dorset chiapas solidarity

January 20, 2017

Who dares to say it is a bad fight?

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:45 pm

 

CNI & EZLN at “The Zapatistas and ConSciences For Humanity

Who dares to say it is a bad fight?

 

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By: Magdalena Gómez

Who dares to say it is a bad fight? With that question on the first of January, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés emphasized the support of the EZLN for the agreements reached in the second stage of the fifth National Indigenous Congress (CNI). And he reflected: “Twenty-three years ago we began our uprising, but our path was exclusive, not all could participate. Now, the CNI calls us to a struggle in which we can all participate. Regardless of age, colour, size, race, religion, language, pay, knowledge, physical strength, culture, sexual preference. Those who live, fight and die in the countryside and in the city now have a path of struggle which unites them. The struggle that the National Indigenous Congress calls and invites us to is a struggle for life with freedom, justice, democracy and dignity; a whole agenda of peaceful struggle that the EZLN endorses at all times. The most recent was the meeting of the Zapatistas and Consciousness for Humanity, held from December 26, 2016 to January 4, 2017 in CIDECI, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, in which they raised questions scientists should respond to. They showed evidence that these are problems that the new Zapatista generations are facing. Science was defended and was separated from pseudoscience and charlatans. So was the recognition that mere ancestral knowledge is no longer enough to deal with the impact on nature caused by destructive projects in the logic of capitalism. We do not need, they said, scientists who come to flatter or shout Zapata lives, the struggle continues or to expose their tribulations in the National System of Investigators (SNI) as some did, clarifying that they are not willing to lose their scholarships. From these perspectives the Zapatistas invited the scientists to share knowledge with the communities.

The second stage of the fifth congress of the CNI culminated in a public assembly held in the auditorium of the Oventic Caracol, where they explained that during the months of October, November and December they consulted on the proposal to create an indigenous council of government and to apply for an Indigenous woman as an independent candidate to run for the Presidency of the Republic in 2018, 43 indigenous peoples from 523 communities in 25 states of the country were consulted, of which 430 communities approved the proposal.

Another 80 consultations continue in process, and more will be added as other indigenous peoples, afro-descendants and migrants request it from the CNI. Delegates also explained that in some communities it was not possible to conduct the consultation because of the violence that is experienced in various parts of the country. And they announced their agreements: 1) to appoint an indigenous government council with men and women representatives of each of the peoples, tribes and nations that comprise it. This council intends to govern this country. And the council will have as its voice an indigenous woman of the CNI, that is to say, who has indigenous blood and knows its culture. That is to say that it has as spokeswoman an indigenous woman of the CNI that will be an independent candidate for the Presidency of Mexico. Our point is for indignation, resistance and rebellion to appear on the ballots of 2018. They clarified that it is not their intention to compete in anything with the parties and all the political class that still owes us much for every person dead, disappeared, or imprisoned, for every act of plunder, every repression. Do not become confused, we do not pretend to compete with them because we are not the same, we are not their lying and perverse words. Both the members of the council and their spokesperson will be proposed and legitimized in assembly and appointed according to customs and traditions, and their positions will be revocable by the assembly of the CNI. In addition, a series of measures were agreed to strengthen the CNI and indigenous peoples, such as eliminating all that divides, such as political parties and government projects, and focus on developing autonomy in all its axes, especially in education, justice and self-government. 2) Convene a assembly to appoint the indigenous governing council for Mexico in May 2017, in which they will decide who will be the indigenous woman presidential candidate in 2018. The next five months the CNI will seek to build bridges with the broader sectors of society where it will have to be determined if as a matter of principle racism is banned and it endorses the CNI’s decision, that still independent of the decision about the 2018 vote. Who dares to say that it is a bad fight?

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2017/01/10/opinion/014a2pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

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January 19, 2017

Words of the EZLN at the closing ceremony of the Second Stage of the Fifth Congress of the National Indigenous Congress

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:21 pm

 

Words of the EZLN at the closing ceremony of the Second Stage of the Fifth Congress of the National Indigenous Congress

 

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Enlace Zapatista version

ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION

MEXICO.

JANUARY 1, 2017

Sisters and brothers of the National Indigenous Congress:

Compañeras, compañeros and compañeroas of the national and international Sixth:

Peoples of Mexico and the world:

Twenty-three years ago we rose up in arms against oblivion.

Our indignation and desperation compelled us to be willing to die in order to live.

To live the only way that’s worth living: with freedom, justice, and democracy.

The Mexican people saw us and spoke to us: they told us that our struggle and our demands are just, but that they are opposed to violence.

As the inhumane conditions of our life and death became known, people agreed that the causes of our uprising were just, but they questioned our way of enacting our dissent.

Today, the conditions of the Mexican people in the countryside and in the city are worse than they were 23 years ago.

Poverty, desperation, death, and destruction are not only wrought on the people who originally populated this land.

Now, misfortune finds everyone.

The crisis also affects those who believed that they were safe and who imagined that the nightmare was only meant for those who live and die below.

Governments come and go, under different colors and flags, and all that they do is make things worse.

Their policies only bring misery, destruction, and death to greater and greater numbers of people.

Now our sisters and brothers in the organizations, barrios, nations, tribes, and originary peoples, organized in the National Indigenous Congress have decided to scream, “ENOUGH!”

They have decided that they will no longer allow the destruction of our country to continue.

They have decided not to allow the peoples and their history to die from the sickness that is the capitalist system; a system that exploits, dispossesses, represses and devalues human beings and nature all over the world.

The National Indigenous Congress has decided to fight to heal our land and our skies, and has decided to do it through civil and peaceful means.

Their causes are just, undeniably so.

Who will now question the path they have chosen and to which they are calling all of us, all women, all men, all others [todoas]?

If they are not respected, if they are not saluted, if they are not supported in their struggle and the path they follow, what message is society sending? What paths will be left for indignation?

Twenty-three years ago we began our uprising, but our path was exclusionary: everyone could not participate.

Now, the National Indigenous Congress is calling us to a struggle in which everyone can participate, no matter their age, colour, size, race, religion, language, salary, knowledge, physical strength, culture, or sexual preference.

Those who live, struggle and die in the countryside and the city now have a path for struggle where they can join together with other women and men.

The National Indigenous Congress is calling and inviting us to a struggle for life with freedom, justice, democracy, and dignity.

Who dares to say that this struggle is a bad one?

It’s time for working people, together with the originary peoples, under the banner of the National Indigenous Congress, which itself is the banner of the originary peoples, to join together in this struggle – a struggle for people who have nothing but pain, rage and desperation.

Now is the time of all people, from the countryside and the city.

That’s what the National Indigenous Congress is telling us.

It’s telling us: enough waiting for other women and men who want to tell us what to do and how to do it; who want to boss us around, who want to manage us, who want to trick us with promises and bold-faced lies.

It’s telling us that every person, wherever they are, in their own way, at their own pace, should be in charge of him or herself; that communities should manage themselves. No more lies, no more tricks, no more politicians who only see their work in the government as an opportunity to steal, to betray, and to sell out.

It’s telling us that we have to fight for truth and justice.

It’s telling us that we have to fight for democracy, which is another way of saying that the people themselves are in charge.

It’s telling us that we have to fight for freedom.

The National Indigenous Congress is made up of wise women and wise men.

They’ve been resisting and fighting for life for centuries.

They know about resistance. They know about rebellion. They know about struggle. They know about life.

They know who is responsible for the pain that beats down every woman and man, everywhere, all the time.

Because of this fight that begins today, the National Indigenous Congress will be attacked. It will be insulted. There will be attempts to divide it, and to buy it off.

Every effort will be made to make them give up, sell out, give in.

But those efforts will not succeed.

We have known one another personally for more than twenty years, for more than 500 years we have known one another in destruction, in death, in disdain, in theft, in exploitation, in history.

The CNI’s strength, conviction, and commitment does not come from individual men and women.

It comes from the organizations, neighbourhoods, nations, tribes and originary peoples in which they were born and in which they matured.

We Zapatistas prepared ourselves for ten years to begin our struggle on January 1 twenty-three years ago.

The National Indigenous Congress prepared for twenty years to arrive at this day and to show us a good path forward.

Whether or not we follow will the decision of each person.

The National Indigenous Congress is going to speak the truth and listen closely.

The struggle of the National Indigenous Congress is no game.

They have told us that this time, they want everything, for every woman and every man.

And that means that:

They want respect for human rights.

They want the release of all political prisoners.

They want all disappeared people to be given back alive.

They want justice for those who have been murdered.

They want truth and justice for the 46 missing from Ayotzinapa.

They want support for peasants and respect for mother earth.

They want dignified housing for all those from below.

They want sufficient food for all those who are defenceless.

They want dignified work and a just salary for the workers in the countryside and the city.

They want complete and free medical care for all workers.

They want free, secular, scientific education.

They want land to belong to those who work it.

They want the factories to belong to the workers.

They want the stores and banks to belong to the employees.

They want respect for street vendors, and for small and medium-sized businesses.

They want public and commercial transportation to belong to those who drive the vehicles.

They want the countryside to belong to the campesinos.

They want the city to belong to its inhabitants.

They want the territory to belong to the originary peoples.

They want autonomy.

They want self-organization.

They want respect for all forms of life.

They want the arts and sciences.

They want freedom of thought, of work, and of creation.

They want freedom, justice and democracy for the Mexico of below.

That is what they’re after.

Each person can decide whether that fight is good, whether that idea is good, whether to respond or not to the call.

As the Zapatista women and men that we are, we say: yes, we’re with you. Yes, we’re with the National Indigenous Congress.

We will find ways to support them with all of our strength.

We will support you because the fight you are proposing, sisters and brothers of the National Indigenous Congress, is perhaps the final opportunity to stop this land and these skies from disappearing through destruction and death.

So all we have to say to you is:

Listen to your heart, to the pain and the rage that exist in all corners of this country.

Walk, and may the earth tremble at its core with your steps.

May these Mexican soils be astonished.

May the skies look upon you with surprise and admiration.

May the peoples of the world learn and take heart from your decision and your conviction.

And above all, regardless of whatever may happen and of everything that stands against you, even if they attack you in every possible way, whatever it takes: don’t give up, don’t sell out, don’t give in.

 

FREEDOM!

JUSTICE!

DEMOCRACY!

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

In the name of the women, men, children and elders of the EZLN.

 

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Mexico, January 2017

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/01/01/palabras-del-ezln-en-la-clausura-de-la-segunda-etapa-del-quinto-congreso-del-cni/

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A Few First Questions for the Sciences and their ConSciences

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:52 pm

 

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A Few First Questions for the Sciences and their ConSciences

 

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December 26, 2016

Scientists [Científicas and Científicos]:

Compas of the Sixth:

Observers and Listeners who are present here and those who are at a distance:

Good morning, afternoon, night, and, as always, the dark hours before dawn:

My name is SupGaleano. As I am only a little over two and a half years old, my version of what used to be called a “curriculum vitae” and now is called a “user profile” is quite brief. In addition to being an insurgente and a Zapatista, I have various other professions. One of them, for example, is to make those who consider themselves fine upstanding citizens uncomfortable, and to awake the basest instincts of those who do not. I do this by showing my clearly seductive and voluptuous figure, which I have achieved, through much effort, via a rigorous diet of greasy meals along with supplementary junk food at my discretion.

I am also, much to my own dismay and that of many readers, the unwilling scribe for the whims of a particular being—mythological for people over 12 years of age and of obvious existential importance for any person passionate about science and any child [niño, niña, or niñoa] who doesn’t care about calendars except to play with. I am referring, of course, to that being whose mere existence lays social and biological Darwinism to rest and marks the emergence of a new epistemic paradigm: the cat-dog. Perhaps, when this entity abandons the prison of the word, world history will be marked and its calendar redefined with “a before and after the cat-dog.”

(The Sup takes out two figurines of the Cat-Dog, carved out of wood and painted by insurgentes).

Another of my professions, at times and on the orders of my bosses, is to feed the paranoid conspiracy theories against the always “suffering,” “selfless,” and well-behaved institutional left that, for lack of real arguments and proposals, resorts to the role of eternal victim in the hopes that pity will translate into votes and for whom fanaticism substitutes for reason and even a minimum of decency.

Yet another of my professions is transgressor of laws such as those of gravity, seriousness, and good manners.

One more profession, which is most relevant in this case, is that of alchemist. Really I should be a scientist, but as I have not yet managed to transform the essence of one thing into its contradictory opposite, I have not received the level of recognition that my admirable labours deserve. But not to despair, I continue experimenting in my laboratory with test tubes and plants, under the ever-critical gaze of the cat-dog, trying to eliminate the essence of that aberration of nature called squash soup and transmute it into something likable and nutritious like pecan ice cream, which, along with popcorn and hot sauce, are some of the few things that science has produced for the benefit of humanity and which differentiate us, along with the opposable thumb and despite the specimen of Donald Trump, from non-human primates.

Thus, today it is my job to try to make you feel, not know, our happiness as Zapatistas that you have accepted our invitation and, despite the calendar, have found the way and means to participate in this gathering.

As Zapatistas we have been waiting for you for almost 23 years. As original peoples, well, you can do the maths.

