dorset chiapas solidarity

December 10, 2016

Insumisión: Community Self-Defense Against Narcos and the State

Filed under: Indigenous, Migrants, news — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:03 pm

 

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Insumisión: Community Self-Defense Against Narcos and the State

8th December 2016, section on Chiapas from the latest edition of Insumisión

Mobilizations and Repression in Chiapas 

15135762_333477160359078_9061555226324921132_nGathering during the MODEVITE pilgrimage in Chiapas

On November 15, members of eleven municipalities in Chiapas began a twelve-day pilgrimage through communities threatened by neoliberal development projects, ending in San Cristóbal. The Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MODEVITE) is a project of indigenous Catholic parishes practicing liberation theology, known the Pueblo Creyente, or Believing/Faithful People. “We seek to organize the peoples to construct our autonomy; that our right as original peoples to the life that we want is recognized. We need to join our voices in defence of our forests, our rivers. We demand the governments stop the extractive industry and the mega-projects that are being imposed without consulting us,” said one priest.

After traveling through 11 states, the Caravan of Mothers of Disappeared Migrants wrapped uptheir eighteen-day tour in Tapachula, Chiapas on December 3. Forty-one parents from Central America made the trip to call attention to the attacks, murders and disappearances of Central American migrants in Mexico and to denounce Enrique Peña Nieto’s Southern Border Plan, implemented at the behest of the U.S. in 2014, which has gravely increased the risk to migrants travelling through Mexico.

 

mothers-central-american-caravanCaravan of Mothers of Disappeared Migrants

In the autonomous indigenous communities of Ejido Tila and San Sebastian Bachajón, statements have been issued decrying attempts by local politicians to incite violence in the communities in order to justify the entrance of the state in order to crush their autonomous projects. In Bachajón, the community has identified Juan Jiménez as the one responsible. As it happens, Jiménez is a local leader of MORENA, the “leftist” party of Andres Manuel López Obrador. In Tila, the community has barricaded the entrance to the village to prevent paramilitaries or provocateurs from entering.

During a meeting to resolve a labour dispute in Ixtacomitán, four teachers belonging to the dissident CNTE branch were shot by gunmen linked to local politicians and the mainstream, sell-out SNTE union. Roberto Díaz Aguilar was killed and the three others wounded.

And of course we can’t talk about Chiapas without mentioning the Zapatistas. They’ve released four statements – two jointly with the National Indigenous Congress – in the past three weeks. The first, “It’s Not the Decision of One Person”, is an angry rebuke to mainstream critics of their proposal to run a presidential candidate for 2018. The second outlines the schedule for the conclusion of consultations and the planned announcement on the decision of whether or not to run a candidate. The third is a lengthy “Story to Try to Understand.” At over 30 pages, I have not read it yet, but it is an explanation as to how the Zapatistas arrived at the decision to propose the idea of participating in the presidential elections. The fourth statement denounces the attacks on indigenous peoples in Mexico, and gives a nod to Standing Rock, all while confirming that the community consultations over the proposal continue.

 

https://fallingintoincandescence.com/2016/12/08/insumision-community-self-defense/

 

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Filed under: Bachajon, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:51 pm

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From Mexico:

Pronouncement by Sylvia Marcos and Jean Robert in support of the Sexta Bachajón

Week of Worldwide action in solidarity with the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, from 4th to 10th December 2016.

 

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We do not want to miss this opportunity to support the compañeros of San Sebastian Bachajón with some phrases of indignation, compañerismo and solidarity.

We are with them, the guardians of the earth, caretakers of the water and protectors of the air, in this Mexico that is sinking under the dispossession and destruction guided by  voracious capital and supported by the powers of the State, which seeks to expropriate their lands, resources and territory .

The Agua Azul waterfalls and their territory are the heritage of the peoples who care for and maintain them.

The compas of Bachajón are constantly harassed, persecuted and murdered as was our beloved and admired Juan Vázquez.

Long live their struggle and resistance, we are with them!

 

Sylvia Marcos

Jean Robert

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From Oaxaca, México: Pronouncement from Gustavo Esteva in support of the Week of Worldwide Action in Solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón from 4 to 10 December 2016

Filed under: Bachajon, Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:54 pm

 

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From Oaxaca, México:

Pronouncement from Gustavo Esteva in support of the Sexta Bachajón 

Week of Worldwide Action in Solidarity with the ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón from 4 to 10 December 2016 

To the Compañeros of the Sexta from San Sebastián Bachajón

 

download-3It is a time of danger. Everywhere. The nightmare is in reality, not in dreamland.

It is the time to maintain our resistance. And what we have learned in the past years is that  the best way to resist is to build a new world. Saying “no” is not enough. At the same time we need to be open to all the new “yeses” that communities make each day.

The Worldwide Week for Bachajón is an expression of that new world. In all corners of the world we face formidable challenges, and to worry and keep up with the compas who have resisted for so many years might seem irrelevant. The aggressions they have faced cost the life of compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán and threaten many others. Every day they deal with threats and betrayals, fending off the bad government’s harassment, intimidation and forced disappearances. But those challenges are not to be faced by those from above, those in the centres of oppressive power. The challenges we face are the ones between us, below. Together, intertwining arms, heads and hearts to make ourselves present in our struggles. Far from being insignificant, they are the ones that have real meaning.

hqdefaultFrom a corner of Oaxaca, we send the Bachajón compas a hug of solidarity. We want to accompany you. We can’t be very optimistic considering the storm, but we are full of hope. And hope is born in courageous hearts that don’t shirk adversity.

Today all of us, brothers and sisters, we will continue to give life to compa Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

Long live the struggle of San Sebastian Bachajón!

 

Gustavo Esteva

10-dec-2016

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December 8, 2016

Manchester Zapatista Collective at Manchester and Salford Anarchist Bookfair

Filed under: Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:47 pm

 

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Manchester Zapatista Collective at Manchester and Salford Anarchist Bookfair

 

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Manchester Zapatista Collective will be at the Manchester and Salford Anarchist Bookfair this Saturday 10th December at Islington Mill. For more information see here: http://bookfair.org.uk/

We will have fresh off the press and on sale the English translation of the book published after the Seminar for Critical Thinking from May 2015, Critical Thought in the Face of the Capitalist Hydra I: Contributions by the Sixth Commission of the EZLN, on sale for GBP 12.

