Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Update and latest appeal to support the workers of Zanon

Happy MayDay to all! The Zanon workers of Neuquen in Argentina are at yet another turning point in their struggle, and the time is ripe for another explosion of international support for these brave workers and their inspiring achievements. They have saved their factory from closing, run it without bosses, created hundreds of meaningful democratic jobs, given back to their community, and energetically supported other workers' struggles throughout their country. Please go to the following web page right now, type in your name and email address, and send a message to local politicians with one click. http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=49
And now here's a short update: The Zanon workers and their families have recently and repeatedly been the victims of brutal attacks, torture, death threats and kidnappings. The attackers have used tactics familiar to Argentinians who remember the terror of the violent military dictatorship, right down to the chilling detail of kidnapping and torturing the wife of one of the workers in a green Ford Falcon -­ the very vehicles used by security forces responsible for 30,000 forced disappearances and countless other human rights violations. Two Zanon families have had to leave the city for their own safety. This was all clearly leading up to the climax of the legal battle for the factory. Last week, the judge opened up a process known as a 'cram-down': five days in which new or old owners could make bids to 'buy' the factory for a fraction of its real value. This could have triggered an immediate eviction order, and another crisis at the factory. But no one came forward. It is clear that the deep community support for the workers' struggle, both locally and internationally, has dissuaded those who want to take the factory away from the community that has defended and nurtured it. So now the process can move to the next stage: the judge should declare the bankruptcy once and for all, and hand legal control of the workplace to the Zanon workers and their cooperative (FaSinPat -­ short for Factories Without Bosses). This is not a permanent solution, but it will at least make the situation less precarious, and allow the workers to work without the constant threat of eviction. The only acceptable permanent solution is the definitive recognition of the workers' control of the factory, free of the previous owner's debt. As part of a global movement for social justice, we must defend this inspiring concrete example of those other worlds we know we can create. Let's build a network strong enough to defend FaSinPat!! To receive future updates, join the Zanon alert email list -­ to sign up send an email to cerlac2@yorku.ca with Zanon in the subject line.

Also, don't forget to sign the petition - more than 20,000 people worldwide have already signed: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/zanon/petition.html
And for more information, see the links below: Workers' control of FaSinPat continues despite attacks http://www.hellocoolworld.com/thetake/grassroots/Action/FaSinPat_en.htm
Zanon Factory Worker Kidnapped, Tortured http://argentina.indymedia.org/news/2005/03/271612.php Press Release: Zanon workers in state of alert. judge opens way for vulture funds to take over the factory http://www.hellocoolworld.com/thetake/grassroots/action/press.htm Zanon workers under attack http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2005/623/623p15.htm Zanon, Argentina http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2004-03/18trigona.cfm Death threats against occupying workers in Argentina https://www3.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/03/306048.html Argentina's Factories: Avi Lewis http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2005/200503/20050329.html Occupy, Resist, Produce: Worker Cooperatives in Buenos Aires http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=42&ItemID=7353 Member of Worker-Run Factory in Argentina Was Kidnapped, Tortured http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=42&ItemID=7403 Zanon http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=42&ItemID=6792 The work of changing minds: Recovered factories in Argentina http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=42&ItemID=4702 March in Defense of Zanon http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=42&ItemID=6250

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