dorset chiapas solidarity

December 1, 2016

The Sexta Bachajón send a videomessage

Filed under: Autonomy, Bachajon, La Sexta, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:01 pm

 

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The Sexta Bachajón send a videomessage in support of the Week of Worldwide action in solidarity with the the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, from 4th to 10th December, 2016.

 

 

 

The compas of La Sexta Bachajón, including Domingo Pérez Álvaro, have made the following video message in support of the Week of Worldwide Action in Solidarity with the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, to be held from Sunday 4th to Saturday 10th December, 2016, International Human Rights Day. In the message, Julian, the brother of the murdered social activist and beloved community leader Juan Vázquez Guzmán, expresses the community’s thanks and support for the initiative.

 

https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/videos/

Contact us on: solidaridadconssb@gmail.com

 

 

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October 25, 2016

Worldwide Pronouncement in Solidarity with Domingo Pérez Alvaro and the community of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration

 

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Worldwide Pronouncement in Solidarity with Domingo Pérez Alvaro and the community of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration

 

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We energetically denounce the fierce aggression against Domingo Pérez Alvaro, indigenous Tseltal, ejidatario and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, which took place on Monday, October 17th, at approximately 4 pm, at the top of the crossroads of Alan Sajcun in the territory of the ejido.

According to a statement from the ejidatarios, the aggressors are people belonging to the group of supporters of the officialist Ejidal Commissioner, who are government supporters and enemies of the struggle carried out by the ejidatarios for their land and territory, which the bad capitalist government wants to take away from them in order to build a luxury tourist resort. This group of supporters of the officialist Ejidal Commissioner of San Sebastian Bachajón, Manuel Guzman Alvaro, detained compañero Domingo Pérez Alvaro and physically attacked him with heavy blows so that today he is still in a very delicate state of health.

The supporters of the Ejidal Commissioner accuse Domingo Pérez of taking part in collective works on the lands of the neighbouring community of Bolom Ajaw and of participating in La Sexta Bachajón. In fact, compañero Domingo Pérez Alvaro has participated since the founding of La Sexta Bachajón, he has walked in promoting human rights and participated in the National Indigenous Congress; he also took part in the 20th anniversary of the CNI. On the day of the attack, Domingo was returning from the prison of CERESO 17 in Playas de Catazaja, where he went to visit one of the political prisoners of Bachajón, Santiago Moreno Pérez, on behalf of the organization.

The brutal and serious attack on compañero Domingo Pérez Alvaro certainly took place because of his participation in the struggle of his people to defend their territory. As the ejidatarios say about the attackers: “We reject their actions of dispossession which only serve to confirm their agreements with the bad government to hand over ejido lands to them …. We condemn the actions of the Ejidal Commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro who we hold responsible for the integrity of our colleague Domingo Pérez Alvaro and any attack on the compañeros and compañeras of La Sexta Bachajon.”

Compas of good heart all around the world, we hereby ask for your solidarity with and support for La Sexta Bachajón. Please denounce these acts and disseminate this information, because it is reported that the compañero is in a grave condition following this attack.

We ask you to remain alert as to the situation in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón.

 

Land and Freedom!

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Compas of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, you are not alone!

 

Signatories:

Hermann Bellinghausen, Mexico

Movement for Justice in El Barrio, United States

Raúl Zibechi, Uruguay

Sylvia Marcos, Mexico

Jean Robert, Mexico

Gustavo Esteva Figueroa, Mexico

Hugo Blanco Galdos, Peru

Malú Huacuja del Toro, United States

Circulo de las Primeras Naciones, Canada

UK Zapatista Solidarity Network:

-Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group

-Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group

-Kiptik (Bristol)

-London Mexico Solidarity Group

-Manchester Zapatista Collective

– Meso-America Solidarity Action Liverpool

-UK Zapatista Education, Culture and Communication team

-UK Zapatista Translation Service

-Zapatista Solidarity Group – Essex

 

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September 18, 2016

Communiqué from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón September 15, 2016.

Filed under: Autonomy, Bachajon, Displacement, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:30 pm

 

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Communiqué from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón September 15, 2016.

 

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FROM THE EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 15TH SEPTEMBER, 2016.

 

To the Good Government Juntas (JBG)

To the Indigenous National Congress

To adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle in Mexico and the world

To the mass and alternative media

To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

 

Jmololabex ants winiketik icha spatil a wotanik ta pisilik machatik nokol skoltabel te lum kinalik te yuun ta skuenta te nokol spojbel te chopol ajwalil.

Compañeros and compañeras we wish you all a good day, receive a warm greeting from the adherents to the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón.

In this meeting which is taking place in the municipal headquarters of Chilón, Chiapas against the acts of the bad government, here with our presence and our voice we want to share the struggle and resistance against all the acts of the bad governors who seek to finish off our people, who want to impose their reforms to the constitution, privatizing oil, education, raising taxes, taking away labour rights and benefiting national and foreign companies so they can exploit our natural resources, forgetting our past and our history.

We want you to know that in this struggle we will continue with dignity and autonomy, we will continue standing in struggle and in expectation of victory, the struggle and the memory of our fallen compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán still lives and his blood was not shed in vain, our compañero gave his life to transform this world held hostage by the capitalist mentality.

