dorset chiapas solidarity

March 16, 2015

Mexicans connect anti-capitalist resistances

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:24 pm


Mexicans connect anti-capitalist resistances

by Chiapas Support Committee

Ayotzinapa presentation at the Festival of Resistances & Rebellions against Capitalism in Amilcingo. Photo: Arturo Vazquez

Ayotzinapa presentation at the Festival of Resistances & Rebellions against Capitalism in Amilcingo. Photo: Arturo Vazquez

A surge of grassroots organizing for fundamental change is underway in Mexico. The September 26-27, 2014 police attack on students from the Ayotzinapa rural teachers college, which took place in Iguala, Guerrero, and the subsequent disappearance of 43 of those students, exposed the complicity and corruption between government officials, political parties, police and organized crime; it shocked Mexico’s conscience and left a deep wound in the nation’s heart. A few examples of the growing momentum for radical change are described below.Ayotzinapa presentation at the Festival of Resistances & Rebellions against Capitalism in Amilcingo. Photo: Arturo Vazquez

After the police attack and enforced disappearance of 43 students, the State Coordinator of Education Workers of Guerrero (Ceteg), the state affiliate of the National Coordinator of Education Workers, a lefty labor union, wasted no time in calling a meeting in Ayotzinapa. Participants in the October 15 meeting, held a mere 18 days after the attack, vowed to engage in various kinds of social protest and to organize in order to accumulate forces and grow the movement. The participants also formed the National Popular Assembly (ANP, its initials in Spanish), composed of 53 social and student organizations in the country. (Students also have a national organization.) Afterwards, parents, relatives, student survivors, teachers and friends of the 43 disappeared students attended meetings within Guerrero and in different parts of the country to gather momentum and support for their on-going search for the students and for truth and justice. The parents and student survivors split up in small groups and visited communities and social organizations around the country; it seemed like they were everywhere, and it still seems that way after five months.

One of their visits was to Chiapas, where they met with civil society in San Cristóbal and with the statewide teachers’ union in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the state’s capital. On November 15, 2014 they met with the Zapatistas in Oventik, a Zapatista Caracol, the autonomous regional government center. The Zapatistas had also been busy organizing since their re-emergence on December 21, 2012. The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) initiated a new organizing phase with the Escuelitas Zapatistas (Little Zapatista Schools) in 2013, where folks were invited into Zapatista homes and communities to learn first-hand about autonomy. Escuelitas were held twice in 2013 (August and December) and the first week of January 2014. They also held a Seminar in honor of Juan Chávez Alonso, a very well known and highly respected indigenous leader that died. This was a step in renewing the relationship between the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the EZLN.

From August 4-8, 2014, the EZLN held a “sharing,” or exchange of struggles, thoughts and ideas, with the National Indigenous Congress in La Realidad. On August 9, they presented a joint report that, in addition to a long list of government plans to facilitate corporate takeovers of indigenous lands (dispossession), included plans to sponsor a joint global festival of resistances and rebellions against capitalism in several different locations between December 22, 2014 and January 3, 2015.

Following the November 15 meeting with the Ayotzinapa parents in Oventik, the EZLN issued a December 12 comunicado [1] in which it invited the parents to send a 20-person delegation to the Festival of Resistances and Rebellions Against Capitalism (R&R Festival) as honored guests. The EZLN stated that it would cede its spaces to speak to the parents. The parents accepted and were thus able to tell their story to indigenous representatives of many anti-capitalist struggles around the country, as well as to adherents of the Sixth Declaration that attended the Festival. The Zapatistas gave the parents their full support and urged members of the CNI to welcome the families of the 43 disappeared students into their communities and to listen to what they had to say. Besides urging everyone to struggle against capitalism and its destruction of Mother Earth, the EZLN also urged CNI members and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle to support the struggle of the Ayotzinapa families and students for truth and justice. Subcomandante Moisés stated:

“We understand that right now, truth and justice for Ayotzinapa is the most urgent demand.” [2]

 After the Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism

Congress of Morelos Towns forms and joins the Ayotzinapa struggle for truth and justice.

Congress of Morelos Towns forms and joins the Ayotzinapa struggle for truth and justice.

Congress of Morelos Towns forms and joins the Ayotzinapa struggle for truth and justice.

On February 1, representatives from 60 towns in the state of Morelos met to form the Congress of Morelos Towns in order to unite opposition to the Morelos Integral Project; a collection of energy and infrastructure projects intended to facilitate industrialization and mining. Some of the towns had sent representatives to the R&R Festival and one of the towns, Amilcingo, hosted the Festival. Representatives from Ayotzinapa spoke at the February 1 meeting, and the Congress of Morelos Towns voted to join their struggle.

An ambitious project called the Constituyente Ciudadana, which organizers had been working on for eleven months, made an important announcement on February 5. In Mexico City, human rights activist Bishop Raúl Vera López, [3] other activists, clergy, members of campesino, union and social organizations, as well as survivors of the violence that envelops Mexico presented the initiative of a Popular Citizens Convention, which will convoke a series of sessions throughout the country, and a March 21 meeting for discussing the political reality and to formulate a new Constitution. Reasoning that the current Constitution is “dead,” proponents of this project want citizens to agree on a new constitution that will provide economic, social and political justice to all citizens. This work takes place without political parties. [4]

Among the project’s proponents present at the Mexico City announcement, in addition to Vera López, were: the painter Francisco Toledo, Javier Sicilia, Father Alejandro Solalinde, the priest Miguel Concha, Gilberto López y Rivas, migrant defender Leticia Gutiérrez, as well as union representatives, among them Martín Esparza (Electricians Union) and members of different churches. At the start of the February 5 event, they remembered the events that occurred in Iguala, Guerrero, which resulted in 43 students from the rural teachers college at Ayotzinapa being forcibly disappeared.

  Resistance to Federal and Military Police in Guerrero.

Resistance to Federal and Military Police in Guerrero.

The ANP held a National Popular Convention (CNP) over the weekend of February 6-8. Two thousand (2,000) delegates from 244 social organizations coming from the interior of the country attended. A central purpose of the convention is to generate ‘‘a reflection within all the organizations that envisions the possibility of giving direction to the movement and grouping together and unifying all of the country’s political forces, respecting their diversity and natural dynamic, but giving it direction through a political program. [5]

The ANP held another meeting on February 22 with 153 delegates from 55 social organizations. Again headed by the Ayotzinapa parents, they agreed to make it their priority to enter military barracks to search for their missing sons and to hold a second National Popular Convention (CNP) on April 10 and 11. According to Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer with the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of La Montaña, “they are accumulating forces with the political movement, and will invite other actors like the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), and the Constituyente Ciudadana (Citizens Constitutional Convention) that the Bishop of Saltillo, Raúl Vera, impels, so as to be assembled in one single force that permits us to arrive at the convention with more strength.” [6]

The fact that the project for a constitutional convention had been worked on for eleven months demonstrates that the Ayotzinapa case is not what motivated that project. One possible motivation was the package of constitutional “reforms” the Congress passed last year. That package included an energy reform that now gives energy companies the right to “use” anyone’s land, whether private, ejido or communal land, for oil and gas exploration and exploitation; in other words, the right to poison indigenous and campesino land and thereby render it useless for producing crops. The package also included an education reform that takes union rights away from teachers and implements a system similar to the “no child left behind” policy in the United States. A “tax reform” requires small cooperatives and others previously not taxed to keep books and pay taxes. Collectively, these “reforms” were known as the Pact for Mexico, sponsored by the PRI.

Another major motivation was very likely the out-of-control violence and resulting insecurity caused by Drug War militarization and the actions of organized crime. At the February 1 Congress in Morelos described above, Javier Sicilia announced that organized crime has provoked the following number of victims in Mexico: “(…) more than 160,000 murders were committed in the eight most recent years and more than 30,000 disappeared and 500,000 displaced exist.” [7]

In addition to victims of organized crime, all the campesinos affected by the energy “reform” and teachers affected by the education “reform,” Ayotzinapa has added momentum for the citizens’ constitutional convention, grassroots anti-capitalist organizing and fundamental change in Mexico. What provides a hopeful sign is that so many diverse social organizations, unions and churches are coming together with a common goal: a citizens’ constitutional convention.


By: Mary Ann Tenuto-Sánchez



[3] Raúl Vera López is the Catholic Bishop of Saltillo and the president of the Board of Directors of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) in Chiapas. He also served as Assistant Bishop of the San Cristóbal de las Casas Diocese in Chiapas, under the late Bishop, Don Samuel Ruiz, the founder of Frayba.
















February 7, 2015

Festival RaR: The Struggle of the San Sebastián Bachajón Ejido

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:53 am


Festival RaR: The Struggle of the San Sebastián Bachajón Ejido


Within the Xochicuautla exchange, part of the 1st Global Festival of Resistances and Rebellions Against Capitalism, we were able to speak with representatives of the San Sebastián Bachajón Ejido in the context of the recent recovery of lands. This is what they told us.




January 29, 2015

Report: The First Worldwide Festival of Resistance

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:58 pm


Report: The First Worldwide Festival of Resistance

Above: Sign for the first Worldwide Festival of Resistances Against Capitalism.

Celebrating the Global Fight Against Capitalism in Mexico: Where There is Destruction From Above We Will Rebuild From Below

From December 21, 2014 through January 3, 2015 some 2,600 people from 48 countries (2,050 from Mexico and 550 from other countries) gathered for the first Worldwide Festival of Resistances Against Capitalism.

The festival took place all over Mexico and the majority of participants travelled together in a mass caravan of buses (not without mechanical problems and police interference) to the different regions to share and listen stories and strategies of resistance, to strengthen their cultures of resistance, and to build lasting networks locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. Thanks to the excellent organizing by EZLN and CNI the impacts of the festival will reverberate amongst the participants and their resistance communities for years to come.

The event, organized by the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) and Mexico’s National Indigenous Congress (CNI) consisted of: an opening in San Francisco Xochicuautla on December 21; comparticiones or sharings in the communities of Xochicuautla and Amilzingo on the 22-23; the grand cultural festival in Mexico City on the 24-26; continuation of sharings in the community of Monclova Candelaria on the 28-29; festival of rebellion in the Zapatista community of Oventic on new years night; conclusions, next steps, and declarations at University of the Earth (CIDECI) in San Cristobal de las Casas from the 2-3 of January.

Bicimaquina (bike powered blender) at festival in Mexico City.

Communities Standing in Defense of Their Right to Self-Determination

Events began in the indigenous community of San Francisco Xochicuautla. Xochi, as the community is often called, is a stronghold of Ñätho language and culture. People that I met from Xochi are proud of their history, their culture and language, their beautiful forests. All of this is threatened by a highway that is being built through their communally owned ancestral lands, without their permission. The Toluca-Lerma highway, largely built to advance industry, is destroying the forests, agricultural areas, and waters of Xochi. Fields of a unique variety of ancestral blue corn, the basis of the local diet, are being bulldozed over–another species of corn and another people threatened by the onslaught of capitalism and industry.

The community stands in defense of its right to self-determination, a right that was maliciously usurped by invading developers. The community is self-governed under the indigenous usos y costumbres system in which decisions are made collectively through large community meetings, called general assemblies. A community member told me, “the system was betrayed by developers who paid off two community leaders. They were paid 40,900 pesos [$2,920] each to sign away the community’s ancestral rights.” She sighed, “how could they do this? We decided in assembly to say no!” The people are fighting back, and have allied with at least 10 other impacted communities. In Xochi alone there have been at least 15 community members arrested for protesting, some standing directly in the way of construction, others illegally imprisoned for an extended period. The project continues with President Peña Nieto’s full support. At the festival people chanted to the people of Xochi: “¡No están solos, no están solos!,” “You’re not alone, you’re not alone!” And, as more people and communities shared their stories, this became evermore clear.

Resistance to mega development projects, like the highway through Xochi, were a common theme at the festival. We heard from communities in Mexico fighting against mines (gold, silver, copper, etc.), dams, fracking and other fossil fuel infrastructure, plantations, logging, large wind and solar farms. All of these projects (including the wind/solar developments) displace local and indigenous communities, often destroying their way of life, and disrupt, ultimately demolishing, fragile ecosystems. They are done without free, prior, and informed consent of the communities, supposedly required by international law (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People). Sadly, the multinational corporations running these projects, not people or nature, are the ones with rights, especially under free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Those who resist are brutally suppressed, and are commonly kidnapped and murdered by the Mexican government.

Sign welcoming families of Ayotzinapa 43

Families Seeking the Disappeared and Justice for the Murdered

Police violence was another overarching theme of the festival, with a particular focus on the September 26 Ayotzinapa murders and disappearances in the town of Iguala where police started firing on student buses during a protest. Six students were killed and 43 were kidnapped and dissapeared. The students, from the Ayotzinapa Normal School, were protesting poor school conditions and were trying to raise money for travel to the annual march in Mexico City to commemorate the 1968 student massacre. A mother of one of the students told of the schools: “they have crumbling walls, no books or pencils, too few desks, and its all getting worse.” She said, “they weren’t protesting because they wanted to. They were protesting because they needed to.”