Of course, many will say that it is not their first time here and that they have, in heart and body, come before. They are right. They have been here, but not as they will be here in the coming days, that is, here to teach and maybe, possibly, to learn from us.

We as Zapatistas are here as your students, your apprentices.

Although we are ready to learn like anybody else, we are a very other kind of student. So that you can get to know us as Zapatistas, we will start by telling you what we don’t want and what we do want.

For example, we won’t help you to haul around your books, nor prepare a bibliography, nor bring your lab materials. Nor we will be hoping that you don’t show up so that we have an excuse to leave. We aren’t looking for good grades, credits, degrees, or, upon finishing our studies, to start our own business based on science, pseudoscience, or false science hidden behind an official letterhead.

We do not aspire to profit from knowledge, nor to achieve prestige by offering the glass beads that are the pseudosciences and philosophies claiming “change comes from within,” “love will redeem the world,” “this concoction/party/politician/leader-of-the-moment-will-bring-us-happiness” that come into fashion or not in times of crisis when the least common of senses, common sense, is defeated by the offer of magical solutions for everyone and everything.

We do not think of knowledge as a social status symbol or measure of intelligence. It’s clear that anybody can graduate using plagiarized material, or by pretending to have valid solutions thanks to the increasingly weak magic of the mass media.

We don’t want to go away to the university, we want to build a university in our communities, for you to teach and learn alongside our peoples.

We don’t want to go to the big laboratories and scientific research centres of the metropolis; we want them to be built here.

Instead of army and police barracks, open air mines and fancy hotels, we want—constructed here, under our leadership and collective operation—astronomical observatories, laboratories, physics and robotics workshops, sites for the observation, study, and conservation of nature, and even a Large Hadron Collider or something that allows us to free the graviton from the hypothetical prison of that particle and to thus begin to determine, once and for all, whether the physicists who subscribe to String Theory are members of a frustrated neo-cult or a group of paradigmatic scientists.

We want to erect schools to train scientists, not workshops disguised as schools that only teach vocations that serve capitalism (cheap and unskilled labour), or that only serve to pass the time or for the bad governments, or whoever aspires to become them, to say they built new schools or institutes.

We want scientific study, not just technical study.

We don’t just want to know how to drive or repair a vehicle, a sewing machine, a carpentry tool, a microscope; we also want to know the scientific principles of mechanical movement and optic physics, what combustion is; we want to know that speed is not the same as acceleration; one shouldn’t confuse value and price.

We don’t want to enter those scientific and technological competitions that so enthuse the public and private universities in order to see which machine or machinist is best. We want to learn and do science and technology to win the only competition that is worthwhile: that of life against death.

We don’t want to go to the big cities and get lost there. And that isn’t because we don’t have the knowledge to do so—the kids who have been educated in the autonomous schools have a greater level of knowledge then those who were educated in the state-run schools—nor is it for lack of intelligence or money.

It’s because we do not want to cease to be what we are. And we are originary peoples, indigenous, as they say. What makes us what we are is our land, our people, our history, our culture, and as Zapatistas, our struggle.

In sum, we want to understand the world, to know it. Because only by knowing the world can we make a new one, a bigger one, a better one.

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A wise man of the originary peoples, Purépecha by blood, Mexican by geography and internationalist by heart, Tata Grande Juan Chávez Alonso, once said that the life of the original peoples is, among other things, a continuous preparation. “We have to prepare ourselves for everything: to be born, to grow, to love, to hate, to learn, to build, to destroy, to struggle, to die. And in the end, this is what we leave for those who come after us. We do not leave them an inheritance of riches, surnames, and positions. We only leave them the lesson that they must prepare themselves—for everything, all of the time, everywhere.”

That is why you should know that we have been preparing ourselves for this event for months.

We didn’t just show up here in front of you to see what you say, to see how you are, what your ways and times and geographies consist of. No, we came here prepared.

The doubt that moves us, the scientific curiosity, the eagerness to learn and know, comes from long ago, so long ago that the scientific calendars can’t keep track.

For example, we prepared questions.

We know well that just as you have to prepare to teach, we who don’t know yet have to prepare to learn.

 

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We also know that, just as one has to study to give answers, one also has to study to ask questions.

It hasn’t been easy. For example, we had to study how to say and write words like “anabolic,” “salbutamol,” “clenbuterol” “pre-eclampsia” and “eclampsia.” We had to learn to say “el mioma” [myoma] and not “la mioma.” We had to find a way to explain to you what it means “to burst out fish” and other things that we see in our world as indigenous people.

We met multiple times. First we met as zone-level assemblies. There we chose who would participate in this event given their area of work, for example, those who are promotores [trained practitioners] in the area of health, education, agro-ecology, medicinal plants, community radio, bone-setting and midwifery, etc. It didn’t matter if the person is young or old, if they are 15 or 524 years old. They did however have to understand Spanish, in order to understand all of you. And of course, they had to be interested in science.

Later the compañeras and compañeros who were selected met multiple times to prepare our questions. The first and most important questions we created were: what are we going to ask these brother and sister scientists? Do we only ask them what they know about science? Or do we also ask them how they see the current situation, if they think things are bad or everything is calm? Do we ask them how they view their scientific work? Do we ask them how they struggle for justice and freedom?

These questions that we are going to read to you now are some of the ones that we prepared in our meetings. As you will see, many of the questions don’t correspond to the exact and natural sciences, which should give you an idea of what the next gathering will be. Here goes:

Do genetically modified organisms do harm to Mother Nature and human beings or not?

Is there a scientific explanation for why, in some regions, in gullies where in times of drought there is no water, as soon as the first rains come (in May and June), there is a sudden spike in the production of fish? This is what we call “bursting with fish.”

Let me see if I can clarify these questions. Many years ago, let’s say about 30, about the middle of 1986, we were in the mountains…

1986, when Michael Jackson was still of African American complexion…

1986, when the Green Ecology Party of Mexico, the Citizens Movement, the Workers Party, the Democratic Revolutionary Party [PRD] and the party of the Movement for National Regeneration [MORENA] were all still called the Institutional Revolutionary Party [PRI] and they had as designated successor Carlo Salinas de Gortari whose economic policies they all still back today. The New Alliance Party and the Social Encounter Party still went under the name of National Action Party.

(Decades later, the eezeeelen has recognized its defeat and has another structure; Michael Jackson, even with a different colour, kept being Michael Jackson; the PRI and the PAN are still all the same people, although now with other colours)…

Around the middle of 1986, during the soccer World Cup, that intermediary between heaven and earth, the dervish named Diego Armando Maradona, took off from midfield, leaving every British player in the dust until, satisfied, he shot the ball into the net in a play that marked the 20th century and still causes old fans to say, when watching Lionel Messi play, “Pfff! I saw Maradona perform a scientific demonstration that god exists and is round.”

Okay, I guess that wasn’t a very orthodox example.

Well, in 1986, we were in an insurgent camp called “Recruits.” A group of recruits asked the commander in charge for permission to go to a nearby village to collect fish. “You mean to go fishing,” the commander said. “No,” they replied, “to collect fish, because this is the time when the stream bursts with fish.” The commander wanted to know what this was all about, and they told him: “the stream is dry, and at the first rain, it bursts with fish, but since there is no water, you just grab them.” “So are they tiny fish then?” the commander asked skeptically. “No, they’re grown, big fish, sardina or bobito,” they replied. “There’s no such thing as magic, but go ahead,” the commander said. The next day they came back with a burlap sack full of fresh fish. That afternoon we ate so much fish soup that the trees that shaded the camp took on a fluorescent light that could have been seen without difficulty from the space telescope Hubble.

In sum: there’s just a dry riverbed, a first, timid rain, and then, with the riverbed just barely moist and spotted with a few puddles, thousands of adult fish flap around disconcerted with that same distrustful look that you all have right now. What is the scientific explanation? End of the pointless clarification. Continuing with the questions:

When a patient suffers a bone fracture, a doctor amputates the affected area or installs a metal rod or screw. But if the patient is treated by a bonesetter, they’re cured. What is the explanation for this?

With all of the damage that the capitalists have done to the people through their misuse of science, scientifically can you create a science that is truly human in order to avoid falling into a science that is inhuman, and if it is possible create a truly human science, who can create it?

In our struggle for liberation we see and feel the reality produced by the capitalist hydra. We are therefore creating a new society and a new world to save nature for the sake of a humanity without injustice, inequality, exploitation, and poverty. For this we need the originary peoples, all exploited people, the artists and you as scientists to be united, because your inventions and discoveries are very important for the development of humanity. What do you think and what do you have to say about this?

Brother and sister companer@ scientists, you have a different kind of knowledge, but we, and other sectors, all have something in common, because capitalism exploits us all and appropriates our knowledges for its own evil ends. Do you think that we are going to allow this exploitation to continue, or is there another way to live with justice and freedom, a way to work collectively and with unity, to defend life and humanity?

Brother and sister companer@ scientists, the exploitation and abuse of human beings and nature has caused much suffering and death. We want the exploiters and also whoever doesn’t suffer as we do to put themselves in our shoes. This has made us think that something must be done and made us ask who should do it. We have concluded that the artists, scientists, originary peoples, and those below must put together our wisdom and begin to construct a new world where those of us who live will live well. Will you agree to be part of the construction of a new world together with us?

Brother and sister companer@ scientists, as Zapatistas we think that science itself is a series of knowledges that can help us to develop a more human system, where our dreams of unity and the conservation of Mother Earth and living beings can be possible. Simultaneously they will help us to soon destroy this capitalist monster. So we ask, is there room for your dreams, your knowledges and your science in the world of oppression? Is there room for your dreams within dispossession, horror, fear and the extermination of life? Do you believe that science can humanize in conjunction with the peoples of the countryside and the city?

Brothers and sisters, companer@s, scientists, what do you think about the women who are being exploited, manipulated, marginalized, assassinated, tortured, kidnapped, racially discriminated against and used as objects to promote capitalist commodities? What do you think about the fact that they use us as publicity for their propaganda and their transport of drugs, and as objects to satisfy their sexual needs? That they prostitute us to sell articles to make money? Why must we suffer to see the violence and death faced by millions of women across the world on an everyday basis? And we do not only feel pain, but also rage and fury. For example, as Zapatista women we are exercising our right and freedom to participate in our autonomous government of lead-by-obeying, which we see is a space for us to construct a new society. What do you think as scientists can be done to free us from all of this suffering and evil that the capitalist system does to us? And what can we do about it, you and us together? And given that without us women the world cannot live, how much time to you think that we women have to wait to be free? Is it now or never? As Zapatista women we see that it is possible to organize, struggle and work, we see that you and us need one another.

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And so to bring this section to a close, I put two questions to you. The first came from Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés:

What is the scientific explanation for why whenever you start to talk about politics the insurgentas and insurgents fall asleep? Some of them even claim that they have trouble sleeping, but all that you have to do is start talking about politics and they start snoring. Is there a scientific explanation for this? Or are they just acting a fool?

The second question will make more sense in the next session:

Why is this flower this colour? Why does it have this shape? Why does it have this smell?

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(The Sup takes out his little Einstein and Sherlock Holmes dolls and places them in the middle of the table, surrounded on either side by a pair of cat-dog figures).

Like any self-respecting alchemist, I feel a mixture of envy and admiration for the person who, without stopping to attend to the global problems of injustice and slavery, also practices the hard sciences (like Albert Einstein here) and for those who manage to go beyond the abstract universe and apply the sciences in pursuit of human justice (like detective Sherlock Holmes). Einstein and Holmes, both represent the commitment of their scientific and technical work to social transformation. Both remind us that, as Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés highlighted earlier, we cannot delegate our tasks as full human beings to others.

That is why, despite the fact that I am only a mediocre alchemist, you, who have made scientific work your motor and your destiny, share with me and with those who are huddled here with you, the idea that we must do something. And this something doesn’t have anything to do with the irresponsibility of delegating the responsibility of doing something to others.

Of course, you will say that I am setting a trap. That, in placing the figures of Albert Einstein and Sherlock Holmes in front of you, I am resorting to a crude and caricatured form of blackmail in order to oblige you to adhere to a political proposal that seeks to hegemonize and homogenize everything: the sciences, the arts, life.

Maybe, maybe not. Let’s leave aside for a moment the blackmail, perhaps more appropriate for adolescent romance and the politics of above that pays lip-service to “love” and “fraternity” while they traffic in discrimination, racism, intolerance and the “with me or against me” that all fascists resort to.

Note that alongside Einstein and Holmes I have placed the little Cat-dog figures, which are both looking at them and looking at you.

The Cat-dog is acting like Doctor Watson, ready to sum up his scientific achievements, that is, his human ones.

But the Cat-dog is also pointing to the shadows of Moriarty and the Manhattan Project, alerting you to the ominous and predatory presence of the Hydra, the system that is always inclined to operate its perverse alchemy and convert knowledge made for life and for creation into knowledge for destruction and death.

That is how – one more blackmail – I am showing you what this encounter is about, an encounter between your science and the conscience of us Zapatistas.

I am showing you that we look at you and that our gaze is also a form of listening to you and understanding you.

That our gaze has this mix of admiration and envy for what you are; for what it is that, at least according to us Zapatistas, makes you special.

