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Audio and review of Boliva Solidarity gig

r2r / rampART radio | 12.02.2006 15:27 | Culture | Indymedia | Workers' Movements | London | World

A bunch of audio files including traditional bolivian music, an interview with a member of the Bolivia Solidarity Campaign, plus a little bit of Attila The Stockbroker...

On saturday night (11th Feb), I went along to The Red Lion in Camberwell for a benefit gig for the Bolivia Solidarity Campaign who are raising money to send a trade union delegation to Bolivia at Easter.

Over the past 5 years, massive social movements have formed in Bolivia in response to a US influenced rush to privatise virtually everything in the country, particularly gas and water. These grassroots movements have responded by forcing out multinational corporations and governments alike through uprisings, general strikes and mass road blocks.

The proceeds from the evening, which must have been quite substantial with a 7 pound door tax and 2.80 for beer, will sponsor a delegation to Bolivia to meet, witness and spread the word and support the Bolivian people's inspirational struggle against privatisation and the progress of the unstoppable Social Movements.

The Red Lion was the coldest place I have been in ages and looked like a squat but apparently is run by the same people who run the venu Jamm nearby. Social surrealist punk poet, Attila the Stockbroker performed, along with The Risinators, and Naked Ruby, plus a bunch if DJ's. More interesting for me was a touch of latin american culture with the Bolivian folk band Espression Boliva playing evocative, indigenous songs that soon got people dancing. Later in the evening there was a traditional costumed dance performance which has been used by miners and their families for hundreds of years to win the favor and protection of the god of the underground.

Additionally there were films shown about the various uprisings in Boliva over the last few years but sadly these were played without sound in a room with a DJ spinning cheesy dance tracks. This all seemed rather surreal and shallow with girls dancing round their handbags while images of running battles with the police appeared on the screen not as some kind of VJ mash up but as an indymedia documentary about struggles which have seen over a hundred people killed.

I interviewed one of the delegates and asked him about the role of indymedia bolivia and the appeal for donation of old laptops, digital cameras etc.

The trade unions in Bolivia, who are playing a key role in the incredible struggle against privatisation, are urgently in need of more communications equipment. At the moment, through lack of contact with groups outside Bolivia, they feel very isolated and also feel that no-one knows about their struggle. Few have access to camera or computers, so they can't even communicate with the wider global movement over the net.

There are plans to take at least 20 laptops, and as many cameras and phones as they can carry. Even broken phones are useful, as they can recycle them for parts! If you or or your group/union/organisation has any laptops, phones or cameras you are no longer using. You can take them to the new campaign office at 21-22 Russell Square, or email

r2r / rampART radio


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