Since Mexico’s war on drugs began in 2006 there have been at least 40,000 people killed in the country. Many of these deaths are, contrary to police reports, unrelated to drug trafficking. Largely, they are attacks on civilian protestors and indigenous peoples. Unlike other disappearances and massacres, Ayotzinapa has gained national and international attention because of the popular uprising in response, largely led by family of the dead and dissapeared.

Performance with chairs for the 43 missing Ayotzinapa students.

Family members of the disappeared and survivors of the attack have been traveling around the country in search of their loved ones. They share their story and organize wherever they go. They were special guests at the festival and helped organize a march of many thousands in Mexico City on December 26th. The message was simple: “¡Vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos!,” “They were taken alive, we want them back alive!” Parents, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters were clearly in great pain, but hope their loved ones may still be alive. While their search continues, they fuel a growing anti-government movement, not just against Peña Nieto’s regime, but all political parties, violent by nature. They ask communities to kick political parties out of their local politics and they ask people not to vote in the upcoming elections, both ways to delegitimize top-down government. Instead, they are allied with the EZLN and CNI in seeking a world constructed from the bottom up.

Celebration of Life and Dignity

The festival in Mexico City was a large celebration, a celebration of life and dignity in the face of atrocity from above. The event took place in one of the poorest parts of Mexico City’s endless sprawl at the Lienzo Charro ranch. It began on a rainy Christmas Eve day. Neither the rain nor the holiday prevented large crowds from gathering and participating in workshops, dancing, music, independent movie screenings, mural painting, a makeshift tattoo parlor, soccer and chess tournaments, or enjoying tamales and drinking atole.

Sharings in Monclova.

Three large canvass tents were set up, providing some shelter. Hundreds of vendors, representing different indigenous communities and activist collectives, huddled under one of the leaky tents, selling and gifting organic food, artwork, handmade jewelry, colorful clothing, blankets and ponchos, vegan boots, movies of uprising, anarchist and indigenous literature, and a maze of other merchandise. Under the other tent people gathered for workshops and art classes such as: community cartography; relationships of liberty and autonomy; solidarity economies, community money, and time banks; ecological toilet construction; ecological home construction; what to do when arrested; urban food sovereignty; making chocolate; traditional mexican medicine; screen printing; stencil; clay sculpting; painting; and many more. There were also two stages with a variety of live music and dancing throughout the day. Others sat around playing drums, strumming traditional string instruments, singing songs of revolution and life in the campo.

Fighting Privatiztion of Electricity

From Mexico City we headed to Monclova, a rainforest community in the state of Campeche. Monclova is fighting against the privatization of electricity that is raising costs and cutting their already minimal services.

Five community members were imprisoned for 11 months from 2009-2010. Community members I spoke to talked about the rich ecosystem in which they live, right along a meandering crocodile-filled river and extensive wetlands, with prehispanic ruins nearby.

We arrived in the morning after an overnight bus trip. Bucket baths were set up near the river and breakfast of rice, beans, tortillas, chiles, and tea or coffee was served by the community. Sharings were held outside under a beautiful forest canopy. It started raining and everyone ran for their tents.

The next day people huddled under a large circus tent to listen. We heard about struggles for land and justice around the country. We heard about other cases of police violence. We heard about indigenous communities trying to hold onto their culture and language, in the face of Mexico’s modernizing and whitening agenda. We heard about history, about the 1968 massacre, the Mexican Revolution, and the 500 years of resistance to colonialism, capitalism, and other evils brought by the West. We heard endless stories of exploitation, violence, and displacement related to mega development projects or encroaching tourism. Even kids came to speak. One talked about about leading marches, a culture of life to fight the culture of death, and building a new world from within his community.

Celebration in Oventic

Mexico’s Heart of Resistence

After two nights in Monclova, our caravan headed to the final region, the central highlands of Chiapas Mexico. We were based at the University of the Earth (CIDECI) in the town of San Cristobal de las Casas. The area surrounding San Cristobal has the country’s most concentrated indigenous population and is Mexico’s heart of resistence.

Reforms of the Mexican Revolution, like the 1917 constitution’s article 27 that protected indigenous communal lands (ejijdos), never reached Chiapas. Throughout the 20th century indigenous communities continued to be persecuted, their lands stolen and exploited by large landowners. As roads infiltrated the rural state, huge areas of old growth forest were cut down, cattle ranching became a large business, and tens of thousands of small indigenous landowners were displaced, though not without a fight. In the early 1980s Chiapas was further militarized by its governor, General Absalon Castellanos Dominguez, during whose administration, “102 campesinos are assassinated, 327 disappear, 590 are imprisoned, 427 are kidnapped and tortured, 407 families are expelled from their homes, and security forces overrun 54 communities” (Hayden, 2002).

In 1983, in the midst of these atrocities, the Zapatista National Liberation Army was formed by a few Mexico City college professors from the National Liberation Front (FLN) and a few indigenous leaders from Chiapas. By 1989 the Zapatistas had entered upon invitation into numerous indigenous communities and had an armed force of at least 1,300. This army continued to grow in the years before the revolutionary article 27 was repealed in 1992, for many the last hope of owning land. The EZLN buckled down, preparing for a fight, even a revolution. They knew that article 27 was repealed for a reason. Another forced displacement of indigenous communities from their lands was preparation for the neoliberal takeover under NAFTA–it would ease the opening of new markets.

But, on January 1, 1994, when Mexico joined the United States (Clinton administration) in this corporate coup, the EZLN occupied six large towns and hundreds of ranches in an armed uprising against 500 years of colonialism. They would not stand aside as global elites celebrated new freedoms and the onslaught of capitalist globalization. Another world was possible. President Salinas did not agree, and responded with a military assault, bombing nearby indigenous communities, killing at least 145. Soon there was a cease fire, but the EZLN did not go away.

Building New Communities Base don Self-Determination and Autonomy

Workshop on ecological homes.

To this day, much of the originally occupied territory is under the control of the Zapatistas and they are proving that another world is possible, that a large area, high in cultural and ecological diversity, can be self-governed in a non-hierarchical, non-capitalistic, non-patriarchal manner. That it can be done according to principles of respect, for each other and the natural world, and cooperation, not exploitation and competition.

The Autonomous Zapatista Communities demonstrate how autonomy and self-determination can work as a lifestyle, economy, government, and form of resistance. The Zapatista communities are based around five regional political and cultural centers called caracoles. These are the seats of the buen gobierno (good government) and are spaces for gatherings, like this year’s 21st anniversary celebration of the uprising. All Zapatista municipalities and independent communities belong to one of these caracoles.

The communities function democratically with decisions made through general assemblies in which women and men have an equal say. Women’s participation in Zapatista assemblies is unique. Other indigenous communities with a similar system of participatory self-governance, usos y costumbres, are often male-dominated.

Zapatista communities do not accept programs from the Mexican government. Instead, they are in charge of their own food and resources, education, healthcare, legal system, economy, politics, and ultimately their lives. On Zapatista territory there are no mega development projects like those becoming more and more common throughout Mexico. They take care of the land and protect its life-giving force. Deforestation, water and air pollution, genetically modified crops are anomalies on Zapatista lands. Their territory is perhaps safer from ecological destruction than anywhere else in Mexico. Likewise, indigenous cultures and languages thrive in the region and they are consciously protected and enhanced. Zapatista communities reject the Mexican state’s modernizing program to assimilate indigenous peoples into the national character, largely run through state schools.

The area continues to be heavily militarized with paramilitary and counterinsurgency bases surrounding the autonomous region. On May 2, 2013 an indigenous school teacher of the Escuelita Zapatista, José Luis Solís López otherwise known as Galeano, was macheted and shot to death by paramilitary forces. EZLN leader Subcomandante Moisés lamented the loss during a speech in the caracol of Oventic, outside of San Cristobal.

The Zapatista community of Oventic hosted the new years celebration on the 21st anniversary of the uprising. The festival caravan arrived on December 31st, joining thousands of people from surrounding communities, the majority of whom wore the classic Zapatista black ski mask, a red star, and a red scarf or bandanna. There was food, music, and dancing, but no drugs or alchohol, all night long. We returned to University of the Earth the next morning and stayed until the end of the festival on January 3rd. This is where we worked on conclusions, next steps, and a final declaration, summarizing the politics of the festival.

Ayotzinapa families on stage carrying photos of their dissapeared relatives.

Can the Culture of Resistance Save the Planet

We all live on the same planet. It is our only home and it is being systematically destroyed by industrial civilization and global capitalism. People everywhere are suffering the consequences, but are in resistance. As we move further into the 21st century how will these struggles play out? As a global resistance movement will we be able to fight back encroaching destruction before it is too late? Will we be able to build a world, as the Zapatistas suggest, in which many worlds fit? Will we be able to reclaim democracy, justice, and autonomy from the powers that be?

During the festival of resistance we learned about the inevitable horrors of ongoing capitalism, the destruction of remaining ecosystems, the continued genocide of indigenous peoples, about global state violence against people. We also learned that people everywhere are fighting back, even when it means putting our lives on the line.

One of the most common responses to speakers was a chant from the crowd that they are not alone. That we are all in this together and are fighting the same fight. And, as the relatives of the Ayotzinapa massacred say, we cannot sleep until we defeat these evils. ¡La Lucha Sigue! The Fight Goes On!

Edited by Sean Glenn




January 27, 2015

The First Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:34 am



The First Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion

CNI cideci

“México Trágico, Mágico México”


Organized by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the first annual Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y Rebeldías contra el Capitalismo, or the Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion, was held in central and southern Mexico over a two-week period at the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015. The event’s subtitle sums up its purpose well: “While those from above destroy, those from below rebuild.” Taken as a whole, this new Festival recalled the different “intergalactic” meetings hosted by the EZLN in Chiapas in the 1990’s, such as the Intercontinental Encounter for Humanity and Against Neo-Liberalism (1996). According to the statistics made known at the event’s close at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, the number of officially registered participants at the Festival came to over 3400 Mexicans, including 1300 individuals belonging to 20 indigenous ethnicities, and 500 foreigners from 49 countries—though the total number of those who attended the Grand Cultural Festival in Mexico City and the EZLN’s year-end festivities at the Oventik caracol at other points over the course of the Festival must be considered as amounting to several times this total. While the Festival generally focused on the numerous problematics faced by Mexico’s various indigenous peoples amidst the power of capital and State—due in no small part, indeed, to the central participation of the CNI in the event—the distressing case of the 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School who were forcibly disappeared by police in Iguala, Guerrero, in late September also took central stage throughout the event.

The Anti-Capitalist Festival was inaugurated in Mexico state on 21 December, and the comparticiones (“sharings”) followed for two days afterward in two locations in central Mexico. While I was present for neither, I can here relate the reports made ex post facto at CIDECI regarding the goings-on at these spaces. The launch of thecomparticiones took place simultaneously in San Francisco Xochicuautla in Mexico state and in Amilcingo, Morelos. San Francisco Xochicuautla has become an emblem of socio-ecological resistance in Mexico lately, as the local indigenous Ñatho peoples have opposed themselves to the imposed plan of building a new private highway on their territory—a project that implies vast deforestation, and which has to date seen State repression meted out on those in opposition—while, as two Nahua CNI delegates from Morelos explained to me as we waited together outside the Zapatista Good-Government Council’s office at Oventik on New Year’s Eve, the case of Amilcingo reflects the problems of domestic and foreign rackets, extractivism, and profit in Mexico, as these exigencies result in the plundering of territory (despojo) and fundamentally violate indigenous autonomy. In Amilcingo, in accordance with the vision set forth in the “Integral Morelos Plan” (PIM) that has been on the books for years, there has been an attempt to construct a natural gas pipeline that would supply a planned thermal power station, this despite the various dangers posed to the integrity of such structures within such a seismically and volcanically active area as Morelos. In Amilcingo, as in San Francisco Xochicuautla, indigenous Nahuas have mobilized to prevent the construction project from being carried through. At both sites on 22-23 December, representatives from indigenous ethnicities represented in the CNI and affiliates of the National and International Sixth—that is to say, those who subscribe to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle (2005)—made presentations about their struggles, philosophies, and commitments.

In San Francisco Xochicuautla, the Las Abejas Civil Society from the highlands of Chiapas discussed the December 1997 massacre which they suffered at the hands of State-supported paramilitaries—an attack on the community of Acteal in which 45 people, mostly women and children, were murdered, with this number coming ominously close to the number of students currently disappeared from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa—and they described how, though the attack was an act of State terror that should demand international prosecution, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has in recent years instead liberated scores of indigenous men who had been convicted for having participated in the massacre, such that now only 2 out of the 102 individuals who had originally been held for the crime remain incarcerated. Similarly, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, reviewed their historical struggle against the state-government’s attempt at privatizing their lands for touristic ends, as at proposing a new highway between San Cristóbal and Palenque—again for purposes of “developing” the tourist sector—in addition to the repression they have faced at the hands of paramilitaries belonging to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI, which in addition to dominating the country’s executive, also holds power now in Chiapas in the person of Governor Manuel Velasco Coello, “el Güero,” or “the White Guy”), which has resulted in the murders of two of their comrades in the past couple of years. The Voz del Amate, a group of former and current political prisoners who similarly subscribe to the Sixth Declaration, also shared its experiences in Xochicuautla.