In May of 2015, the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) hosted a seminar in Chiapas, Mexico, titled “Critical Thought in the Face of the Capitalist Hydra,” in which they invited thinkers from across the world to join them in analyzing the economic instability, unceasing war, mass displacement, and ecological devastation that today characterize our world. This book presents the complete set of interventions made by the EZLN at that seminar. https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/by-way-of-prologue-on-how-we-arrived-at-the-watchtower-and-what-we-saw-from-there/

We will also give a talk at 6pm on ‘The Zapatistas: New Initiatives and Critical Thinking in the Face of the Capitalist Hydra’

It has been 34 years since the Zapatista Army for National Liberation in Chiapas started organizing in clandestinity, 22 years since the Uprising, and 13 years since the Good Government Councils in autonomous Zapatista territory were announced. This talk gives an overview over what has been done to date, of new initiatives since 2013, and
introduces the book ‘Critical Thinking in the Face of the Capitalist Hydra’, a collection of contributions of EZLN members to the seminar on critical thinking organized in Chiapas in 2015.

We hope to see you there!

In solidarity, MZC

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December 7, 2016

DESPITE AGGRESSIONS, THE CONSULTATION CONTINUES

Filed under: Uncategorized, Zapatistas — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:01 pm

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DESPITE AGGRESSIONS, THE CONSULTATION CONTINUES

 

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DESPITE AGGRESSIONS, THE CONSULTATION CONTINUES
JOINT COMMUNIQUE BY THE NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS AND THE ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION.

December 2, 2016.

TO THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO:

TO THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD:

TO THE FREE MEDIA:

laconsultava-350x298The steps taken by our peoples are great, steps wise when taken in collectivity, and the National Indigenous Congress turns with attentive ears to listen to each other, to the thoughts of we who are the word and the agreements of the 5th CNI. We continue in permanent assembly, traveling to all corners of our country, Mexico.

Our permanent assembly arises from and convenes among the peoples, nations, and tribes of all the languages spoken by the National Indigenous Congress; in large and small assemblies; in meetings of communal councils, in deep reflections by dispersed families; in regional forums and ceremonial spaces. In our collective words, we continue to conclude that it is the time of our peoples, time for the earth to tremble at its core.

The fears of the powerful, the extractive companies, the military, and the narcoparamilitaries are so great that our consultation is being attacked and harassed in the places where our peoples are meeting to discuss and decide the steps to take as the CNI. For that reason, we denounce the following:

– In the indigenous Nahua community of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán, there is intensified narcoparamilitary harassment by the Caballeros Templarios [Knights Templar] cartel, which threatened, on a paper signed on November 19, 2016—the same date that a regional assembly on the coast of Michoacán was discussing the resolutions from the first stage of the 5th CNI—to undertake a “cleansing” of those participating in mobilizations alongside the community police.

– As agreed upon in the assembly of the 5th CNI in October 2016, our compañeros have travelled to different geographies of the country where originary peoples have requested dialogue with delegates of other peoples with respect to our political proposal. These compañeros have been victims of aggressions and harassment by criminal gangs or unknown people, including the burning of homes in their communities and aggressions by vehicles trying to push them off the roads they must travel.

– While foreign companies attempt to take control of 12 oil wells in Zoque territory in Northern Chiapas, this past November 23, 2016, a group of armed men pretending to be government-sponsored teachers, and with the consent of the Subsecretary of Federal Education in Chiapas, Eduardo Campos Martínez and the boss, Delfino Alegría García, kidnapped a group of indigenous professors from the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) in the northern zone of Chiapas. They also attacked them with high-powered weapons outside the office of the Secretary of Education in the municipality of Ixtacomitán, Chiapas. The sneak attack claimed the life of Zoque teacher Roberto Díaz Aguilar, originally from Chapultenango, Chiapas, and injured three others.

– The teacher Irineo Salmerón Dircio, Coordinator of the House in Justice of San Luis Acatlán and member of the Regional Coordination of Community Authorities (CRAC-PC), was kidnapped/disappeared by an armed group in the municipality of Tixtla, Guerrero. Two days later his lifeless body was found in the municipality of Chilapa, Guerrero, just a few days after at least 15 communities from the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero Emiliano Zapata had held an assembly in the same municipality as part of the consultation we are currently carrying out.

– From the collective heart of the originary peoples of the National Indigenous Congress, we pronounce our absolute respect for the territory of the Sioux people, in Standing Rock, North Dakota, where more than 200 tribes are organizing to stop the plunder the capitalists are trying to impose through oil pipelines which destroy water sources and ceremonial sites. We condemn the brutal repression these tribes were subject to this past November 20, and the repression planned against them with the announcement of an ultimatum to vacate their lands. If we originary peoples had ever responded to the ultimatums of the powerful, we would have ceased to exist centuries ago. To the Sioux People we send a brotherly embrace and we reiterate that they are not alone, that their pain and rage are ours, also. We call on the originary peoples of the United States and Mexico, on the free media, and on civil society to strengthen their solidarity with this historic struggle.

We send a greeting of solidarity to the compañer@s of the community Chanti Ollin, adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, who were violently evicted—in the middle of the night on November 22, 2016—from the building where they promote culture, art, and the alternatives necessary for a new world. We repudiate the repressive, sellout policies represented by the bad government of Mexico City.

We salute the mobilizations held by the Committee in Defence of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI) from the coastal region of Oaxaca against the repressive policies of the bad governments who, for lack of any valid reason, use criminalization as their only recourse to impose 11 hydroelectric projects in the coastal region of Oaxaca, including the Multi-Use Hydraulic Exploitation Project Paso de la Reyna.

Likewise, the peoples, nations, and tribes of the CNI express our profound respect for and solidarity with the Cuban people, who have shown the world that through dignity we can reconstruct the fabric unravelled by capitalism. We know that their resistance and rebellion will continue shining and concretizing hope.

Attentively,

DECEMBER 2016

FOR THE FULL RECONSTITUTION OF OUR PEOPLES

NEVER AGAIN A MEXICO WITHOUT US

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS

ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION

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The Road of Resistance of la Sexta Bachajon, Chiapas

Filed under: Bachajon, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:48 am

 

The Road of Resistance of la Sexta Bachajon, Chiapas

 

 

Week of Worldwide Action in Solidarity with the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, from 4th to 10th December 2016. 

Https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

 

TeleSur

The road od Resistance in Chiapas: A Road of Violence and Repression.

