Our Mission

Latin America Solidarity Network (LASNET)
In Australia, LASNET aims to raise awareness of the struggles and resistances of Latin American grass-root organisations, "from the bottom up and to the left", and works to support these initiatives through local and national activism. We also aim to use the Latin American example as a way of providing hope to those of us struggling in Australia against greed and increasing authoritarianism. Building solidarity with peoples in Struggle in Latin America, Australia & Asia Pacific. We believe in a society without patriarchy, authoritarianism and violence...and without neo-liberal capitalism.
Keep in touch: lasnet@latinlasnet.org

Public Forum with CONFECH spokes person (Vocero) in Australia

Melbourne - Wednesday April 11, 6:30pm to start at 7pm,
LHMU hall, 117-131 Capel St. North Melbourne
More info call 0425 539 149 or write to lasnet@latinlasnet.org

Sydney Events Click here

Recaredo Galvez from the Chilean National Students Confederation (CONFECH) and President of the Student Federation of Concepcion (FEC) - Chile.

He will share the experiences gained by the Chilean student movement in their struggle for free and quality education. A movement that has triggered other social and political sectors of Chilean society including ports and mining workers, rural villages and indigenous people among others. Demanding for equal rights and questioning the very foundations of the neoliberal system.

The demand that has, throughout 2011 and now into 2012, mobilised thousands upon thousands of students across Chile to take to the streets and occupy their schools and universities has been ‘for a free and quality education’. And it is this demand which really encapsulates the problems with Chile’s education system. Chile’s public education system is chronically underfunded – as a percentage of GDP, Chile spends the least amount on education of any OECD member State. Moreover, localised control of education has led to massive discrepancies in facilities and educational outcomes between wealthy and poor areas. Thus, with the benefits of relatively good secondary education, wealthy students are better positioned to fill the very limited positions available in the public universities. The majority of students, predominantly poor, must therefore seek tertiary education in the number of privately owned, for profit universities and institutions. With tuition fees at these private institutions being incredibly expensive, most students are forced into taking out student loans with private banks (with the State as guarantor) at high interest rates. Thus most Chilean students are confronted with the reality of poor education at a ridiculously high price.

In a broader context, education is but one sector that was restructured according to the market-orientated neoliberal policies imposed by the Pinochet military dictatorship. Even following the end of the regime in 1990, the Chilean constitution, and its neoliberal economic model, which the dictatorship brought into being remains intact. The Chilean student movement is an expression of a wider social unrest about the structurally imposed inequalities inherent in this model, the so-called ‘economic miracle’ of today’s Chilean society.

Organised by:
Latin American Solidarity Network ( LASNET) and
Latin American Solidarity Society at LaTrobe University(LASSO)