 

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For the bad government is truly responsible for all the daily injustices being committed in our pueblo, buying consciences, intending to gain control of territory in every pueblo and community, to manage society at their will.

San Sebastián Bachajón is a very dignified pueblo, where struggle and memory are not for sale, our customs and traditions come from our ancestors, the belief of our Maya grandparents in worship and respect for our mother earth.

In this same communiqué, we mention the struggle of the teachers in defence of public education, the teachers’ movement of the National Coordinator of Education Workers [CNTE] to support them against the misnamed education reform that the Mexican state wants to impose, enough of so much injustice, now no more attacks against society, no more kidnappings, assassinations, forced disappearances, evictions, human rights violations. Once again the bad government ordered the eviction of the teachers in Oaxaca, who kept their tents in the zócalo, on 11 September this year, the bad government is solely responsible for the repression against society.

Now that there are laws there is a lot of insecurity in the pueblos and communities because the law is not made for us, the poor, but for those with money, the rich landowners from the political parties who are transforming this, eventually disintegrating the pueblos day by day, the invasion and the ambition of the politicians who want to take control of our culture and our peoples and their cities, politicians who are clinging on violently in order to get what they want regardless of the human costs that they leave during their passage in the elections, this is how the system of the bad government operates.

 

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We will continue struggling in order to breathe peace and harmony, the revolution of our ancestors is not for sale, because it was as a result of their struggles and their work that they achieved what belongs to us for our future generations. We denounce the bad government which continues with the dispossession of our lands for their tourism megaprojects and exploitation of natural resources, we reject with scorn their policy of death and submission through government projects which put to sleep the conscience of our communities.

We send a combative greeting to our Chol compañeros and compañeras from the Ejido Tila in Chiapas who have taken control of the administration which the bad government of Juan Sabines illegally stole from them many decades ago. We embrace their struggle, their tireless efforts by to construct autonomy and government for the indigenous and non-indigenous people living in the pueblo of Tila. We say to them that they are not alone and if they touch one of you, they touch all of us. We regret the death of the two young people killed cruelly in ejido lands, called Carmita Lopez Perez, 19 years old, and Rafael López Pérez, aged 20, all this violence is generated and promoted by groups linked
to the municipal council of Tila that seeks to sow division and hatred among the organized people of Tila.

No more unjust imprisonments. We demand the immediate release of our unjustly imprisoned compañeros Esteban Gómez Jiménez imprisoned in Cintalapa de Figueroa,
Chiapas (amate No 14,) and Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoners in Playas de Catazajá, Chiapas (ceress No 17.)They were all imprisoned for being committed to fight and defend mother earth and also the freedom of other political prisoners of Mexico and the world, who are being repressed and criminalized for the defence of the mother earth and natural resources.

From the Northern Zone of the state of Chiapas, the women and men of San Sebastián send combative greetings to all the compañeros and compañeras and to the communities and people in Mexico and the world who are in resistance.

 

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and freedom

Zapata lives!

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

No to the dispossession of indigenous territory!

State police out of our indigenous territory!

Immediate return of the disappeared and murdered compañeros from the Normal School Raúl Isidro Burgos of Ayotzinapa!

Long live the dignified struggle of the Chol compañeros and compañeras from the ejido Tila!

Long live the communities who struggle for their autonomy and freedom!

Justice for Ayotzinapa, Acteal, ABC, Atenco!

 

 

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May 3, 2016

The social activist Juan Vázquez Guzmán is remembered in Latin America and Europe, three years after his assassination.

Filed under: Bachajon, Indigenous, La Sexta, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:56 am

 

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The social activist Juan Vázquez Guzmán is remembered in Latin America and Europe, three years after his assassination.

 

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Chiapas, Mexico. “The family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and the members of the Sexta Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón thank you for having attended and participated by written letter” said the Tzeltal indigenous, adherents to the Sexta, from the jungle area (zona selva) of Chiapas.

Juan Vázquez Guzmán was assassinated in front of his home on April 24, 2013, “by a group of hitmen from the bad government,” national and international social organizations have denounced since that date. Today he was remembered at this same house in San Sebastián Bachajón, where they received demonstrations of national and international solidarity with the cause of the ejido in resistance which Juan belonged to.

“To keep on, despite all the difficulties, resisting and challenging the powerful from our collective dignity, is the only way we have to keep being who we are: peoples who struggle and work for another world where the Juans do not have to give their life for something as basic as life with dignity,” said the writer Raúl Zibechi from Uruguay in a letter.

“Thanks to you, compañero, the Bachajón struggle became ours. We are not going to give up. It is the fight back we are giving everywhere against criminal governments and against those who own them, who maintain a war of plunder and aggression against the people and use all means at their disposal to oppress and take away what is ours. It is they who have been destroying Mother Earth, causing damage that can no longer be tolerated,” said the researcher and social activist Gustavo Esteva from Oaxaca, Mexico.

“Juan Vázquez Guzmán is a symbol of the defence of the indigenous community, of the defence of life and nature against the large transnational corporations that rule the world, killing nature and humanity, with the only sacred goal they have: ‘to make as much money as possible in the shortest time possible,’ said the social activist Hugo Blanco from Peru.