For their part, the Yaquis from northwestern Mexico revindicated their just struggle to prevent the waters of the Yaqui River from being massively diverted in order to supply the burgeoning industries and populations of cities like Hermosillo, Sonora, and they declared themselves in resistance to the systematic violation of their traditional laws and customs, to which they are entitled under international law, particularly the International Labor Organization’s Convention 169. At the first of two days of the Festival’s conclusion at CIDECI, in fact, Mario Luna, a Yaqui political prisoner who has been imprisoned precisely for having led the struggle in defense of the Yaqui River, was allowed to communicate by phone with the assembled: expressing his gratitude to the EZLN and CNI and the indigenous revolutionaries of Xochicuautla and Cherán, Michoacán, he affirmed his people’s right to govern themselves differently, in spite the conscious efforts that have been made to suppress such alternatives; making mention of the horrific fire at the ABC Nursery in Hermosillo which took the lives of 49 children in 2009, Luna announced that, despite his unjust incarceration, he continues firm in his convictions. International adherents to the Sixth Declaration from Argentina denounced the ingression of transgenic crops, the expansion of open-pit mining, and the repressive socio-psychological forgetting of the foundational genocide that took place in that country, while comrades from the Anarchist Federation of France (FA) declared themselves opposed to the degradation of the rights of workers and the destruction of nature. An additional group from Italy that was present described its political work as “anti-fascist, anti-sexist, anti-capitalist,” and in favor of mutual aid and solidarity.

In Amilcingo, the padres de familia (parents) of the disappeared students opened the compartición, naming the principal responsible parties for the atrocities to which their sons have been subjected to be the federal and Guerrero-state governments, the narco-paramilitaries, the Army, and President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN, from the PRI). Constructively, they proposed the physical occupation of major mass-media outlets in the country as a means of intensifying the calls that have resounded throughout the country these past three months to demand the return with life of their sons. From Tepoztlán, Morelos, CNI delegates discussed the case of another planned highway expansion designed in accordance with the PIM, for which they blame private capital and State together. Hailing from Oaxaca’s Tehuantepc Isthmus, national adherents to the Sixth Declaration spoke to the expropriation of communal property by international firms like Mareña Renewables that have sought to install scores of wind-energy towers in the area in recent years, and they announced a caravan for January 2015 to highlight the problematic of looting and systematic violations of free, prior, and informed consent by these corporations. Other national Sixth adherents who presented at Amilcingo include the Anarchist Black Cross; the environmental wing of #YoSoy132, which declared itself opposed to transgenic maize and the newly approved energy and rural reforms spearheaded by EPN; comrades from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, who denounced the ongoing femicides, militarization, and war-footing for which that city is known, as well as burgeoning oil-extraction and fracking schemes in the region; the “Lucio Cabañas” collective from the Xochimilco campus of the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) of Mexico City, which shared its experiences with police repression following the mobilizations they had undertaken for the disappeared 43 students in November; CACITA Oaxaca, which has for years worked in favor of a generalized adoption of ecologically balanced and appropriate technologies, including bicycle-operated machines and dry bathrooms; as well as an environmentalist grouping from Mexico City that resists attempts to privatize the Chapultepec forests in that city. Internationally, comrades from Ferguson arrived to share their experiences with police brutality and to highlight the effective racial segregation on hand in U.S. society, while Parisian rebels lamented the annihilation of anarchist social spaces which has resulted from processes of gentrification in the French capital; commemorated the life of 21-year old Rémi Fraisse, who was murdered in November during a police clearing of the ZAD (Zone a Défendre) encampment in southwestern France; and detailed the various actions they have taken in solidarity with Ayotzinapa and the political prisoner María Salgado. Representatives from the Norwegian Committee for Solidarity with Latin America similarly explained the concrete actions they had taken of late to protest the criminalization of social protest in Mexico and elsewhere.

Thus was the first part of the Festival completed, with thecomparticiones lasting two days in San Francisco Xochicuautla and Amilcingo each. The next phase of the event—part two of five, we can say—took place in the Iztapalapa district of Mexico City, at the Lienzo Charro, a stable located near the Guelatao metro station, named for the birthplace in Oaxaca of the celebrated indigenous president of Mexico, Benito Juárez, who repelled the revanchist French invasion of 1862 that sought to install Maximilian von Habsburg as emperor and weakened the hegemony of the Catholic Church over Mexican society, in accordance with his Liberal principles—which are very far from the liberal (or neo-liberal) values known in the U.S.! Indeed, the “Grand Cultural Festival,” which started on 24 December and lasted three days, until the 26th, took place a short walk from the “Cabeza de Juárez,” a huge structure commemorating the Liberal Oaxacan president. Principally, the space at the Lienzo Charro was divided between a massive tianguis cultural—a cultural market of sorts, full of food vendors offering huaraches and tacos; anarchists and other radicals selling books, shirts, and prints; and intellectuals representing Praxis en América Latina, which takes after Marxist-humanism and the thought of Raya Dunayevskaya—and two stages for musical and theatrical performances: one named for Compañero Galeano, a Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN) who was killed in a paramilitary attack on the La Realidad caracol in May 2014, and the other for Compañero David Ruiz García, an Otomi indigenous man who died in a traffic accident after having attended the meeting held between the Zapatistas and the CNI that very same month to mourn Galeano. The Grand Cultural Festival also provided various activities for children, hosted chess and soccer tournaments, and opened space for various workshops addressing such questions as urban gardening, traditional Mexican medicine, eco-villages, prisoners’ rights, digital self-defense, and solidarity economics.

When I arrived to the Festival on the morning of the 24th, the activity on hand on the “Compañero Galeano” stage was a series of speeches made by padres de familia and even by students who had survived the police attack in Iguala of 26 September. At least one father and mother expressed the hope that their sons were in fact still alive, in this way rejecting the official account of the events of 26-27 September which waspresented by Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam in early November: that is, that the 43 students had been expeditiously handed over by the Iguala municipal police to the “United Warriors” drug cartel, who subsequently murdered them and incinerated their remains. Omar García, a student-survivor who has become a spokesperson of sorts for the padres de familia, announced that, though the 43 students had been unarmed at the time of the police attack against them and the forcible disappearance which followed, many of the parents now wished that their sons had actually been carrying weapons that night with which to defend themselves. That morning of the 24th, which was marked by strong rains, the padres de familia were organizing their action for that night, Christmas Eve—known as Noche Buena (“The Good Night”) in Spanish—which was to involve a public protest outside the Los Pinos presidential residence. The action, which proceeded despite the rainstorm which raged that night, was meant to demonstrate to the government and Mexican society as a whole that, for the parents of the disappeared, there could be no Noche Buena. At the tianguis that day, I came across a print commemorating the life of Alexander Mora Venancio, 21 years old, the only one of the 43 whose remains have been positively identified by Argentinian forensics experts to date.  


Hasta siempre compañero”: a print commemorating Alexander Mora Venancio, 21 years of age, being the only student among the 43 disappeared whose remains have been positively identified since the police attack of 26 September 2014. The man depicted as holding Alexander’s image is Lucio Cabañas, a guerrillero from Guerrero state who founded the Party of the Poor in 1967.

After this sobering beginning, the Grand Festival Cultural proceeded principally to open space for a multitude of rebellious and revolutionary theater-artists, dancers, and musicians to share their art and vision with the masses of people who came to attend the event, even in spite of the heavy rains on the 24th. That morning, a Nahua man and his comrade provided a thorough public explanation of how the imagery of theVirgen de Guadalupe—originally depicted by a Nahua artist, in fact—preserves and expresses a myriad indigenous symbols, from the stars and flowers which adorn the Virgin’s dress to the waxing moon on which she stands. The duo showed that the iconography of the Virgencommunicates the Nahua notion of Tonantzin, or “our beloved mother,” “la madre más primera” (“the first or most important mother”), and as such stands in for la Madre Tierra, Mother Earth. Notable musical artists from that first day of the Cultural Festival included the collaboration between Raíces Libertarias (“Libertarian Roots”) andMentes Ácratas (“Anarchist Minds”), who melded stirring hip-hop beats with a profound anti-authoritarianism to simultaneously entertain and enrage; Inercia (“Inertia”), a group of young punk rockers who dedicated at least one song to the inertial manner with which humanity would seem to be careening toward eco-apocalypse; and a Chilean rapper who concluded one of his songs using the following lines, palpably referring to the contemporary eco-political situation identified by “Inercia”: “La tierra un infierno / Y la humanidad en cenizas” (“The Earth, an inferno / And humanity in ashes”).

The Grand Cultural Festival continued with musical celebrations on the 25th and 26th as well. The former day, reggae artist El Aaron sang the praises of cannabis while condemning the police (“Policias en helicopteros / Buscando marijuana”), in this way presenting an embodied rebellion against Zapatista rebelliousness: for it is known that all drugs are forbidden in EZLN communities. The all-women’s groupBatallones Femininos (“Female Batallions”) provided raps having to do with feminist issues on the evening of the 25th—much as they would do live on Radio Insurgente during the night of the first day of the Festival’s closure at CIDECI just over a week later. Also the same evening from the “Galeano” stage, Sonora Skandalera provided everyone who so desired and could the opportunity to dance to the tune of their joyous music.

In contrast to the first two days, which were open to all, entrance to the third and final day of the Cultural Festival was limited to those who paid 70 pesos to attend a concert that doubled as a fundraiser for the CNI. A number of celebrated Mexican and Latin American groups performed this day, including El Sazón María, Mr. Blaky, Polka Madre, Antidoping, El Poder del Barrio, and others. Among the most impressive artists who performed on this final day was the Mexikan Sound System. Like El Aaron, Mexikan Sound System played a song explicitly dedicated to the legalization of marijuana, and much of the rest of the duo’s oeuvre would seem to be similarly politically radical, discussing State terror, migration, and the drug war. Another one of their songs, “No Te Olvido” (“I Will Not Forget You”), which is dedicated to “all those who have given their lives in the attempt to form a world in which many worlds fit,” features the following gripping refrain:“Pasarán los dias / Pasarán los meses / Pasarán mil anos / Pero no te olvido” (“Though days, months, and even a thousand years may pass, / I will not forget you”). Impressively for an artist who identifies consciously with the reggae musical tradition, Gabo Revuelta, the Mexikan Sound System’s MC, explicitly affirmed sexual diversity in personal comments between songs, both during this performance at Lienzo Charro, as at a subsequent one he did in collaboration with Panchito Rha, Sista Gaby, and Manik B (Al Sentido Kontrario) at El Paliacate Centro Cultural in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. In contrast,Lengualerta, another celebrated Mexican reggae artist who performed at the Grand Festival on the 26th—and in fact dedicated a song to Compañero Galeano, having modified the lyrics of the famous “Hasta Siempre Comandante” song to accommodate the murdered Zapatista—saw a brawl break out at the end of his concert with Al Sentido Kontrario in San Cristóbal a week later, owing to controversy surrounding the place of LGBTQ individuals in his vision for resistance against Babylon.


The Mexikan Sound System at the Grand Cultural Festival in Mexico City, 26 December 2014.

I left the Cultural Festival early in the mid-afternoon of the 26th to attend a protest-action being organized to mark three months since the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa. The mobilization was massive: having started at the Ángel de la Independencia on Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma, it proceeded to entirely fill the Monumento a la Revolución (the Monument to the Mexican Revolution). One of the more telling banners I encountered read—as an inversion of René Descartes’ Cogito, ergo sum—that “I think, therefore they disappear me.” At the Monumento, padres de familia and student-survivors spoke to a rally of the assembled protestors; one father described how the parents of the disappeared had just been protesting outside the Germany embassy in Mexico City, given that new findings showed that the Iguala municipal police had used Heckler & Koch G-36 assault rifles in their attack on the students on 26 September, while another called on all Mexicans to boycott the upcoming 2015 elections—declaring that in Guerrero state, no elections would be held at all!   Alongside the padres de familia, Omar García spoke again, as did another student from Ayotzinapa who had survived the police attack that horrible night, providing details of their ordeal: the caravan of three buses that had been appropriated by the students to raise funds for their participation in the upcoming 2 October protests in Mexico City, which happen every year to commemorate the Tlatelolco massacre of 1968 that took the lives of hundreds of student radicals; the sudden encirclement of the caravan as it passed through Iguala, followed by an entirely unprovoked barrage of gunfire from the police against the students; the escape of the students from the first two buses and their tribulations seeking refuge from police and military alike in a local medical clinic, and thereafter in the home of a compassionate elder who agreed to take them in, once the nurses in said clinic had washed their hands of them; and the fate of the third bus, which contained the 43 students who are currently disappeared. Adán Cortés Salas, the 21-year old international relations student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) who became an instant national and international celebrity after interrupting the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Malaya Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi on 10 December to call on the pair not to forget Mexico and the disappeared students, also addressed the rally, leading an emotive count-down to 43.

