From October 12 to November 24, 2008, Colombia's popular movement, led by the country's indigenous organizations, carried out an unprecedented six-week mobilization and march to protest against the government's economic development and military/security policies, as well as the ongoing violations of the rights of indigenous people. The Minga Popular was the beginning of a nation-wide, popular uprising designed to transform Colombian society through coordinated, non-violent mobilization. One of the keys to the success of the 1-1/2 month mobilization was the indigenous community's strategic use of communication technology, which, combined with their traditional communication practices of grassroots assemblies and public consultations, was able to construct an alternative (people's) narrative about their broader struggle to the Colombian people.
The heart of this work was carried out on the community station Radio Payumat, the voice of the indigenous people of Northern Cauca. However, since December 13th, the station has been off the air after an act of ruthless sabotage severely damaged its transmitter, a deliberate attempt to silence the indigenous movement.
ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15th, 2009, the Long Island SOA WATCH, in conjunction with the Cinema Arts Centre of Huntington, Long Island, will hold a special benefit brunch and screening to raise funds for Radio Payumat to help get it back on the air! The event will feature a screening of the Award-winning documentary "We Are Raised with the Staff of Authority in Hand," produced in 2006 by the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca, and presented in major film festivals around the world since then.
After the screening, there will be an open dialogue with: Mario A. Murillo, host of WBAI's Wake Up Call and Associate Professor of Communication at Hofstra University, and Tiokasin Ghosthorse, (Lakota), host of First Voices/Indigenous Radio on WBAI.
Together, with videos and images of the recent mobilization, they will examine the trajectory of the Indigenous and Popular Minga from start to finish, with a focus on the multi-tiered communication practices of the indigenous movement, particularly of the ACIN, one of the leading organizations of the broader national movement.
Sunday, February 15th, 2009 Brunch at 11:00am, Film and Discussion at 12:30pm Cinema Arts Centre 423 Park Avenue in Huntington, New York For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (631)423-7611