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December 6, 2016

Demonstration at the Mexican Consulate of New York in support of La Sexta Bachajón

Filed under: Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:41 pm

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Demonstration at the Mexican Consulate of New York in support of La Sexta Bachajón

 

Week of Worldwide Action in Solidarity with the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, from 4th to 10th December 2016. 

Https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

 

ssbglobal

 

On Sunday, December 4, 2016, Movement for Justice in El Barrio started off the Week of Worldwide Action in Solidarity with the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón with a demonstration in front of the Mexican Consulate in New York.

That afternoon, migrant families from El Barrio, New York went to the Consulate of the bad government of Mexico. During the action, several compañeras, members of Movement, took the floor to demand the following:

 

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  1. Respect for the fundamental human rights of the indigenous Tseltal peoples of San Sebastián Bachajón, and guarantees for their security and integrity
  2. Respect and guarantees for their right to the full use and enjoyment of their territory and to self-determination and the construction of their autonomy
  3. An end to the plunder and dispossession and the theft of commons,
  4. An end to the permanent police presence and the militarisation of the area, and to the threats and violence which are being experienced
  5. A full and fair investigation into the material and intellectual authors of the assassinations of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano. Also a fair and comprehensive investigation into the savage attack against Domingo Pérez Álvaro, and the punishment of those responsible.
  6. Freedom and justice for Esteban Gómez Jiménez, prisoner in Cintalapa de Figueroa, and for Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoners in Playas de Catazaja.

 

ssbglobal3

 

The women, men, girls and boys finished the demonstration shouting the following slogans:

Land, Freedom and Justice for the Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón!

Stop the Aggressions against the Adherents to the Sexta!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!

Long live La Sexta Bachajon!

Long Live the EZLN!

 

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/manifestacion-en-el-consulado-mexicano-de-nueva-york-en-apoyo-a-la-sexta-bachajon/

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Day of Worldwide action in solidarity with the ejidatarios and prisoners of San Sebastian Bachajon, December 7th, Adherents to the Sixth from Barcelona

Filed under: Bachajon, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:43 pm

 

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Day of Worldwide action in solidarity with the ejidatarios and prisoners of San Sebastian Bachajon, December 7th, Adherents to the Sixth from Barcelona

 

Week of Worldwide action in solidarity with the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, from 4th to 10th December 2016.

Https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

 

jornada-global-bachajc3b3n-11-1

 

On the Worldwide Day of Solidarity and Support for the ejidatarios of San Sebastian Bachajón in their struggle against dispossession, the Adherents to the Sixth from Barcelona will be offering an exhibition and some videos in premises provided to us by the Local Federation of the CGT from Barcelona. We will provide information about the expropriation of lands and natural resources that the bad Mexican Government intends to carry out and the imposition of its megaprojects of plunder and death for the originary peoples.

 

In the territory located in the northern zone of the jungle of Chiapas are situated the waterfalls of Agua Azul, which provide a lot of attraction and tourist interest due their beauty and unusual colour. This territory forms part of a comprehensive mega-tourism plan, which includes projects such as luxury hotels, an airport and golf courses. For this, they intend to continue to destroy mother earth and all those who live in harmony with it, the last remaining guardians of the land, the originary peoples, in order to continue to inflate the coffers of great capital. In addition, there is the construction project for the San Cristóbal – Palenque highway, which, if carried out, would affect several communities in the planned area of the project. They do not care that these lands are the life, home and sustenance for the communities who live there. Without forgetting the compas prisoners who for the defence of their lands have lost their freedom …

 

WEDNESDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2016

At 19.00.

IN THE PREMISES OF THE CGT BARCELONA

VIA LAIETANA Nº 18, 9th FLOOR

 

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Rodolfo Stavenhagen, the smiling thinker

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:59 am

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Rodolfo Stavenhagen, the smiling thinker

 

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by Luis Hernández Navarro

 

In a photograph taken in the summer of 1949 in the valley of San Quintín, the young Rodolfo Stavenhagen, aged 17, with the hint of a slight smile, appears with his right arm across the shoulder of an indigenous Lacandon person who looks with surprise and wariness at the lens of the camera. In another snapshot, captured in the same region of Chiapas in 2003, the then UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples can be seen surrounded by five “hach winiks” (real men), who happily, fix their gaze confidently at the photographer.

The 54 years that separate one image from the other tell the passionate story of a German, Jewish boy, a victim of Nazism, exiled in Mexico with his family, who founded and committed his life to the cause of indigenous people. They show two key stages of a cosmopolitan immigrant who put down roots and got deeply involved in the transformation of his adopted country. They also are testimony to the difficult process of the reconstruction of indigenous communities.

Stavenhagen’s trip to the “Desierto de la Soledad” (another name for the Lacandon Jungle), guided by Getrude Duby-Blom, flying in a 5-seater plane, walking for hours, cutting a path through the jungle with a machete, crossing the river in a canoe, and sleeping in a hammock was an experience that marked him for life. It open his eyes to other worlds, and that was where his enthusiasm and the idea of studying anthropology were born.

By then, Rodolfo already had the seed of being different within himself. He had grown up in an environment rich in cultural diversity. His parents, Kurt (a jeweller) and Lore, loved Pre-Hispanic cultures and collected Pre-Columbian art, their home was frequented by others living in exile:  artists, writers, intellectual Mexicans who held enthralling social gatherings and discussions. Diego Rivera painted a portrait of his mother.

Stavenhagen discovered Latin America in the 1950s as a student at the Mexico’s National School of History and Anthropology. His friendships with students and academics from other countries in the Southern Cone helped him to learn about the political conflicts in their countries, their need to go into exile, and their desire to return to participate in the revolutions that were to come about. Some did, and several of them, who joined the guerrillas of Central America or other countries in South America, lost their lives in the attempt.

In the field work he did as a student, he became closer to the Mexican indigenous peoples. At the age of 21, in the second year of his degree (having previously studied for two years at the University of Chicago), he undertook his first field research. The study looked at the Mazateca communities, who without being consulted were to be displaced by the construction of the Miguel Alemán dam at one of the tributaries of the  Papaloapan River on the border between Oaxaca and Veracruz. There, he learned first-hand, the human drama wrought upon the indigenous peoples in the name of progress, and how human rights abuses were justified in the name of development.

A year later, he was in the village of Nueva Ixcatlán where the Ixcatlán community had been relocated. In addition to the pain and rage of those affected by the Temascal dam (as it also is known), or genocide in gestation, he also encountered the PRI’s local power-holders and the divisive use of the political party’s institutions.