“We honour his memory and remember his dignified struggle for his people and the land. Juan is a light of hope and dignity accompanying all our struggles, and we know that he continues to live in the hearts of all his compañeras and compañeros in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón. Those who give their lives for the land do not die, but live on in every act of freedom and resistance,” shared the Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group from England.

“This week in Canada, we will have an event in commemoration of Juan Vásquez Guzmán where we will share the dignified struggle that you continue to carry out. We also continue to demand the punishment of those responsible for the death of compa Juan, so his death does not go unpunished,” he said Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York in their letter.

The ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, is located in the northern jungle region of Chiapas, where the tourist attraction the waterfalls of Agua Azul are located, which are part of a comprehensive mega tourist plan that includes projects such as luxury hotels, an airport and golf courses. This is why arbitrary detentions of indigenous have become a resource used frequently by the three levels of government, comments the “Working Group No Estamos Todos” (GTNET), which supports indigenous peoples and campesinos in the region.

 

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http://www.pozol.org/?p=12161

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April 28, 2016

Letter from Gustavo Esteva for Juan Vázquez Guzmán of Bachajón

Filed under: Bachajon, Indigenous, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:44 am

 

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Letter from Gustavo Esteva for Juan Vázquez Guzmán of Bachajón

 

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From Oaxaca, Mexico: Letter from the writer and social activist Gustavo Esteva

We do not forget, compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán. We will never forget.

Every year there are more of us who remember. And there are also more of us who find in your story inspiration to live, that is, to struggle. There are increasingly more of us who turn their indignation over your murder into the energy and strength to move forward.

Thanks to you, compañero, the Bachajón struggle became ours. We are not going to give up. It is the fight back we are giving everywhere against criminal governments and against those who own them, who maintain a war of plunder and aggression against the people and use all means at their disposal to oppress and take away what is ours. It is they who have been destroying Mother Earth, causing damage that can no longer be tolerated.

Your example is spreading, compañero. It is true that your death hurts, and that all murders affect us, all aggression, all the dispossessions that are committed daily. But it is also true that they do not intimidate us. They want to control us by fear, they want to paralyze us with anxiety, they want us to sink in our pain. They have produced the opposite. As it is said, they took away so much that they took away the fear. We are still standing. We are getting better at organising. We’re are interweaving to gather all our struggles together, to circulate among us so that we will be united when the time comes to reconquer all that is ours and to build, as you said, that world in which many worlds fit, a world that dawned with our Zapatista compañeros…

Your death and that of many other compañeros and compañeras does not discourage us. Quite the opposite. Our heart is made strong, it takes courage, it is reinforced in your example, in your life. Because ours is and has always been a struggle for life against the campaign of death waged by governments and capital.

We do not forget, compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán. We will never forget.

Gustavo Esteva

 

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April 27, 2016

Juan Vazquez Guzmán – Letter from Uruguay from Raul Zibechi

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:00 am

 

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Juan Vazquez Guzmán – Letter from Uruguay from Raul Zibechi

 

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From Uruguay: Letter from the writer and social activist Raúl Zibechi

The family, friends and compañer@s of Juan Vasquez Guzman:

Receive a greeting from southern Latin America, full of solidarity and appreciation.

Receive also congratulations for continuing to honour the memory of compa Juan, three years after his death.

Keep on, despite all the difficulties, resisting and challenging the powerful from our collective dignity, it is the only way we have to keep being who we are: peoples who struggle and work for another world where the Juans do not have to give their life for something as basic as life with dignity,
Hugs

Raúl Zibechi

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From Peru: Message from the indigenous social activist Hugo Blanco for the commemoration of Juan Vazquez Guzmán

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:51 am

 

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 From Peru: Message from the indigenous social activist Hugo Blanco for the commemoration of Juan Vazquez Guzmán

 

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I confirm, through Movement for Justice in El Barrio, my solidarity with the third annual commemoration of the death of compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán, killed on April 24, 2013.

The murder was committed by the Mexican authorities and large corporations who are seeking to seize the communal land for tourist megaprojects.

Juan Vázquez Guzmán is a symbol of the defence of the indigenous community, of the defence of life and nature against the large transnational corporations that rule the world, killing nature and humanity, with the only sacred goal they have: “to make as much money as possible in the shortest time possible.”

Long live the undaunted struggle of the ejido Bachajón in defence of nature and humanity!

 

Hugo Blanco

Peru

 

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April 25, 2016

From New York: Message from Movement for Justice in El Barrio in honor of Juan Vásquez Guzmán

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:28 pm

 

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From New York: Message from Movement for Justice in El Barrio in honor of Juan Vásquez Guzmán

 

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Dear compañeras and compañeros ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón:

We send loving hugs to you all from El Barrio, New York.

Across the borders which those from above impose on us, by means of this letter we want to share our humble word to the family and all the compas of our beloved brother, Juan Vásquez Guzmán in this commemoration that you have organized to celebrate the memory and life of our compa Juan.

After three years we still feel a lot of pain and rage at the savage murder of Juan Vásquez Guzmán which took place on April 24, 2013.

