[Pga_europe_process] Re: [caravan99] PGA / ESF / LARC Report

Diañu Burlon dianhuburlon at gmx.net
Thu Oct 21 19:44:26 CEST 2004

Dear West Essex Zapatista, West India Zapatista or We'Sex Zapatista,

I think I am making you quite happy by answering your email, which is in 
fact the only thing that in my opinion you are looking for: atention and 
I know I should remind silent and completely ignore you, but I also 
think  the fair thing with myself in my relation with you is to answer your 
email for last time, trying to put ALL my points and MY RELATION with you 
on the table. I will not read any more your emails, since I can not find 
anything constructive in them, but provocation and durty politics. Simply 
this is my personal way to close a door and to let you know why I am never 
going to attend your provocative and bad intentioned meetings. Take this as 
my appologizing note you are demmanding from people who didn't want to 
attend your meeting about "institutionalist racism in pga". So, you are 
free to send this email to the people who attend that meeting.

Just I want to point now, for the intelligent people which will not read 
further this boring and unnecesary email, that I don't have "power" in the 
Asia process. Something that people like Asim and Fabian can not understand 
(idiomatic spanish expression: "think the thief that everyone is a thief"). 
I am working in the support group of Asia, which its main target is to 
dissapair. We can not write political documents, neither take decisions. We 
are just working as technical people, doing our best supporting the process 
we believe we are part of. We are five people quite familiar with social 
movement in Asia and working in issues there for years. In fact I am one of 
the people from this group who less acquirence have with Asian culture. For 
example I am just in my first steps on the language learning. We are not in 
power struggle, but trying to make a work to change things, being part of 
the struggle there as our own personal choice. I have moved to India in 
January this year for personal reasons and I am getting involved in local 
struggles, apart of working for farmers international network.
Clearly, it is difficult for you both to understand that people are working 
without ambition of power or status. Just working. But that is your 
problem, not mine.

1. Naive

I think I was very, very naive after Belgrade with you and specially after 
I arrived in Amsterdam and I was told that you were quite constructive and 
positive in a different space, which some of my friends shared with you. 
Then I thought that maybe I was mistaken you and I wrote to Fabian, 
apologizing for my reaction in an angry mood to him, instead of being 
silent of answering in a more objective way. In fact I was looking for 
meeting you in London and have the opportunity to speak deeper with you. 
Huge mistake, big dissapoitment.

I travelled back from Belgrade in the van you were driving. As I was 
sitting between you both (Asim on my left and Fabian on my right), and Asim 
started very polite to speak with me, I get into a normal conversation with 
you. A conversation I found quite normal and even with a lot of try 
to  mutual understanding.
It was clear in that conversation that you didn't have a clue what are the 
issues of Asia, not the reality of rural areas (i would say also urban, as 
for example slams). So i wanted to take your emails (very naive from my 
part) as a simple and total ignorance, mixture with a touch of arrogance. 
Nothing serious, everyone of us have limitations and make mistakes, which 
can  be repaired with a bit of well intentioned exchange of understanding, 
opinions and open minds. Again I was mistaken. You were not at all 
interested in that. This is clear for me now.

2. Small problems during travel coming from Belgrade.
Two main things made me quite furious during that travel. But I have to say 
that this is very subjective and personal. Anyway, after arriving in 
Amsterdam, I must say that I still thought I could make a try to understand 
your behivor and your point of views.

The first thing that made me mad was the skin of that poor animal. I opened 
the back door of the van and I was horrifed. I didn't know what happened. I 
screemed for help thinking that we had killed a poor animal. Then Asim came 
laughing. It was "a mascot" giving by anarcish friends, I undertood. It was 
the entire skin of a poor small animal, with its legs, and entire face. 
This horrible things that high class  asshole women put around their necks. 
I found it so cruel I just wanted to cry. It was very shocked to me. 
Specially when you were laughting at me because of my reaction. I couldn't 
and can't find anything funny about it, sorry. I am in love with animal, 
and I can not understand that cruelty shit. Politicaly it is for me, also, 

The second "problem" happened the last day, few ours before I got down to 
the van to get my train to Amsterdam. I was drinking a hot chocolate, more 
sleepy than awake, when you, Asim, came to me asking me to be included in 
the Asian list. I answering that you have to write to the list or to the 
moderator for that. First I was surprise that you were surprise of me not 
being the moderator of that list. But I was more surprise when inmediatly, 
before I couldn't open my mouth, I was called imperialist, herarquical, 
fascist and a long more "ist" from the woman part of your group. I was 
called all those things, as an accusation for the lack of thousands of 
people on the list. Of course, this is not the way some one could imaginate 
a question regarding a process. If you were less eager to insult and 
deslegitimate and more eager to understand, I could explain that in the 
farmers movement, computer are not the means of main communications, since 
the farmers, indigenous and workers of trade unions don't have computers at 
home. Neither the few office we count with, have a 24 hours internet 
conexion. I could try to explain you that the way of organizing and take 
decisions in grassroot organizations with thousand or even milloens of 
members are not internet discussions. But of course, I can understand that 
for some europeans, which have never visit a rural region and rural 
struggle can have the vision that internet is THE communication tool, and 
can not understand living without it. Oh, sorry, I forgot you, Asim, come 
from Pakistan.

