New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

Issue 100

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THE NEW INFORMATION ORDER[image, unknown] Ideas for action

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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International Development Action
73 Little George Street
Fitzroy
Victoria 3065
Australia

AIMS
To investigate the impacts of Australian economic activities in the Asia-Pacific region. To provide support and information to the people exploited by such activity and actively opposed to it.

To increase awareness within Australia and elsewhere of how our society affects other peoples.

METHODS
Work is carried out at the request of the people from the area on which the project focuses. The South Pacific is currently our major area of interest although in the past support for aboriginal initiatives have provided a large component of IDA's work. While each project focuses on a case study, it also includes an analysis of the political and economic situation in that country. The research is documented in the form of a book, published by IDA.

SUCCESSES
Directly involving a group in critically assessing the role of Australian neo-colonialism in their country. This was the first time that Pacific Islanders had ever had their views published on this subject. The result provoked a political outcry in Fiji and had a significant impact on groups in Australia and the Pacific region.

Aiding the Australian Aboriginal people of Mapoon to reoccupy their land, from which they had been forcibly evicted by the Queensland State Government after handing Mapoon land over to transnational mining companies.

Aiding the people of the Purari Delta in Papua New Guinea to win parliamentary support for their opposition to a massive hydroelectric/ aluminium smelter development project proposed for their area.

FAILURES
We lack the ability to widely distribute our publications, a problem which we are striving to overcome.

FUTURE PLANS
New projects are taken up, as and when we feel we are able to effectively support the aspirations of indigenous groups. Work in the immediate future will continue to focus on the South Pacific.

HELP WANTED
We are always on the lookout for new people to join us, either on a "needs basis" salary or voluntarily. Skills we could use include a knowledge of the South Pacific, experience in research, writing, layout, design, editing or other publication skills.

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Isis
Case Postale 301 CH - 1227
Carouge
Switzerland
Telephone: (022) 43 40 22

AIMS
To help in the exchange of ideas, contacts, experiences and resources among women and feminist groups throughout the world.

To mobilise support and solidarity among women on an international scale when needed.

METHODS
We publish a quarterly ISIS International Bulletin. Each issue is arranged around a theme and contains articles reproduced from different areas of the world. For example, an issue on women and work, emphasising the link between industrialised and non-industrialised countries, includes material from South Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Denmark and the USA.

We also publish Resource Guides which provide a more thorough treatment of particular issues, eg. 'Bottle Babies: a guide to the baby foods issue'. ISIS co-ordinates the International Feminist Network (IFN) through which women are mobilised to send telegrams and messages in support of women in need: rape victims, political prisoners, victims of sterilization abuse. We do this by receiving information and passing it on very rapidly to specific national contacts who are then responsible for organising action within their own countries.

ISIS work is co-ordinated by collectives in Rome and Geneva, most of whose members work on a voluntary basis. Finance comes from subscribers, plus funds from women's groups and non-governmental organisations.

SUCCESSES
ISIS has published 16 bulletins, including a recent Spanish-language edition, and has 5,000 contacts in 130 countries. The IFN mobilises effective support for an increasing number of appeals.

FAILURES
We lack the woman power to do all we could and should be doing with ISIS and recognise the need for much greater international solidarity among women.

FUTURE PLANS
To bring out bulletins more frequently and in more languages. To increase our number of fulltime workers and improve the effectiveness of the IFN.

HELP NEEDED
More contacts are needed for appeals put out through the IFN; and more feedback and information is needed from groups all over the world.

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Latin America Working Group
Box 2207
Station 'P'
Toronto
Canada M5S 2T2

AIMS
To awaken Canadians about the common links between Canada and Latin America.

To research and analyze Canada's relationship to Latin America, economically, socially and politically.

To provide information and a critique of transnational corporate investment in Latin America.

METHODS
LAWG provides information and analysis through several publications: LAWG Newsletter; the Latin America and Caribbean Labour Report; and the Central America Update, as well as occasional papers on special topics. Many of the newsletters focus on the impact of corporate investment in Latin America, as well as development and aid programs. LAWG has a resource centre including business and Latin American publications. A mail order bookstore provides titles in both English and Spanish.

LAWG also actively works with many solidarity and development education groups, as well as churches and trade unions.

SUCCESSES
Since 1966, when LAWG was founded, Canadians have become much more aware of the role multinationals play in enforcing the myth that development can occur through such foreign investment. Many organizations and hundreds of Canadians are now very knowledgeable about the struggle in many Latin American countries. We feel we have contributed to this process of understanding.

FAILURES
Perhaps the failures grow out of the successes. The growth of consciousness regarding the need for solidarity with Latin America, has placed upon us a number of material demands which are difficult to fulfill.

FUTURE PLANS
LAWG's work will remain the same, although we envisage some modifications in our present publications.

HELP WANTED
People can support our work through subscriptions to our publications and by working in their own communities.

 

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