Juan Vásquez Guzmán was and remains an inspiration for the migrant people of El Barrio and every day here we keep his memory alive.

Your struggle is our struggle because the land belongs to those who work it and housing belongs to those who live in it.

You struggle against those who want to take away your lands, while on this side in the north, we struggle against those who want to take away our housing.

Today, three years after the death of compa Juan Vásquez Guzmán, we remember his great legacy of struggle in defence of your land and our people.

Juan Vásquez Guzmán is not dead because he still lives in our hearts.

Juan Vásquez Guzmán, a great fighter who for his love of community and the land belonging to them made it a priority in his daily life to defend the land of his birth, the same land that saw him fall.

Juan Vásquez Guzmán, a man who well knew that the Mother Earth has no price.

Juan Vásquez Guzmán who fought tirelessly until his death.

 

Dear brother Juan Vásquez Guzmán:

You are still a great example for us to follow here in New York.

You will never be alone.

Nor will your beloved compas in struggle from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón be alone.

There are no barriers or frontiers that separate our support and feelings for you our compa Juan and your parents, siblings, children and compas in struggle.

 

Compañeros ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón:

We remain in struggle and together we will continue to build a better world where many worlds fit,

 

This week in Canada, we will have an event in commemoration of Juan Vásquez Guzmán where we will share the dignified struggle that you continue to carry out.

We also continue to demand the punishment of those responsible for the death of compa Juan so his death does not go unpunished.

 

We demand justice! Their murderers cannot go unpunished! No more impunity!

Land, freedom and justice for the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón!

Juan Vásquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Vásquez Guzmán, Presente!

 

With love and solidarity,

Movement for Justice in El Barrio

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Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón about Juan Vázquez Guzmán

 

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Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón about Juan Vázquez Guzmán

 

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FROM EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJÓN, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 24 APRIL 2016.

To the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee – General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Good Government Juntas

To the Indigenous National Congress

To the compañer@s adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle in Mexico and the world

To the mass and alternative media

To the Network for Solidarity and against Repression

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world 

 

Jmololabex ants winikewtik, icháh spatil a wotanik ta pisilik ta ini ka´kal yuun yotik nokolonkotik ta spasel te snahojibal Juan Vázquez Guzmán ta Bachajón te laj ta milel yuun skoltabel slumal sok te lum k´inal.

Yaj jkabeyexcotik mukul hokolawalik yuun te laj ha jokinonkotik ta spasel in tsakayik yoxebal ahbil yuun te laj ta milel te jmololtik Juan Vázquez.

 

Compañeros and compañeras, today 24th April, 2016, the third annual commemoration of compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán is being held.

The family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and the members of the Sexta Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón thank you for your presence and participation through written letters.

We express once again our gratitude to the organizations and social activists for their cooperation, hoping to have the opportunity of your participation again in future gatherings.

 

From New York: Movement for Justice in El Barrio, to the family and compañeros of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

From England: letter from the Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group. 3 years after his assassination Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives!  

From Peru: message from the indigenous social activist Hugo Blanco for the commemoration of Juan Vázquez Guzmán. 

From Uruguay: letter from the writer and social activist Raúl Zibechi to the family, friends and compañeros of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.  

From Oaxaca, Mexico: letter from the writer and social activist Gustavo Esteva for the commemoration of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

 

Receive combative greetings from the family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and the members of La Sexta Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón.

Land and Freedom

Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

 

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3 years after his assassination, Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives!

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:10 am

 

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3 years after his assassination, Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives!

 

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To the family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán

To the adherents to the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón

To members of the community

 

Compañeras and Compañeros

We send you our warmest greetings from our humble corner of the world.

We would like to send you a few words for the third annual commemoration of the beloved compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán, who was killed in front of his home on 24th April, 2013, by a group of assassins from the bad government.

Juan Vázquez Guzmán was an authority of the ejido, who fought with all his good heart to defend the lands and territory of San Sebastián Bachajón from the ferocious appetite of the bad government and the transnationals in Mexico and the world who want to dispossess the ejidatarios, take over their ancestral lands, plunder the mother earth, and transform the area of Bachajon in to a luxury tourist megaproject. These agencies ordered his murder because they knew he would never give up the struggle, but we all know that, in Juan’s memory and following the dignified example of love and commitment that he gave us, the struggle continues. It will never end.

It is now three years since Juan Vázquez Guzmán was cruelly assassinated, and the demand for justice continues. The crime still remains unpunished, there have been no investigations and no one has been arrested, but Juan is with us all in our hopes and dreams of a better world.

We honour his memory and remember his dignified struggle for his people and the land. Juan is a light of hope and dignity accompanying all our struggles, and we know that he continues to live in the hearts of all his compañeras and compañeros in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón. Those who give their lives for the land do not die but live on in every act of freedom and resistance.

We send you an embrace of solidarity

 

Hasta siempre compañero.

Land and Freedom!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!

