Join the May Day solidarity brigade to Venezuela!

Registrations close: March 15, 2007

“Any Australian worker who has a chance to visit Venezuela should grab the opportunity with both hands. The Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela offers a genuine alternative to a world in which the market rules and profits always come before people. It is inspiring people in Latin America and beyond to believe that `another world is possible’.

“Being part of a brigade makes it possible to meet the workers who are reshaping their workplaces in this new environment. Many are involved in the democratic renewal of their unions, after many years of corrupt leadership. Others are creating cooperatives, with government support, to reopen and operate idle factories closed by bosses. The energy and enthusiasm for change that is benefiting workers in Venezuela is truly inspiring.”

- John Cleary, former Electrical Trades Union organiser, Victoria


The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) is organising a 2007 May Day solidarity brigade to Venezuela for trade unionists and all others interested in seeing first-hand the unfolding revolution in that country.

On May 1 last year, more than 1 million people joined the May Day celebrations in Caracas, Venezuela. Since then, Venezuela’s working people, led by George W. Bush’s arch-enemy, President Hugo Chavez, have taken over more workplaces, set up more cooperatives, established hundreds of free public education and health programs, organised their neighbourhoods and taken big steps towards exercising ``popular power’’ in their country.

The Australian brigade will run from April 30 to around May 9. Participants will meet with workers’ organisations, visit occupied factories, educational institutions and a range of community organisations, and speak to government and social organisations about the radical changes being implemented by the Venezuelan people.

The itinerary includes time in the capital, Caracas, and in regional Venezuela, so participants can witness popular control and management of both urban and rural workplaces. A highlight of the brigade will be joining the huge national workers celebration on May 1.

In the last two years, the AVSN has organised four solidarity brigades to Venezuela, involving more than 120 participants. These study/solidarity tours have been exciting and inspiring experiences for the brigadistas, and are invaluable for helping progressive people in Australia better understand and build solidarity with Venezuela’s struggle for a ``new socialism of the 21st century’’.

Accommodation, transport and English translation in Venezuela will be organised for participants, and the AVSN can help you book your travel to and from Australia. The total cost, including return international airfares, is around A$5500-6000.

The deadline for registering for the May Day 2007 brigade is March 14.

If you are interested in being part of this inspiring and educational experience, please phone John Cleary on 0407 500 839 or Fred Fuentes on 0432 333 806, or email brigades@venezuelasolidarity.org. Brigade registration forms and more information are at http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org

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