Some time later Rodolfo Stavenhagen met “the other”, the third world. While studying for a doctorate in sociology at the University of Paris, he met and became friends with students from Africa, the Arab countries of Southeast Asia. They broadened his mind with their stories of the terrible consequences of colonialism and used it to explain the national liberation struggles they were involved with. In colonial France of those years, Algeria’s struggle for national liberation was intensely alive and the Mexican student was changed by it.

These were lessons he brought with him when he went to work at the UNESCO Center for Social Research in Brazil, where he had his first direct contact with the problems of Latin American nations. He participated in many discussions on the reality of the hemisphere there, and from this experience, 50 years ago, he set forth one of his most known and influential works, “Seven Misconceptions about Latin America”, which was originally published in the newspaper “El Día”.

For more than five decades Rodolfo Stavenhagen’s production of theory was, at times, vast and profound, and few authors have had the impact in Latin American social sciences that he had. Further, his actions went beyond academia. His life was a practical example of how critical theory, which seeks to explain reality, can be usefully intertwined with public policies and activism.

downloadDoctor Stavenhagen was, in the broadest sense of the concept, a vital public intellectual. He denounced injustice in all forms. He was invited by the EZLN to be the first co-ordinator of the San Andreas Peace Accords follow-up commission. He was active with the group Peace with Democracy, along with his friends Pablo González Casanova and Alfredo López Austin. As part of this initiative he expressed his solidarity this year in July with the CNTE struggle against the education reform.

His work was key to the indigenous communities gaining recognition of their human rights. The indigenous communities treat him with respect, recognition and genuine affection. In 1979, he stated that there was no national conscience about a multi-cultural reality. Years later, he maintained that there was persistent pattern of historic violations of the human rights of the indigenous communities. Basically these violations have to do with indigenous people’s rights to land, territory, and the generalised discrimination they face as victims of racism and the denial of their cultural rights as indigenous nations.

In a tweet following the death of Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Manuel Gil Anton described him as a thinker who smiled. The more adverse the challenge was, the more Rodolfo was like that.

 

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service.

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/11/08/politica/022a2pol?partner=rss

December 5, 2016

Modevite Demand Respect for Self-Determination over their Territory and Agree to Construct Community Governments

Filed under: Dams, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Mining — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:29 pm

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Modevite will consult their communities about EZLN proposal

They Demand Respect for Self-Determination over their Territory and Agree to Construct Community Governments

modevite-3Movement for the Defence of Life and Territory Photo: Chiapas Paralelo

By: Angeles Mariscal

 In this state of the Mexican Southeast, the mining industry has been granted concessions to almost 20 percent of the territory, and there are more than 30 governmental authorizations to use tributary rivers for the installation of mini-hydroelectric dams, five projects for constructing dams and an open solicitation for extracting hydrocarbons from 12 wells; the project to construct a gas pipeline is also in the works, and through the decree for creation of the Special Economic Zones they are granted eased tariffs so that corporations consolidate their businesses linked to the extractive industry.

This is the scenario that thousands of indigenous face in Chiapas; and this is why in this month of November residents of the municipios of Salto de Agua, Tumbalá, Yajalón, Chilón, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Oxchuc, San Juan Cancúc, Tenejapa, Huixtán and San Cristóbal de las Casas left their communities to tour the region and demonstrate their rejection of these projects that threaten stability in their territory.

They are from the Tsotsil, Chol and Tseltal indigenous ethnicities, who make up part of the faithful of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas, grouped together in the Pueblo Creyente (Believing People), and who for four years have been members of the Movement for the Defence of Life and Territory (Movimiento por la Defensa de la Vida y el TerritorioModevite).

On their 15-day tour, Modevite members met with more than 20,000 different indigenous peoples, with whom they dialogued about the common problems that cross through their territories.

“We have walked to listen to the problems of our communities and the risks that threaten our culture and our Mother Earth with mega-projects and super-highways. We walked to unite us in one single voice. We have been able to converse, reflect and dream as one people,” they explained in a joint pronouncement.

Mines, hydroelectric dams and wells on indigenous lands

“We are at a strategic place regarding the mega-projects. This territory is one of the objectives of extractivism,” they pointed out upon arriving in San Cristóbal de las Casas, in a plaza full of indigenous and mestizos.

There, in the plaza, they said that’ according to the Secretary of Economy, in the last three six-year presidential terms 99 concessions for exploiting minerals that are found on 1.5 million hectares –almost 20 percent of Chiapas territory- have been delivered to corporate investors, the majority lands belonging to indigenous groups that would have to be displaced to make way for the mining industry.

They also said that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has identified Chiapas as a state with great hydrology potential, and plans to construct 90 hydroelectric dams with different capacities. Four of those stand out that would directly affect indigenous territory: the Altamirano Dam on the Tzaconejá River; the Livingstone Dam on the Tzaconejá River; the Santo Domingo Rapids Dam (previously Huixtán I) on the Santo Domingo River; and the Santa Elena Dam (previously Huixtán II) on the Santo Domingo River, among others. They emphasized that investors have asked the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) for the installation of at least 32 “mini-hydroelectric” dams.

They also said that the perforation of 12 wells for the extraction of gas and oil has been projected for 2017 in the indigenous Zoque zone. This project will affect 845 square kilometres located in two areas within the municipios of Tecpatán, Francisco León, Ixtacomitán and Pichicalco.

Another risk to indigenous territories –they reminded- is the planting of genetically modified seeds (GMOs). From 2010 to the middle of 2016 the Monsanto Company planted genetically modified soy in 13 Chiapas municipios.

They call for strengthening community governments

The inhabitants of the zones where these extractive projects are located pointed out that accepting them would mean being displaced from their territory, and with that also losing their roots.

They started to organize four years ago and since then they have achieved suspending the construction of the San Cristóbal-Palenque Super-Highway. “Now we see that our fight is bigger; we have the job of defender our life, our culture and the commons that there are in our territory,” they underscored.

They said that throughout their tour through indigenous territory, there was agreement that not only must they denounce the affectation to their territory because of the extractivist projects, “but we must also care about the land.”

They said that if the federal, state and municipal governments support and promote the extractive industry, their option is to create community governments that respond to the interests of the indigenous peoples that are being affected.