The aura of this protest-action, particularly following the concluding interventions of these two youth, was fraught with trauma and horror; in fact, a number of individuals fainted over the course of the rally’s two hours, provoking calls for assistance from nurses and doctors alike. Leaving the action after hearing of so much negation and re-entering the usual flow of things in downtown Mexico City, I was reminded of an observation made by a survivor of the 2 October 1968 atrocity, as reproduced by Elena Poniatowska in La Noche de Tlatelolco (translated into English as Massacre in Mexico), that, once she had successfully maneuvered through the military barricades surrounding the Plaza de las Tres Culturas—the site of the mass-shooting, that is—and rejoined “normal” society, she felt that she had chanced upon an entirely foreign world, wherein people had little to no concept of what had just happened blocks away. Of course, I do not want to say that the masses of Mexicans one sees in the streets of Mexico City are uncaring or unaware of such shocking crimes as that which took place in Iguala. Still, I felt that I had passed from a place of profound rage, suffering, and dignity—la digna rabia—into the larger world, governed by the vast cruelties of the capitalist everyday.

The third part of the Anti-Capitalist Festival consisted of anothercompartición, this time held in Monclova, Campeche state, on the Yucatan Peninsula, from 28 to 29 December. There, as at other points during the Festival, 43 empty chairs were set up to commemorate the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa; the Yucatan being a tropical region, moreover, the comparticiones were interrupted on various occasions because of torrential rainfall. Those in attendance at Monclovawere told of land-grabs in neighboring Quintana Roo state, where 26,000 hectares have been bought up in recent years by Mennonite families and German, Filipino, and Japanese corporations, leading to a mass-exodus of campesin@s from their formerly communal territories,in a continuation of processes which acutely worsened with the coming into law of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994. Monclova itself is the site of a civil-resistance movement whose members refuse to pay for electrical energy provided by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), holding out the alternative of a popularly managed energy system that makes electricity available at affordable prices. In this sense, the movement in Monclova, which is comprised of 20 participating communities, echoes the resistance taken up by groupings like PUDEE (Peoples United in Defense of Electricity) in Chiapas, as elsewhere in the country. Beyond this, those participating at the compartición in Monclova heard from representatives from the “La 72” migrant-home in Tenosique, Tabasco, about the “exterminationist policies” overseen by the three levels of the Mexican government as regards the transit of Central American migrant workers through the country toward the USA—such that the Mexican side of the border is reportedly full of mass-graves containing the bodies of such economic (and environmental) refugees. In fact, the Central American mothers who have long organized periodic missions to seek out their children who have gone missing after passing through Mexico en route to el Norte estimate that a full 70,000 migrants have gone missing in the country in the past three decades.

The fourth part of the Festival took place during New Year’s Eve at the EZLN’s Oventik caracol—appropriately given the name “Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity”—in the highlands of Chiapas, not far from San Cristóbal. Indeed, the year-end’s event at the caracol can in some sense be considered the climax of the Festival. At Oventik, Zapatistas from the five regional caracoles—La Realidad, La Garrucha, Roberto Barrios, and Morelia, besides Oventik—were present en masse, resting under large tarps to shield themselves from the rain. The thousands of Mexican and international guests who arrived that day were invited to camp in tents, or join the BAEZLN under the tarps if need be—such that, by midnight on 31 December, the Oventik campus had become a veritable tent-city! The size of those gathered at the caracol that night was seemingly even larger than the previous year, when the EZLN celebrated the twentieth anniversary of its 1 January 1994 insurrection. While the legacy of those twenty years (and the thirty since the EZLN’s founding) provided much of the impetus for reflection at last year’s celebration at Oventik, as reflected in Comandanta Hortensia’s speech that night, the case of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa was the focus this time, with Subcomandate Moisés himself—now the effective “chief” of the EZLN, following Subcomandante Marcos’s “suicide,” as announced in “Between Light and Shadow,” a discourse that was presented before the CNI in La Realidad last May—dedicating a substantial proportion of his commentsto the struggles of the students and their parents. In fact, before Sup Moisés’ address, two padres de familia spoke publicly before the multitude assembled at Oventik—one being a mother who believed that her son had in fact been murdered, and the other a father whom I had seen speak both at the Grand Cultural Festival, as at the protest-action on 26 December. The most moving moment of the night—and perhaps of the Anti-Capitalist Festival as a whole—came when Sup Moisés interrupted his discourse to embrace each and every family-member of the disappeared who was standing alongside him on stage. Subsequently, the BAEZLN present followed suit, providing hugs “of tenderness, respect, and admiration.”


Zapatistas embracing relatives of the 43 disappeared students on New Year’s Eve at the Oventik caracol, following the example of Subcomandante Moisés (pictured at the microphone).

Much like the previous year, live music was performed from the Oventik stage before and after the “political act” which saw Sup Moisés and thepadres de familia make their public addresses. This music included various cumbias that brought the BAEZLN and their sympathizers alike to fill the basketball court adjoining the central stage and dance to welcome the change in year. In fact, both the cumbias and dancing continued on through the night until shortly after dawn. In contrast to the case at year’s end 2013, the weather cooperated through most of the night this time, with the rains coming only around 3 or 4am. The next morning, for this reason, Oventik was a veritable mudscape. But that, taken together with the heavy fog which accompanied the mud (lodo, in Spanish, or che, in Tsotsil), did not stop the BAEZLN from continuing with their planned volleyball and basketball tournaments on the morning of 1 January.

The fifth and final act of the Festival took place at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de Las Casas from 2 to 3 January, as has been mentioned. The CIDECI-Unitierra has had a long history of supporting the Zapatistas and various other autonomist-indigenous political movements. (CIDECI itself stands for the Center for Integral Indigenous Education and Training.) Every Thursday evening, indeed, the space’s director, Dr. Raymundo Sánchez, hosts an international seminar for reflection and analysis of current events, considering local, national, and global matters. The second day of the conclusion at CIDECI, then, resembled a typical night at the Unitierra seminars, only taken to a much higher level—for, while the first day of the Festival’s conclusion at CIDECI summarized the three comparticiones that had taken place during the previous two weeks, the second was dedicated to consideration of popular proposals from below and to the left for confronting the hegemony of capital and State. This remarkable exercise in deliberative, participatory democracy was open to any and all registered participants, being adherents to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration, who wished to share their views.

Though essentially all the proposals made by participants at the closure of the Festival shared a generally radical political analysis, the specific details varied in each case, and though I cannot review all the recommendations that were made, I will mention some of the most illuminating ones. One of the first speakers noted that capitalism is destroying the world, and it was for this reason that she had responded to the calls by the CNI and EZLN to attend the Festival: she posed the fundamental question, “How it is that we will destroy capitalism?” Another participant suggested that we work to report on the situation in Mexico and wherever else the plundering of land and resources is a pressing issue; arguing that we must struggle in the interests of future generations, she designated the State as enemy. A number of attendees separately called for a return to the traditional cultural and political forms of indigenous societies as a means of rejecting capital. Furthermore, a representative from a Mexican collective focusing on disability issues shared his view that disability per se is not a problem, as it is considered in the medical model, but rather that the hardships faced by people with disabilities have to do with social exclusion. Affirming the proposal that has been advanced by some of the padres de familia of the disappeared students, one individual person called on all Mexicans to boycott electoral politics, while another called for a new constituent power to intervene and form a new constitution, toward the end of instituting a “transitional government” in 2018—the very year, incidentally, in which the current Chiapas governor, Manuel Velasco Coello (el Güero), hopes to run and be elected president as the PRI candidate.[1] A male in the crowd advocated that we all decolonize our minds specifically by identifying patriarchy as a principal enemy of the Sixth National and International, and engage in direct action against violence against women, which in Mexico is taking on epidemic proportions. Advocating the transcendence of national borders, a representative from CACITA Oaxaca announced a Caravana Mesoamericana para el Buen Vivir (a “Mesoamerican Caravan for Living Well”) that will launch its journey in April of this year—in many ways echoing the mission of the Caravana Climática por América Latina (“the Climate Caravan through Latin America”), which began itsaction-tour through Mesoamerica and Central and South America in northern Mexico a year ago, only to face repression at the hands of the “revolutionary socialist” government of Rafael Correa days before it had planned to arrive at the Twentieth Conference of Parties (COP20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with this destination having been the original end-goal sought by thecaravaner@s.

Omar García then addressed those assembled at CIDECI, thanking the CNI and EZLN for their support and presenting the proposal that Mexican society be transformed through the participation of everyone from below. An indigenous Purépecha male followed by expressing his rejection of industrial agriculture, while a representative from UAM Xochimilco mentioned the new “Cooperative of 26 September” that will provide space for exchanging seeds. A university instructor openly advocated a general strike to demand the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared students, and another individual called for boycotts against those corporations that are engaged in the looting of the lands and resources of the peoples represented in the CNI. One young activist presented an especially compelling vision for dual power and transition, outlining a vision whereby the national territory is to be divided into a multiplicity of local assemblies that are to meet twice a month and thereafter coordinate through bimonthly regional assemblies and, less periodically, national ones; he identified the minimum objectives of such a strategy to be the reversal of the plundering of lands, the liberation of all political prisoners, and the cessation of femicides, with the ultimate end sought by such action being the very abolition of capital. Affirming vengeance for those massacred by the State, he provoked a general cry from the assembled: “Los compadres masacrados / Serán vengados / Y, ¿quién lo hará? / ¡El pueblo organizado!” (“Our massacred comrades / Will be avenged / But by whom? / By the people, organized.”) Lastly, a Colombian male called on the Sixth National and International to adopt veganism, considering the vast waste of resources implicated in animal agriculture at present, and especially in light of the inescapable suffering of non-human animals who are instrumentalized for the end of human consumption. Taking a page from the more traditionalist political accounts heard earlier, he argued that pre-Hispanic societies consumed far fewer animal products than Latin Americans do now, thanks to the imposition of Spanish dietary preferences through colonial processes.


Banner of the Anti-Capitalist Festival at CIDECI, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, 3 January 2015.

In closing, the CNI agreed to organize further meetings between thepadres de famila and its constituent communities, while the Sixth International pledged to assist in the organization of an international caravan for the parents of the disappeared. The general conclusion was that we must construct social relations outside of capital: autonomy in the countryside, as in the cities, and in the spheres of education, health, communication, politics, and nutrition. Addressing those who might have been disappointed by this conclusion, those assembled at CIDECI declared that “it is not a question of coming up with a grand program for national, global, and intergalactic struggle; […] there are no magical formulas that can change the world. The struggle cannot be reduced to one path, as we ourselves are not just one [but many].” In the official document produced in the final session at CIDECI, those present note rightly that “[i]t will only be through our rebellion and resistance that the death of capital will be born, and a new world brought to life for all.”

Javier Sethness Castro, author of two books, has had essays and articles published in Truthout, Dissident Voice, Countercurrents, Climate and Capitalism, MRZine, Dysophia, The Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies, and Perspectives on Anarchist Theory. He worked as a human-rights observer in the Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca during 2010, and has just completed a draft manuscript of his political and intellectual biography of Herbert Marcuse.


[1]    José Gil Olmos e Isaín Mandujano, “Al estilo Peña Nieto, pero con madre vicegobernadora.” Proceso no. 1992 (4 January 2015), 16-19.





January 20, 2015

Lights of rebellion shine at the Zapatista resistance festival

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:47 pm


Lights of rebellion shine at the Zapatista resistance festival

By Giovanni Cattaruzza January 19, 2015



Last month, the Zapatistas organized the first World Festival of Rebellion and Resistance against Capitalism. One participant shares his impressions.

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas

The mountains of Xochicuautla, which are waiting for the snow and for yet another Christmas here in Mexico, don’t know anything about us.

They don’t know anything about the thousands of people from all over the world who climbed up here in the cold.

The mountains of Xochicuautla ignore what democracy looks like, where Palestine or Valle di Susa is, what sort of thing an international airport is, or what so-called “sustainable capitalism” looks like.

They don’t know anything about mega-development projects, highways, garbage dumps, mines, GMO’s, transnational companies, militarization, and progress.

They are only mountains, they speak Nahuatl, and it’s kind of complicated to have a conversation with a mountain.

Rebuilding from below

On December 21, the first World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion Against Capitalism — “Where those from above destroy, those from below rebuild” — organized by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), was inaugurated in the San Francisco Xochicuautla community, municipality of Lerma, in the state of Mexico.

More than 2.000 Mexican activists, 500 international comrades from 48 different countries, and hundreds upon hundreds of indigenous community representatives started their journey throughout the country from these mountains.

The EZLN and the CNI invited all the people of the world here in Mexico in order to travel together to the southern-most point of the country and to discover the histories and struggles of the indigenous peoples of Mexico, and the challenges faced by all the political organizations that take the Zapatistas as a point of reference — from the anarchists of the Z.A.D. of Nantes, to the Sem Tierra of Brazil, on to the teachers of Oaxaca.