 

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group

England

 

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April 17, 2016

Participatory Democracy Drives Anti-Gentrification Movement in New York’s El Barrio

 

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Participatory Democracy Drives Anti-Gentrification Movement in New York’s El Barrio

By Jessica Davies, Truthout | Report

 

2016_0416rrelb_Members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio at a press conference denouncing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “luxury housing” rezoning plan. (Photo courtesy of Janice Aredondo)

 

Eleven years ago, in an area known as El Barrio in East Harlem, New York, community residents of 15 immigrant families, all of them women of color, came together to seek dignified housing in their community. They were struggling against gentrification and displacement, and the abuses of a private landlord who was trying to force them out of their homes in order to attract wealthier tenants and transform the neighborhood they lived in and loved. These women had no previous organizing experience, but they listened to and supported each other, and in December 2004, they formed Movement for Justice in El Barrio (Movement).

Astonishingly, Movement now has 954 members in 95 building committees. Eighty percent of the members are women, and it is the women who are the driving force behind the organization. The membership consists of low-income tenants who are immigrants and people of color; many are also Indigenous. Forced by poverty to leave their beloved native countries, they have built a strong community in El Barrio, and are determined not to allow themselves to be displaced again. They understand clearly that their fight is against the neoliberal system represented by the abusive landlords, property speculators, multinational corporations, politicians and government institutions that seek to displace them from their much-loved community.

“We all share a common enemy and it is called neoliberalism,” said Oscar Dominguez, a member of Movement for Justice in El Barrio, at the first Encuentro for Humanity and Against Displacement. “Neoliberalism wishes to divide us and keep us from combining our forces. We will defeat this by continuing to unite our entire community until we achieve true liberation for all.”

The organization is built around the principles of autonomy, self-determination and participatory democracy. This means that it is based on a horizontal form of organizing and has no leaders.

“We believe that those who suffer injustice first-hand must design and lead their own struggles for justice,” said Diana Vega, a Movement member.

The aim is to create spaces where people can come together as a community to share their problems. In this way, they can agree on the solutions, and it is the community itself that has the power. Not being dependent on anyone to tell them what to do, they believe, creates a strong base that can never be destroyed.

The basis of Movement’s organizing is consulting the community. Members go door-to-door, building-by-building, block-by-block, getting to know each other, and constructing relationships. Committees are formed in each building, and once the whole building is organized, they become members. Each building agrees on its own actions and means of struggle. Movement is also deeply committed to fighting all forms of oppression and to respecting each other’s differences. Above all, this means listening to one another.

The group operates on many levels. As well as door knocking, it has town hall meetings, community dialogues, street outreach, house meetings and community-wide votes. It organizes protests, marches and direct actions. It makes clever use of the media, gives interviews and charlas (talks) and organizes community-wide gatherings. It uses tactics such as court actions and public denunciations. Following the community consultations, it campaigns on specific issues.

These issues are spelled out in the invitation that Movement for Justice in El Barrio sent out for its fifth Encuentro for Humanity and Against Displacement:

“Together, we make our dignity resistance and we fight back against the actions of capitalist landlords and multinational corporations who seek to displace poor families from our neighborhood. We fight back locally and across borders. We fight back against local politicians who refuse to govern by obeying the will of the people. We fight back against the government institutions which enforce a global economic, social and political system that seeks to destroy humanity.”

The organization faces many challenges. Most of its members speak no English. They have little access to the internet. Very few of them have computers. They are forced to work 10- to 14-hour days, six to seven days a week, as well as having all the responsibilities of family life. This means that it is not easy for them to also attend four or five hour meetings to make decisions, and it is difficult for everyone to come together at the same time. Because everyone must be consulted, and all decisions made collectively, it can take a long time to come to an agreement. But in spite of all these difficulties, the commitment and achievements of the members have been remarkable.

In line with its principles, Movement accepts no government funding, and has no involvement with politicians or political parties. Members know it is essential to create bridges with other ignored, forgotten and marginalized communities, including women, migrants, lesbians, people of color and the transgender community, and to build relationships with members of organizations that also fight against multiple forms of oppression.

Building a Community of Solidarity and a Culture of Resistance

Eleven years ago, those who are now members of Movement did not even know each other. They had no fellowship with the other inhabitants of their building. Now, they resist, organize and celebrate victories together — they have built community, friendship, love, confidence and solidarity and have transformed their lives.

During the last 11 years, Movement has won victories against brutal landlords and multinational corporations that have tried to displace them and destroy their community. They have challenged city institutions. They have created and continue to build a culture of resistance and a community of solidarity. They have formed strong bonds with their sisters in struggle in many corners of the world, and their inspirational struggle continues.

Members of Movement celebrated the 11th anniversary of their women-led community struggle this year on March 8, International Women’s Day. During the event, they screened this short film to commemorate their struggle against displacement:

 

 

Many of the members of this remarkable organization believe that their greatest achievement has been to build a culture of resistance, which has led to a sense of identity and self-worth, being part of something that gives them purpose and meaning. A new generation of children is growing up in an amazing environment of organizing, marching and of collective decision-making, which makes a lasting impact on their lives, and shines through in their vibrant community spirit. The strength of the community that Movement has created is reflected in the astonishing fact that not on,e of its members has been displaced over the last 11 years. It is no wonder that the Village Voice chose Movement as the “Best Power to the People Movement in New York City.”