Therefore, the indigenous agreed to add themselves to the proposal of the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena, CNI) and the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN), to consult with their communities about the decision to participate in the next national elections with an independent indigenous candidate.

“We share the same objective (as the CNI and EZLN), we believe that it is necessary to strengthen the voice of our indigenous peoples on the political agenda, and therefore we want to take this initiative to our communities and municipios. We can no longer work divided but rather it’s necessary to unite for our peoples, for our territories,” they said.

Modevite members announced that they would strengthen the initiative for constructing autonomous governments as a measure for conserving their territories and their culture. “It’s our right to decide the use of and destiny of our territory,” they said.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Thursday, December 1, 2016

http://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2016/12/en-chiapas-indigenas-rechazan-proyectos-extractivos/

Re-Published with English interpretation and edits by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted with minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

https://chiapas-support.org/2016/12/04/chiapas-modevite-will-consult-their-communities-about-ezln-proposal/

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December 4, 2016

From Uruguay: Pronouncement from Raúl Zibechi

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Repression — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:13 pm

 

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From Uruguay: Pronouncement from Raúl Zibechi 

Week of Worldwide action in Solidarity with the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, 4th to 10th of December, 2016

Https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

 

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Once again they attack us, threaten us and beat us. They try to destroy our resistance, our life.

Once again we resist and continue to build where they destroy.

Once again, as they have done for more than 500 years, they believe they are the owners of the lands and the peoples.

Once again we reclaim and defend the common wealth that is owned by no one but the peoples.

14695551_1800877260127828_8900945864639347493_nThis time it was the compa Domingo Pérez Álvaro who was first threatened first, then beaten and wounded.

We must let them know that when they beat Domingo they beat all of us, and that we will continue moving forwards for Domingo and for his family and for all the compas of the community of San Sebastián Bachajón, who will remain standing for as long as one of them still lives.

 

ALL SOLIDARITY WITH DOMINGO!

 

Raúl Zibechi (Uruguay)

 

 

 

 

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Movement in Defence of Life and Territory 12-Day Pilgrimage Ends in San Cristobal de Las Casas

Filed under: Displacement, Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:37 am

 

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Movement in Defence of Life and Territory 12-Day Pilgrimage Ends in San Cristobal de Las Casas

 

pilgrimsPhoto@SIPAZ

 

On November 25, after a 12-day walk through 11 indigenous municipalities in the North, Jungle area and Highlands of Chiapas, thousands of pilgrims arrived in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where they denounced the threats and insecurity that they live with in the villages where they come from.

The members of the pilgrimage belong to the Movement in Defence of Life and Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym) and the Believing Peoples of the parishes of Candelaria, Huixtan, Cancuc, Tenejapa, Oxchuc, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Chilon, Sitala, Yajalon and Salto de Agua: “We are the Movement in Defence of Life and Territory (MODEVITE), composed of ten parishes from 11 municipalities and 1 ejido. We are located in the highland region of Chiapas. We started more than four years ago from the Believing Peoples of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas to stop the clandestine sale of alcohol in our communities but also our struggle stopped for a time the megaproject of government to build the San Cristóbal – Palenque highway. What are we looking for? Our goal is to organize and encourage the indigenous peoples of the area to build our autonomy as indigenous peoples and thus defend our Mother Earth; we want good living from our culture and that is why we say NO to everything that damages the lives of our children and our communities, NO to bad government and NO to the megaprojects that want to take away our territory.”

They declared: “We walk to unite with one voice, to give voice to the earth that calls for respect and protection, which demands from all an attitude of care and gratitude. This pilgrimage has been a moment of grace for us, because we have been able to converse, reflect and dream as one people.” They emphasized that as indigenous peoples they feel that their community belonging to Mother Earth “is our spirituality, so we believe that not only do we have to denounce the destruction of our territory by the ambition of extractivists, but we must take care of it. That is why strengthening our community roots is the way to take care of our common home.” In Oxchuc, a community torn by post-electoral conflict, the pilgrims also spoke of their right as indigenous peoples to govern themselves.

In one of the communiqués published during these days, MODEVITE announced that it will join the proposal of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) to consult its communities on the appointment of an independent indigenous candidate for the next elections: “A change is needed among us and that is why we join the proposal of the National Indigenous Congress to consult our communities about the decision to participate in the next national elections with an independent indigenous candidate. We share the same objective, we believe that it is necessary to strengthen the voice of our indigenous peoples on the political agenda and that is why we want to take this initiative to our communities and municipalities.”

When they entered San Cristobal de Las Casas on November 25, they met with the women’s organizations that were taking part in the International Day against Violence against Women and arrived together to the centre of the city: “Today, for example, being International Day against Violence against Women, we remember that women continue to be victims of sexism, alcoholism and the assistance-based government programmes. The women of MODEVITE claim the right to exercise our self-determination as indigenous women to care for Mother Earth and the life of our communities.”

 

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/chiapas-movement-in-defense-of-life-and-territory-12-day-pilgrimage-ends-in-san-cristobal-de-las-casas/

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First report on the Week of Worldwide action in solidarity with the the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, to be held from 4th to 10th December, 2016.

Filed under: Bachajon, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:21 am

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First report on the Week of Worldwide action in solidarity with the the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, to be held from 4th to 10th December, 2016.

 

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Compas, we are pleased to announce that plans are going well for the Week of Worldwide action in solidarity with the the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, from Sunday 4th to Saturday 10th December, 2016, International Human Rights Day. The event has the full support of the compas of la Sexta Bachajón including Domingo Pérez Álvaro and the family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

The compas have sent a videomessage in support of the initiative:  https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/la-sexta-bachajon-envian-un-videomensaje-en-apoyo-a-la-semana-de-accion-global-en-solidaridad-con-los-ejidatarios-de-san-sebastian-bachajon-del-4-al-10-de-diciembre-de-2016/

So far, compas from the following countries have confirmed their participation: Canada, England, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Peru, United States, Uruguay.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you will be able to take part in the Week of Worldwide Action, on: solidaridadconssb@gmail.com

For further information and publicity materials, see the Bachajón website: https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

 

Here is the Convocation:

 

Convocation for the Week of Worldwide Action in Solidarity with the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón From Sunday, 4th December to Saturday, 10th December, 2016

To our sisters and brothers of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón

To our compañer@s adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle throughout the world

To our Zapatista compañer@s

To the National Indigenous Congress (CNI)

To the people of Mexico and the world 

 

Compañeras and compañeros,

We send you all warm greetings and embraces of solidarity from Canada, England, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Uruguay.