Once again, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation together with the indigenous communities of Chiapas decided to build a common project in cooperation with the anti-capitalist movements of the planet.

Once again, from the jungles of the south-east of Mexico, they thought globally. Inviting the people from all over the world to Chiapas in order to fight against capitalism together. According to the Zapatistas, global capitalism in the year 2015 reveals itself most clearly through mega-development projects and violent attacks to Mother Nature all over the world.

This journey can be summarized in one line: preguntando caminamos (“asking while walking”), as the Zapatistas say. It is a time to learn and to doubt ourselves.

We walked and dreamed together from Mexico City to the tropical rains of the State of Campeche, on to the cold altiplano of the Caracol of Oventik, sharing political practices of resistance, knowing that, as Subcomandante Insurgente Moises said:

There is no single answer. There is no manual. There is no dogma. There is no creed. There are many answers, many ways, many forms. And each of us will see what we are able to do and learn from our own struggle and from other struggles.

“We give you 43 embraces”

During the so called “sharings” in Xochicuatla, Monclova and in the University of the Land (CIDECI) in San Cristobal de las Casas, we listened to hundreds of languages and political experiences of resistance, but most importantly we listened to the voices of the families of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa to whom the EZLN gave its own seat during the festival.

We cried together and we embraced each other under the cold rain of Oventik, looking at the members of the Comandancia of the EZLN hugging one by one the fathers and the mothers of the 43, after hearing the voice of Subcomandante Moises pronouncing the following words:

And so, when this day or night comes, your missing ones will give you the same embrace that we Zapatistas now give to you. It is an embrace of caring, respect, and admiration. In addition, we give you 43 embraces, one for each of those who are absent from your lives.

In the next weeks the EZLN will communicate in detail some actions and proposals to the world.

According to the Zapatistas and to the individuals and organizations that attended this first World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism, there is no more time to waste. The henchmen of global capitalism — big business, national governments and international organizations — are quelling all voices of dissent, attempting to destroy all forms of resistance wherever it pops up. Ayotzinapa is just another example of this mechanism that kills everyone who chooses to resist, from Turkey and Ferguson to Mexico.

Today is the time for unity of all those who want to fight capitalism and who do not recognize themselves in any political party.

The lights of rebellion and resistance

The night is dark as only the nights in Chiapas can be, here in the Caracol of Oventik. It is December 31, 2014, 21 years after the Zapatista uprising.

Deaths, disappearances, repression and the threat of imprisonment will continue to challenge los de abajo also in the year we are entering. 2015 will be tough for them — but in the extreme darkness of the night, in the black hole of the capital in which we’re living, there are some lights of resistance.

The thousands of people who arrived here, in the mountains of Southeast Mexico, are here to share some of these little lights.

It’s funny to look at these little lights, here in Oventik, where the words of the EZLN — reaching us through the voice of Subcomandante Insurgente Moises — echo in the mountains:

Darkness becomes longer and heavier across the world, touching everyone. We knew it would be like this. We know it will be like this. We spent years, decades, centuries preparing ourselves. Our gaze is not limited to what is close-by. It does not see only today, nor only our own lands. Our gaze extends far in time and geography, and that determines how we think.

Each time something happens, it unites us in pain, but also in rage. Because now, as for some time already, we see lights being lit in many corners. They are lights of rebellion and resistance. Sometimes they are small, like ours. Sometimes they are big. Sometimes they take a while. Sometimes they are only a spark that quickly goes out. Sometimes they go on and on without losing their glow in our memory.

And in all of these lights there is a bet that tomorrow will be very different.

The night is ours.

Giovanni Cattaruzza lives in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. He collaborates with the Human Rights Centre Fray Bartolomé de las Casas – FrayBa and is a graduate of Latin American Studies at Leiden University. A great supporter of Genoa C.F.C, proudly NO-TAV, and in love with the continent of Pancho Villa, he writes articles about the struggles of indigenous communities and social movements in Latin America.





January 9, 2015

Declaration from the First World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion Against Capitalism

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:20 pm



Declaration from the First World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion Against Capitalism




To the peoples of the world.

From Chiapas, Mexico, we send out our word to all those women and men from below, in the countryside and the city, in Mexico and throughout the world, all those who sow resistance and rebellion against the neoliberal capitalism that destroys everything.

We met in the Ñahtó community San Francisco Xochicuautla, State of Mexico, on December 21, 22, and 23; in the Nahua community of Amilcingo, Morelos, on December 22 and 23; in the space of the Frente Popular Francisco Villa Independiente in Mexico City on December 24, 25, and 26; in Moncolva, Campeche, on December 28 and 29; in the Zapatista Caracol of Oventik, Chiapas, on December 31 and January 1; and in CIDECI in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, on January 2 and 3. We met to hold “sharings,” which means not only to share, but to learn and build together. These were “sharings” that were grown from the deep pain and rage that belongs to all of us due to the disappearance and murder of the students from the Rural Teacher’s College Raul Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. This was a criminal act that reflects the politics of death that the bad government and the capitalists have pushed into every corner of the country and the world. These missing students are our disappeared, and we, as the National and International Sixth, the National Indigenous Congress, and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation will not cease to struggle until they are found.

The capitalists and their foremen in the bad governments have left destruction in each of our individual hearts and great destruction in the collective heart that we make up as peoples, mothers and fathers of the young people who were taken from us, and solidarity organizations, all determined to reconstruct life where the powerful have sown death and mourning.

In the indigenous communities that we compose, we suffer the attacks by the capitalist system through the blood and pain of our children, who are also the only possible future for this planet we call Earth. Amidst the distances and different colors that make up our being and our existence, we maintain the certainty that Earth is our mother and she is alive. And in order to keep her alive, justice must be a demand that is woven by the actions and convictions of those of us who compose the world of below, who do not aspire to govern that world but rather construct it along our path.

From the oceans, beaches, mountains, cities, and countryside, we build and rebuild alongside the assemblies, organizations, and collectives that in diverse autonomous forms weave spaces and forms of organization and solidarity that are capable of containing the capitalist destruction that does not distinguish between peoples and colors and in its chronic blindness only recognizes what feeds the same production dressed as permanent war, unjust markets, and colossal profits for a few. These are values alien to our peoples and against the ancient agreements made with our Mother Earth that give meaning and sense to life in the world, that give us freedom and dignity, dignified in living and defending life.




But the capitalists who say they are governing but really are only trying to dominate, administrate, and exploit, have a limit—a very large barrier—when they come up against the dignity of a person, a family, a collective, a society who they have profoundly damaged, from whom they have snatched and killed a part of their heart, detonating an explosion of rebellion like that which has illuminated the World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion Against Capitalism which we call “Where those above destroy, we below rebuild.” Because we are below; from below we understand the world, from below we care for it, below we look at one another and from there, together, we rebuild the destiny that we believe is our own until the powerful snatch it from us and only then do we learn, do we know, that what is really ours is that which we can construct or reconstruct where capitalism has destroyed.

The pain that is converted into dignified rage in the families of the murdered and disappeared students of the Rural Teacher’s College Raul Isidro Burgos is the pain that has kidnapped and disappeared us also, and thus we will never stop struggling until they are found, along with all of the murdered, disappeared, tortured, exploited, disrespected, and dispossessed brothers and sisters, wherever they may be in this savage capitalist geography, on whatever border of the world, in whichever prison.

The walk of the peoples of the world in the countryside and the city, each with their path, are led by the footprints of their own ancestors, paths that divide, intersect, and cross with ours until they find one direction, marked by a rebellious dignity that speaks so many languages and has as many colors as nature itself, woven from small embroideries that together construct what we need to be.

So, brothers and sisters of this suffering world that is nonetheless happy because of the rebellion that nourishes us: we invite you to continue walking with a small but firm step, to continue to meet, share, construct, and learn along with us, to weave the organization from below and to the left of the Sixth that we compose.

Only from our rebellion and our resistance will the death of capitalism be born and a new world brought to life, a world for all of us.

San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, January 3, 2015.







January 6, 2015

Words of the EZLN on its 21st Anniversary

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:46 pm


Words of the EZLN on its 21st Anniversary

The Words of the EZLN on the 21st Anniversary of the beginning of the War Against Oblivion.



Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Zapatista Army for National Liberation


December 31, 2014 and January 1, 2015

Compañeras and compañeros, families of the students from Ayotzinapa who were murdered and disappeared by the bad government of this capitalist system:

Compañeras and compañeros of the National Indigenous Congress:

Compañeras, compañeros, and compañeroas[i] of the Sixth in Mexico and the world:

Compañeras and compañeros, Bases of Support of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation:

Compañeras and compañeros, comandantes and comandantas, leaders of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command of the EZLN:

Compañeras and compañeros, milicianas and milicianos:[ii]

Compañeras and compañeros, insurgents:


Through my voice speaks the Zapatista Army for National Liberation.

Greetings to everyone, to all[iii] who are present and those who are not, from the Zapatista men, women, children, and elderly.

We warmly welcome the step, the voice, the ear, the gaze, and the collective heart of those below and to the left.

We have here as our guests of honour the families of those students who are missed in Ayotzinapa, in Mexico, and in the world.

We are truly grateful for the honour that that they have done us by being here with our Zapatista communities.

Their silences and words also honour us.

Their pain and rage make us brothers.

We Zapatistas have not closed our eyes or ears to the sorrow and courage that the families of Ayotzinapa show us and tell us: sorrow for the dead and disappeared; courage in the face of the bad governments who hide truth and deny justice.

What we know and are reminded of by the Ayotzinapa struggle is that it is only as organized communities that will we find the truth.

Not only the truth that has been disappeared in Ayotzinapa, but also all of the truths that have been kidnapped, imprisoned, and murdered in every corner of planet Earth.

It is upon this missing truth that we can build justice.

We Zapatistas believe that trust must no longer be placed in the bad governments that exist all over the world.

These bad governments only serve the big capitalists.

These bad governments are merely the employees of capital. They are the managers, foremen, and overseers of the great capitalist plantation.

These bad governments will never do a single good thing for the people.

Anything that they might say to the contrary is irrelevant, because these governments aren’t the ones in charge; the only Boss is neoliberal capitalism.

That is why must not believe anything that these bad governments say.

Everything that we want as peoples we have to build for ourselves.

Just like the families of the murdered and disappeared students from Ayotzinapa are building their own search for truth and justice.

Just like they are building their own struggle.

We want to tell the fathers and mothers of the disappeared compañeros not to tire in their struggle, not to stop struggling for the truth and for justice for the 43.

The struggle of the families of Ayotzinapa is an example that nourishes all of us who seek truth and justice in all lands across the planet.

We want to follow the example of the fathers and mothers who left their homes and their families to work and to meet with other families who have the same pain, rage, and resistances.

Hope is not located in an individual man or woman, as they try to make us believe when they say, “vote for me” or “join this organization because we are going to win the struggle.”

So they say.

But, what struggle are they talking about? We know that what they really want is to get into Power and that once they manage to do that, they forget about everything and everyone else.

That it is why it makes more sense for us to follow the example of the families from Ayotzinapa and organize ourselves.

We have to build and organization and make it grow in every place where we live.

We must imagine how a new society might be.

But in order to do this we have to study how things are for us in the society that we live in now.

We Zapatistas would say that we are living in a society where we have been exploited, repressed, disdained, and displaced by centuries of bosses and leaders, and that this situation continues in society even today, at the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015.

And all that time they have tried to deceive us, telling us that they, those above, are the best and that we aren’t worth anything.

They tell us that we are fools.

They tell us that they are the ones who know how to think, imagine, and create, and that we are just peons carrying out their tasks.



“To hell with that!” “Enough is Enough!” we Zapatistas said in the year 1994. And ever since we have had to govern ourselves autonomously.

That is how we Zapatistas see things, that the work and struggle of rebellion and resistance carried out with dignity by families of the disappeared student compañeros calls us to organize ourselves so that the same thing doesn’t happen to us.

Or so that we know what to do before the same thing happens to us.

Or what to do so that what happened to them in this system can never happen to anyone else.

Because the families of Ayotzinapa have explained the situation very well. Like good teachers, they have explained that the system itself is responsible for this crime, working through its managers.

And this system also has schools for its managers, foremen, and overseers; these schools are the political parties that only seek office for themselves, job titles and petty posts.

That is where they train the servile managers of the bad governments, where those servants learn to rob, to deceive, to impose, and to command.

That is where they train those who make the laws, that is, the legislators.

That is where they train those who use violence to force us to follow those laws, that is, high-level, mid-level and low-level leaders, with their armies and police forces.

That is where they train those who judge and condemn anyone who doesn’t obey those laws, that is, the judges.

The way we see it, it doesn’t matter whether these managers, foremen, and overseers are men or women, or if they are white, black, yellow, red, green, blue, brown, or any other color.

The work of those above is to stop those of us below from being able to breathe.

