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International Solidarity Conference, Melbourne, Oct-07 27 October 2010

Report from Latin America and Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum (LAAPISF)
Melbourne: 11 – 14 October 2007

This tradition of Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference started in Jakarta in 1996, however the meeting was stopped in the middle of the conference by the Indonesia Military, Soeharto regime was still in the power. Some of the members of Luta Hamutuk have personally attended this forum from the beginning. Jakarta was the first forum, the second forum was in Sydney March 2002, the third forum in Sydney as well as in April 2005, and the last forum just happened in Melbourne on 11 – 14 October 2007. The last forum was the first time that it was a joint forum between Latin America and Asia Pacific; previous forums had only been an Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference. The organizer of the forums are the activists from the Social Justice campaigner round, Australia and Indonesia. Those activists are also the people who give their life to support and fighting for the Liberation of East Timor during 24 years. So the link was the history of the solidarity movement who gave their strong solidarity to East Timor before and after independence.

The Forum was convened by a coalition of social justice organizations in Australia who have organized several successful international conferences in recent years (the Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference organizers, the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, the Latin America Solidarity Network, Australia Asia Worker Links, the Bolivarian Circle and Unity for Peace. The aim of this year’s conference is to bring together representatives of social movements, trade unions and other progressive organizations in the Asia Pacific and Latin America to facilitate a sharing of ideas and strengthen mutual friendship and ties.

The Forum was full, with a Plenary, a Major Session and multiple workshops. The Speakers came from several continents around the world like: Farooq Tariq (Pakistan), was in the Plenary of Resisting war and neoliberalism, Cristian Quechupán Huenuñir (Mexico), gave his speech on the major session of The
global influence of the Zapatistas, Dita Sari (Indonesia), Anak Jehudi (West Papuan), as speaker on plenary of Movements of resistance in the Asia Pacific Nelson Davila (Venezuela), Major session on Alternatives to neoliberalism John Chitoa (PNG), Tomas Freitas (Timor-Leste) and Tim Anderson (Australia) was on the major session of Confronting the new colonialism in the Pacific. At the Multiple Workshop, Joaozito Viana from Luta Hamutuk presented the issues of the Pipeline from Greater Sunrise. Zito emphasized that the Pipeline should come to Timor-Leste, because of the rights of the people of Timor-Leste and also unfair for East Timor because Australia already got the Pipeline from Bayu Undan to Wickham Point in Darwin. Zito also expressed if the Pipeline comes to Timor, that will help to solve the unemployment problem and the Government of Timor-Leste will prepare some skills training for the young people to work on that industry.

The Latin America and Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum are really useful for Luta Hamutuk members to participate, in maintaining the relationship between activists in the Pacific region, and to update what’s going on in each pacific country. And also for this time we are happy to have new contacts with some solidarity movements from Latin American countries, and we hope this tradition of solidarity movements will remain strong and give new spirit to those who are still fighting for Social Justice in this unfair World.