We, Hermann Bellinghausen, Hugo Blanco, Circulo de las Primeras Naciones de l’UQAM, Gustavo Esteva, John Gibler, Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, Malu Huacúja del Toro, Sylvia Marcos, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Jean Robert and Raúl Zibechi, wish to share with you a humble proposal and hope that you will wish to join with us from your own places and in your own ways to carry out the Week of Worldwide Action in solidarity with the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón from Sunday, 4th December to Saturday, 10th December, Human Rights Day 2016.

This initiative is supported by the adherents to the Sixth from San Sebastián Bachajón.

 

Compañeras and Compañeros,

The indigenous Tseltal communities of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, like so many originary peoples throughout the world, are under attack from the forces of capitalism and transnational corporations who will not rest until they have destroyed the entire planet with their megaprojects of death.

In San Sebastián Bachajón, the greed of governments and businesses covets the ownership of the beautiful waterfalls of Agua Azul, in order to construct an elite tourist destination. The ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón are obstacles to their plans and their profit, as they inherited the lands from their ancestors and care for them as a great treasure of humanity. For this reason, they have been recipients of threats, aggressions, arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances, imprisonment, torture, and attacks from state forces and paramilitary groups.

On 17th October 2016, a brutal attack took place against the tireless community organiser and human rights defender from La Sexta Bachajón, the indigenous Tseltal Domingo Pérez Alvaro. He was detained for three hours before being savagely beaten and threatened with death by the group of supporters of the official Ejidal Commissioner of San Sebastian Bachajón, Manuel Guzman Alvaro, who left him gravely injured and unable to speak.

It is time to raise our hands, words and voices in solidarity with the adherents to the Sixth Declaration from the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón who are an inspiration to us all in their dignified struggle, and who are currently experiencing serious acts of violence and police and military occupation, along with eviction, deceit and plunder, in the continuing attempt to dispossess them of their ancestral lands and sacred places. These recent threats and acts of brutal aggression compel us to offer our solidarity.

**

As a direct result of the determination of the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón to defend their lands, their beloved community leader and spokesperson Juan Vázquez Guzmán was savagely assassinated with high velocity firearms on 24th April, 2013 and community organiser Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano was murdered with over 20 gunshots on 20th March 2014.

Domingo Pérez Álvaro is now being threatened with a similar fate.

We demand an end to the killings, attacks and threats of violence!

As part of the bad government’s policy three compañeros from San Sebastián Bachajón are now in prison. Over 150 people have been imprisoned since 2007. We demand freedom for the unjustly imprisoned Esteban Gómez Jiménez, Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez!

 

Compañeras and Compañeros:

The bad governments and their allies in multinational business corporations wish to destroy the indigenous peoples and all those who struggle from below and to the left, because it is only the organized resistance of autonomous communities against their wars and the destruction of our natural resources that can save the Mother Earth for our children.

For this reason, we call on you all to join together to continue the dignified struggle of the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, so that all ways and forms of life may have their place.

In honour of all the work in the defence of human rights undertaken by Domingo Pérez Álvaro, let us raise our voices on World Human Rights Day, 10th December 2016, in solidarity with our compañer@s from La Sexta Bachajón. We therefore call on all who strive to build another, better, world, one of freedom, justice, democracy and dignity, to join our forces together to organize activities –from your own area and according to your different methods of struggle- to carry out the Week of Worldwide Action in support of the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón from Sunday, 4th December to Saturday, 10 December, 2016.

Let us help make a global echo of the following demands:

  • Respect for the fundamental human rights of the indigenous Tseltal peoples of San Sebastián Bachajón, and guarantees for their security and integrity
  • Respect and guarantees for their right to the full use and enjoyment of their territory and to self-determination and the construction of their autonomy
  • An end to the plunder and dispossession and the theft of commons,
  • An end to the permanent police presence and the militarisation of the area, and to the threats and violence which are being experienced
  • A full and fair investigation into the material and intellectual authors of the assassinations of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano and the savage attack on Domingo Pérez Álvaro, and punishment of those responsible

We ask you also to remain alert and aware and responsive as to what may take place in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón and to hold the three levels of government and their lackeys responsible for any acts of aggression

We ask you to please let us know as soon as possible if you are able to accept our proposal and if you will participate.

You can contact us by email at: solidaridadconssb@gmail.com

 

Resistance is Life! Dispossession is Death!

Land, Freedom and Justice for the Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón!

State police out of indigenous territory!

Stop the Aggressions against the Adherents to the Sexta!

Freedom and Justice for Esteban Gómez Jiménez imprisoned in Cintalapa de Figueroa, and for Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoners in Playas de Catazaja!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!

Long Live the EZLN! Long live the CNI!

 

With embraces of Love and Solidarity,

Hermann Bellinghausen, Mexico

Movement for Justice in el Barrio, United States

Raúl Zibechi, Uruguay

Sylvia Marcos, Mexico

Jean Robert, Mexico

Gustavo Esteva Figueroa, Mexico

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, England

Hugo Blanco Galdos, Peru

Malú Huacuja del Toro, United States

Circulo de las Primeras Naciones de l’UQAM, Canada

John Gibler, Mexico

 

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December 2, 2016

By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There

Filed under: gal, Marcos, Uncategorized, Zapatista, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:43 pm

 

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By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There

 

by SUBCOMANDANTE INSURGENTE GALEANO

 

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Those of us in the meeting were staring up at the central beam of the shelter. Perhaps we were appreciating the fact that the beam was still up there, sturdy and in one piece; or perhaps we were thinking “maybe it’s not,” and so maybe it’s better to take a seat closer to the door, on the ready to make an exit. “If the beam creaks, that means that it might break,” the person who had the floor at the moment had said.

Earlier, that person had asked us to use our imagination:

“Imagine that the system is like this shelter. It is meant to be lived in. But a large and heavy room has been built on the roof of the house, and inside of that room men and women celebrate their wealth.”

It didn’t need to be said, but the person speaking warned us anyway that the weight was too much for the central beam. The house wasn’t built to support a lot of things on top of it, and the stage where all of those men and women fought each other over the throne was heavy, very heavy, too heavy. So it was to be expected that the beam would groan in protest.

What should we do?” the speaker asked, demanding collective thought.