And sometimes they have the same color skin as those they order to be killed.

Sometimes the killer and the victim have the same color and the same language.

And here neither calendar nor geography matter.

What the struggle of the families and compañeros from Ayotzinapa has made us realize is that those who kidnap, murder, and lie are all the same.

That those who preach lies will not seek the truth.

That those who impose injustice will not bring justice.

And we think that things cannot continue like this, everywhere and on every level.

That is what the families of Ayotzinapa teach us, that we must seek out and encounter others who suffer this illness called capitalism.

Hand in hand with the families of Ayotzinapa, we look for the disappeared from all of the worlds that we are.

Because what is murdered and disappeared every day, every hour, and everywhere is truth and justice.

Hand in hand with the families of the 43, we understand that Ayotzinapa is not located in the Mexican state of Guerrero, but everywhere below.

Through them we understand that the common enemy of both the countryside and the city is capitalism, not only in one country but everywhere in the world.

But this capitalist world war encounters at every turn and in every corner people who rebel and resist.

In rebellion and resistance these people organize themselves according to their own ways of thinking, their own place of struggle, their own distinctive histories, and their own ways of being.

And in their struggles of resistance and rebellion, they get to know one another and make agreements to achieve what is needed.

They get to know each other, but they do not judge each other.

They don’t compete with each other to see who is better. They don’t ask who has done more, who is ahead, who is the vanguard, or who gives the orders.

What they question among themselves is whether capitalism does anything that is good.

And the answer that they come to is NO, there isn’t a single good thing. On the contrary, capitalism has wronged us a thousand ways, and so it is logical that we have a thousand ways to respond.

So the question becomes, how do we rebel against evil? How do we resist so that this evil of capitalism doesn’t destroy more? How can we reconstruct what has been destroyed and make it even better than it was before? How do we raise those who have fallen? How do we find the disappeared? How do we free the prisoners? How do the dead live? How are democracy, justice, and freedom constructed?

There is no single answer. There is no manual. There is no dogma. There is no creed.

There are many answers, many ways, many forms.

And each of us will see what we are able to do and learn from our own struggle and from other struggles.

While those above enrich themselves with money, those below enrich themselves with the experience of struggle.

And, sisters and brothers, we want to tell you clearly what we Zapatistas have learned from looking and listening to ourselves, and from looking and listening to the world.

It has never been nor will it ever be an individual who will give us the gift of liberty, truth, and justice.

Because it turns out, friends and enemies, that liberty, truth, and justice are not gifts, but rights that we have to attain and defend.

And it is the collectives who manage to do this.

It is us, the communities, women, men and others[iv] from the countryside and the city, who have to create liberty, democracy, and justice in order to make a new society.

This is what the fathers and mothers of the disappeared are telling us.

We will have to struggle in a thousand different ways to achieve this new society. With varying levels of commitment, we will have to participate in creating this new society.

We all must accompany the families of Ayotzinapa in their struggle to find truth and justice, because this, plain and simple, is the duty of anyone below and to the left.

And we say accompany because this is not about directing them, manipulating them, managing them, using them, or degrading them.

We must struggle together with them.

Because no honest human being could celebrate this pain and this rage, this injustice.

Sisters and brothers, families of the missing students from Ayoztinapa:

The Zapatista men and women support you because your struggle is just and true. Because your struggle should be that of all of humanity.

It has been you and no one else who has put the word “Ayotzinapa” into the world’s vocabulary.

It has been you, with your simple word; you, with no boss other than your suffering and enraged heart.

And this has given much strength and encouragement to common people below and to the left.

Because out there they say, they yell, that only the big heads [highly educated] know how to do things, that things can only be done through leaders and bosses, through political parties, through elections.

And because they are yelling, they cannot even hear each other, much less the truth.

And then your pain appeared, and your rage.

And you taught us what was and is our pain, and what was and is our rage.

That is why we asked you to take our place during these days of the First World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion Against Capitalism.

We not only hope that you achieve the noble objective for the missing students to be returned alive; we also will continue to support you with our small strength.

As Zapatistas, we are sure that when your missing ones, who are also ours, are once again present, they will be impressed, but not so much by the fact that their names have been taken up in so many tongues and so many geographies. Not because their faces have been seen all over the world. Nor because the struggle for them to be returned alive was and is global. Nor because their absence has exposed the lie that is called government and denounced the terror that is the system.

Yes, they will marvel, but it will be because of the moral stature of their families, of you, who did not for a single moment allow their names to be forgotten. And who, without giving in, without giving up, without selling out, kept looking until you found them.

And so, when this day or night comes, your missing ones will give you the same embrace that we Zapatistas now give to you.

It is an embrace of caring, respect, and admiration.

And in addition, we give you 46 embraces, one for each of those who are absent from your lives.




– Abel García Hernández

– Abelardo Vázquez Peniten

– Adán Abraján de la Cruz

– Antonio Santana Maestro

– Benjamín Ascencio Bautista

– Bernardo Flores Alcaraz

– Carlos Iván Ramírez Villarreal

– Carlos Lorenzo Hernández Muñoz

– César Manuel González Hernández

– Christian Alfonso Rodríguez Telumbre

– Christian Tomás Colón Garnica

– Cutberto Ortiz Ramos

– Dorian González Parral

– Emiliano Alen Gaspar de la Cruz.

– Everardo Rodríguez Bello

– Felipe Arnulfo Rosas

– Giovanni Galindes Guerrero

– Israel Caballero Sánchez

– Israel Jacinto Lugardo

– Jesús Jovany Rodríguez Tlatempa

– Jonás Trujillo González

– Jorge Álvarez Nava

– Jorge Aníbal Cruz Mendoza

– Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño

– Jorge Luis González Parral

– José Ángel Campos Cantor

– José Ángel Navarrete González

-José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa

-José Luis Luna Torres

-Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz

-Julio César López Patolzin

-Leonel Castro Abarca

-Luis Ángel Abarca Carrillo

-Luis Ángel Francisco Arzola

-Magdaleno Rubén Lauro Villegas

-Marcial Pablo Baranda

-Marco Antonio Gómez Molina

-Martín Getsemany Sánchez García

-Mauricio Ortega Valerio

-Miguel Ángel Hernández Martínez

-Miguel Ángel Mendoza Zacarías

.-Saúl Bruno García

.- Julio César Mondragón Fontes

.- Daniel Solís Gallardo

.- Julio César Ramírez Nava

.- Alexander Mora Venancio


Compas, everyone:[v]

Here with us are the brothers and sisters from the native peoples who have come together in that great agreement that is called the National Indigenous Congress.

For more than 500 years, we have searched for each other as originary peoples along the paths of rebellion and resistance.

For more than 500 years, pain and rage have been present along this path, day and night.

For more than 500 years, we have sought liberty, truth, and justice.

For more than 18 years, we have come together as the National Indigenous Congress, thanks to the work of the now deceased Comandanta Ramona.

Since then we have tried to be students of her wisdom, her story, her determination.

Since then, together we have slowly unveiled the gallop of capitalism’s macabre chariot over our bones, our blood, our history.

And we named exploitation, dispossession, repression, and discrimination.

And we named the crime and the criminal: the capitalist system.

But that is not all; with our bones, our blood, and our history we also gave name to the rebellion and resistance of the originary peoples.

With the National Indigenous Congress, we raise up the dignified color of the earth that we are.

With the National Indigenous Congress, we have learned that we need to learn to respect each other and that each of us will have a place within our demands.

We understand that right now, truth and justice for Ayotzinapa is the most urgent demand.

Today, the most painful and infuriating thing is that the 43 are not with us.

We do not want the same thing to happen to us tomorrow, and so let us reach out beyond our peoples, our nations, our neighborhoods and tribes.

Let us call on our peoples to no longer allow ourselves to be fooled with miserable crumbs meant to keep us quiet while the Rulers continue to enrich themselves on our backs.

Let us unite our rage and organize and struggle for our political prisoners with dignity, without selling out, without giving up, without giving in. We must do this for those who are in prison for struggling against the injustices we face.

As originary peoples we fight for what is our collective right—a fight that we learned from our great-great-grandparents who did not allow themselves to be destroyed as the originary peoples of these lands we are from.

This is why we exist in so many languages —because our ancestors knew how not to be defeated. And now it is our turn to do the same.

All of us must say NO to the transnational corporations.

From our communities, our nations, our neighborhoods, and our tribes, we must all think about what we are going to do, how we are going to do it; we have to think about how we are going to communicate to each other everything that the bad governments do to us.

We will have to organize ourselves and take care of each other.

Because they are going to want to buy us off; they are going to offer us crumbs; they are going to offer us petty job postings.

They are going to try every possible way to divide us and get us to fight each other and kill each other off.

They are going to want to dominate and control us with other ideas.

They are going to spy on us and unleash every type of fear inside of us.

And they are going to set a thousand traps so that we falter and stop fighting for our people.

But are we really going to allow them to treat us like their trash for another 520 years?

We only want to live in peace, without the exploitation of man by man. We want equality between men and women, respect for difference, and the ability to decide our destiny, the kind of world that we want for the countryside and the city.

We are certain that we will know a better way to live than the way that they impose upon us.

We Zapatistas want to ask the originary peoples of the National Indigenous Congress to embrace the families of Ayotzinapa by welcoming them in their territories.

We ask that they invite these families to visit them on their paths and with their hearts.

We ask them to extend to these families the honor of their word and their ear.

The wisdom that lives in the heart of the originary peoples is great, and it will grow even more by sharing their words of pain and rage with these families.

As guardians of the mother earth, we know well that our path is long and that it needs accompaniment.

There is still so far to walk and we cannot afford to stop.

So we will continue moving forward.

As originary peoples, we know mother earth well; we work the earth and live from what she gives us without exploiting her.

Let us care for her, love her, and rest in peace within her.

We are the guardians of the mother earth.

With her, we can do anything; without her, everything dies uselessly.

As originary peoples, our time is now and forever.


Compañeras, compañeros, and compañeroas of the National and International Sixth:

During these days, together with those who are present and those who are not, a “sharing” [compartición] has taken place that is just one more step that we must take together as the Sixth, each in their own place of struggle, in their own way, within their own distinctive history.

There are times when, as history unfolds, it places us in front of us something that unites us, no matter the geography in which our dreams take place, no matter the calendar of our struggle.

Ayotzinapa has become a point that has united us.

That is not enough.

Let us work, organize, and struggle for our disappeared compañer@s and for our prisoners.

Let us form a whirlwind across the world so that they return our disappeared to us alive.

Let us become one, for as human beings we are indeed one, although there are some beasts among us that disappear us; they are the capitalists.

Let us form one single wave, envelop those beasts and drown the bastards who have done us so much harm all over the world.

Let us value ourselves, as the families of Ayotzinapa are teaching us.

Let us do this without ceasing, as they do, without taking advantage of the situation for other gains or interests.

Compañeros and compañeras, let us forget the negative connotations of the phrase “taking advantage.”

Let us think instead about its positive connotations, and take advantage of our common wealth. We have already suffered the evil of those who take advantage to exploit us.

And they still disappear us, torture us, imprison us.

Liberty, justice, democracy, and peace is our destiny

Now is the time for us, the world’s poor, to begin building another world that is more just, where we leave future generations prepared to prevent the return of the savage neoliberal capitalist.

Let us listen to the cry of the 43 young student compañeros who tell us, “search for us, find us, don’t allow them to stifle our cry; the 43 of us are just like you, they have taken away our freedom, we are watching to see if you will struggle for us or if you won’t; for if you don’t, it will mean that you won’t struggle for the rest who will suffer this next, that you will not struggle for your own.”

The cry of the 43 compañeros is telling us, “help, accompany, struggle, organize, work, come together with our families now that they are being abandoned as the elections approach; this is what those who forget about us are doing.”

Let us join our struggles, the struggle for the disappeared. Let us name those who are absent. Let us clearly point to the crime; let us clearly point to the criminal.

The families of Ayotzinapa have fueled our strength of rebellion and resistance; they have opened our eyes even more and they have grown our dignified rage.

They are pointing out a path and telling us that they are willing to give their lives if necessary for their disappeared loved ones.

And they also show us that all of us, whether or not we have disappeared loved ones, must be organized. Because we will all have disappeared loved ones if we do not organize ourselves, since the narcogovernment continues to exist.

They show us that we must struggle, that it does not matter if they talk about us in the paid media; what matters is life and that the deaths and disappearances cease.

They show us that it is time for us to organize.

That it is time for us to decide for ourselves what our destiny will be.

And it is just that; at once simple and complicated.

Because this requires organization, work, struggle, rebellion, and resistance.

Only with movement and organization can those of us below defend and liberate ourselves.


Compañeras and compañeros of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation:

It has been a difficult year.

The war against our desire for peace continues.

The Ruler still seeks to extinguish our freedom.

The lies that try to hide our true work persist.

Our blood and our death continue to fertilize our mountains.

And as it has been for a while now, the pain and death once reserved only for us continue extending their reach to others,[vi] both in the countryside and in the city.