In Belgrade we (Yudhvir Sing from BKU India, current convenor from South 
Asia and me) have to bear your propaganda in a dinA4, calling us 
imperialist and I can not remember the rest of the shit in that paper. You 
were complaing for the autonomus status of the regions, comparing that with 
feudalist, imperialist and I don't know what else. One of the stupid 
argument you use for it was that we didn't answer one of your request, 
which you put in the web page of pga. First this is showing the huge amount 
of ego and arrogance you have. You are desligitimazing a entire proccess of 
struggles coordination of huge social movement in Asia, just because we 
don't check web page. Just because we don't have time or whatever other 
reason, to answer YOU. Guau, what a crime!! What imperialist behivor!!! How 
can PGA work with such horrible movements that not answering to Fabian and 
Asim request inmediatly?  No doubt. All people working in Asia were racist 
against Asim, because he was a black people from Pakistan.
Not answering to that post in the PGA web, brought a brutal attack against 
the entire region, the work of the region on gender and the autonomy of the 

Further, using as a weapon his origin, Asim was manipulating people, who 
lack of knowledge of Asia and told everyone in Belgrade that Asia process 
was imperialist because we have chosen an Indian farmer organization as 
convenors for South Asia. Indian farmer organization!!!! My god, how could 
we do such horrible thing? Don't we know what is happening among Pakistan 
and India in Kashmir? Of course, we should have asked Asim for a better 
political choice. But maybe Asim doesn't understand that people and social 
movements are different than goverments. Maybe we should remind Asim the 
history of Pakistan and Bangladesh and the war of independence of 
Bangladesh from Pakistan on 71, when Pakistan was raping and killing 
thousands of women of Bangladesh and...Maybe Asim can not understand yet 
what the struggle is and what the side of the social movement are, quite 
far from goverments and their criminal policies. Maybe Asim hasn't realize 
yet that we are not political parties, not part of the goverments but at 
the contrary.
The less important question of course, to argument against West Essex 
Zapatista attack, but just to show another example of their total ignorance 
in the Asian process, is that Pakistan is still not really involve in PGA 
Asian. There are some contact we are developing, but they are still not 
active in the process. Just to mention it.
Meanwhile, as Asim was in his way to understand these things, he made a 
fantastic job deslegitimazing the Asian process and destroying confidence 
of people in the struggle of Asia. He insulted Yudhvir and made people 
untrust him, ONLY BECAUSE HE WAS INDIAN. I don't know others, but I would 
call this RACIST.

The attack of West Essex Zapatistas against the PGA Asian process started 
after they sent a horrible insulting email to the European list. In this 
email they called us sexist among other things. They complained that we 
were"excluding" women from meetings, since we were developing a work of 
masculinity only with men. First I find quite manipulated the way they 
write things. But not entering in the discussion on masculinity work or 
not, just knowing a bit about Asian rural realities, anyone with more than 
two fingers of brain, would understand the necesity of such work in Asia. 
Women are depending of men decisions to be able just to attend women 
workshop. In rural areas (and in many urban realities), husband can easily 
forbid women to attend any women meeting, even to go out of the house. It 
is very important that men are aware of the problem, specially leaders of 
social movement. I don't go to explain here the entire process of gender 
work with social movements in Asia. It would be enough to say that there is 
a different reality. But West Essex Zapatistas were not worried about the 
struggle there or the situation, they were only trying to get us angry and 
to get attention. And with the attention power. Again it was clear that a 
black Pakistani was  able neither  to see the reality in the villages of 
Pakistan, neither in other urban or rural parts of Asia, nor the strategies 
used in Asia to work against the situation of women there.

We were also acussed of ussing "experts". Clearly you think that anyone can 
go to a social movement and give a workshop. Of course, you have never hear 
before what it is called popular education and popular education tools, as 
drama, videos or participative and interactive visual workshops. And that 
it requires people who knows how to do it. Again, your "confrontational 
actitude" came from a total ignorance and eager to attention and power.
Clearly for me that email was a very sexist email, against the women in 
Asia and the way they are working there. Two men just desligitimaze a very 
complicated and hard work with deal with serious matters. But of course, 
now they will say that there is a woman in their group. A woman who never 
writes anything, and who is completely invisualize by the other two men in 
the collective. But of course, this is the problem on your collective, not 
Asian PGA one.