And our gaze is neither hopeful, nor not hopeful,

Our gaze is simply asking:

And what about you? What are you doing?

 

From CIDECI_Unitierra, Chiapas, Mexico, Latin America, Planet Earth, Solar System, etcetera.
SupGaleano.

Mexico, December 26, 2016

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2016/12/26/algunas-primeras-preguntas-a-las-ciencias-y-sus-conciencias/

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“The flower is to blame”

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:56 pm

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“The flower is to blame”

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December 27, 2016

“Earlier this year, on February 30, 2016, the Swedish electronic science magazine, River’s Scientist Research Institute, published a study that may revolutionize science and its social applications.

A group of scientists, led by Swedish doctors Stod Sverderg, Kurt Wallander, and Stellan Skarsgard, presented a complex, multidisciplinary analysis that arrived at the following provocative conclusion: There exists a direct correlation between the increase in quantity and quality of feminist movements, and the decrease in birth rates.

Combining statistical methods, embryology, molecular biology, genetics, and analytical behaviour, the scientists concluded that the rise in the diversity of feminism’s belligerence provokes libido inhibitors in males, and thus reduces the rate of frequency of sexual reproduction.

But there’s more. Laboratory analyses established that male spermatozoa exposed to feminist activism are weaker than unexposed spermatozoa. Known as astebizisoermia, or “lazy spermatozoa” syndrome, it is more prevalent in male populations where feminism occupies a protagonist role in social organization. According to the published article, Dr. Everet Bacstrom of the Rainn Wilson Institute, headquartered in London, tested the investigation’s theory with a sample of European, WASP, middle class males and reached the same conclusion.

In an interview with the publication, European feminist activists Chloë Sevigny and Sarah Linden said that the study was merely a dirty example of “patriarchal scientism.”

Meanwhile, the international advisory centre for governments, Odenkirk Associated, declared through its spokespersons, James Gordon and Harvey Bullock, that it recommended that governments in the First World “inhibit the activism and belligerence of feminist groups” so that national birth rates may increase in developed countries. At the same time, they recommended that the governments of Third World countries, particularly in Africa and Latin America, encourage the participation of feminist groups, especially in marginalized zones so that birth rates might decline in those areas, preventing more general social disturbances.

Consulted on the matter, advisors of the European Economic Community, Stella Gibson and Gillian Anderson, refused to confirm or deny that the study is to become the basis for a new international policy between Europe and the Third World.”

Well, what I’ve just read to you is an example of the new scientific journalism. Although it is completely my own writing, it is our gift to you all for the December holidays. Take it and conduct an experiment: publish it.

Don’t appeal to the written press. With the exception of the author and a diminishing number of people, nobody reads newspapers and magazines to inform themselves. Come on, not even those who write for these places read them. They only look at whatever comments are made about their texts on social media. In fact, it is social media that dictates to them which topics they should cover. Just a couple of months ago, I read a “thought leader” and “expert analyst” ask their “followers” which topic they should cover in their column: “fav, if on the female candidate of the National Indigenistic Congress” (I’m pretty sure that’s how they put it), “rt if on the great comrade and leader, sun of our way forward, and illustrious builder of the future.” I don’t need to tell you that the rt’s won.

No, if you want to have some “media resonance,” then appeal directly as a primary source to social media.

Find one of those social media stars, for example, an adolescent “twitstar” with hundreds of thousands of followers. Someone constantly preoccupied with giving their fans the type of material that promotes critical tolerance, rational debate, and profound reflection (things that, clearly, are found in abundance in the stimulating environment that is social media). Someone like, for example, John M. Ackerman (253,000 followers). Yes, I know that I said it should be an adolescent, and yes, Mr. John Ackerman is a little long in the tooth, but I’m referring to mental age so bear with me.

After that, “follow” him and make sure he doesn’t block you. This is very easy; you don’t need to write anything that is even half intelligible. It’s enough to fill your timeline with retweets of all the grand, iron truths that emanate from the keyboard of said person.

Okay, now you only need to somehow get this “influencer” to briefly reference the scientific study, and his hundreds of millions of followers will automatically fave or retweet it.

This is how the “scientific” study will become a hit. It will become the basis for future analyses, colloquia, round tables, and it will find entry into the bloated library of conspiracy theories.

No, you won’t need to worry about anyone taking the time to critically analyze the supposedly scientific article and notice the following:

.- February does not have 30 days.

.- “River” is a British police drama where the main character, John River, is played by the Swedish actor Stellan John Skarsgård.

.- Stod Sverderg and Kurt Wallander are characters in the Swedish police TV series “Wallander.”

.- Everet Backstrom is the name of the main character on a detective TV comedy-drama called “Backstrom,” played by Rainn Wilson.

.- Chloë Sevigny is the name of the actress who plays Catherine Jensen in the Danish TV crime drama “Those Who Kill”

.- Sarah Linden is the name of the main character in the U.S. police TV series “The Killing,” played by Mireille Enos.

.- Bob Odenkirk is the name of the lead actor in the series “Better Call Saul,” which they say is the prequel to “Breaking Bad.”

.- James Gordon and Harvey Bullock are characters in the show “Gotham”

.- The European Economic Community no longer exists. It was disbanded in 2009 to make way for the European Union.

.- And Stella Gibson and Gillian Anderson are the main character and its actress, respectively, in the show “The Fall.”

Here, please forgive me if my English pronunciation is pretty off from international scientific standards, and even sounds like that of a “wet back” of the 1940s, but solidarity with Latino emigrants who currently suffer the Trump nightmare takes surprising, not always obvious paths. In any case, those who are reading rather than listening to these words have no devotion to the horror that is being lived north of the Rio Bravo.

Sure, it would have sufficed for any of you to Google these primary references to realize that the ostensibly “scientific study” described above is a complete fraud.

-*-

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Does science have to worry about these frauds, which reduce scientific activity to a caricature for massive consumption?

Do you all think that only religion and creationism deserve to be challenged? Religion is religion—it doesn’t pretend to be scientific. On the other hand, pseudoscience is a major problem. If you think that you’re in the era of Enlightenment, and you’re happy with ridiculing religious paradigms and staging livestreamed popularity contests where atheists battle believers, then it might be because you haven’t noticed the gaping hole that exists below the waterline of the “ship of science.”

The pseudosciences, or false sciences, not only keep on winning, they are becoming acceptable explanations of reality.

If you don’t believe me, try undergoing some quartz-based bioenergetic balancing therapy. Or enrol in a course on “The Theory of Science” in a department of higher learning at a respectable university, and allow yourself the surprise to learn that you’ll need to engage with material under the banner of “Scientific Philosophy” (the oxymoron that lives on from even before the time of Prometheus, Sisyphus, and Theseus).

Believe it or not, the dark times on the horizon now take science from the court dock to the social gallows.

I’ll return to this point in greater depth on another occasion.

For now, this applies to this case, or thing, depending, as you all need to confront the invasion of these false sciences. We Zapatistas confront that, and several other things.

-*-

In our participation in yesterday’s first general session, I presented a few of the questions prepared by my compañeras and compañeros, who have been selected to be your students.

Those are not my questions. If they were mine, they would have sounded different. They would have been these types of questions: What relationship is there between squash soup and cognitive deficiency? What are the nutritious qualities of that wondrous food that is referred to as pecan ice cream? Are injections a pseudoscientific form of torture? Etcetera.

So the only thing I did with my compas’ questions is group them together. I removed some of them because we imagined they would be answered in the presentations, as well as for another reason which, if there’s time, I will discuss.

These 200 compañeras and compañeros, 100 women and 100 men, were selected to attend—that is to say, to respond to collectives. Their presence here is not for their personal interest or benefit. When they leave here, they will each need to return to their collective and describe what this encounter was all about, what they learned or what they didn’t, what they understood or what they didn’t. In other words, they are obligated to socialize knowledge. This is the reason why you see these compas writing and writing in their notebooks, consulting each other with a fervour I doubt you would find in your university’s student body.

What I want to say here is that, although it appears that you are all confronted by 200 masks, in reality, your words will reach tens of thousands of indigenous people who speak different native languages.

Yeah, it is a little scary. Or a lot, depending.

The interest in science inside the Zapatista communities is legitimate, it is real. But it is relatively new; it has not always been this way. It relates to one of the transformations that our struggle has undergone: our process of constructing our autonomy. That is, our liberty.

This will be elaborated on by the compañero Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés in tomorrow morning’s session. For now, let me just take a moment to provide you with some details:

  1. – The indigenous Zapatista communities represented here by these 200 transgressors of the indigenous stereotype that reigns in both the institutional right and left, do not conceive of this encounter as a single event. Please understand: this is not a fleeting moment. They, the Zapatista people, hope that this encounter becomes the beginning of a stable and enduring relationship. They hope to keep in touch with you and maintain an ongoing exchange. Or as the people say, “Let this time be neither the first nor the last.”
  2. – The ways of our ways: So that you don’t become frustrated and so that you understand why there aren’t any questions at the end of each presentation, allow me to explain what our method is as students.

We do not raise individual problems. As a student body, we continue to function as a collective. Everyone takes notes, then after the class or the lecture, the collective gets together and they complete their notes by taking down everybody else’s. This way, if a student had become distracted or understood things differently, the rest can help complete that student’s notes or clarify things for him or her. For example, in yesterday’s presentation, the one written by the physicist and read to us by the doctor, there’s a part where he points out that someone could say that we have no scientific advancements compared to the developed countries because in Mexico we are Indians. A Zapatista compa became really upset at that because, according to him, the physicist was criticizing us for being the indigenous people that we are, and blaming us for the lack of scientific advancement in our country. In the collective recap, they cleared up that the physicist wasn’t saying that, and that he was instead criticizing those who do say that.

With questions, the same thing happens. First the students ask their questions amongst each other. This way, a good part of the questions are answered because the problem was that they didn’t hear, or that they didn’t take down the notes well, or that they didn’t understand what was being said. Another part of their questions, they answer amongst themselves. And then what are left are the questions that truly are collective questions.

I know that, to you, this can appear to be a tedious, slow process, and that at least a few of you might become disillusioned, thinking that we don’t participate, or that you weren’t able to capture our attention. You’d be mistaken: after the collectives get together in each zone, they will write out the questions they came up with and we will send them to you through the same line of communication that we used to invite you to this encounter. At least until we come up with an agreed upon medium and way of keeping in touch.

Of course, all of this is part of our certainty that this encounter will be the first of many, and that all of you will keep in touch with your students, and through them, with tens of thousands of Zapatistas.

So, have patience. At least the same patience you provide your investigations and experiments, or the type that would otherwise drive you to despair while you wait to learn that your project proposals have been accepted.

Having said that, allow me to propose the Zapatista methodology par excellence: Answering a question with another question.

With this, you will need to begin your answers with a fundamental question: “Why do you ask that?”

So let me explain. Because of the ways of Zapatismo, our practices in the communities do not seek to hegemonize or homogenize. This means that we do not relate only among Zapatistas, and we do not try to make everyone Zapatistas. While our setbacks and mistakes are ours alone, our successes and advancements we share with non-Zapatistas even with anti-Zapatistas. To understand why this is so, it would be necessary to study our history, something that surpasses the aims of this encounter.

For now, it suffices to say that, for example, the health promoters also care for the health of partidistas [political party followers]. So then, if a health promoter is giving out vaccines, it wouldn’t be rare for them to come up against partidistas who refuse because, they argue, vaccines are not natural, or are poisonous, or make you sick, or introduce illnesses into your body, or other superstitions or whatever else, which are due to the fraud that is the government’s health system. In effect, the senior and best promoters of bad health in the partidista communities are the governmental authorities.

Because of this, in light of the partidistas’ disasters, the health promoter tries to argue for and convince people that vaccines are good. This is why it’s logical that one of the questions I read yesterday was, “Scientifically, is it necessary to vaccinate yourself and why, or are there other ways and/or forms that substitute vaccines for other things? For example, for whooping cough, measles, smallpox, tetanus, etc?” With this question, they are asking you to provide them with arguments.

It’s the same with education promoters, the community radio announcers, and the authorities and coordinators of the collectives.

Another example: when a person in a community convulses or becomes ill and exhibits strange symptoms, the partidistas begin to say that it’s because somebody cast some kind of witchcraft. Because accusations of witchcraft usually end up with lynchings, the Zapatistas take great efforts to convince the partidistas that there is no such thing, that the convulsions have a scientific explanation and not a magical one, and that it’s not witchcraft but epilepsy that provokes those attacks. That’s why they are asking about the supernatural, the occult sciences, telepathy, etcetera. Statistics on this aren’t kept, but more than one partidista is indebted to neo-Zapatismo for not having been lynched for witchcraft, the evil eye, and things like that.

There are also questions on topics that they have received contradictory views on. For example, genetically modified organisms. There are some who say that they are harmful, and others who say that they are not, and others who say that of course they’re not. So the compas request scientific proof, not the slogans for either of these positions.

Yesterday, the biologist told us about a survey she conducted, it seems to me, using social media. She told us that someone replied that they would participate when she included the option to answer something like, “science is evil.”