We considered the options. We could reinforce the beam. If we prop it up here and there, it was said, we might alleviate the weight a bit, but it would reduce the available space inside the house. With more and more reinforcements, the house would be converted into a labyrinth of supports and repairs, making it useless for spending the night, cooking, eating, sheltering oneself from the sun and rain, serving as host to the word and the listening ear, for holding parties, or for resting.

The house wouldn’t be a house anymore. That is, instead of a place to live, it would become something that’s sole purpose is to support what’s above. It would just be another structure. Those who lived within it would do so with the sole purpose of keeping those above up there, initially by working to repair and reinforce the structure, and then by converting their own bodies into another part of that structure. This is an absurdity: a house like that cannot be lived in.

Of course it would have been logical for those who designed the house to have thought to reinforce the lower part before adding weight to the top. But no, in the frenzy of the moment, they added more and more things on top, the majority of which were useless and ostentatious. Then there finally came a time when those above forgot that they were being held up by those below. What’s more, they even started to think that those below existed thanks to the mercy and kindness of those above, and that in fact it was those above who sustained those below.

It’s true that those above were fewer in number, but their things were much heavier.

If they had thought about it a little, with each new weight above, they would have added a reinforcement below. Not only did they not do this, but in their eagerness to accumulate more and more above, they were dismantling the primary supports for the building. As if that weren’t enough all of the beams, especially the principal one, had rotted, because those who had been assigned to maintain the edifice were instead busy stealing parts of the structure and pocketing the money that should have been dedicated to the maintenance of the beams.

These people who claim to manage the building deserve special mention. The main problem is this: they only manage what already exists. But not only that, they also dedicate themselves to looting parts of the building’s structure. And as if some tragic comedy, they compete amongst themselves to decide who will be in charge of that theft.

That is why they go every so often to ask those below to mention them, to applaud them, to vote for them. They want to buy the will of those below with flattery and gifts.

But they get their money by taking it from those very same people below. Then, once they’re settled in to the office, they do nothing but give speeches and steal pieces of the walls, furniture, and even the floor. On top of all that, their very existence is adding more and more weight to the roof. In sum, their essential work is to weaken what is below and strengthen what is above.

Conclusion: it is very likely that the house will collapse. This will be bad for those above; it will be worse for those below. But why maintain a house that is no longer a house? That’s right, collective thought moved from seeking a way to keep the structure standing to questioning the very need for its existence.  Of course, this shift was not immediate. The move started when someone asked:

Okay, so this part above, how is it that it is up there, or for what? What is its function?”

And someone else added:

And those people above who say that their work is to manage the building, which it’s clear they don’t do, why are they up there?”

And to round it off, someone asked:

Okay, since we’ve decided to question, what use is a house like this? What if, instead of thinking about what we should do to keep the part above from collapsing on everything below, we think about how to build another house entirely; that would change how we organize ourselves, how we work, how we live.”

At that moment the central beam creaked. It was soft, yes, but the silence it created allowed us to hear it clearly. Then, although it didn’t have anything to do with anything, someone ventured…

Noah, the ark.”

The story, which can be found in both the Bible and the Koran, is simple: Noah receives a divine warning. God is angry because humanity doesn’t honour the rules and so has decided to punish them. The entire world will be flooded and the only ones who will survive are those who can pilot a boat. So Noah decides to build a gigantic boat, the ark. In it, he puts his people and a pair of each species of animal, as well as plants.

The scepticism of the people around him does not deter him. The deluge comes, the world is flooded and everything on the surface of the earth perishes. Only those who are in the ark are saved. After some time a bird brings a small branch to the ark, signalling that there is a dry place nearby. There, humanity is founded anew.

Hmm…Noah’s ark. Now imagine the debate that would arise in response to this story.

We have the religious fundamentalist: it’s proof of god’s omnipotence, he created the world and can destroy it whenever he wants; it’s proof of his mercy, he chooses a few to survive, the chosen. The only thing to do is praise the Lord for his power and pray for his mercy.

We have the scientist: precipitation with these characteristics is impossible; the surface of the earth cannot be entirely covered with water due to one rainfall. This story is nothing but a good script for a Hollywood movie.

We have the philosopher: in reality, it is an allegory emphasizing the fragility of human beings and the transitory nature of their existence.

The Zapatista listens, but is not satisfied by any of these positions. They think, then think some more, and they conclude: what it tells us is that if you see signs that something bad might happen, then you should prepare for it. So it has nothing to do with religion, science, or philosophy—just common sense. Someone said then,

“It’s a given we’ll share this with the communities, but we also have to let the Sixth1 know.”

“Agreed,” said the collective.

But another voice cautioned that before confirming, it would be good to try to see further, maybe from higher ground, just in case things are not what they seem, that they really aren’t that serious…or that maybe they are more serious.

Either way, that meant climbing up among the branches of the ceiba tree, to the highest part, where the leaves and the clouds compete in their games with the wind. Of course I got tangled up several times on my way up. Let’s just say that the pipe and the nose are no help when you’re moving through the branches. Up there at the top, the cold was even colder.

At the top the clouds had finally cleared and the Milky Way snaked from side to side, like a persistent crack of light in the dark wall of the night. I looked questioningly at the most distant lights, out there where the Hubble space telescope was busy analysing a supernova. I took out my binoculars. I jotted down in my notebook the need for an inverted periscope and, of course, a good microscope.

I descended as quickly as possible, which is to say, I fell. I arrived sore to the tent where my bosses [jefas and jefes] were still discussing the beam and its resistance. I said my part. Nobody looked surprised.

“It is time,” they said, “for the heart that we are to open a space for the word, to speak and to listen. And from among these words, let us choose the best seed.”

That is how the idea of the seminar/seedbed emerged.

They continued to think: It is not enough to tell people what we see. We also have to say who we are that are doing the seeing. Because the changes that we are witnessing are not only out there. Our gaze inward also detects changes, and our gaze itself has changed. So it is clear that to explain what we see, we have to explain our gaze.  Thus before the response to the question about what we see, there is another question: “Who is it that is doing the seeing?”

That is how we constructed the “method” for our participation in the seedbed/seminar. Not only are we drawing attention to what we see on the horizon, we are also trying to account for the gaze that we are. So we saw that history is important: how things were before, what continues on the same, what has changed; that is, a genealogy.

To explain the genealogy, both that of who we are as well as what we see, we need concepts, theories, sciences.  And to know whether these concepts are useful, which is to say that they sufficiently account for this history, we need critical thought.

