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Hidden with code "Submitted as Feature"
News :: Human Rights
100+ Person Rally at Seaboard Corp. Office: Return the Land Now!
31 Jul 2004
Modified: 02:57:15 PM
"Here we are with Harry Bresky’s office behind us, and we’re here to say, ‘Give it back, Harry.’ The Ava Guarani and Kolla communities have made an urgent appeal for international solidarity. We have heard the appeal, and today we act upon it." This is one of many lines in an educational skit delivered today on the steps of the office of the Seaboard Corporation’s President and CEO, Harry Bresky, in Brookline, MA. Over one hundred activists gathered to express their disgust about Seaboard Corp’s complicity in the displacement of the Ava Guarani and Kolla communities from Salta, Argentina and allowing brutal repression of those re-occupying their native land.
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Though the indigenous struggle in Argentina was the focus of the action, people also spoke out about indigenous struggles in the US and all over the world. These statements were important in recognizing the mutuality of international solidarity and how much inspiration activists in the US can gain and how we can learn from indigenous struggles. Important connections were also made about Seaboard’s pork industry that is known for animal cruelty on a massive scale in their factory pork farms in the US, and about the corporation’s abuses of government subsidies, corporate welfare (public tax $) and tax cuts.

The action was in collaboration with the DNC2RNC march (http://RNC2DNC.org), which began a 258 mile march today at the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention and will end up at the Republican National Convention in New York City. The goal "to move beyond the duality of electoral politics and to celebrate grassroots activism and community awareness" manifested itself today in the support of the Stop Seaboard Campaign (http://WoGAN.org/seaboard.html).

Background on the situation in Salta, Argentina:
Three indigenous communities in Salta are presently resisting the theft of their resources.

-- In 1996 Seaboard bought the sugar plantation and refinery, San Martín de Tabacal, introduced new "efficient" technology, and fired 6,000 workers who remain unemployed. The sugar plantation has destroyed what was once the most fertile and ecologically significant forest in Argentina, to plant cash crops of sugarcane and soy, at the same time displacing the indigenous community from their homes and livelihood.

-- When the Ava Guaraní, of Hipolito Yrigoyen, reoccupied their ancestral land, La Loma, last September, 2003, they were violently evicted at gunpoint. When their complaint was not heard by the provincial government, they marched to the national capital where they have continued the legal process for ownership of the land.

-- In March 2004, 37 families from the community of Banda Norte were forced to camp by the side of the road, after their homes and crops were bulldozed by the sugar company on an eviction order later nullified by a judge. However, the community is suffering the consequences of their crops lost (us$4,000 of damage) and defending themselves from the company’s offer to buy the land.

-- The community of Banda Sur confronted the company bulldozers with a human barrier and machetes to prevent the destruction of their crops. They have organized a collective soup kitchen and rotating shifts for the human barrier. They are pursuing the legal process of recognized ownership of the 180 hectares where they live.

For more photos, go to:
http://worcester.indymedia.org/news/2004/07/120.php

More information can be found here:
http://www.WoGAN.org/seaboard.html (in English)
http://www.alerta-salta.org.ar (mostly Spanish)

For news in Spanish on the situation in Argentina:
http://www.lavaca.org
http://www.argentina.indymedia.org
http://www.capenoa.org.ar
signs1.jpg
See also:
http://www.WoGAN.org/seaboard.html
http://worcester.indymedia.org/news/2004/07/120.php

This work is in the public domain