Well, the Zapatista communities are visited by all kinds of people. The majority come to tell us what we should or should not do. People come, for example, who tell us that it’s good to live in houses with dirt floors and mud and clay walls; that it’s good to walk barefoot; that all of this is beneficial to us because it puts us into direct contact with Mother Nature, allowing us to directly receive the beneficial auras of the universe’s harmony. Don’t laugh at me, thinking I’m exaggerating. I’m transcribing word for word the assessment of a former student of the Zapatista Little School.

“Modernity is evil,” they say, and along with that they include: shoes, manufactured flooring, wall, and roofing material, and science.

To be sure, science doesn’t have much going in its favour. Open-pit mining, machines that build hotels and subdivisions, farming techniques imposed by donors and government programmes promising “progress,” have all arrived at its hand.

It is said that religion arrived in indigenous communities by the sword; that is true. But what’s forgotten is that pseudoscience and anti-science have arrived at the hand of good vibes, naturalism as non-religion, esotericism as “ancestral knowledge,” and microdosing mushrooms as neo-medicine.

I understand that those things take place in the hipster establishments of San Cristóbal de las Casa or in certain Coyoacan neighbourhoods near and dear to your hearts, and that they sound nice while smoking a joint (puff-puff-pass), consuming smart drinks, and ingesting soft drugs. Ok, so everyone escapes from reality according to their respective budgets—we are not judging.

But understand that the challenge that we have proposed to confront as the Zapatistas that we are, requires tools that, I regret to disappoint more than one person out there when I say, ONLY “scientific science” can provide us with—which is how Subcomandante Insurgente Moises refers to the sciences “that really are sciences,” in distinction to the sciences which are not.

-*-

Yesterday, we also heard about an experiment about something like “science and gender.” I think that it went like this: they put a man and a woman up for an academic job, each with identical CVs. The search committee was composed of the same number of men and women. They selected the man, were asked why they had selected him and not her, and their response was that the woman was submissive, conciliatory, and weak.

Sure, my biological chemical makeup includes the complete works of de José Alfredo Jiménez and Pedro Infante, so I celebrated the decision. But then, together with SubMoy, we got to thinking and started doing the figures.

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We asked Insurgenta Erika (present here) what she thought about that. She, for her part, asked me what “submissive” was. I responded, “obedient.” Then she asked me what the word “conciliatory” meant. “That she doesn’t fight, that she doesn’t impose, that she tries to find an agreement,” I answered. The word “weak” she said she understood. She thought for bit and then told us: “I don’t think I know those things.”

So then, forgive me if we live in another world, but we don’t know of any compañera who is submissive, conciliatory, and weak. Maybe because if they were, they wouldn’t be Zapatistas.

However, I think that in these lands, this experiment would have the same result but for the opposite reasons. That is, they would still select the man but precisely because the woman is neither submissive nor conciliatory, and much less weak.

And I mention this for what I am about to explain:

The following anecdote was told to me by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés and I narrate it here for you, after having confirmed the details with him.

It may have taken place in a caracol in a meeting for the Hydra course given to the mensajeros and mensajeras, he’s not sure.

What happened was that a compañera jóvena [female youth] ran into SubMoy and asked him something like, “Hey compañero Subcomandante, I have a question. Let’s see if you can answer it.” ([When she said it in Spanish] she kept switching the gendered nouns’ pronouns between masculine and feminine, which is now part of the “way” that Spanish is spoken in many of the communities.)

SubMoy answered something like, “Ok compañera, tell me and if I know, I’ll answer. And if I don’t, well, let’s see how we do.”

It was clear that this question had been spinning in the jóvena’s head for many days and nights because she blurted out:

“Why is the flower that colour, why is it that shape, why does it have that scent?”

She didn’t stop there. Now having overcome the main obstacle (expressing the question), she added:

“And I don’t want you to tell me that Mother Earth in all her wisdom made the flower like that, or that it was God, or whatever else. I want to know the scientific answer.”

SubMoy could have responded in the way any military type, whether left or right, would have responded: that the compañera needed to cut her nonsense and go back to her post, or finish her work, or get to studying the seven principles, or that she study the Hydra lectures. Or maybe he would have referred her to the JBG or MAREZ or to the education or health commission.

He could have done all that, but he didn’t. Yes, SubMoy told me how he answered. But I got to thinking about the multitude of options that, in different calendars and geographies, would have inspired other answers.

Now looking back, it occurs to me, this unpublished anachronistic alchemist, that the compañera Zapatista was not looking for SubMoy to answer why the damn flower was the way that it was. Instead, she was looking for him to capture, how they say, all of the complexity that resides within that flower.

With just that question alone and who posed it we could have an entire seminar on the history of Zapatismo. No, I won’t overwhelm you by telling you a story that you surely won’t be interested in. All of you right now, like I was then, are more interested in learning what SubMoy’s answer was for the compañera.

SubMoy said to me, in his signature paused, teaching tone, that he had realized that, behind the question there was not only another question, but an even bigger question.

It was a question that had to with what, then and now, are referred to as the changes that have taken place in the Zapatista communities.

The jóvena, in contrast to her mother and grandmother when they were the same age, has already rejected two marriage proposals (“As if I were thinking about a husband,” was the identical response that greeted the two suitors who, only moments before, had used up half a bottle of cologne and styled with a gel that will help maintain their hair’s position for centuries); she is fluent in two languages (her mother tongue and Spanish);  she can read and write with an accuracy that college students at a certain national university would envy; she has completed the primary and secondary autonomous schools; she carries out her duties as a health promoter and Tercio Compa; she can work a computer and on three different operating systems (iOS, Windows, and Linux) without difficulty; in addition to operating cameras and video editing software, she can easily navigate the internet—of course, as long as the atmospheric climate allows the JBG’s satellite link to withstand the upload and download bandwidth of 0.05 kb per second, and that the limit hasn’t already been reached with the communities’ denouncements.

With this background, it’s no surprise that she wasn’t going to be satisfied with the answer about “Mother Earth in all her infinite wisdom made the flower like that because everything is in harmony with the universe’s forces that emanate from within nature.” (Here everyone can close their eyes, take each other by the hands, and repeat after me: “ommm, ommmm.”)

It would make sense to assume that, when her mother, in response to her questions, would have instead sent her to fetch water or firewood, the jóvena would have gone for the aforementioned items without protest but would have kept pondering the question along her 4 kilometre walk to fetch the wood, and 2 kilometre trip to fetch the water.

Of course, if I were to tell you that the jóvena Zapatista in question is named Azucena [Lily], or Camelia, or Dalia, or Jazmín, or Violeta, or sure, Flor [Flower], you are all going to wonder if there aren’t already enough absurdly obvious occurrences that there’s no need to keep on raining on those things that are already wet. And I won’t tell you the truth, which is that the compañera’s name is Rosita, that her mother’s name is Rosa, and that her grandmother is Rosalia. Imagine the horror if the compañera has a baby girl. For sure her name would end up being Rositía.

Well, the point is that, when days later SubMoy told me that we had to think of how we were going to be in touch with the scientists, I gave him that same confused expression that you all had when you saw the title of this presentation. Of course SubMoy didn’t take it personally, so he forced me to ask him, “What’s that mean, where you going with that?”

SupMoy lit a cigarette and responded laconically, “The flower is to blame.”

For my part, of course, I lit a pipe and remained silent but my facial expression said, “Ah, you think?” Nah, that’s not true. I gave him an expression that said, “What?!” Nah, that’s not true either. But I did give him some kind of expression because I didn’t have my mask on and SubMoy laughed and explained his response, as I already mentioned.

The context, as they say, of the question and of the answer, is what SubMoy will talk to you about tomorrow.

So then all you scientists, when you return to your world and somebody asks you what this encounter resulted in, or why you came, or what it was about, or how it went, you can begin your long or short answer this way:

“The flower is to blame.”

Thank you very much.

From CIDECI-Unitierra, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México, Latin America, planet Earth, Solar System, etc.

SupGaleano.

December 27, 2016.

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From the Notebook of the Cat-Dog: Zapatista Defence, Art, and Science

It hasn’t yet been possible to clear up the reason why. Some say that it was a bet. Others say that it was because Pedrito just took it too far. A very small number of people say that what was witnessed that day was an extraordinarily intense game whose result was decided in the final seconds, when the referee, SupMoisés, called the penalty.

Whatever the case, this places the little girl, Zapatista Defence, only a few metres away from the penalty line, where a frayed ball awaits her.

At the goal, Pedrito holds his arms up above his head like the goal keeper of what used to be the soccer team of what used to be the Soviet Union: Lev Yashin, “The Black Spider.” Pedrito smiles cunningly, for, according to him, he can already predict where the girl will aim her shot: “Zapatista Defence is perfectly predictable. Since she just came back from the discussion with the mensajeras, she will for sure aim her kick below and to the left.”

For her part, the girl, who barely stands a metre off the ground, turns her gaze toward one side of the field. (Actually, it’s a pasture which occasionally erupts with cows and their young calves, in addition to a one-eyed horse.)

On this side you can see: a strange being, half dog and half cat, happily wagging its tail. As well as two individuals who, if these weren’t Zapatista lands, one would say they totally clashed with the landscape. One of them: medium-complexioned, short grey hair, sporting a type of raincoat. The other: skinny, tall, gawky, with an elegant coat and a ridiculous sombrero on his head.

The girl heads toward the strange group. The one-eyed horse comes closer, too. They gather, and the skinny man draws strange figures on the dirt. The girl pays close attention, once in a while, nodding her head.

The girl, Zapatista Defence, returns to the middle of the field and assumes her position. She begins to trot toward the ball but she runs past it, without even touching it. She stops a few centimetres from the right side of the goal that’s being defended by Pedrito, who looks at her suspiciously. Zapatista Defence stops, squats down, and begins to scratch a bit of dirt so that she can pick a flower by its roots. She carefully takes the flower in her hands, replants it far from the goal, and returns to the field.

The audience is in suspense, sensing that they’re witnessing one of those events that will never again be repeated the world over.

Pedrito, for his part, is now more than confident. If he previously had any doubts, Zapatista Defence has committed a serious error: as she moved to pick the flower from its place, the girl signalled the direction she was going to kick to: below and to the left of Pedrito. Clearly, Pedrito told himself, because girls care about flowers, Zapatista Defence didn’t want the ball to uproot the flower.

As if that wasn’t suspenseful enough, the girl has now positioned herself no longer some distance from the ball and in front of the goal. Instead, she is standing right next to the ball with her back turned to a smiling Pedrito who is thinking about all of the ways he will make fun of Zapatista Defence when she misses the penalty kick.

Zapatista Defence turns her face over to where the strange Cat-Dog is, who starts to jump up and down and spin like a little dancing toy. The girl smiles and she initiates a movement that will divide opinions for decades to come:

Some participants from CompArte say that she first began in a ballet position, raised her left leg up, and began to whirl in that movement they call “pirouette en dehors”, and “relevés” and rotating “passes.” “It was impeccable,” they added.

The now deceased SupMarcos said that, what Zapatista Defense had just done, was none other than the Ushiro Mawashi Geri Ashi Mawatte, a martial arts technique where you turn your back to your target and spin just about 360 degrees before kicking it with the heel of your foot.

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The insurgentas that were gathered in the section, “Like the Women that we Are,” for their part, said that the flower that Zapatista Defence picked up belonged to the liana known as “Chenek Caribe,” whose flowers look like little chicks or little birds, and are what the littlest of girls play with in the indigenous communities of the Lacandon Jungle. The “Chenek Caribe” tend to bloom in pastures and tall grasses, signalling that the soil is ready to sow maiz and beans.

SubGaleano who, as always, crashes these stories, says that he was certain that Pedrito would become confused by what was so obvious: that, in effect, Zapatista Defence was going to shoot below and to the left, but Pedrito assumed that it was going to be to HIS below and to the left. The kick did go below and to the left, but from the perspective of the girl.

Dr Watson said that what Zapatista Defence had done was briefly emulate the meditative dance Sema practiced by Sufi Dervishes just as he had seen performed live during his stay in Turkey, where the dancers spin their bodies in repetitive circles, imitating the movement of the planets orbiting the sun.

The detective consultant Sherlock Holmes explained that everybody was mistaken. That what the girl did was the application of a scientific explanation he had given her on the rotational inertia of a body, and the application of centrifugal force on the sphere. “Elementary, my dear Watson,” said the detective, who found himself lost in the Mexican South-eastern Mountains. “It was clear that, given the height and weight of Zapatista Defence, it was necessary to increase as much as possible the force that was to connect with the sphere, providing the ball the necessary velocity and acceleration to travel 11 metres. Sure, the probability of success was 50/50. That is, the goalkeeper could have moved toward the opposite side, or moved toward the side the ball was headed to, thus stopping it without difficulty.”

“And the flower?” asked Dr Watson. “Ah,” Sherlock responded, “that, my dear Watson, is the girl’s own contribution which didn’t occur to me. Further, I was surprised as much as the goalie was. With what she did, she increased the chances that the goalie would move toward the direction where she first found the flower. It was something that, of course, had nothing to do with science or with art. If you will permit me, Dr Watson, it was as if she had succeeded in synthesizing both. Very interesting, my dear Watson, very interesting.”

After the commotion died down, the Tercio Compas interviewed Pedrito. When they asked him how it was that the ball successfully made it into the goal, Pedrito responded laconically:

“The flower is to blame.”