I was so idiot, that I answered that email in a very angry and at the same 
time funny mood. We were in the office in Dhaka, and I read to everyone the 
email. People were between angry and laughting and we decided just to 
answer something. Big mistake, that clearly I regret, and I apologize for 
it. Specially because not knowing from which kind of collective come, I 
took for granted the danger of people taking serious that email and start 
the problems among the regions. I apologize to all people in the European 
process, because it was clear a very unfair and unrespectful email to the 
European process and European people involved in it.

5. RACIST and "white" Asim.
As an answer of my four angry lines to the email from West Essex 
Zapatistas, they send an amazing racist email against Asian movement.
In my email I pointed that the text was picked up from an application form 
we had sent to a funding NGO, and we didn't have time to elaborate a more 
political language correct one, changing for example the world "expert" to 
a something like "workhop facilitator" or "trained people in popular 
Manipulating this, West Essex Zapatistas, acussed the Asian movement of 
begging for money to Europeans, and when one european collective would not 
have money to give, then the asian movement would ignore them. After all 
colonialist history, all explotation that Asia have suffered from European 
States, receiving an email calling us "beggars" because of solidarity call 
on economical support to a leftist collectives, is something more than 
unbearable. If that is not RACIST, I don't know how to discribe it. But how 
can I always forget that Asim is BLACK Pakistani?
But would you not call racist to exploit your origin to be able to insult 
other asiatic people with racist emails?
Maybe Asim doesn't realize that in North India there are people whiter than 
me, but promise I am "whiter". Maybe Asim still hasn't realize that the 
color of the skin, the sex of the people come more from the culture than 
from the real color or sex. Maybe Margaret Tacher is a woman, but I promise 
she is a "man".

So, if I told you that you were "white", I told you regarding your emails 
to Asia. Regarding your way to destroy with completely European etnocentic 
arguments a hard work on gender in Asia. Regarding your racist insults to 
Asian social movements and social leaders there as Yudhvir Sing. Regarding 
you absolutely ignorance in Asian situation and problematic. My god, you 
even didn't know about the green revolution.
I don't deny that you could travel to Pakistan or to India even for months, 
as many, many, many other Europeans as myself, who even stay for years 
there. I don't deny for a second the hard shit of amount of racism for sure 
you have to bear everyday in Europe. I don't deny your family is in 
Pakistan. But seriously, the color of your skin or your family is not the 
color of the political culture you have showed till the moment, for sure 
not the color of your understanding of the complications and diversity of 
the different realities and social movements in Asia. The reality of the 
low class, the dalits in India. You are really playing with fire, and you 
know it. An inmediatly reaction (or worst, not react at all) to your 
emails, the accusation of being racist to a black man will be throwed in 
the face. I am sorry, I am not eating that bull shit. For sure maybe there 
are racism behavor and sexism by concrete individuals. Many times the 
culture and the etnocentrism can make us to be shit.  But please, stop to 
manipulate and missused something so serious as this.

Sumarizing. I am really convinced now that you are just manipulating people 
in the search for power, the bad power, the durty politics of power. And 
you don't care what you destroy in your path to get that power.

5. Attacking people
Listen carefully. I am NOT saying that  you are fascist, BUT the strategy 
you are using to attack individuals is quite fascist. You are not 
argumenting in a political discussion, you target people. You look for the 
limitation, the weakness of people and then you attack them in a personal 
level, as your strategy to get people angry, manipulate their anger in your 
benefit and get attention and power. You try to make people scare of 
confronting you, thought the threat of being personally target in 
international lists, in web pages. You are using the coordination tools and 
the diversity and inclusive and horizontal way to organize, to manipulate 
people and get the power. You just speak about "instutionalize racist" as a 
very attractive and strong power position. Of course, how are you going to 
be racist if Asim is "black"? Of course, what more easy than make all the 
problems people have  with you a question of racism.
You don't care about the hard work that many people have done for years to 
solve problems inside the PGA, to create a better process to make able to 
fight. You don't care about deslegitimaze a farmer organization, who are 
fighting for their lives every day. You don't care to destroy the support 
of Europeans collectives to the gender work in South Asia, where thousands 
of thousands of women are killed and rape every single day. You don't try 
to make a better process, handeling with work the problems ...No, you are 
just looking for a power position. If you destroy the trust of many 
organizations in PGA, if you, with your marketing propaganda, instead of 
addressing the problems and look for solutions, destroy the net, it doesn't 
matter. You just point your next victim. If possible persolizing as much as 
you can, in the way you can just get up another step in your imaginary 
stairs. The rest doesn't matter. I am just waiting for the day you will 
accuse me for my middle-high class childhood. This is your job, 
deslegitimize people. Specially the people, that more intelligent than me, 
don't care at all of you or your destructive emails. Becauce the worst 
thing you can bear is that people ignore you. That's the real issue for you.