Darkness becomes longer and heavier across the world, touching everyone.

We knew it would be like this.

We know it will be like this.

We spent years, decades, centuries preparing ourselves.

Our gaze is not limited to what is close by.

It does not see only today, nor only our own lands.

Our gaze extends far in calendar and geography, and that determines how we think.

Each time something happens, it unites us in pain, but also in rage.

Because now, as for some time already, we see lights being lit in many corners.

They are lights of rebellion and resistance.

Sometimes they are small, like ours.

Sometimes they are big.

Sometimes they take awhile.

Sometimes they are only a spark that quickly goes out.

Sometimes they go on and on without losing their glow in our memory.

And in all of these lights there is a wager that tomorrow will be very other.

We knew this 21 years ago, 31 years ago, 100 years ago, 500 years ago.

We know it now, that we have to struggle every day, every hour, everywhere.

We know that we will not give up, that we will not sell out, that we will not give in.

We know, and we are sure, that what is missing is yet to come.


Compas, all of you:[vii]

In the upcoming days, weeks, and months, we will share more of our word and our thought on how we see the world that is small and the world that is big.

These words and thoughts will be complicated because they are so simple.

We see clearly that the world today is not the world of 100 years ago; indeed, it is not even the world of 20 years ago.

As Zapatistas, small though we are, we think about the world.

We study it in its calendars and geographies.

Critical thinking is necessary for the struggle.

Critical thinking they refer to as theory.

We say no to lazy thinking that conforms itself to whatever exists.

No to dogmatic thinking that tries to become Rule and impose itself.

No to trickery that argues by using lies.

We say yes to the type of thinking that asks, that questions, that doubts.

Not even in the most difficult conditions should the study and analysis of reality be abandoned.

Study and analysis are also weapons of struggle.

But neither practice by itself, nor theory by itself is enough.

Thinking that does not struggle does nothing but make noise.

A struggle that does not think repeats its mistakes and does not get up after it falls.

Struggle and thinking unite in those who are warriors, in the rebellion and resistance that today shake the world, even if their sound is one of silence.

We Zapatistas think and struggle.

We struggle and think within the collective heart that we are.


Compañeras, compañeros, compañeroas:

There is not just one path.

There is not one kind of step.

Those who walk and struggle do not all do so the same way.

There is not just one who walks.

The times and the places below and to the left on painful lands are diverse, and there many colors shine.

But the destination is the same: freedom. Freedom. FREEDOM.


Compañeros, compañeras, compañeroas:

Sisters and brothers:

21 years after the start of our war against oblivion, this is our word:







From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Mexico, January 2015.




[i] Compañeroas is used to give a range of possible plural gendered pronouns including male, female, transgender and others.

[ii] The EZLN’s civilian militia or reserves.

[iii] The text uses “todas, todos, todoas” to give a range of possible plural gendered pronouns including male, female, transgender and others.

[iv] The text uses “otroas” to give a range of possible plural gendered pronouns including male, female, transgender and others.

[v] See iii.

[vi] See iv.

[vii] See iii.




January 5, 2015

It is time

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:58 pm


It is time.

World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism.


Gustavo Esteva,

La Jornada, 5th January, 2015.

The first World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion Against Capitalism ended without producing the plan for the revolution to begin next Monday that some had expected. To their disappointment, they didn’t throw them the line. Nor was the next march, the next demonstration, the next festival agreed upon. Consensus was forged only on small, firm steps that need to be taken.

The festival was attended by 1,300 delegates from the National Indigenous Congress, belonging to 34 indigenous peoples; 2,904 adherents of the Sexta; 2,168 people from almost every state in the Republic of Mexico; 766 delegates from 49 countries.

Many more followed closely what was happening. Both those present and absent acknowledged, with Subcomandante Moisés, that “what is most urgent is truth and justice for Ayotzinapa.” There is no higher priority. “There are times when history presents us with something that unites us … Ayotzinapa has been the point where we have come together … At the hands of the families of the 43, we understand that Ayotzinapa is not in the Mexican state of Guerrero, but it is in the world of everyone who is from below.”

We need to support them, that is, fight alongside them. During the festival, a European trip by family members and survivors began to be organized. The original peoples are now organizing a visit in each of their locations. They will not be stopped. In Campeche, one of the survivors put it well: “We are the ones most directly living through the situation that hurts the country … to change the country and the world.” He added: “They are not going to be able to disappear us because we have a legacy of dignity that we inherited from the memory of our grandfathers and grandmothers.”

Ayotzinapa forces the taking of sides: to accept the category “from below” and find a place there. We can no longer join with those who only want to fight for perks and positions in the electoral game, because they are intermingled and confused with those who kidnap, murder and lie. We cannot be on the side of those who find allies in capitalism and the government. Or of those who only want to change the government in order to put their leader or their party in power, when what is at issue is changing the world.

Along the way, the festival was gaining strength. It started in Xochicuautla, land of wildflowers, and a little later it arrived in Amilcingo, birthplace of Emiliano Zapata. It is said there: “It is prophesied that there is change approximately every hundred years … But this is not the end! … It is foretold that these are the days on the eve of [the change]. Now we see that we are not alone!”

Throughout the entire journey, emphasis was placed on what is most important: Listening. Repeatedly, the story was heard of the horrors committed by capitalism and bad governments, but also of resistance and rebellion spreading everywhere. Again and again the questions were asked: What to do? How do we stop the horror? What do we do so there are no more disappeared? What makes truth and justice flourish? What builds freedom and democracy? How do we do everything that is needed?

Again and again we heard what, toward the end, Subcomandante Moisés summarized well: “There is no single answer. There is no manual. There is no dogma. There are many answers, many ways, many responses. Each one is watching their results and learning from his and her own struggle and the struggles of others … Each with his and her pain, struggle, hope, deserving heart. We realize that the enemy is common and is called capitalism, and that the incumbent government and political parties are the puppets of the owners of capital.”

The task became clear: “It is time to get organized. It is time that we, ourselves, decide our destiny … Everything that we want as a people, we ourselves have to construct … We must build and grow organization in each place where we live. We are already the people—the women, men and others of the countryside and the city—who must have at hand freedom, democracy and justice for this new society.”

With the pain and rage that everyone feels, and that Ayotzinapa articulated, it not only made clear what we’re fighting against but the full name of the beast. We also learned that, as the late Sup told us in January 2013, reflecting about the world in which we live allows us to think that it doesn’t have to be like this … and then to imagine how the new world is going to be.

The time has come. “Let us form a swirling of winds in the world, such that they might hand over alive our disappeared. Let us make just one like that. Let us form a wave and envelop the beasts and drown the evildoers that have done so much harm in the world.”




Translated by Jane Brundage





January 4, 2015

The Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism in San Cristobal De Las Casas – Day 1

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:23 pm


The Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism in San Cristobal De Las Casas – Day 1


Náhua Virgin

Náhua Virgin


[Chiapas Support Committee]

Chiapas, Mexico, January 2, 2015

José Luis Hernández, a delegate of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), inaugurated the sharing at the Festival of Resistances and Rebellions in the installations of CIDECI Unitierra, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. “We bring the word from where we come and the places where we have been,” he explained.

The CNI representative shared some of the numbers of the people registered in the Festival’s different sites: 1300 delegates of 28 native peoples from 20 states of the country and 2,914 participants of the national and international Sixth, of which 736 are international attendees from 42 countries and a total of 2,178 come from the 32 states of the Mexican Republic.

Ayotzinapa present

Continuing the tonic of the previous exchanges (sharings), the relatives and compañeros of the disappeared Ayotzinapa students spoke out. Berta Navas, mother of one of the disappeared students, spoke first and described her son with tears in her eyes as a very humble and hard-working student. “His only vice was being a teacher coming to the communities like those of the compañeros,” she remembered, and continued talking about the repression that the rural schoolteachers suffer: “This government does not want people prepared to bring a message to the communities.”

Berta Navas spoke above all to the people that have been supporting the parents of the normalistas throughout their search for these last three months. “Many thanks to all of the people who have received us in their communities, from the bottom of my heart, because they have reached out to me.” Referring to the talks of the Ayotzinapa families, at the New Year’s Festival in Oventic, she specified: “It was an honour that they told us to speak in their place, it was the best honour that I have received. I feel small before all these people, and I ask you to support us today and always.” To conclude, Berta Navas exclaimed: “I hope that no one else is missing a child, that no one else is missing a family member.”

Cruz Bautista, another father of a disappeared student, continued Berta’s talk. With his words he explained how his family learned about the youth’s disappearance through the newspaper and appealed to all those in attendance to share their issues: “We hope that with your help this information will reach the country’s poorest barrios so that they realize the anomalies the government does to disappear people who demonstrate against it.”

Next, Bernabé Abraján, the father of Abraján de la Cruz, moved the whole auditorium with his words and continued bringing tears to several of those in attendance. His broken voice remembered, publicly, that today January 2 would be his disappeared son’s birthday. “We would have wanted to be sharing his birthday today with all his relatives,” he alleged. His voice, full of rage and emotion warned clearly: “Now I realize that it’s not only the state of Guerrero, all the states have problems with the government.” And he added: “Now we are going to see that justice is done, through all of us organizing together.”

Óscar García, the brother of Abel García Hernández, spoke to those in attendance explaining the difficult family situation familiar that exists. “My mother cannot speak in Spanish, only in Mixteco, therefore I am here.” The young man continues explaining how his mother asks that he return home, but he “prefers to be here fighting to see his brother again.” Abel García Hernández wanted to be a bilingual teacher, and his brother, the one that now speaks in the CIDECI, wanted to be a soldier but he explained that now he doesn’t, that he no longer wants to be part of the narco-government. Like him, Tlabertino Cruz, father of a disappeared normalista, also thanked the attendees for their presence and asked for the support of all those gathered together.

To finish, Omar García, a teachers college student remembered: “Our history has to do with resistance and rebellion for constructing a different world and for us it is an honour to be here in the CIDECI.” And he added: “We did not open our eyes on September 26, we already had them open.” Finally, he explained an anecdote about the goodbye they had with Subcomandante Moisés: “We expressed to him that we also wanted autonomy in the rural teachers colleges and he told us that seeing is believing.” The student concluded as follows: “We assume that with the courage and determination of thousands of people all over the country that will be possible.”

The inauguration ceremony ended with a present that the Emiliano Zapata Autonomous School of Huixtipec delivered to the Ayotzinapa relatives and compañeros. They read a poem in Náhuatl that talks about the disappeared normalistas and delivered a painting that has accompanied them during the whole Festival and symbolizes a virgin with various Náhuatl symbols.

Between the different talks from the relatives of the Ayotzinapa students, we had the opportunity of listening directly to Mario Luna, the activist and prisoner from the Yaqui people. The compañero expressed from Cerezo 2 of Hermosillo that: “we are where you are, we remain firm.” In reference to the bad government, he explained that: “They are hoping to let our hope fall into oblivion.” He also launched a message of hope: “We can reach a way of self-governing different from that of the politicians.”

Antonia Canuta.




Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo, January 2, 2015

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee





January 2, 2015

Letter to the World Festival of Resistances and Rebellions from the UK Zapatista Solidarity Network

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:09 pm



Letter to the World Festival of Resistances and Rebellions from the UK Zapatista Solidarity Network



United Kingdom, December 29, 2014

Compañeras and compañeros of the EZLN, the CNI, the Sixth and the Free Media

Although we are not there with you now, we would like to send a few words from the UK. We are men and women of different groups who accompany and are brothers and sisters with the struggle for humanity and life that has long since been walking in the mountains of south-east Mexico.

In this corner of the world we inhabit, we also see that the War of capitalism continues to advance through exploitation, plunder, contempt and repression. Here capitalism continues to dismantle what remains of the state, cutting basic public services like health and education. At the same time, the state security apparatus tightens its control over the lives of the population through sophisticated surveillance systems that monitor our movements at work, home, the street and the net. We see that the threat of terrorism is used as a flag to continue restricting our freedoms and fuelling the war industry. And in a fiction of consumerism, many live thinking that it is almost impossible to organize and resist.

And here the light of rebellion and resistance comes to us now in this World Festival. Although we could not be there to listen and share with you, we feel it is important to send you a word from where we are, so you know that despite the distance, we are accompanying you in your daily resistance. We want to address in particular the fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, compañeros and compañeras of Ayotzinapa. We humbly wish to say again to you that you are not alone, that we too are still waiting for the 43 students disappeared by the Mexican State, and we never tire of demanding their appearance alive. Alexander Mora, Julio Cesar Mondragon and the other compañeros from Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal school who have been murdered since 2011 are present with us because they are dignified seed. The bad government does not deceive us, we know that the three levels are responsible for all this suffering and pain. We know that this is a criminal government, and that that this mafia reaches the centres of financial power that we have here, as in the City of London. In our anger and outrage over the disappearance of our compañeros from Ayotzinapa we have met with others in the street and we are also weaving with creativity and persistence this struggle against forgetting. And so we continue: learning, walking, resisting and dreaming.

