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Ágora TV is born


Saludos Compañeras/os, We are writing to inform you that Grupo Alavío has just premiered several new films and launched the brand new Internet Community TV Station Ágora TV, www.agoratv.org. We are working to let as many people as we can know about Ágora TV, “a window for freedom and a new working class imagery”. Visit the site to watch documentaries and news from Latin America. It is a great way for people around the world to learn about current struggles and to create networks. A member of Alavío is going to be travelling to the US and would like to sell videos to raise funds for Ágora TV. If anyone is interested in acquiring copies, please contact me this week. I’m leaving next week for the US and can take the copies with me. Grupo Alavío, Argentine direct action and video collective has participated in working class struggles and supported them with audio-visual materials for over 15 years. Grupo Alavío has produced over 50 films dealing with many social conflicts: occupied factories, unemployed worker organizations, political prisoners, Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, subway workers struggling for a 6 hour workday, art and Iraq. Alavío just launched the internet community TV station, www.agoratv.org Contact info: www.alavio.org [email protected] or Marie, [email protected] A list of material that we have in DVD (NTSC format with English subtitles) *******1. Argentina 30 years after the coup (compilation of short films)****Premier This March 24, Argentines commemorated the 30 year anniversary of the nation’s 1976 military coup and the brutal nightmare of state terror that followed. Letter to the Military Junta, 6min, 1996, Grupo Alavío Rodolfo Walsh wrote the “Open Letter to the Military Junta” on the first anniversary of the military coup in 1977 reporting the tortures, mass killings, and thousands of disappearances. The political writer was disappeared just one day after the letter was distributed. This 6 minute video essay reconstructs Walsh’s powerful report, imagery from the bloody dictatorship and the writer’s disappearance. Escrache a Videla, 12min, 2006, Grupo Alavío Events to mark the 30 years since Argentina’s military junta kicked off with an escrache or “exposure” protest against the coup’s first dictator, Jorge Rafael Videla. Over 10,000 people participated in the protest in front of Videla’s home, where he is under house arrest in connection with numerous charges of human rights abuse. Human rights group H.I.J.O.S. brought a crane and gave the ending remarks directly in front of Videla’s fifth floor apartment. Memories of Struggle and Resistance: Rio Santiago Ship Yard, 10min, 2006, Grupo Alavío The dictatorship attempted wiped out an entire generation of working-class resistance, which the nation decades later is still recovering. This year for the first time, over 1,500 workers from the Rio Santiago Ship Yard in Buenos Aires commemorated the ship yard’s 48 disappeared. 2. For a 6 hour workday For a 6 hour workday, 20min, 2004 Reducing the workday to six hours with a salary increase for all workers would create jobs for more than 3 million unemployed and lift many out of poverty. Subway workers who have been organizing wildcat strikes for salary increases have spearheaded Argentina’s movement for a six-hour workday. In 2003, subway workers (in all sectors from ticket office to train drivers) won a six-hour workday. Since this victory, subway workers, other labor conflicts, economists and unemployed workers organizations have formed a movement for a 6-hour workday for all workers, with increased salaries. The campaign also demands the release of political prisoners and the definitive expropriation of all recuperated enterprises. 3. La Foresta belongs to the workers La Foresta belongs to the workers, 52min, 2005 The film tells the story of a group of workers who are fighting to recuperate La Foresta meatpacking plant in La Matanza, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires city. Most of the factory’s employees have worked their for decades, through the good times and bad times. In 1999, the plant went bust, a series of businessmen rented the facilities, making quick profits and then abandoning the factory for greener pastures. In January 2005, the last such renter, MEYPACAR, told the remaining 186 workers that the plant would be closing temporily for renovations. MEYPACAR never reopened the plant. Grupo Alavío’s film follows the 70 workers who’ve put up a legal fight to keep their factory and start up production without a boss or owner, under worker-self management. 4. The Face of Dignity, Memories of MTD Solano The Face of Dignity, A Memory of MTD (Unemployed Workers Movement) of Solano 58 minutes, 2002 In the shambles of an economically ruined Argentina, a new practice of protest emerged, blockading roads. Since 1997, what is now known as the unemployed workers movement has taken root. Without access to the factory and utility of tools for liberation—strike, sabotage, and occupying the factory, unemployed workers sought out new practices for struggle. Today road blockades are used to prevent merchandise from arriving to the market. Through these means, unemployed workers demand the right to work and dignified salaries. One of the most important experiences that emerged in these years was Unemployed Workers Movement-MTD (Movimiento de Trabajadores Desocupados) in Solano (inside Quilmes, a city in the province of Buenos Aires). MTD’s formation was based on the principles of horizontalism, direct democracy, autonomy from the state and power, and the integral political formation among members. Work, capacitation, democratic debate of ideas, sharing life in the struggle for work, dignity and social change are some of this memory’s content. 5. Compañeras Compañeras, 45min, 2005 Compañeras brings together four working women who give testimony of their lives and daily struggles. MAGDALENA, works on a small farm in the province of San Juan. KARINA is a train conductor. REGINA lives n Villa Fiorito, she collects cardboard from the streets, classifies and then sells it. NINA is a militant from the 70’s, during which she exiled from Argentina to Nicaragua and participated in the Sandanista revolution. Stories that mix with other history, women who revidicate their identity as workers, but without easing to be mothers, without giving up the struggle, continuing to be compañeras. 