portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article creative global

alternative media

The Take, una pelicula por Avi Lewis y Naomi Klein

The Take (2004) - A film by Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein\
una pelicula por Avi Lewis y Naomi Klein

Reclaiming the means of Production in post IMF Argentina\ Repuesto de las fabricas en Argentina despues del FMI

Thursday\Jueves, June 7th, 7pm
Liberty Hall
311 N Ivy
See analysis below the film announcement on Venezuela's RCTV by Megan Hise.

>From the website
 http://www.thetake.org/index.php
Desde el sitio  http://www.thetake.org/index.php

In the wake of Argentina's dramatic economic collapse in 2001, Latin
America's most prosperous middle class finds itself in a ghost town of
abandoned factories and mass unemployment. The Forja auto plant lies
dormant until its former employees take action. They're part of a daring
new movement of workers who are occupying bankrupt businesses and
creating jobs in the ruins of the failed system.

Despues de la implosion dramatica de la economia en Argentina de 2001,
la clase media mas rico de latinoamerica se encontraba en un estado de
fabricas abandonadas y desempleado massiva. La fabrica de automoviles
"Forja" se acostaba en silencio hasta sus empleados anteriores tomaron
accion. Ellos son parte de un movimiento listo de trabajadores que
estan ocupando empresas falencias y creando trabajo adentro las ruinas
del sistema fallado.

The Bolivarian Media Exchange, a subcommittee of the Portland Central
America Solidarity Committee (www.pcasc.net), was inspired by the
democratic media movement that is an integral part of the
revolutionary process in Venezuela. We began as the Venezuela media
exchange, and quickly found that there was a desire to exchange and
distribute independent media in solidarity with people's movements
throughout the Americas. For us, 'bolivarian' symbolizes that reach of
the democratic socialist people's movements that are leading Latin
America and the world to an alternative future.

El Intercambio de Medios Bolivariano, un comite de PCASC
(www.pcasc.net), se inspiro del movimiento de medios democraticos que
forma una parte integral del proceso revolucionario venezolano.
Empezamos como el Intercambio de Medios de Venezuela y rapidamente
encontramos que habia un deseo para intercambiar y distribuir medios
independientes en solidaridad con los movimientos populares a traves de
las Americasc. En nuestra opinion, el bolivarianismo simboliza la
capacidad de los movimientos democraticos y socialistas populares para
llevar a Latinoamerica y el mundo hacia un futuro alternativo.

** *** **

RCT... Vas?

A gringa in Venezolanophile's perspective

by Megan Hise, PCASC activist in Venezuela

If you are paying attention to what has been sailing through the
mainstream media about RCTV and Chavez these days you are probably
wondering how the darling child of the left turned into a repressive
opponent of the freedom of expression. Here are some of my insights
having been walking the streets of Caracas for the past 6 months or
so...

Radio Caracas Television is one of the oldest channels in Venezuela.
The people grew up with it's programming and remember it with the kina
of nostalgia we hold for TGIF on ABC. The concession, or license to
transmit, was originally granted to the station owners under the
dictatorship of Carlos Andres Perez that ended in 1958. It is a
cultural icon, much more so than stations like Globovision (aka
Globoterror as it is called by the left). It is both popular and
popular, meaning everybody watches it, especially the folks in the
barrios. It is not much different from our network television in the
quality and variety of its programming and therefore as guilty of
stupefying and contributing to public apathy as any one of our beloved
channels here in the US.

RCTV was one of the media outlets complicit in the opposition's failed
coup attempt and faux-general strike (again known popularly as the
boss's strike or lockout). Leading up to and during these intense
periods of political turmoil these stations failed to cover and
broadcast the reality at hand, choosing instead to use the materials
at their disposal to psychologically manipulate views and causing a
virtual media blackout.

In pre-election analysis in Caracas in November it was observed that,
facing the imminent expiration of their concessions, many media
outlets increased the outright viciousness of their oppositional bias,
banking their future on a loss for Chavez.

Chavez did not lose, however, he is facing an uphill battle in his
attempt to consolidate this whole 21st Century Socialism thing. The
timing Chavez's discourse announcing his refusal to renew the RCTV
concession was not coincidental, just days after his controversial
proposal to create the Partido Socialista Unico de Venezuela, which
later evolved into the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (the "one
and only" became the "united")

Chavistas cheered while the opposition gnashed its terrible teeth (and
lots lots more). Many were saying that RCTV did not deserve its
concession because of its terribly undemocratic and dangerous
programming during the coup. The government however denied that the
decision not to renew was not based on the dissenting political views
of the channel, but rather on repeated violations of the media
regulations passed in 2004. Things like decency and honesty.
Here is a link to an article written by Eva Gollinger about that:
 http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1295

The famous attempted coup against Chavez occurred in response to the
first "enabling law" which gave Chavez powers to push through some
famous reforms clutch bills that are now celebrated by most lefties.
In light of this second "enabling" law, it appears that Chavez has
drawn a line in the sand and dared the opposition to try again. The
line being the enforcement of the media reform laws passed after the
destabilization attempts of 2002. Both the opposition and the
Chavista political machine have deliberately framed the RCTV issue to
their respective advantages, creating a battle ground around which to
organize and mobilize their bases. For Chavez, RCTV is an emblem of
the "Cuarta Republica", a relic of the old oligarchy. For the
opposition it is a trusted institution, a symbol of liberty and
culture.

To come to terms with this issue, I think it is necessary to recognize
the contradictions, or many realities, of this socialist process.

First off, "socialism" has to entail some degree of government control
of the economy and society, right? It is also important to highlight
that the 21st century socialism idea circulating Venezuela places
emphasis on popular power, that the people hold the reigns.

We must also understand note that the Venezuelan people have
been victims of a media war for years and years. The experience of
the coup and lockout have demonstrated that revolution not only
requires controlling the means of production, but also the means of
communication.

So, as we try to take the means of production, moving a little bit to
control the distribution of wealth...will we notice tension around the
sacredness of private property? YES

As we try to reshape media to be of the people, by the people, for the
people, will there be shouting around freedom of expression? YES

And what if we take on a giant corporation (3,000 or so employees)
that is AT THE SAME TIME a powerful media outlet?
Conflict is inevitable.

And conflict there is. We are hearing accounts of violence and rioting
as students demonstrate for freedom of expression. Unfortunately, the
analysis coming from my Venezuelan contacts, especially those who come
from the world of community media, is that these protests are not an
authentic explosion of popular dissent. Rather they are a response to
calculated agitation on the part of the opposition to manipulate the,
for instance, students into a frenzy, the goal of which is to destabilize Chavez as he tries to move one more step forward towards what they like to call "cubanization" as he likes
to call "rumbo al socialismo."

On the front lines of the battle in Caracas,
grassroots organizations like remind us that the Bolivarian process is not
the "Chavez show", and that the political landscape is anything but
binary. They say enough with the private media giants, and eschew
the media of the state as well. Although they support the closure
of RCTV, they are not fighting media controlled by the state.
Instead, they are building a movement for independent, community
controlled media.

It is a different model, one where media is
really a mirror that reflects the realities of our lives and
neighborhoods so that we can understand and appreciate who we are and where we
are going. The ultimate goal is television, radio, and print
that are first honest, and second, aim to meet our cultural and
educational needs instead of selling us destructive lifestyles.

Looking at the RCTV story from this angle, I feel
called to take the streets and shout, loud and proud, R-C-T-Vas!