I can vouch for that.

Bark-meow.

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/01/16/the-flower-is-to-blame/

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January 15, 2017

Joint Pronouncement from the CNI and the EZLN for the Freedom of our Mapuche Sister Machi Francisca Lincolao Huircapan

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Zapatistas — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:37 pm

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Joint Pronouncement from the CNI and the EZLN for the Freedom of our Mapuche Sister Machi Francisca Lincolao Huircapan

 

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To the Mapuche People:
To the Chilean People:
To the International Sixth:
To the Media:

We peoples, nations, and tribes of the National Indigenous Congress send a fraternal greeting of solidarity to Machi [1] Francisca Lincolao Huircapan, of the Mapuche People, in Chile, imprisoned since March 30, 2016. We know that compañera Machi Francisca is on a hunger strike to demand the justice that the bad government of Chile has denied her by keeping her imprisoned for the crime of continuing to defend the natural resources, sacred places, and cultural rights of her people. They are letting her health deteriorate to the point that it threatens the life of the compañera, whose state of health is summarily delicate.

We denounce the fact that while the Chilean government represses Machi Francisca, they blatantly protect transnational capitalists and bosses such as the landlord Alejandro Taldriz, with his illegal logging that the corrupt state works to protect.

The National Indigenous Congress and the EZLN demand:

  1. The immediate release of compañera Machi Francisca Lincolao Huircapan.
  2. An end to the repression against the dignified Mapuche people and the revocation of the racist and repressive Anti-terrorist Law that is meant to criminalize the territorial defence of the Chilean Originary Peoples.
  3. Absolute respect for the Mapuche territory.

January 2017

For the Full Reconstitution of our Peoples
Never again a Mexico without us

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS
ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION

 

[1] A machi is a traditional healer and religious leader in the Mapuche culture of Chile and Argentine. Machis are more frequently women than men

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/01/14/joint-pronouncement-from-the-cni-and-the-ezln-for-the-freedom-of-our-mapuche-sister-machi-francisca-lincolao-huircapan/

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Zapatistas and Indigenous Mexicans Create Parallel Government for Indigenous Autonomy

Filed under: Autonomy, CNI, Indigenous, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:06 pm

 

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Zapatistas and Indigenous Mexicans Create Parallel Government for Indigenous Autonomy

 

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Article originally published on Upside Down World. The opinions are the author’s.

A coalition of indigenous Mexican communities has announced the creation its own, parallel government with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). Dubbed the Indigenous Governing Council (CGI), the parallel government will aim to promote autonomy for indigenous Mexicans.

“This council proposes to govern this country,” the EZLN said in a communique.

The EZLN is an indigenous guerrilla movement who waged an armed insurgency against the Mexican government throughout the 1990s. Today, the EZLN retains a presence in the highlands of the southern state of Chiapas, where it has been experimenting with a form of direct democracy that draws from anarchist and socialist traditions blended with indigenous practices.

According to the Zapatistas, the CGI represents the next phase of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI). The CNI was founded in 1996 by the EZLN as a project aimed at uniting Mexico’s dozens of indigenous groups. Since then, the CNI has become one of Mexico’s largest indigenous organizations, and remains closely linked to the EZLN.

According to the EZLN’s communique, the CGI’s spokesperson will also double as a candidate in Mexico’s 2018 presidential elections.

The CNI/EZLN first announced plans to field a presidential candidate last October. The name of the candidate won’t be released until May 18, after the CGI holds a “constituent assembly.” This assembly will also officially inaugurate the CGI.

No other details of the candidate have been made public, though the CNI and EZLN have already said they have agreed it will be an indigenous woman.

The announcement of the CGI’s creation came following the conclusion of a CNI summit in Chiapas. According to representatives who spoke to the press, the decision to create the CGI was made after three months of consultations with indigenous communities. This was followed by two days of closed door talks between indigenous groups during the CNI summit. A total of 43 indigenous groups from 25 states were involved in the talks, the CNI said.

“Indignation, resistance and rebellion will feature on the 2018 electoral ballots,” one representative said in the EZLN’s de facto capital of Oventic, according to the Mexican magazine El Proceso.

The CGI’s Proposed Structure

The representatives provided only limited details on how the CGI will actually function, though they expressed hope it will be a more comprehensive form of organization than the CNI. According to those who spoke to the press, the CGI will have a more permanent presence in indigenous communities than the CNI. El Proceso reported the CGI will have “commissions” on the community, regional, state and national level. The CGI will also reportedly have different administrative commissions, mirroring the Mexican government secretariats. Some of these are likely to include commissions of finance, environment, health, communication and security. According to El Proceso, there will also be a commission for “Mother Earth”, and an elder’s council.

Although the spokesperson will be the public face of the CGI, as an individual they will have no real power. Instead, all of the CGI’s decisions will be made by consensus among representatives of indigenous communities, who comprise the CNI’s assembly. These representatives will also be able to recall the spokesperson at any time if they feel they are not fulfilling their duties.

“Our resistances and rebellions constitute the power from below,” the EZLN said.

They continued, “We do not offer empty promises or actions, but rather real processes for radical transformation where everyone participates and which are tangible in the diverse and enormous indigenous geographies of this nation.”

Remembering the EZLN Uprising

The CNI’s summit was timed to coincide with the 23rd anniversary of the EZLN’s uprising on January 1, 1994. On that day, thousands of EZLN guerrillas caught Mexican security forces off guard, and quickly occupied a handful of towns across Chiapas state. The uprising was prompted partly by the creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which the EZLN argued would deepen Mexico’s wealth disparity, while doing little to help indigenous Mexicans in poor regions like Chiapas. In 1994, 75.1 percent of the population of Chiapas lived in poverty, according to official data. Today, that figure is 78.8 percent.

“Nowadays, the conditions of the Mexican people in the countryside and the city are worse than 23 years ago,” EZLN spokesperson Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés said.

Speaking from an undisclosed location in the highlands of Chiapas, Moisés said the plight of indigenous Mexicans remains ignored by the government.

“Governments come and go, of different colours and flags, and all they do is make things worse,” he said.

Although the EZLN has survived over two decades of struggle with the Mexican government, the movement has been criticized by some on Mexico’s left who have accused the group of being too insular.

The EZLN has always refused to engage in mainstream politics, and has long opposed all political parties. The 2018 election will be the first time the group has ever endorsed a presidential candidate, but not necessarily the first time they have played a role in a national election.

In 2006, the EZLN sparked controversy when it refused to endorse the campaign of presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Obrador was the favoured candidate for much of the Mexican left.

Instead of backing Obrador, the EZLN led the Otra Campaña (Other Campaign) during the 2006 presidential race. This campaign sought to promote changes to Mexico’s constitution, including proposals to enshrine protections for indigenous autonomy. Although the campaign significantly broadened the EZLN’s support base beyond Chiapas, some on the left claimed the move drew attention away from Obrador’s election campaign. Obrabor lost to the right wing Felipe Calderón by less than 250,000 votes. Obrador is planning a comeback in 2018.

However, Moisés argued the EZLN’s struggle is more inclusive than ever before.

“We started our uprising 23 years ago, but our way was exclusive, and not everyone could participate,” he said.

“Now, the National Indigenous Congress calls us to a struggle we can all participate in, regardless of age, colour, size, race, religion, language, salary, knowledge, physical strength, culture or sexual preference,” he said.

Moisés continued by stating the CNI has taken up the same fight as the EZLN, “and they have decided to do it by civil and peaceful means.”

“Its causes are just, [and] undeniable,” he said.

Ryan Mallett-Outtrim is an independent Australian journalist based out of Mexico. More of his work can be found at dissentsansfrontieres.com.

http://upsidedownworld.org/archives/mexico/zapatistas-and-indigenous-mexicans-create-parallel-government-for-indigenous-autonomy/

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Crisis and State Repression: Some Winds of the Storm

Filed under: Repression, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:38 am

 

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Crisis and State Repression: Some Winds of the Storm

 

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Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Pozol. January 10th. It is simpler than it seems. In Mexico as in the rest of the world, above all divisions and social differences, there is one division that determines many others: the division between the rich and poor, exploiter and exploited. Here there are two different climates, the climate of above and the climate of below.

In the climate of below, today there are mobilizations against the rise in gasoline prices that in general increase the cost of life. In the climate of above, the political class continues its path of incompetence, delinquency, corruption, violence and impunity. It shows its insensitivity and its lack of interest toward the people, on the contrary, making evident its mockery and disdain for those of below. Where those of above see a game and a business, the paid media turn the protests into a source of entertainment, producing a mockery of those that do not conform. News is a commodity that is sold at a high price. The repression is thus refuted and the real causes of social discontent are obscured. In this mess, there is no lack of politicians from all across the political spectrum whom attentive, calculate the best moment to adhere to and channel, administer and sell the rage that surges from below. In this chaos, those of above win, while the ones that always lose are those of below.

In this tumult that is destructive to those of below, and is sold by those of above, in the popular protests as in the repression from the state, we believe there are at least two necessary points to be analysed. 1. That which corresponds to the circumstances of protest/ repression. 2. That which digs a little deeper giving origin and substance to today’s circumstances. By the latter we mean the heart of the problem: capitalism and its logic of accumulation.

The structural reforms, or the legislation of national plunder on part of the political-business class, have been widely questioned by social movements who have warned the rest of society that the violent imposition of these reforms will affect the whole of the working class. Although state violence is a constant, until now the violence toward ordinary people has not been so evident, nor has a popular rejection been so widely demonstrated.

Throughout the country, protests have taken place in a peaceful manner. Mobilizations in Baja California, Durango, Sinaloa, Sonora, Nuevo León, Campeche, Chiapas, Mexico City, just to mention a few. The wide range of these protests give an idea of the extent of the discontent toward state policies that increasingly affect the lives of the working class. The response by the government to these peaceful protests has been violent repression. According to official numbers of the Secretary of Government, 1500 people have been detained. This omits the at least two people assassinated by the police in Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo, as part of this wave of repression. Peoples of cities and regions of the country previously unrelated to popular mobilizations have intimately felt the police brutality, information censoring, and governmental cynicism that now affects them. Before it was only a far off reality and barely visible in those geographies.

The militarization of the country was commonplace for the subversive movements principally of the south and southeast of the country. Since Felipe Calderón’s supposed “war on drugs”, that militarization has advanced to other territories in what has always been a war against the Mexican people.

In Zapatista territories, as well as in the rebellious Indigenous territories across Mexico who organize against government crime, police-military and paramilitary repression and harassment are experienced daily. For social organizations, unions and collectives who protest against the government, this repression, surveillance, persecution and death on the part of the State isn’t new. However, it is new for those peoples who today rebel against the rise in fuel prices. The violent repression, the campaign of misinformation and discrediting, along with the death that the State orchestrated against the teachers movement in 2016 for protesting against the imposition of the so-called “education reform” now acquires another dimension for the bulk of the population.

The popular mobilizations are suffering state repression and are now also being called vandals and violent, in the same way the government and media named teachers and civil society that joined earlier protests.

To give a better idea, the report of human rights violations in “Operation Oaxaca” on June 19th, documented racism, police brutality and assassination with the use of high powered weapons against the civilians of Nochixtlan, Oaxaca. This included those not involved in the protests. Today, once again, government violence has resurfaced though now on a larger scale. The rulers have unmasked themselves showing their true character—as police that care for the interests of big business. Many that before had nothing to do with protest, now are victims of criminalization that the state carries out against popular mobilizations. The governmental-police violence that now covers the geographies of Ixmiquilpan or Rosarito, for example, adds to the long history of repression of popular mobilization.

And it is here that we must be precise in regards to the situation. This situation is seen solely as a problem of the insatiable greed and the disproportionate cynicism of a political and business class that does not have the slightest modesty in showing its criminal face against the necessities of the people. However this understanding is nothing but the surface of a much larger problem: the general crisis of a system of social, economic, and political organization that through its violence is demonstrating its own decadence.

For many years, Zapatismo has stressed the crisis of capitalism, above all for its effects on Indigenous peoples. However, the storm, like the EZLN has named this historical moment, is not limited to Indigenous peoples but threatens all of the working class, all of those of below.

The territorial dispossession that rural communities suffer at the hands of big capital through megaprojects that plunder the land, water and forest—as was done 500 years ago by the other colonial powers—is also being experienced in urban centres through dispossession of marginalized neighbourhoods. This is done in the attempt to convert these neighbourhoods into new zones of the elite for those of above. This dispossession is coupled with the rising unemployment and growing precarity of labour conditions while the privileged still conserve the increasingly scarce jobs. In both spaces, urban and rural, the increase in poverty and the growing exclusion of a grand sector of the population is now more evident than ever. Just as we are experiencing the effects of the energy reform, so too will we experience the other structural reforms.

The crisis of big capital observed in the contemporary moment is only overcome momentarily through the plundering of ancestral lands, through the denial of the human rights of the working class with the fictitious revitalization of these sources of profit. This dispossession is legalized through the imposition of structural reforms that plunder what little is left in the republic.

If a few years ago the warnings of Zapatismo were only perceptible to the most invisible of society, that is to say to the Indigenous peoples, now the war is being lived in the streets by those who had not thought the effects (with all their violence) would reach them. For those who still have hope in political parties and local bosses to overcome this crisis, that hope makes less and less sense every day.

