination, trade and investment protection regimes, the assault on nature, militarization, interventionism and criminalization of protest will also be discussed.
ASC is run entirely by volunteers and we rely entirely on donations. Entry to all events is free but we need YOUR kind support to help cover the costs of Adolfo and Beverly’s visit. To make a contribution, please visit the crowdfunder here. Every donation helps, no matter how small:
2) ASC Organising Assembly – Monday 22nd January 2018, London. 6:30pm, Crazy Salad 33-35 Woburn Place, Wc1h 0JR London (nearest tube Russell Square)
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/322253774954851/
The “assemblies” are meetings where we take decisions about what campaigns to run and events to organise. They are open to anyone and at our last one half the participants were new so we always welcome new faces. This time we’ll be discussing our plans for Adolfo Pérez Esquivel’s tour and proposals for how we can support the current social struggles in Argentina.
3) ASC News
Argentina Solidarity Campaign in Parliament!!!
In answer to the parliamentary question thatChris Williamson MP raised for us to the British Government regarding the barring of civil society groups from this year’s WTO summit by President Macri’s government, Minister of State for Trade, Greg Hands answered:
“The UK cooperated with the EU on the issuing of a letter to the Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Faurie and the Chair of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, Susana Malcorra. This letter expressed concerns over the actions taken to revoke the accreditation of certain civil society representatives.”
The fact that the British government was helping to pressure Argentina on this question is a politically important milestone as Macri’s government has prioritised the UK and European Union for the signing of trade and investment deals. The full response can be read here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers- statements/written-question/Commons/2017-12-14/118969/
Argentina Solidarity Campaign in The Guardian!
On 11th December, ASC had an article published in The Guardian about the creeping authoritarianism in Argentina, banning of accredited British NGOs and deportation of journalists from the World Trade Organisation summit in Buenos Aires by President Macri’s government, political persecution of opponents and the ongoing state repression of the Mapuche people.
You can read the letter, published alongside one from our friends at Global Justice Now in full here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/11/foxs-free-trade-ideals-boost-big-business
Solidarity Montage to Santiago Maldonado’s family
As part of our ongoing campaign for Truth, Justice and Memory for Santiago Maldonado, we have sent a powerful solidarity montage to Santiago’s family in Argentina. Together with photos of ASC supporters (including Nora Cortiñas, Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Founding Line) holding Santiago’s image and supportive slogans, the montage included a collective message to the family:
Many thanks to all of you who took part in this initiative and to Alicia Mabel Ryan for coordinating the project.
“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.”
Protest at the Residence of the Argentinian Ambassador in London
On 12th December 2017, a cold winter’s night, ASC supporters joined Global Justice Now in a protest outside the Residence of the Argentinian Ambassador in London which was organised by Argentinos Para la Victoria Londres. The emergency protest “Defend Argentina’s Democracy!” had the following demands:
*Stop the political persecution!
*Justice for Rafael Nahuel and Santiago Maldonado. The State is Responsible!
*End the Repression of the Mapuche People!
*Solidarity with the WTO Counter-Summit!
*Stop Harassing British & Overseas NGOs and Campaigners!
The protest received some excellent press coverage, including this one in Pagina 12
Brutal state repression against the Pension Reform Law protests
On 18th and 19th December citizens, workers, unions, pensioners, and those from all sectors of society came together to stage enormous protests against the proposed pension cuts as part of President Macri’s austerity and neoliberal economic programme. These were brutally crushed by state forces which used violence not seen since the social uprisings of 2001. The military border guards were deployed and militarized Buenos Aires City, rubber bullets were used indiscriminately such that several protestors had their eyes blown out. Pensioners were deliberately run over by police trucks, another protestor suffered a fractured cranium, journalists and activists were arbitrarily detained (including we heard, relatives of ASC supporters), opposition MPs were pepper-sprayed or tear gassed in the eyes, a terrified female bystander was surrounded by swarms of military police, groped, beaten and hauled into a van, a young cartonero not involved in the protest was shot and then run-over by a police motorbike. Police infiltrators were used to provoke violence according to the mother of one of the officers involved. This brutal state repression was internationally condemned. ASC responded by publishing the communiqué below. The Law was eventually passed by 128 votes to 116 in Congress. The night of the vote, huge cacerolazo protests spontaneously erupted across the country’s urban centres in repudiation of the Law and the state violence that was used to crush the protests. These were particularly large in many middle-class areas.
That’s all for now. Please do share this newsletter and we hope to see you at one of our events!
Argentina Solidarity Campaign