Learning from and Sharing Dignified Struggles

When Movement was founded in December 2004, its members began to look for other dignified struggles from which to learn. When they read the Zapatista Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, released in June 2005, Dominguez told Truthout, members found in it “a mirror of ourselves.” Since that time, they have developed their own form of urban Zapatismo, and continue to look to their Zapatista compañeras and compañeros as inspiration in their daily struggle for justice and collective liberation, while offering their solidarity in return. As always with the women at the forefront, Movement members have incorporated tools and ways of organizing learned from the Zapatistas into their own local struggle.

Current Struggles and Achievements

In September 2015, the women of Movement for Justice in El Barrio joined people who are fighting for justice all over the world, and gave testimony before the International Tribunal of Conscience of Peoples in Movement, which was held in New York City. The women spoke about the struggle of migrant women against the dispossession that leads to forced migration in the first place, and then about the vicious displacement from housing, which takes place in order to rezone cities between the rich and the poor.

This was followed in October by Movement being the only organization to be chosen to participate in the ground-breaking first worldwide online Women’s Freedom Conference, where women from five continents presented their struggles through the unique voices and experiences of women of color who have little or no representation, and who have been deprived of their rights not only by patriarchy, but also through racism and other forms of oppression. Movement’s presentation was the film El Barrio Women Fighting for Freedom and Against Displacement.

 

 

On January 31, 2016, the fifth New York City Encuentro for Humanity and Against Displacement took place, organized by Movement. It was “a gathering in which humble and simple people directly affected and fighting against gentrification were given the space to dialogue amongst each other without intermediaries and with respect for their common struggle.” A testament to the power of grassroots organizing, the Encuentro focused on struggles against displacement in New York and globally, and representatives of over 90 organizations shared their struggles and their dreams.

The official invitation to the event offered these words about its purpose:

“We are struggling for housing, for education, for health, for freedom, for justice, for love, for a voice, for a space to exist, for peace, for respect, for ourselves, for our community, for dignity … for humanity. Here we stand in resistance in our corner of the world. Together we will build a world where many worlds fit. Un mundo donde quepan muchos mundos.”

The Encuentro highlighted one of the main struggles undertaken by the women of Movement over the last year and a half — the struggle against the destructive rezoning plan that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is attempting to impose from above. If enacted, this plan will cause widespread displacement of long-term, low-income community members from their beloved El Barrio. Premiered at the Encuentro was the new film The East Harlem Community Fight Against the Mayor’s Rezoning Plan.

 

 

The film documents the East Harlem residents’ opposition to a rezoning plan where a hundred percent of units will be inaccessible to the low-income residents of El Barrio. Seventy-five percent will be market-rate, luxury apartments, and the other twenty-five percent will still have rents that make them completely inaccessible to low-income residents of El Barrio, due to residents not meeting the minimum income threshold required to rent them. This opposition is the result of the East Harlem community’s extensive consulta del Barrio, a community-driven democratic consultation, organized by Movement, about the mayor’s rezoning plan, which took place for nearly a year. Through this consulta, community members analyzed the plan and developed both their position — unanimous opposition to the mayor’s entire upzoning plan by the thousands who participated — and a proposal of their own: A 10-point plan for the de Blasio administration to preserve rent-stabilized housing. The women leaders of Movement for Justice in El Barrio will keep on fighting until their plan is implemented for the benefit of all of the humble people of New York City.

They have expressed this commitment in their vision statement:

We fight so that:

The oceans and mountains will belong to those who live in and take care of them.

The rivers and deserts will belong to those who live in and take care of them.

The valleys and ravines will belong to those who live in and take care of them.

Homes and cities will belong to those who live in and take care of them.

No one will own more land than they can cultivate.

No one will own more homes than they can live in.

 

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35625-participatory-democracy-drives-anti-gentrification-movement-in-new-york-s-el-barrio

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Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón in solidarity with the pueblo of San Francisco Xochicuautla

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:54 am

 

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Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón in solidarity with the pueblo of San Francisco Xochicuautla

 

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FROM EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJÓN, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO. 16 APRIL 2016.

To the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee – General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Good Government Juntas

To the Indigenous National Congress

To the compañer@s adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle in Mexico and the world

To the mass and alternative media

To the Network for Solidarity and against Repression

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

Today on this day we express our solidarity with the compañeros from san francisco xochicuautla in the situation of risk they are taking and facing these days due to acts of the bad government, and we point directly to the government as responsible for the repression which they have been doing to the people of san francisco xochicuautla; we are already fed up that they do whatever they want with us, the government always wants to get away with it, to use our natural resources for projects for super-highways to make themselves rich, they order the repression of the peoples who defend the mother earth; the government is nothing more than a figure which comes to destroy the natural assets and get the benefit from them, but we will not allow this because the land belongs to those who work and care for it, not to those who destroy it; so let us join forces to end this injustice committed by the same narco government, which has a habit of sending forces to attack and repress the peoples so they will no longer defend their land, but they are wrong because we are many who want to join forces and put an end to the narco-government.