Thus, price increases, unemployment, migration, precarity of employment, dispossession, repression, and poverty are not passing but permanent effects of the imposition of the structural reforms for capital readjustment to continue its insatiable pathway of accumulation at all costs. What now seem to be more a crisis of the cycles of capital are nothing but the most obvious winds of the storm, without precedent in history, that batters humanity.

And the storm will rise in power. There is no reason to continue to believe that this crisis will be overcome and that it is only a matter of time. Neither will it yield to eventual changes in the members that direct the chaos. None of the political parties have signalled the truthful origin of the crisis. Not one politician has attacked, not even in discourse, the major interests of big business, let alone the logic of capital. For the pathway that they have signalled to us from above, not only will the storm continue, but it will also be accentuated unless organization and resistance against capital comes from below. For example, like the Indigenous peoples have shown, organizing the discontent and constructing new forms of social relations and governance.

In the midst of these ominous times that those of above have produced against the people, and against the disaster that the policies of above have provoked upon those of below and the natural world, it seems to already be the time for those of below. That is, already, the hour of the people.

http://www.pozol.org/?p=14428

https://palabrasrebeldes.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/crisis-and-state-repression-some-winds-of-the-storm/

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January 14, 2017

Zapatismo’s presidential candidacy

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:22 am

 

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Zapatismo’s presidential candidacy

 

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By: Raúl Zibechi

The decision of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI,) to submit the possibility of presenting an indigenous woman as a candidate for the presidency in the 2018 elections to its support bases and communities all over Mexico, provoked the most diverse reactions but left no one indifferent. In the days following the diffusion of the comunicado “May the earth tremble at its core” (October 14), there were those who maintained that it is an attempt to divide the left and therefore favour the right, while others assured that they set aside their principles by entering into the electoral path.

Days later another comunicado appeared, signed only by Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, arguing with some detractors without naming them. Beyond the polemics and interpretations, it is convenient to read the comunicado attentively to comprehend the objectives of the movement.

What is being proposed with the candidacy is: “to initiate a consultation in each one of our towns to dismantle from below the power that those above impose on us and that offers us a panorama of death, violence, dispossession and destruction.” Some lines later, they clarify that: “our struggle is not for power, we don’t seek it; but rather we will call on the original peoples and on civil society to organize in order to stop this destruction, to get stronger in our resistances and rebellions, in other words in the defence of the of life of every person, every family, collective, community or barrio. We make a call to construct peace and justice, reweaving ourselves from below, from where we are what we are.

The indigenous woman candidate to the presidency, assuming the communities approve it, will be the spokesperson for “an indigenous government council” that will bring the word of all to society’s corners for the purpose “of constructing a new nation by and for all, of strengthening the power from below and to the anti-capitalist left.

These words spell out the principal objectives of the candidacy that the Zapatistas promote.

The first disposes of a reading of the Mexican reality, which can be extended to the current state of the world. In the last eight years the war on drugs, declared by ex-president Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), cost 120,000 deaths and 30,000 disappeared in full democracy. Something unusual in Latin America, where genocides like the one in Mexico have happened under regimes that are not proclaimed democratic.

They are also convinced that: “the offensive against the peoples will not stop but rather they seek to make it grow until having finished off the last trace of what we are as peoples of the countryside and the city.” As they had already expressed during the “Critical Thought versus the Capitalist Hydra” gathering, in May 2015, they observe that a storm is battering against the peoples. This proposal of an electoral candidacy is produced within that framework. It is only fitting to add that the dominant Mexican classes like those in a good part of the world, are divided, confronted and for the moment in conflict with each other, which increases the system’s decomposition and the violence against the peoples.

The second question to take into account is that neither the Zapatistas nor the CNI enter into the electoral path. They do not propose presenting candidates for deputies, senators, mayors or governors; only a candidate to the presidency. This point is crucial. The voting results are not what’s important, but rather something else, which is what they seek to explain in their communiqués.

The key is what they understand about the “power of below” with which they seek to dismantle the power of above. They enumerate: “their own communications media, self-defence community police, assemblies and popular councils, cooperatives, the exercise and defence of traditional medicine, the exercise and defence of traditional and ecological agriculture, proper rituals and ceremonies to pay Mother Earth and to continue walking with her and on her, the planting and defence of native seeds, forums, publicity campaigns and cultural political activities (…) That is the power of below that has kept us alive.

It is to that society or counter-society that the electoral candidacy is directed; in order to make it stronger, more visible for others from below and, if not misinterpreted, to contribute others getting organized. The interventions of Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés in the 2015 gathering were a permanent, repetitive, call to organize, “organization for construction and to free oneself from the capitalist system.” But also for confronting what Galeano defined as the catastrophe/storm that is coming over the peoples.

A necessary clarification: the Zapatistas and the Indigenous Congress do not seek to organize the others. Each social sector must organize itself as it wishes and is able. They only seek to help, contribute to what is possible for that organization, but without substituting anyone. That is a question of principles. An intervention of Moisés at the closing of the “CompArte” Festival, on July 29 of this year in Oventik, makes it very clear:

There are those who think that we should come out and go fight for the teachers. If one thinks like that, then you have not understood anything. Because that means I expect that someone will come and fight for me. The Zapatistas don’t ask anyone to come to fight for us. Each struggle is unique, and we must mutually support, but not take away the place of each fight. The one who struggles has the right to decide what path to take and with whom to walk. If others interfere, then it’s no longer support, but rather it’s supplanting. Support is respect and not direction or command.

The third reflection is related to a problem that has always occupied all revolutionary processes and that could be summed up in a question: how to relate and work with other movements and organizations that don’t agree with our objectives and have their own modes of work, but suffer similar oppressions?

Based on an investigation of the Spanish-American University of Puebla, Víctor Toledo estimates that in just five Mexican states there are “more than a thousand new projects,” which include from the Zapatista Caracoles to indigenous organic coffee cooperatives and many cases of community self-management (La Jornada, September 13, 2016). All over Latin America, and in the world, are tens of thousands of initiatives that include millions of people that are making resistance to neoliberalism and capitalism possible.

That non-capitalist and anti-capitalist world exists, although dispersed, like islands and archipelagos. It’s not about inventing it, but rather about empowering it. Or, as the comunicado says, constructing the new world “from below,” which according to the dictionary is at once spinning and shaking or buzzing, a synonym of “retemblar,” as the Mexican national anthem says. If those of us below tremble, we shake each other and provoke a political tsunami capable of breaking the bank of the dominant classes. That seems to be the principal message of the indigenous candidacy for the presidency.

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Published in Spanish by Viento Sur

November 7, 2016

http://vientosur.info/spip.php?article11883

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted with minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

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January 12, 2017

“The government is the one that should be afraid” Message from organized civil society after the gasolinazo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:59 pm

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“The government is the one that should be afraid”

Message from organized civil society after the gasolinazo

 

gasolinazo-chiapasChiapas civil society protest against the hike in gas prices.

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

“Despite the fear infused in the population, the mobilization took place. The government is the one that should be afraid,” asserted unions, social organizations, transport drivers, students and civil society angered by the rise in fuel prices in the country, after a march that started from the western part of the Chiapas capital and ended with a rally in the central park of Tuxtla.

“We protest against the starvation policies, which increase the cost of basic needs,” denounced members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), who together with workers from the health sector evidenced the loss of the buying power of one’s salary in Mexico.

“Millions of people can’t be wrong,” university and teachers college students asserted, with respect to the different demonstrations of repudiation that are happening on a national level since the first days of this year faced with the increase in fuel prices. “The cost of transportation and food are going to go up, we cannot remain quiet,” students from institutions like the UNACH and the Mactumactzá Rural Teachers College warned.

“The water is reaching our neck. We demand a political case against Peña Nieto together with (Chiapas governor) Velasco Coello and Fernando Castellanos,” urged members of civil society, upon pointing out those who have supported the federal executive in his reforms that are classified as neoliberal and privatizing.

“In what way are we going to straighten out the country? We have not fallen into their provocations. We are acting with honesty and decency,” expressed transport drivers from communities in the Centre and the Highlands of Chiapas, who participated with a numerous contingent of the federal public transport units.

“There is no evil that lasts 100 years, nor people that endure it,” assured the social organizations that participated in the peaceful citizen’s march this Saturday in Tuxtla. They agreed to hold meetings afterwards to coordinate the coming actions to continue protesting over the increase in the price of fuel in Mexico. Social organizations, parents, students and people in general also demonstrated in different regions of the Chiapas geography like San Cristobal de las Casas, Comitán, Las Margaritas, Frontera Comalapa, Tapachula, Tonalá and Arriaga, among others.

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Originally Published in Spanish by POZOL COLECTIVO

Saturday, January 7, 2017

http://www.pozol.org/?p=14415

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

https://chiapas-support.org/2017/01/11/the-government-is-the-one-that-should-be-afraid/

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Words of the EZLN at the closing of the Second Stage of the 5th CNI Congress

Filed under: CNI, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:44 pm

 

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Words of the EZLN at the closing of the Second Stage of the 5th CNI Congress

Alternative version

moisecc81s-at-conciencias-por-la-humanidadSubcomandante Moisés at ConSciences for Humanity.

ZAPATISTA NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY

MEXICO

JANUARY FIRST, 2017

Sisters and Brothers of the National Indigenous Congress:

Compañeras, compañeros y compañeroas of the national and international SIXTH:

Peoples of Mexico and the world:

23 years ago we rose up in arms against oblivion.

The indignation and the desperation obliged us to be willing to die to live,

To live the only way that it’s worth living, with freedom, with justice, with democracy.

The people of Mexico looked at us and talked to us, told us that our struggle and our demands are just, but that they are not in agreement with violence.

Accordingly they left knowing the inhuman conditions of our life and our death, it was agreed everywhere that the causes of our uprising could not be questioned, although the form in which our disagreement manifested itself could.

Now the conditions of the people of Mexico in the countryside and the city are worse than 23 years ago.

The poverty, the desperation, the death, the destruction, are not only for those who originally populated these lands.

Now the disgrace reaches everyone.

The crisis also affects those who believed they were safe and thought that the nightmare was only for those who live and die below.

Governments come and go, with different colours and flags, and the only thing they do is to make things worse.

With their policies, the only thing they do is make misery, destruction and death reach more and more people.

Now our brothers and sisters from organizations, barrios, nations, tribes, and original peoples, organized in the National Indigenous Congress, have decided to shout their YA BASTA.

They have decided that they are not going to permit the destroying our country to continue.

They have decided not to let the people and their history die because of the sickness that is the capitalist system.

A system that exploits, dispossesses, represses and scorns human beings and nature all over the world.

The National Indigenous Congress has decided to struggle to heal our soils and our skies.

And they have decided to do it through civilian and peaceful paths.

Their causes are just and undeniable.

Who now will question the path they have chosen and that is calling us all?

If there is no respect, if you do not say hello, if you do not support your struggle and the path you follow, then what message do you give as a society?

23 years ago we started our uprising, but our way was exclusive, not everyone could participate.

Now, the National Indigenous Congress calls us to a struggle in which we can all participate, all; Regardless of age, colour, size, race, religion, language, pay, knowledge, physical strength, culture, sexual preference.

Those who live, fight and die in the countryside and in the city now have a path of struggle where they unite with others.

The struggle to which the National Indigenous Congress calls us and invites us is a struggle for life with freedom, justice, democracy and dignity.

Who dares to say that it is a bad fight?

It is time that all the working people, together with the native people, sheltered by the banner of the National Indigenous Congress, which is the flag of the native people, unite in this struggle which is for those who have nothing but pain, anger and despair.

It is the hour of the peoples, of everyone, of the countryside and of the city.

That’s what the National Indigenous Congress is telling us.

It is telling us that it is enough waiting for others to tell us what to do and how, that they want to lead us, that they want to deceive us with vain promises and lies.

It is telling us that everyone in their place, with their own way, at their own times, govern themselves. That the people themselves address themselves, no more lies, no more deceit, no more politicians who only see their government work as a way accumulating wealth by stealing, betraying, selling.

It is telling us that we must fight for truth and justice.

It is telling us that we must fight for democracy, which means that the people rule.

It is telling us that we must fight for freedom.

They are wise and know who are in the National Indigenous Congress.

They have been resisting and fighting for life for centuries,

They know of resistance, they know of rebellion, they know of struggle, they know of life.

They know who is responsible for the pains that affect everyone, everywhere, all the time.

The National Indigenous Congress, for this struggle that they commit to undertake, will be attacked, they will be slandered, they will want to divide it and they will want to buy it.

They will seek by all means for it to surrender, to be bought, to give up.

But they will not be able to.

We have been meeting for more than 20 years, and more than 500 years of knowing this destruction, death, contempt, robbery, exploitation, history.

Their strength, their decision, their commitment, does not come from themselves.

It comes from the organizations, neighbourhoods, nations, tribes and native peoples in which they were born and formed.

We, the Zapatistas, prepared 10 years to start our struggle on 1st January 23 years ago.

The National Indigenous Congress prepared 20 years to reach this day, and show us a good way.

Whether we follow it or not, will be decided by everyone.

The National Indigenous Congress is going to speak with truth; it will listen with attention.

