Movement, United Kingdom

This weekend: Latin America 2010

With the convention just days away, it’s time to highlight the immensely useful, holistic view of the region that this conference will give to its attendees—in the realms of politics, the environment, human rights, empowerment, justice and activism.

This Saturday, on 4 December 2010, a full-day of panels, workshops, discussions and films will take place in Boliviar Hall, London, covering the most vital aspects in understanding Latin America today. To commence the event, the first plenary of three will be held, initiating the day with a large collection of important leaders from the most influential unions and organisations presently active.

From 10AM to 11AM, we will hear from speakers for the first plenary, including Brendan Barber, Trade Union Congress’ General Secretary; proactive president of Stop the War Coalition, Tony Benn; Guardian columnist with first-hand accounts from the Middle East, eastern Europe, Russia, South Asia and Latin America, Seumas Milne; National Union of Teachers General Secretary and socialist Christine Blower; plus Green member of European parliament Jean Lambert.

Seminars will be held in the next block, from 11:05AM to 12:05PM, discussing eight different provocative topics, including ‘The Media Representation of Latin America, which will discuss corporate control over the media in the US and its negative portrayals of progressive government in Latin America, led by Seumas Milne alongside British socialist and feminist Hilary Wainwright and others.

Another of the many stimulating discussions held during this time will be ‘Climate Justice and the global climate change negotiations,’ covering Bolivia’s social and indigenous movements in protecting the environment juxtapose the efforts of events like the international talk last year in Copenhagen.

Other seminars during this block include ‘ALBA and development In Latin America,’ ‘Haiti & the Caribbean: the earthquake and beyond,’ ‘Venezuela Today: empowering the people and social inclusion,’ ‘No to the US militarization of Latin America,’ and more.

Following these workshops, the second plenary will be held, featuring representatives from multiple different countries in Latin America. Guest speakers include Esther Armenteros  Ambassador for the Republic of Cuba and the Charge D’Affaris of Nicaragua, Guisell Morales-Echaverry.

Following the second plenary, an eventful lunch will be held from 1:15PM to 2:40PM, where there will be a showing of Oliver Stone’s ‘South of the Border,’ a documentary about Latin American politicians and their relations with the US from left-wing, Latin American perspectives as well as the option to talk with students and young trade union activists about building solidarity with Latin America.

After lunch, the second block of seminars will be held, inspiring discussion in specific regions of Latin America.  Seminars during this time will be from 2:30PM to 3:40PM and include ‘Venezuela today: Empowering the people and social inclusion,’ ’21st century Cuba: economic development and labour relations,’ ‘NICARAGUA: The life and legacy of Augusto Cesar Sandino & Blanca Stella Arauz,’ and ‘Mexico/Central America: Too close to the US,’ a discussion of the United States’ invasive hand in Latin American affairs.

Also during this time, the second film of the day will be shown titled, ‘Quien dijo Miedo?’ a film about the Honduran people’s resistance against the military coup of 28 June 2009, with an introduction and discussion led by Pablo Navarrete, director of ‘Inside the Revolution: A Journey into the Heart of Venezuela.’

After these engaging discussions, the third plenary will be held, with a lineup of the major political players in the game today. British labour politician and Mayor of London from 2000-2008, Ken Livingstone will be present, alongside the leader of the Respect Party, Salma Yaqoob and the General Secretary of the University and College Union Sally Hunt.

Though the conference comes to an end at 5 PM, there will be an evening fiesta held afterward at Boliviar Hall, with music, dancing, cocktails and special guests. Book in advance by 020 8800 0155 or online.

‘Latin America 2010′ will be held on 4 December 2010 from 9:30 AM to 5 PM at the Congress House on Great Russel Street, London, WC1Y. To view a full program of the event or book tickets, visit http://www.latinamericaconference.org.uk/. Or: Cuba Solidarity Campaign: www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk – Venezuela Information Centre www.vicuk.org

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