6. Zanon (Constructing resistance) Zanon (building resistence), 18min, 2003 Argentina’s Patagonian province of Neuquén, is home of the Zanon ceramics factory. In 2001 Zanon’s owner fired the workers and abandoned the factory for greener pastures. After resisting outside the plant, the group of workers decide collectively to recuperate and put the plant to produce. Since 2001, the workers at Zanon have occupied and managed the plant, which is Latin America’s largest ceramics factory. Today, the plant employs 473 workers, more than 200 of whom were hired after the plant came under worker control. In the film, Zanon ceramists narrate their day-to-day work, struggles and hopes to continue production under worker control. 7. Organizing Resistance (Chronicles of Freedom, Martin, Recuperating Our Work) Chronicles of Freedom (organizing resistance) , 45min, 2002 June 26, 2002 two activists Darío Santillán-22 and Maximiliano Kosteki-25 from Argentina’s unemployed workers’ movement were killed during a road blockade of Pueyrredón Bridge in police repression. The repression was part of a known and announced government plan to control growing social protest. 33 were wounded from lead bullets, 160 detained and hundreds injured from rubber bullets. Unquestionably, the deaths and repression have left an unforgettable mark on the movement—generating internal debates and self-criticisms. Chronicles of Freedom provides a space for protagonists and this particular audience to see themselves represented and reflecting own practice of struggle. Within interviews, the film’s protagonists generate debates surrounding the right to identity, self-defense and organizing to confront state repression. Martín, 2002, 7 minutes Synopsis: Martín, 27 years old, Argentine, brother, compañero from the barrio Florida in Solano was killed during a fight with a neighbor. The experimental narration explores inner-violence and questions the absurdity of the system’s violence that is imposed on us. “Some day, some day soon this hate among pairs, among equals will be replaced, it will convert itself into a struggle for liberation. We will clearly identify the enemy and put an end to exploitation. That day, along with Martín on the corner, we will remember the road blockades, we will laugh and toast to freedom.” Recuperando nuestro trabajo, 2003, 18min Argentina’s worker occupied factory movement has been an example of resistance for workers all over the world. In response to the process of deindustrialization and flexible labor markets, thousands of workers have said enough to exploitation of the working class by bosses and owners. “Taking this factory to produce without an owner, producing without bosses is what’s important for us,” worker from occupied factory Del Valle Caramics. 8. Resistance in Iraq: Perspectives in Video, 2004, 25min 9. Obreras en lucha (The struggle of Brukman workers). Spanish with ENGLISH SUBTITLES This documentary tells the story of the "recuperation" of Brukman textile factory in Buenos Aires by its workers, after its owners decided to close it down in December 2001. Workers (most of them women) decided to occupy the plant on December 18, 2001 to protest their reducing and delayed salaries. Only two days after, the economic and political crisis exploded in Argentina. From that moment on, with the support of unions, workers, popular assemblies and people in general workers managed to keep the factory working until the police expelled them from the factory. This documentary contains impressive images of the expulsion of the workers from the factory by the police in 2003, the massive popular protests which followed and the brutal repression with which Duhalde’s government replied. It contains as well interviews with workers and images from the assemblies at the factory. 10. 1 de Mayo (Resitance of a love) 1 de Mayo (resistance of a love, 7 min, 2004: Video poem narrating the marks left behind from an encounter, love, reconstruction and resistance. 11. Hotel BAUEN: Workers’ Cooperative The BAUEN Workers’ Cooperative, 20min, 2004 The Hotel BAUEN was an emblematic symbol of neoliberalism in Argentina. The hotel was constructed in 1978, in the glory of the military dictatorship, with government loans and subsidies. In the height of Argentina’s economic meltdown, the owners ransacked the hotel and closed the hotel’s doors, leaving the workers in the streets. In March 21, 2003 the workers decided to occupy the hotel. The workers cleaned up the hotel and slowly began to rent out services. With over 150 workers employed at the hotel, BAUEN hotel has become a symbol for the working class. "With worker self-management/organization we are in a process of creating workers in solidarity, people who aren’t only worried about a wage. Instead they’re trying to improve social conditions, culturally and politically," explains Marcelo. BAUEN cooperative is a real example of a group of workers planting seeds so that future generations can create new social relations. 12. Music in Solidarity with Zanon, 90min This film was produced as part of a video work shop for the workers. Music in solidarity with Zanon: musicians León Gieco, Rally Barrionuevo, Ciro (Ataque 77) and other artists performed a concert in December, 2004. The workers organized the super event, with more than 10,000 supporters from the community of Neuquén. Les mandamos el listado de titulos que tenemos en DVD (NTSC) con subtitulos en Ingles. Estreno: *****30 años después la dictadura militar (memoria y lucha)****** 1. Por una jornada laboral de 6 horas 2. La Foresta es de los trabajadores 3. El Rostro de la dignidad, memorias del MTD de Solano 4. Compañeras 5. Zanon: Experiencias communitarias (varios cortos) 6. Organizando Resistencia (Cron. de libertad, Martin, Recuperando Nuestro Trabajo) 7. Resistencia en Irak: Perspectivas en video 8. Brukman: Obrer@s en Lucha 9. 1 de mayo (resistencia de un amor) 10. BAUEN (varios cortos) 11. Recital solidario en Zanon

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