It is not a game of struggle for the National Indigenous Congress.

They have told us that they are going for everything for everyone.

And that means that:

They are for respect for human rights.

They are for the liberation of all political prisoners.

They are for the living presentation of the missing and disappeared.

They are for justice for those who have been killed,

They are for truth and justice for the 46 absentees of Ayotzinapa.

They are for support of peasants and respect for mother earth.

They are for a decent home for everyone below.

They are for enough food for all the homeless.

They are for decent work and just salary for the workers of the countryside and the city.

They are for complete and free health care for all the workers.

They are for free, secular and scientific education.

They are for land belonging to those who work it.

They are for factory employees.

They are for shop and bank employees.

They are for the respect of alternative commerce, and small and medium commerce.

They are for the public and commercial transport for those who drive the vehicles.

They are for the field for the peasants.

They are for the city.

They are for the territory of the native peoples.

They are for autonomy.

They are for self-management.

They are for respect for every form of life.

They are for the arts and sciences.

They are for freedom of thought, of word, of creation.

They are for freedom, justice and democracy for Mexico from below.

That’s what they’re calling us to support.

Each one will be able to decide if this fight is good, if that idea is good, whether or not it responds to the call they make.

We, as Zapatistas, answer yes, we are with you, yes we will accompany the National Indigenous Congress.

We will see ways to support them with all our strength.

We will support you because the struggle you propose, sisters and brothers of the National Indigenous Congress, is perhaps the last chance that these soils and these skies will not disappear in the midst of destruction and death.

So we just have to tell them:

Listen to the heart, the pain and the rage that is in every corner of this country.

Walk and tremble this soil at its core with your steps.

Let the Mexican soil be astonished.

May the heavens look upon them with surprise and admiration!

May the peoples of the world learn from the example of the National Indigenous Congress and feel the courage to participate.

And above all, it does not matter what happens, it does not matter that they attack you with everything, do not give up, do not sell out, do not give in.

And above all, it doesn’t matter what happens or everything that they have against, it doesn’t matter that they attack you with everything, however don’t give up, don’t sell out, don’t give in.

LIBERTY!

JUSTICE!

DEMOCRACY!

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

In the name of the women, men, children and elders of the EZLN,

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Mexico, January 2017

 

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/01/03/palabras-del-ezln-en-la-clausura-de-la-segunda-etapa-del-quinto-congreso-del-cni/

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January 9, 2017

The Power of Below

Filed under: Autonomy, CNI, Indigenous, Zapatistas — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:34 pm

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The Power of Below

image-3Zapatista women and children listen to discussions at 5th National Indigenous Congress.

By: Raúl Zibechi

It’s unheard of in Latin America for dozens of indigenous peoples and nations to decide to endow themselves with their own government. The recent decision of the 5th National Indigenous Congress (CNI), after consultation and approval by 43 peoples, to create the Indigenous Government Council which proposes to “govern this country,” will have repercussions in the country and the world.

As the communiqué “And it shook!” points out, we are faced with dozens of processes of radical transformation, of resistances and rebellions that “constitute the power of below,” which will now be expressed in the Government Council. Simultaneously, the organism will have an indigenous woman as spokesperson, and she will be an independent candidate in the 2018 elections.

It is the mode that the peoples have found so that “indignation, resistance and rebellion figure on the 2018 electoral ballots.” In that mode they seek to “shake the conscience of the nation,” to “dismantle the power of above and to reconstitute ourselves, no longer just as peoples, but also as a country.” The immediate objective is to stop the war, to create conditions for organizing and collectively overcoming the paralyzing fear that the genocide of above provokes.

In the final part the communiqué emphasizes that perhaps this may be “the last opportunity as original peoples and as Mexican society to peacefully and radically change our own forms of government, making dignity the epicentre of a new world.”

In broad strokes, that’s the proposal and the path for making it a reality. From the distance it calls attention to the fact that the debates since last October had been centred on the question of the indigenous woman spokesperson as a candidate in the 2018 elections, setting aside a fundamental theme that, I believe, is the formation of the Indigenous Government Council. It’s evident that the new political culture that the CNI and the EZLN embody cannot be understood with the blinders of the old culture, centred on media discourses and on elections as almost the only way of doing politics.

That the indigenous peoples of Mexico decide to create a government council seems an issue of the greatest importance. They are peoples and nations that will no longer be governed by anyone else. Millions of men and women establish self-government in a coordinated way, in a single council that represents all of them. It’s a parting of the waters for the indigenous, which will have repercussions throughout all of society, like the January 1, 1994 Uprising had.

Here is where it’s convenient to make some clarifications versus the more absurd interpretations and, my apologies if I’m wrong. The political culture that Zapatismo and the CNI practice consists of promoting the self-government of all the sectors of society: rural and urban, indigenous, campesinos, workers, students, professionals and all the sectors that want to be added. They never sought to govern others; they don’t want to supplant anyone. “Govern obeying” is a form of government for all the oppressed, which each one implements in their own way.

The communiqué clarifies that they do not seek to compete with the professional politicians, because “we are not the same.” No one that is even minimally familiar with Zapatismo throughout these 23 years can imagine that they will be dedicated to counting votes, to getting positions in municipal, state or federal governments. They won’t be dedicated to adding or subtracting electoral acronyms, because they’re on another path.

In times of war against those below, I believe that the question that the CNI and the EZLN raise is how to contribute to the way the most diverse sectors of the country are organized? It’s not about (the CNI and the EZLN) wanting to organize them, that’s the job of each sector. It’s about how to support, how to create the conditions so that it is possible. The indigenous candidacy goes in that direction, not as “vote-getting,” but rather as the possibility of dialogue, so that others may know how they did it.

The creation of the Indigenous Government Council is the sign that if millions of individuals from peoples and nations can do it, self-government is possible; why can’t I do it in my district, in my neighbourhood, wherever it may be? The 1994 Uprising multiplied rebellions; it contributed to the creation of the CNI and of multiple social, political and cultural organizations; something similar can happen now. There is nothing as potent as the example.

This year we celebrate the hundred-year anniversary of the October Revolution. The obsession of the Bolsheviks and of Lenin, which can be corroborated in the marvellous book of John Reed “Ten days that shook the world” (Diez días que estremecieron al mundo), is that everyone would organize into soviets, even those that as of that moment were fighting against them. They even called to the Cossacks, enemies of the revolution, to create their soviets and to send delegates to the congress of all of Russia. “The revolution is not made, but rather is organized,” said Lenin. Independently of what one thinks about the Russian leader, the assertion is the nucleus of any revolutionary struggle.

The transition from indignation and rage to solid and persistent organization is key to any process of profound and radical change. Rage abounds in these times; it lacks organization. Will the 2018 campaign be able to become a leap forward in the organization of the peoples? No one can answer that. But it’s an opportunity for the power of below to be expressed in the most diverse ways, even in electoral events and tickets, because the form is not essential.

Reflecting on the criticisms, which are not few, instead of accusing the CNI and the EZLN of being divisive, they could recognize their enormous flexibility, being capable of entering territory that, as of this moment, had not been probed and, of doing it without flags, while upholding the principles and objectives. The coming months and years will be decisive for delineating the future of the world’s oppressed. It’s probable that in a few years we will evaluate the formation of the Indigenous Government Council as the turn which we were waiting for.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, January 6, 2017

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2017/01/06/opinion/018a1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

https://chiapas-support.org/2017/01/08/the-power-of-below/

Posted with minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

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January 7, 2017

Chile: Jailed Mapuche Leader Faces Death as Health Worsens

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, Marcos, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:28 pm

 


Chile: Jailed Mapuche Leader Faces Death as Health Worsens

 

mapuche_francisca_linconao-jpg_1718483346Indigenous leader Francisca Linconao was detained in 2013 and remains a suspect under an anti-terror law. | Photo: Mapuexpress

 

The hunger-striking Indigenous leader is under a great risk of vital functions failure, according to a new medical report.

A new medical report warns that jailed Chilean Indigenous Mapuche leader Francisca Linconao is at risk of dying as her hunger strike to demand her freedom continues to weaken her already-fragile health.

“The severe deterioration of her health condition can become irreversible and even cost her life,” says the report completed on Dec. 31, 2016, by a certified medical and psychological team. “Among the risks to which the patient is exposed with the hunger strike are permanent consequences in various vital functions, such as neurological, liver, cardiac and renal functions.”

According to the doctors, the detained leader not only suffers physical deterioration, but spiritual loss of strength as she is deprived of freedom “which prevents her from accessing what she considers her main source of energy, the one that comes from nature, its sacred ceremonies and its mission to offer health.”

The 60-year-old activist has been on hunger strike since Dec. 23 and only consumes liquids. She was detained in 2013 and accused of arson in an incident that led to the deaths of two powerful landlords and still awaits trial.

According to an interview by the medical team, the Machi or Mapuche leader said she is willing to continue the strike until she can’t go any further.

“I want to live, but I am willing to risk my life,” said Linconao. “I am very depressed because I can’t fulfil my spiritual mission, which is to heal others, to give health and well-being to those who need it.”

Linconao has no access to media and claims that she has been threatened and humiliated by prison officials, according to a statement given inside the Mapuche Medical Centre, where she is guarded by six armed policemen.

“When I started the hunger strike, after the third day, they gave me a document from the warden of the women’s prison in Temuco, who said they would sanction me for seven or 30 days after I finish my hunger strike,” said Linconao.

According to the doctors, if Linconao dies during the hunger strike, it would worsen conflicts with Indigenous groups in the country and “would mark a serious precedent in terms of human rights at national and international levels.”

Finally, the medical team recommended alternative measures of imprisonment, such as house arrest, based on the agreement signed by the Chilean state in 2008, which gives this preference to members of Indigenous groups.

According to the report, the Chilean justice system has approved this type of prevention for Linconao, but the ruling has not been fulfilled due to the country’s anti-terror laws.

 

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Chile-Jailed-Mapuche-Leader-Faces-Death-Risk-as-Health-Worsens-20170104-0009.html?utm_source=planisys&utm_medium=NewsletterIngles&utm_campaign=NewsletterIngles&utm_content=10

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January 5, 2017

Zapatista News Summary for December, 2016

Filed under: news, Uncategorized, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:57 pm

 

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Zapatista News Summary for December, 2016

 

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Zapatista and CNI News

 

1. The Convocation to the Second phase of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress is issued jointly by the CNI and EZLN on 26th November. During the first phase in October the CNI and EZLN had “agreed to remain in permanent assembly while carrying out a consultation in all of our geographies on the resolutions reached… with respect to the formation of an Indigenous Governing Council, to be represented by an indigenous woman who is a CNI delegate who will run for the Mexican presidency in the electoral process of 2018.” The convocation is a call to the second phase which will be held on December 29, 30, and 31, 2016, and January 1, 2017, in the Zapatista Caracolof Oventik and will have “decisive capacity” in regard to the agreements proposed. The results will be announced in a plenary session at Oventic on 1st January.

 

 2. EZLN communiqué, 2nd December: The CNI and EZLN issue a joint communiqué, ‘Despite aggressions, the consultation continues,’ to highlight the fact that the consultation continues, despite aggressions being carried out against them, for example in Santa Maria Ostula, in Tixtla, Guerrero, against the Sioux people at the heart of the originary peoples of the CNI at Standing Rock, at Chanti Ollin, and against those fighting dams in Oaxaca. They denounce the attacks and harassment, “The fears of the powerful, the extractive companies, the military, and the narco-paramilitaries 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,” but they assure that their permanent assembly and community consultations will continue.

 

 3. Modevite supports the Consultation: Members of the Movement in Defence of Land and Territory arrive on pilgrimage in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where they agree to consult their communities about the EZLN proposal, believing it is necessary now for the indigenous people to unite to demand self-determination over their territory and construct community governments. “We all share the same objective.”

 

 4. An update is released on the Encuentro (Gathering) “the Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity:” on 15th December. The event is to be held at Cideci from December 25th to January 4th. 82 members of the scientific community, from 12 countries, have registered to participate, working in a very wide variety of areas. 200 Zapatista bases of support will attend as students, but there will also be general sessions, information sessions, and workshops, and many people will attend as listeners/observers. Scientists and attendees may register on December 25, 2016. Activities will begin on December 26, and will conclude on January 4, 2017. There will be an intermission on December 31, 2016 and January 1, 2017. [From 29th to 31st December, the Second Phase of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress will also take place behind closed doors at CIDECI to report, discuss and evaluate the results of the internal consultation which are to be reported on January 1st in the Caracol of Oventic.]

 

5. Programme for the Gathering ‘the Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity:’ The detailed programme is released on 24th The Gathering and the meeting of the Indigenous National Congress will both take place separately at CIDECI-Unitierra, the University of the Earth in San Cristobal de las Casas. The majority of the talks in the Gathering are to be given by national and international scientists, but there will also be participation from Subcomandantes Moisés and Galeano. Registration begins on December 25th, and the gathering concludes on January 4th.