So we want to tell the compañeros from san francisco xochicuautla that they are not alone, because their struggle is our struggle and we lift up our hands to support them, we will continue in the front and in resistance, to defend ourselves and each other from the acts of the bad government, we join their struggle and raise our voice in solidarity so that in this way we can construct a better world where there is peace and justice, not super-highways that benefit only a few or the bad government itself.

So we express all our solidarity and support to the people of san francisco xochicuautla in their struggle, we want to tell you that our organization is with you, your struggle is ours and we will remain on alert for any act by the narco-government.

We also demand the immediate release of our imprisoned compañeros who have spent years in prison without having committed any crimes, but the government takes it as a crime to demand that the territory be respected, to have the commitment to struggle and defend the mother earth which is being plundered by the government for use for business purposes, they make up crimes to imprison people, they send their minions to repress and intimidate people so they will no longer continue fighting and defending the mother earth, we demand the release of our prisoners Esteban Gómez Jiménez imprisoned in Cintalapa de Figueroa, Chiapas (amate # 14), Santiago Moreno Perez and Emilio Gómez Jiménez prisoners in Playas de Catazajá, Chiapas (CERSS # 17) and well as the freedom of other political prisoners in Mexico and the world.

From the northern zone of the state of Chiapas the women and men of San Sebastian send militant greetings to all the compañeros, communities and peoples of Mexico and the world who are resisting.

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and Freedom

Zapata Vive!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

No dispossession of indigenous territories!

The state police out of our indigenous territory!

Immediate presentation of the disappeared and assassinated compañeros from the Normal School Raúl Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa!

Long live the dignified struggle of our Chol compañeros y compañeras from the ejido Tila!

Long live the dignified struggle of our compañeros and compañeras from San Francisco Xochicuautla!

Long live the peoples who struggle for their autonomy and freedom!

JUSTICE FOR AYOTZINAPA, ACTEAL, ABC, ATENCO!

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April 16, 2016

Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón about Juan Vázquez Guzmán

Filed under: Bachajon, Indigenous, La Sexta, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:28 pm

 

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Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón about Juan Vázquez Guzmán 

San Sebastián Bachajón: Invitation to the annual commemoration of compañero Juan Vazquez Guzmán

 

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La Sexta Ejido Bachajón invites friends, national and international compañeros in struggle to the third annual commemoration of compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán, to be held on Sunday April 24th in Cumbre Nachoj.

 

From Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, Chiapas, Mexico, April 13, 2016.

jmololabex ants winiketik, icha spatil a wotanik ta pisilik bankalal nokolex ha pasbelik tulan yuun koltayel ha lumkinalik.

Friends, compañeros and compañeras in struggle and resistance, we would like to send a cordial greeting to all of you and especially to the group Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York, from the family of the late Juan Vázquez Guzmán and the compañeros adherents to the sixth.

We would like you to know that on 24th April this year the third annual commemoration will take place of compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán, human rights defender, because the compañero was killed in front of his home on 24th April, 2013, the family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, the adherents to the sixth declaration from the ejido Bachajón and members of the community invite you, so that we can honour together the memory of compañero Juan Vázquez, to participate and join us in this third annual commemoration; this event will be held on Sunday 24th April during the day and night in the known place of residence of the family of compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

All our friends and national and international compañeros in struggle are invited to accompany us in this commemoration and to participate with their presence or by means of a written letter.

From the northern state of Chiapas, we the women and men of San Sebastián Bachajón send you combative greetings

LAND AND FREEDOM

NEVER AGAIN A MEXICO WITHOUT US!

JUAN VÁZQUEZ GUZMÁN LIVES, THE BACHAJÓN STRUGGLE CONTINUES!

JUSTICE FOR AYOTZINAPA, ACTEAL, ATENCO, ABC!

Bachajon-y-Juan-500x500

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March 31, 2016

Speaker’s Constituents Denounce Council’s Luxury Housing Vote in East Harlem

Filed under: Displacement, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:18 am

 

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Speaker’s Constituents Denounce Council’s Luxury Housing Vote in East Harlem

 

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Members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio protest on Wednesday March 23 outside a “Landlord Resource Fair” hosted by the de Blasio administration in East Harlem. The rally came one day after the City Council approved a controversial rezoning plan that will allow developers to build more luxury housing in 15 low-income neighbourhoods across the City including East Harlem. Photo: Jill Dowling

 

By Liz Roberts March 29, 2016

As Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito were rallying in Foley Square, celebrating the passage of their affordable housing plan Wednesday evening, East Harlem residents gathered to denounce what they refer to as the mayor’s “luxury housing plan.”

In response, Teresa Tapia, member of Movement for Justice in El Barrio, said “This plan is nothing more than a land grab for the rich, and now they are celebrating it. It’s shameful.”

On Tuesday, the City Council voted in favor of two zoning amendments that are the cornerstones of the mayor’s housing plan and pave the way for rezoning in fifteen communities citywide, which are composed of predominately poor and black and Latino residents. East Harlem is one of these communities.

East Harlem residents responded to the City Council vote by holding their own rally Wednesday evening, denouncing the plan outside the “Landlord Resource Fair” hosted by the de Blasio administration. “We are here outside of this fair in East Harlem which the mayor’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development has organized to offer support and resources to landlords,” said Ms. Tapia. “This demonstrates yet again and very clearly that the mayor favours wealthy landlords over poor tenants.” This was met with a chant of “Listen up, de Blasio! We will not be moved!” led by area resident Josefina Salazar, whose children stood at her side chanting and holding signs that read “East Harlem Tenants Against de Blasio’s Luxury Housing Plan.”