We send you a very big embrace from the UK.


UK Zapatista Solidarity Network:

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group, Kiptik (Bristol), London Mexico Solidarity Group, Manchester Zapatista Collective, UK Zapatista Translation Service, UK Zapatista Learning and Teaching Collective, Zapatista Solidarity Group – Essex





43 hugs for those absent, in the Festival of Resistances and Rebellions and the anniversary of the EZLN in Chiapas

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:40 am



 43 hugs for those absent, in the Festival of Resistances and Rebellions and the [21st] anniversary of the EZLN in Chiapas


December 31, 2014 in Oventik

December 31, 2014 in Oventik


Chiapas México ‪#‎FestivalRyR / January 1, 2015

“The government has them, it took them away. We will only find them with your help,” said parents of the Ayotzinapa students, during the sharing (exchange) at the Worldwide Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism, in the Zapatista Caracol of Oventik, in the Highlands of Chiapas.

Relatives of the disappeared students thanked the EZLN for having ceded its place in the Festival. They similarly thanked the festival sites of Xochicuautla, Amiltzingo, Iztapalapa and Campeche for their support. “Our sons have no price, they are the most sacred, we are not going to stop,” they assured.

In his participation the spokesperson for the National Indigenous Congress listed the problems that its members suffer due to the megaprojects being imposed on them. “We don’t want an alliance, you and we are the same, we have the same pain and the same rage,” he asserted.

The EZLN, through the voice of Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, emphasized that one must no longer trust in the bad governments, which are the overseers and majordomos of the capitalist hacienda (plantation).

“Those from above have wanted to deceive us, as if they know how to think and create, and as if we are their peons. Enough of that, we the Zapatistas said in ‘94, and we had to govern ourselves autonomously,” the Zapatista spokesperson said within the framework of the XXI anniversary of the armed uprising of the Indigenous Chiapanecos.

“We the Zapatistas want to ask the original peoples of the CNI to embrace and receive the relatives of the disappeared Ayotzinapa students in their territories. Great is the wisdom they will add to the hearts of the original peoples and the sharing of their word of pain and rage will grow more with these peoples,” he said. Afterwards, the EZLN as well as the CNI gave a solidarity embrace to each one of the mothers and fathers of the 43 disappeared normalistas.

El Subcomandante Moisés also announced that “in the coming days, weeks, months, more of our words will come out, of how we view the little world and the big world.” “These words and thoughts will be difficult because they are simple,” he ended.


En español: New EZLN Comunicado:


Originally Published in Spanish by: POZOL COLECTIVO

Thursday, January 1, 2015 in Chiapas

En español:

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee




December 31, 2014

EZLN: weaving resistances together with Ayotzinapa

Filed under: Indigenous, Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:58 pm


EZLN: weaving resistances together with Ayotzinapa

By: Magdalena Gómez


On the very next January 2 and 3, 2015, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) and the Indigenous National Congress (CNI) will hold the plenary of conclusions, agreements and pronouncements in Cideci, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, the results of the word expressed in the different exchanges (sharing) of the First Worldwide Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism “What those above destroy those below reconstruct.”


compaarticion_xilonen_26dic14-5 monclova


The festival expresses the phase opened at the end of 2012. The EZLN’s death as a project had been repeatedly announced, along with the indigenous cause, adducing that: “it already passed from fashion.” Such an absurdity was disproven on December 21, 2012, when Zapatismo held massive silent marches in various Chiapas municipalities, emphasizing anew their entrance to San Cristóbal de las Casas. In them, the symbolic message was the question: “Did you hear it?” Early in 2013, the EZLN profiled two initiatives of re-articulation; the first was the Cátedra Tata Juan Chávez, convoked jointly with the National Indigenous Congress; the second: during August and December and also the first week in January 2014 the escuelita zapatista (Little Zapatista School) was held, which brought together thousands of national and foreign and foreign students in all the Caracoles to know directly from the Zapatista bases the extraordinary systemization of their autonomous organizational experience in the Good Government Juntas. The CNI held different regional meetings during the first half of this year, which culminated in the August Exchange, in which it was agreed to hold the festival that is about to conclude.

This same year, the EZLN suffered one of the most serious attacks that it has faced, just when it is promoting the re-articulation with the CNI and other movements. Last May 2, members of the Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos Historic (Cioac-H, its initials in Spanish) murdered José Luis Solís López, Galeano, a teacher at the escuelita zapatista. The brutality of the crime and the ambush were carried out in La Realidad, one of the emblematic bastions of Zapatismo. Within this context, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos announced his disappearance and the birth of Subcomandante Galeano and, nevertheless indicated that the EZLN reaffirms its option for peace and not war, in favour of life and not death. With the noted process underway, last September 26 it received the blow of the disappearance of 43 normalistas from Ayotzinapa.

The caravans of relatives of the disappeared students were received inside Zapatista lands on November 15, 2014 and Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés expressed a profound message: “Your words are of utmost importance to us: your rage, your rebellion, your resistance. There, on the outside, they are talking and arguing and making allegations over violence or non-violence, ignoring the fact that there is violence on most people’s tables every day. Violence walks with them to work and to school, goes home with them, sleeps with them, and without consideration for age, race, gender, language, or culture, makes a nightmare out of their dreams and realities. We hear, see, and read that on the outside they are debating coups from the right or the left, who to take out of power and who to put in. They forget that the entire political system is rotten.

He also counselled them to avoid division, getting ready to face betrayal and abandonment when the specific cause is out of style and, above all, to look below, and from there, only from there, to weave their alliances. Seek the native peoples, he told them, who since before time was time, possessed the wisdom to resist, and there is no one that knows more about pain and rage. And he warned: “We know that many ask things of you, that they urge you, that they demand of you, that they want to lead you toward one destiny or the other, that want to use you and that they want to tell you what to do.”

One month later: “We Zapatistas, are here. And from here we see, hear and read that the voice of the family members and the compañer@s of the murdered and disappeared of Ayotzinapa is starting to be forgotten and that now, for some folks out there, the more important things are: -the words of others that have taken the stage; -the discussion about what tactics and strategy to follow so that the movement will transcends its limits.

“Therefore we say that what is first, most important and urgent is to listen to the family members and compañeros of the disappeared and murdered of Ayotzinapa. Those are the voices that have touched the hearts of millions of people in Mexico and in the world.” They then expressed their decision to “cede our place at the first Worldwide Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism to the relatives and compañeros of the murdered and disappeared normalistas of Ayotzinapa.” Already in 1995 they opened the table for dialogue with the government to all the country’s indigenous peoples; these are authentic democratic lessons. This weaving of secure alliances will show hopeful strategies.


Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, December 30, 2014





December 30, 2014

Inauguration of the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion

Filed under: La Sexta, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:58 pm



Inauguration of the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion





On 21 December, the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion “Where those from above destroy, those from below rebuild” opened in the San Francisco Xochicuautla community, Lerma municipality, Mexico state.  At the invitation of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) which provided them space, the parents of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa led the event.  Before the stage, 43 chairs were erected with the faces of the disappeared students, to demand their presentation with life.  The event was attended by more than 80 organizations that comprise the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), which represents 35 indigenous peoples of Mexico, as well as adherents to the Sixth from 32 Mexican states and 26 countries.

The EZLN members who attended the event, as had been announced in a 19 December communique, participated for their part “with their faces uncovered so that they do not identify us.  Or, better, so that they identify us as yet another one of you our comrades of the Sixth.”

During the launch of the festival, participants warned that the government would not silence their voices, “even when they disappear our sons and our identities.”  José Luis del Frente, from Indigenous Peoples in Defense of Mother Earth CNI, expressed that they would continue in their mission “to reconstruct our lands, no matter the time it would take.  The trees that have been destroyed will flower once again.”

The “sharings” of the festival will be held in the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, Lerma municipality, and in Amilcingo,  Temoac municipality, Morelos, on 22 and 23 December.  From 24 to 26 December, the Grand Cultural Festival will be celebrated in Mexico City.  On 28 and 29 December the sharings will continue in Monclova, Candelaria municipality, Campeche, and from 31 December to 1 January, the Festival for Anti-Capitalist Rebellion and Resistance will take place in the Oventik caracol, located in the Chiapas highlands.  Finally, on 2 and 3 January there will be held a plenary meeting for conclusions, accords, and pronunciations at CIDECI, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.






December 28, 2014

Worldwide Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism in the Federal District

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:26 pm


Worldwide Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism in the Federal District




Mexico, DF. 24th December. Today the Worldwide Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism began in the Federal District. Despite the rain, the art, music, food and the word maintained the spirits and the interest of all those gathered together at the place for rodeos of the Charros [1] Reyes Association of Iztapalapa, of the Francisco Villa Popular Front Independent-UNOPII.

During the inauguration of the Festival, different compañeros welcomed all the attendees and shared their causes and support for the other struggles present. Nicolás Flores, from the community of Santa María de Ostula, in Aquila, Michoacán, shared that the community has been attacked by the State to dispossess them of their land, but their community police and the community fight to rescue it and protect it. That is why they are part of the CNI (Indigenous National Congress) and adherents to the EZLN’s Sixth. He said: “all of us  together are going to be effective,” and he added that in the case of the “Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa we have found a reflection of our pain, our rage and our rebellion… We are campesinos in struggle who are not going to stop fighting for our land… And therefore we are here.”

Patricia Moreno Salas of the Wixarica people also spoke about the long struggle of her people in defence of indigenous territory and she emphasized how the Cultural Festival shows us other forms of communication and resistance, “to be closer as brothers.”

Compañero José Romero, of Monclova, also took the word, gave the welcome and shared the cases of Sonora, the strategies of community division that the government employs to facilitate the dispossession of lands. But the communities are not alone: “therefore we are joining in the struggle with you to continue forward.” To this sharing is added a message sent from the parents of the ABC Day Care Centre, in which they expressed their unbreakable hope of finding safe and sound the 42 Ayotzinapa students still disappeared. In their message from parents to parents suffering injustice they expressed: “We know the pain of the uncertainty, but above all, we know what it is to find their bodies without life… It is difficult to ask the government for justice when it is the one responsible. How do you confront impunity? How do you confront a State that creates a false reality and that systematically produces criminals? How do you maintain hope? The answer is the unity of what we have suffered, the persecuted, the marginalized, those affected by the corrupt system.” The message spoke about two Mexicos, one corrupt, where the people sell their vote, founded in impunity and corruption; “that Mexico does not deserve not one drop of blood.” But there is another Mexico that beats in our hearts and asserts that this struggle is for reconquering what by law corresponds to us, justice, because “today the pain is yours, but the rage is everyone’s.”

The turn came for the Ayotzinapa compañeros. Don Mario, father of Cesar Manuel González expressed: “I am a father from an injured family that wants to recover his son. We didn’t know about this kind of event, we see the injustices and the struggles of the communities for lands and lakes.” He reiterated the demand that the government deliver the students alive because all “the times they say they have killed them, the government has fallen into the lie. We want justice for all the people who are dead in the [clandestine] graves… for the deaths in Juárez… We didn’t know that this came from the State…. We were under the illusion that Peña would receive us, but he is a puppet that to speak he needs them to put it on paper. He is not aware of the fact that he must speak for himself.” He made an invitation to the dinner with Peña Nieto in Los Pinos at night.

Doña Hilda, the mother of Jorge Antonio Tizapa thanked everyone for the affection with which they are received in each activity, and reiterated the request to the government that it delivers the students alive.

The inauguration closed with Omar García, a student at the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa. He asserted: “On September 26, nobody was looked for, not the ABC Day Care Centre, nor the Juárez dead;” all these injustices make this a complex movement and “there isn’t even a political project. But we are convinced that the country has to change, because of the criminalization of social mobilization, because of the plunder, the impunity, the corruption… These are the problems that must unite all of us; it must be converted into a point of no return… September 26 is not October 2, now the information is about everyone; we all know that it is the government… The State has its hands very involved, because they are the only ones that don’t leave a trace when they disappear a campesino, teacher or student… They were the ones, we saw them, they were uniformed… We are going to undertake the search and we are going to construct a new country, with the municipal councils… We want to demonstrate that we are not going to remain with our arms crossed… We do not dialogue with our executioners… This justice doesn’t work for us. We believe that all of you know and understand our words [and]… we don’t want sticking plasters, we want real medicines for this totally sick country.” Lastly he called for joining together, “the students and parents are very small taking on a very big problem. Don’t leave us alone! We all have to take change into our hands.”

Thus began the Festival, and in the different tents and scenarios artistic presentations and workshops were carried out about the different ways of resisting the capitalist economic model. Urban vegetable gardens for food sovereignty, ecological sanitary towels and nappies for reducing consumption and waste, belt weaving, engraving, painting and processes of self-management, among others. Out of diversity, the festival shows the different ways of constructing and acting collectively in the face of a system that divides and destroys.

[1] Charros are horsemen and a lienza charro is the place where a type of rodeo or show is held that involves the horsemen roping horses with lassos.


Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Friday, December 26, 2014




Translation: Chiapas Support Committee




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