 

 6. Opening of Gathering ‘the Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity:’ The opening speech is given by Subcomandante Insurgente Moises on 26th December, giving the words of the general command of the EZLN on behalf of the women, men, children and old ones of the Zapatistas. “For us as Zapatista men and women, today begins our long walk in search of others with whom we think we share the great responsibility to defend and save the world we live in – with the art of artists, the science of scientists, and the originary peoples alongside those below from across the entire world.” “No one is going to bring us salvation,” he says. “It is up to us. Begin to dream and you will see that we can only fight capitalism with good scientific science, the art of the artist, and the guardians of mother nature together with those below from across the world…The construction of a new world is in our hands.”

 

7. The decision: On 1st January, 2017, the 23rd anniversary of the Zapatista uprising, more than 3,000 delegates from the CNI gather to join the EZLN, along with Zapatista support bases and adherents to the Sexta, at Oventic to hear the result of the consultation which has taken place in all the 525 communities of the CNI. 430 communities have said yes, and 80 are still consulting, many of these are currently experiencing violence. The historic announcement is made that the CNI are going to create an Indigenous Council of Government (CIG) to function as a parallel government for the country, whose spokesperson will be an indigenous woman who will run as a candidate in the presidential elections of 2018. The name of the candidate will be announced in May 2017. This resolution was approved by the CNI on 30th and 31st December 2016 in the presence of over 1000 delegates from 43 peoples, nations and tribes indigenous to the country. They are proposing the creation of a new world.

 

8. On 2nd January, the EZLN and CNI issue a joint statement: “And the Earth Trembled! A Report from the Epicentre,” announcing the decision to create a new indigenous council for government and to run an indigenous woman for president, and elaborating on the new proposal and its implications. “This is the time of the originary peoples, the time for us to replant and rebuild ourselves. It is time to go on the offensive and this is the agreement that we have laid out for how to do so.” “We say that the earth indeed has trembled, and we along with her, and that we intend to shake the conscience of the entire nation, and that, in fact, we intend for indignation, resistance and rebellion to be present as an option on the electoral ballots of 2018.” “Our resistances and rebellions constitute the power of below. We don’t offer empty promises or actions, but rather real processes for radical transformation where everyone participates and which are tangible in the diverse and enormous indigenous geographies of this nation.”

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/01/02/y-retemblo-informe-desde-el-epicentro/

 

Other News

 

1. Critical Thought in the Face of the Capitalist Hydra, Volume 1: This book, the first volume of a selection of the words and contributions given at the seminar held in May 2016, consists of the words of the Zapatistas themselves, bases of support as well as commanders. It is now available in English, in the US and the UK.

 

2. The Week Of Worldwide Action In Solidarity With The Ejidatarios Of San Sebastián Bachajón: is held from 4thTo 10th December. Actions including demonstrations, talks, exhibitions, pronouncements, discussions and the screening and production of videos take place in Canada, England, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Peru, United States, Uruguay and Italy. The compas from Bachajon send a video message in support of the campaign. Pronouncements are made by Raul Zibechi, Gustavo Esteva, Hugo Blanco, the Manchester Zapatista Collective, John Gibler, Ya Basta from Milan, the CGT and adherents to the Sexta from Barcelona, Sylvia Marcos and Jean Robert, and Malú Huacuja del Toro. A demonstration is held at the American Consulate in New York. Further information is available on the Bachajon website.

 

 3. First anniversary of autonomy in Tila; ejidatarios from Tila, adherents to La Sexta, celebrate the first anniversary of taking their autonomy, while stressing the harassment and intimidation they still suffer. The first anniversary of their taking over the Town Hall is 16th December 2016.

 

 

The new step has been described as “the greatest Zapatista challenge of the last 23 years” and the analysis has hardly started. There are currently 6 communiqués waiting to be translated. There will therefore be more to follow……..

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EZLN/CNI: And the Earth Trembled! A Report from the Epicentre

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Repression, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:48 pm

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EZLN/CNI: And the Earth Trembled! A Report from the Epicentre

Declaration Of The Fifth National Indigenous Congress

 

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To the Originary Peoples of Mexico:

To Civil Society of Mexico and the World:

To the National and International Sixth:

To the Free Media:

Brothers and Sisters:

This is the time of the originary peoples, the time for us to replant and rebuild ourselves. It is time to go on the offensive and this is the agreement that we have laid out for how to do so, from our perspective as individuals, as communities, as originary peoples, and as the National Indigenous Congress [CNI]. It is time for dignity to govern this country and this world and for democracy, liberty, and justice to flourish in its step.

We are announcing here that during the second phase of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress we meticulously analyzed the results of the consultation process that we held among our peoples during the months of October, November, and December of 2016. In that process, we issued agreements from communal, ejidal, collective, municipal, inter-municipal and regional assemblies in all of the ways, forms, and languages that represent our peoples in the geography of this country, once again bringing us to understand and confront, with dignity and rebellion, the situation that we face in our country and the world.

We appreciate the messages of support, hope, and solidarity that came from intellectuals, collectives, and peoples in response to our proposal entitled “Let the Earth Tremble at its Core,” which we made public during the first phase of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress. We also acknowledge the critical voices, many of them making fundamentally racist arguments, that expressed indignant and contemptuous rage at the idea that an indigenous woman would aspire not only to contend for presidential election, but would propose to truly change, from below, this broken country.

To all of them, we say that the earth indeed has trembled, and we along with her, and that we intend to shake the conscience of the entire nation, and that, in fact, we intend for indignation, resistance and rebellion to be present as an option on the electoral ballots of 2018. But we also say that it is not at all our intention to compete with the political parties or with the political class who still owe this country so much. They owe us for every death, disappearance, and imprisonment, and every dispossession, repression, and discrimination. Do not mistake our intentions. We do not plan to compete against them, because we are not the same as they are. Unlike them, we are not filled with lies and perverse words. We are instead the collective word of below and to the left, that which shakes the world and makes it tremble with epicentres of autonomy, and which makes us so proudly different from them that:

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  1. While the country is submerged in fear and terror born from the thousands of dead and disappeared, in the municipalities of the mountains and the coast of Guerrero our peoples have created conditions of real security and justice. In Santa María Ostula, Michoacán, the Nahua people have united with other indigenous communities to ensure that security remains in the hands of the people. The epicentre of the resistance there is the communal assembly of Ostula, the guarantor of the ethic of a movement that has already permeated the municipalities of Aquila, Coahuayana, Chinicuila, and Coalcomán. In the Purépecha plateau, the community of Cherán has demonstrated that by organizing to eliminate the politicians from their bad government structure and by exercising their own forms of security and government they could not only construct justice, but also, as in other geographies across this country, they showed that only from below, from rebellion, can a new social pact be constructed that is autonomous and just. And we have not and will not stop constructing from below the truth and justice denied to the 43 disappeared students from the teacher’s college of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, the 3 student compañeros who were murdered, and their compañeros who were injured, all by the Mexican narco-government and its repressive forces. Meanwhile, all levels of the bad governments criminalize social struggle and resistance and rebellion, persecuting, accusing, disappearing, imprisoning, and murdering the men and women who struggle for just causes.
  2. While destruction reaches every corner of the country, knowing no limits and distancing people from their land and from that which is sacred, the Wixárika people, together with the committees in defense of life and water from the Potosino altiplano, have shown that they can defend a territory and their environment and can create an equilibrium based in an identification with nature, with a sacred vision that recreates, every day, the ancestral links with life, land, the sun, and the ancestors, reaching across 7 municipalities in the sacred ceremonial territory of Wirikuta in San Luis Potosí.
  3. While the bad governments deform State policies on education, placing education at the service of capitalist corporations such that it ceases to be a right, the originary peoples create primary schools, secondary schools, high schools and universities with their own educational systems, based in the protection of our mother earth, in defense of territory, in production, in the sciences, in the arts, and in our languages. Despite the fact that the majority of these processes grow without the support of any level of the bad government, these institutions are meant to serve everyone.
  4. Meanwhile, the paid media – spokespeople for those who prostitute every one of the words that they circulate and fool the people in the country and the city so that they don’t wake from their slumber – criminalize those who think and defend what is theirs, making them out to be delinquents, vandals, and misfits, while those who benefit from ignorance and alienation are the ones with high social status. Those who oppress, repress, exploit and dispossess are always made out to be the good guys, the ones who deserve to be respected and allowed to govern so that they can serve themselves. While all of this is happening, the communities have made their own media, creating ideas in different ways so that conscience cannot be overshadowed by the lies that the capitalists impose, and instead using them to strengthen organization from below, where every true word is born.
  5. While the representative “democracy” of the political parties has been converted into a parody of the popular will, where votes are bought and sold like any other commodity and poverty is used to manipulate people so that the capitalists can maintain the division between the people of the countryside and the city, the originary peoples continue to care for and strengthen their forms of consensus and to cultivate assemblies as organs of government where through the voice of everyone together profoundly democratic agreements are made, across entire regions, through assemblies that articulate with agreements of other assemblies, which themselves emerge from the profound will of each family.
  6. While the governments impose their decisions to benefit the few, supplanting the popular will of the people and criminalizing and repressing whoever opposes their projects of death which they impose at the cost of the blood of our peoples—such as the New Airport of Mexico City, pretending to consult them while actually imposing death—we originary peoples have consistent ways and forms for free, prior and informed consent, however small or large that may be.
  7. While the bad governments hand energy sovereignty over to foreign interests through privatization, and the high cost of gasoline reveals the face of capitalism which in fact only opens a road toward inequality and the rebellious response of the indigenous and non-indigenous peoples of Mexico, the powerful can neither hide nor silence this rebellion. We peoples unite and fight to stop the destruction of our territories through fracking, wind farms, mining, oil wells, and gas and oil pipelines in the states of Veracruz, Sonora, Sinaloa, Baja California, Morelos, Oaxaca, Yucatán and the entire national territory.
  8. While the bad governments impose their toxic and genetically modified food on consumers across the countryside and in the cities, the Mayan people continue their indefatigable struggle to stop the planting of genetically modified seed on the Yucatan peninsula and across the country in order to conserve the ancestral genetic wealth that also symbolizes our life and collective organization and is the basis for our spirituality.
  9. While the political class only destroys and makes empty promises, we peoples build, not only in order to govern but also in order to exist with autonomy and self-determination.

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Our resistances and rebellions constitute the power of below. We don’t offer empty promises or actions, but rather real processes for radical transformation where everyone participates and which are tangible in the diverse and enormous indigenous geographies of this nation. This is why, as the National Indigenous Congress, which brings together 43 peoples of this country in this Fifth Congress, WE AGREE to name an Indigenous Governing Council with men and women representatives from each one of the peoples, tribes, and nations that make up the CNI. This council proposes to govern this country. It will have an indigenous woman from the CNI as its spokesperson, which is to say a woman who has indigenous blood and who knows her culture, and this indigenous woman spokesperson from the CNI will be an independent candidate for the presidency of Mexico in the 2018 elections. 

That is why we, the CNI, as the Home for All Indigenous Peoples, are also the principles that configure the ethic of our struggle. In these principles there is room for all of the originary peoples of this country. Those principles that house the Indigenous Governing Council are:

To obey, not command

To represent, not supplant

To serve others, not serve oneself

To convince, not defeat

To go below, not above

To propose, not impose

To construct, not destroy

This is what we have invented and reinvented, not simply because we want to, but because it is the only way that we have to continue existing – by following new paths forged from the collective memory of our own forms of organization and that are the product of resistance and rebellion, in order to confront, every day, the war that has not ended and yet has not been able to do away with us. Using these forms it has not only been possible for us to build a path toward the full reconstitution of our peoples, but also toward new civilizational forms. In other words, it has been possible to build collective hope that is transformed into communities, municipalities, regions, states, and which is able to respond precisely to the real problems that the country is facing, far away from the political class and their corruption.

From this Fifth National Indigenous Congress, we call on the originary peoples of this country, the collectives of the Sixth, the workers, the coalitions and committees who struggle in the countryside and the city, the students, intellectuals, the artists, and scientists, the elements of civil society that are not organized, as well as all good-hearted people to close ranks and go on the offensive. We call on you to dismantle the power of above and to reconstitute ourselves now from below and to the left, not only as peoples but as a country. We make a call to come together in a single organization where dignity will be our final word and our first action. We call on all of you to organize with us to stop this war, and to not be afraid to build ourselves and sow our seeds on the ruins left by capitalism.

This is what humanity and our mother earth demand of us. It is the time for rebellious dignity. We will make this a material reality by convoking a constituent assembly of the Indigenous Governing Council for Mexico in the month of May 2017. From there we will build bridges toward the compañeros and compañeras of civil society, the media, and the originary peoples in order to make the earth tremble at its core, to overcome fear and recuperate what belongs to humanity, what belongs to the earth and what belongs to the peoples. We do this so that we can recuperate the territories that have been invaded or destroyed, so that the disappeared of this country can be returned, so that all political prisoners are freed, so that there can be truth and justice for all of those who have been murdered, so that there can be dignity for the countryside and the city. That is, have no doubt, we are going for everything, because we know this might be the last opportunity we have as originary peoples and as Mexican society to peacefully and radically change our forms of government, making dignity the epicenter of a new world.

From Oventik, Zapatista Territory, Chiapas, Mexico

Never Again a Mexico Without Us

National Indigenous Congress

Zapatista Army for National Liberation

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/01/02/y-retemblo-informe-desde-el-epicentro/

 

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