Ms. Salazar laid out the reasons she and her neighbours oppose the plan, beginning with the new provision that gives real estate developers the option of building 80% luxury, market-rate units. She continued, “The other 20% of apartments will be designated as what they call low-income housing. But we know very well this is a lie, because the low-income people of El Barrio don’t earn enough to pay those high rents.” The mayor and the City Council claim, under this option, the 20% affordable housing units, which will be eligible to residents earning $34,500 for a family of four, will indeed be affordable to low-income residents from the area.

Residents spoke about the gentrification and displacement they say the new plan will bring. “We know when those rich people move to El Barrio, our landlords will do everything in their power to displace us from our apartments in order to replace us with people who can pay more than three times what we pay for rent,” Ms. Salazar said. “We don’t want El Barrio to be converted into a neighbourhood for rich people as happened in other communities like Park Slope and Chelsea, but that is what the mayor and Ms. Mark-Viverito want to happen here.” Ms.Tapia added, “we don’t want their ‘housing plan’ to push us out of our homes.”

Tenants citywide, including those in East New York, one of the fifteen low-income, people of colour communities targeted for rezoning, are speaking out against the plan, saying even the lowest income options are not affordable to the poor people in their communities. They, like the tenants protesting tonight, say even the so-called “affordable” units are not intended for the current residents of their communities and will draw higher income residents from outside the community, just as the market-rate units will.

This was in stark contrast to the simultaneous celebration at Foley Square, where Mayor de Blasio said developers will be required to add a set amount of affordable housing — between 20 and 30% — in rezoned areas.

In the past, under Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council had a documented history of approving legislation introduced by the mayor, including rezoning and development projects. Many, including members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio, are now drawing parallels to the current City Council’s overwhelming approval of Mayor de Blasio’s rezoning changes, despite citywide opposition from community organizations. Other groups across the city protested the City Council’s vote on this rezoning and delayed it by 20 minutes on Tuesday. Ultimately, the vote went ahead as planned. Mayor de Blasio is presenting this massive real estate development undertaking as part of his progressive agenda to challenge the “tale of two cities”, the theme of which was a major focus of his electoral campaign. The mayor, for his part, has made it clear he will do what it takes to “address the affordable housing crisis” through his rezoning plan.

In this vein, the mayor says his rezoning plan will make it harder for developers to build more luxury towers and that they will be required to also build affordable housing. However, East Harlem residents question how hard it will be for developers who are “excited to pioneer” these neighbourhoods targeted for rezoning. Residents assert that developers are overjoyed by this new “luxury housing plan” because, according to them, business will be booming for real estate developers who will be busy creating 70-80% market rate units in new luxury towers. “This is just another luxury upzoning,” Ms. Salazar said, “—this time wrapped up in the language of affordable housing and served up by our local politicians who are in the service of the real estate developers who fund their campaigns.” Mayor de Blasio’s largest contributions come from real estate developers who have also provided funding for the Campaign for One New York, for “affordable housing” and other projects. The mayor and the City Council stand behind their plan, which they say is the most progressive housing plan in any city in the country.

Movement for Justice in El Barrio says they reject the rezoning plan outright. “We oppose any configuration of the rezoning plan that is being imposed on our community because we know it will displace low-income tenants and small businesses, including street vendors,” says Ms. Tapia. “We offer our own ten-point plan to preserve rent-stabilized housing instead of destroying it, like the mayor’s and the Council’s plan will.”

The group has a proposal of their own, a ten-point plan to preserve rent-stabilized housing that they say will truly address the need for low-income housing in their community and citywide.  According to them, this ten-point plan is the result of a nearly year-long community-wide consultation process convened by Movement for Justice in El Barrio through which community members analysed the mayor’s plan and developed a position and plan of their own. The group has sent copies of the plan to all parties involved in the proposed re-zonings, including the mayor, and says they will keep struggling until their ten points are implemented. Wednesday’s rally by Movement for Justice in El Barrio follows a series of protests and actions since the organization first came out publicly in opposition to the mayor’s plan last fall. Earlier this year, the organization convened the first citywide gathering in opposition to the mayor’s plan bringing together over 90 groups from across the city, the country and internationally. At this “Encuentro”, the group released a video outlining their fight against the mayor’s rezoning plan.

To close Wednesday’s protest the crowd chanted a message to the mayor, ”de Blasio, listen up! We will not be moved!” followed by their message to his staff leading the Landlord Resource Fair inside, “HPD, listen up! We will not be moved!” The mayor and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, meanwhile, rallied at Foley Square with leaders of the AARP and several unions who have been strong supporters of the administration as they have shepherded the new plan through the approval process.

Liz Roberts is an activist and writer. She works with War Resisters League and does Palestine solidarity work.

https://indypendent.org/2016/03/29/speaker%E2%80%99s-constituents-denounce-council%E2%80%99s-luxury-housing-vote-east-harlem

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