Because both Zapatista reality and that other reality can be explained in a number of ways. For example, you could say that the eezeeelen is an invention of the government, as they love to say over and over again among the “progressive” intelligentsia. Through the gaze of critical thought then, our movement could be explained in its various parts and in its totality as the product of a governmental conspiracy.

If it cannot be explained as such, then we need to look for a different approach or manner of explaining Zapatismo. For example: it is a scheme created by foreigners; it is part of an alien invasion; it is a vindication of the heteropatriarchal system; it is the cunning manipulation of indigenous peoples; it is just nostalgia for the noble savage; it is a cinematic montage; it is a millennial recurrence; it is the product of brilliant action by a group of enlightened people; it is merely the result of the institutional neglect of the state, etcetera.

Here I have given some of the principal “explanations” for Zapatismo that have been spouted from across the ideological spectrum, as much in academia as in the “analysis” of the private media, as well as among political forces, be they institutional or not. If such explanations or theories are not able to account for Zapatismo, then they are no more than opinions and should be taken as such.

But critical thought can go further, for example, by drawing attention to the lack of concepts in any given characterization—that is, the lack of theory.

If an analysis is not supported by an articulated theory, able to emerge unscathed from a confrontation with reality, then where does this analysis come from? From what source does it draw? Who is it that sees with such a gaze?

If instead of concepts what are deployed are judgments, then little to nothing has been understood. And in that case, there is nothing to be done in the face of this reality, other than suffer it. Or, sure, from this one could also construct entire philosophical systems, or “new sciences,” or tweets (these at least have the advantage of being brief).

This critical thought not only helps us give an accounting of our history, what we were, what we are today, and what we want to be, it also allows us to explain reality, that which is most immediate to our calendar and geography. This is what we try to do with our gaze, both when it is oriented inward and when we are looking outward. This is how we come to realize that we need scientific concepts to explain what we are and how we see.

We need basic concepts to understand the capitalist system and the turbulent march of history. Not only can we not spare these things, but we find them absolutely essential: one or a few telescopes, some good binoculars, as many microscopes as there are geographies, and just as many inverted periscopes to study the roots of the matter.

Faced with reality, one can take many distinct positions; one can provide explanations or opinions. Our collective effort is to explain, to understand, to know, and to transform reality.

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An initial assessment tells us that other gazes coincide with ours on something fundamental: a storm is coming.

Knowing that critical thought should inspire reflection and analysis and not blind unanimity, we have selected some of the words that were presented in the seedbed/seminar. They are many and they are important and the majority of them are provocative. And that was the idea, for the word to provoke thought.

The problem of the calendar and of geography is that they make it difficult, in an initial sitting, for one to take everything in. That is why we decided to make a book, or a couple of books, that people can read calmly and then ask questions: who said what? Why? When? From where? For what? These are important questions because we think that they can help make more and better seedbed/seminars in many other places.

This collection consists of three volumes. In this first volume we have included the Zapatista word according to how it was prepared. We did it this way because our word was spun together like a thread, like a sequence that would help to reconstruct not the whole puzzle, but one of its pieces. This first volume includes: a double gaze (inward and outward); an emphasis on the changes we have detected and suffered; “aids” for the gaze (microscopes, inverted periscopes, binoculars, orbital telescopes); and the warnings we now sound.

You will find here almost everything that we have observed from the crow’s nest of this vessel that is the synthesis of calendars and geographies. Although we at first set out to sound the alarm, to blow the conch shell, we soon realized that what we saw also made us look inward, as if the sentinel’s post had inverted its mission and the sentinel is forced to explain, or try to explain, what gives it meaning, purpose, place. We thought then that we could better explain what we saw outside if we first could explain what we see inside. Did we succeed? I don’t know. The answer is not for us, the Zapatistas, to give, but rather for the listener.

We also propose a method and lay out a necessity. The method is that of reflecting on history itself, on genealogy. The necessity is gathering the theoretical elements to do so. Finally, in both the method and the necessity we find the relevance of critical thought.

The texts in this first volume correspond to those that were read or presented from May 2-9, 2015. As the readers will see, this book also contains some texts that were not presented there in their entirety, and one that was not released at all. Readers will also note that they do not match the audios exactly because as they were being read some things were taken out or added.

We have made an effort to assure that our thinking, compiled here, is not lazy or conformist, that it does not fail to account for what has changed and for what remains the same; that it is not dogmatic, that it does not impose its particular time and its particular way; that it is not deceptive, full of lies and half-truths. We hope that these words are food for doubt, inquiry, and questioning.

Apart from that, the storm is coming. We must prepare.

A recommendation: read these texts as if they were one single piece, not as isolated or unconnected interventions. Our words were thought out and prepared as a single unit, as if each part came out of a puzzle that, in the end, would reveal its shape, its intention, and its thought only in relation to the other pieces.

As is the Zapatista way, at the end you will find the beginning: we have to make more and better seedbed/seminars; to make space for practice, but also for reflection on that practice; to understand the need for theory and the urgency of critical thought.

We are not creating a political party or an organization, we are creating a place from which to see. For this vision, we need concepts, not good intentions; we need practice with theory and theory with practice; we need critical analyses, not a priori judgments. To look outward, we need to look inward.

The consequences of both what we will see and of how we will see it will be a key part of how we respond to the question, “What comes next?”

Mexico, March-April-May-June 2015.

SupGaleano.2

The EZLN’s full Book, Critical Thought in the Face of the Capitalist Hydra, from which this is excerpted, was just released, and is available now from PaperBoat Press.

Notes.

(1) In Spanish, “Sexta” refers to adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle. The EZLN uses “la Sexta” to refer collectively to these adherents, which we translate as “the Sixth.”

(2) In May of 2014, the EZLN announced the “death” of the figure of Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, at which time, in honour of the recently murdered Zapatista teacher Galeano, the person behind the character known as Marcos took on the name Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. Due to the fact that a number of the texts presented at the seminar, “Critical Thought in the Face of the Capitalist Hydra,” were written prior to the announced “death” of Marcos, the reader will find that some of the texts written and signed by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos were presented at the seminar and co-signed by Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. The latter often signs texts with the abbreviated “SupGaleano.”

This book will shortly be available in the UK. See: https://ukzapatistas.wordpress.com/new-book/  Or contact us. All proceeds to the Zapatista communities.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/02/by-way-of-prologue-on-how-we-arrived-at-the-watchtower-and-what-we-saw-from-there/

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