If you were really worried about racism behivor in the net, you would have 
address the issue in other way, trying to discuss contructive and work in 
the issues. As many women have been done since the creation of PGA. 
Organizing workshops, discussing and denouncing. But not making shitty and 
useless unfair propaganda.
You call yourself Zapatistas. Well, many people I know from Chiapas would 
say that you are doing a perfect job on contrainsurgencia. If you were 
infiltrated, you would have not done better job till the moment. But of 
course, you even don't know what Zapatistas means for real Zapatists. It is 
just another way to use other struggle identity.

6. LARC.
I am really amazing how you are using the name LARC. As far as I know you 
are just one of the collective on LARC. But you are using the name, THE 
STATUS, as if you speak in the name of the entire building. You are 
accusing people of being the power people of PGA, but you are the only 
ones, using all the time the status of LARC as info point of PGA, as if 
that would give you any extra power and right inside the net.

So, finishing and sumarizing, the only racist comments adress to the Asian 
or Latin American process have been writen by you. So, I am sorry for not 
attending a meeting on racism calling for the people who has been racism 
with a farmer leader from India and with the social movement involved in 
the pga asian process.
And sorry to say, that I would never attend a meeting, which is called by a 
really misleading, negative and destructive propaganda. Propaganda which 
will avoid many people to get involved in PGA, because they heard somewhere 
that PGA was racism.
Sorry, if I don't attend a meeting which the main target is get power by 
specific collective, specially using as a tool the desligitimazion of other 
people who is working hard, even if these people make mistakes.

Hoping this appology letter is enough and you don't need further 
explanation of me not going to your meeting.

Sincerely yours,

p.d. I was not there when the people discussing regarding the Samba 
Climatic, told you not to attend the meeting. But just to say I agree with 
that decision, which personally I don't think it has to be nothing with 
censorship, exclusion, bla, bla, but with not accepting destructive 
infiltrators, who their only mean is to destroy process and deslegitimaze 
people in their ambition for power.

At 01:17 PM 10/20/04 -0700, paki.tv at cyber-rights.net wrote:

>Confronting Institutional Racism in the PGA at LARC
>The meeting on confronting institutional rascism in the PGA was not attended
>by the many PGA organisers who were in London. In fact when I went to
>the Middle Sex Sessions I was told by most of the PGA organisers that
>they would not be coming. Neither would they send any apologies.
>The LARC meeting, however, did draw LARC users and other interested parties.
>We discussed the possibilities and needs of a global conference and the
>PGA organisational process. We also discussed LARC's role as a PGA infopoint
>and why there were only LARC users at a PGA meeting here.
>It would seem that while the European PGA Organisers are happy to promote
>a "A confrontational attitude, since we do not think that lobbying can
>have a major impact in such biased and undemocratic organisations, in
>which transnational capital is the only real policy-maker" They are less
>than happy to see this put into practice in confronting the practices
>of individuals and "Non Governmental" Organisations that operate within
>its own structure.
>The meeting at LSE on Saturday was boycotted. The LSE is an imperial
>capitalist institution. Olivier who was speaking there, had already excluded
>us from the 'Fascilitating Consensus' meeting in Belgrade and has refused
>to discuss the reasons for this.
>On Monday I went along to the Samba band meeting at LARC to develop 
>and a working process for the global conference in Nepal. However, I
>was asked to leave : although, just like the 'Fascilitating Consensus
>meeting in Belgrade' I hadn't even had the chance to introduce myself.
>In this event, since I am a LARC user I complied with these peoples wishes
>and removed myself from the meeting in order to fascilitate it.
>I will be bringing this issue up at the next LARC user group meeting.
>We have tried to tackle the issue of institutional rascism in the PGA
>Europe organising process and have come against silence, censorship,
>denial and exclusion. Being the only Paki involved I find this astonishing.
>Being called 'white' by Trasgu , someone who obviously has alot of power
>in the PGA Asia process, I find it unacceptable.
>We'Sex Zapatista
>PGA Peoples Global Action
>ESF European Social Forum
>LARC London Action Resource Centre
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