zapatistas issues and solidarity movements

Submitted by vlanto on Wed, 2007-12-26 13:37.

Zapatista and Indigenous People’s struggles of the Americas and the World

Call Out

It has been just over 14 years since the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) and the Zapatista communities have self organized their autonomy using both the Fire and the Word, mostly a Word that has echoed in all parts of the world with the sounds of an inspiring rebellion.

Since the initiation of the Caracoles (the Conches - a way that the communities are organized in five groups according to their locations) and the Juntas de Buen Gobierno (Councils of Good Government - the Zapatista peoples own elected, but instantly recalled representatives) in August 2003, the Zapatista communities have self organized and managed their own health, education, justice, self governance, work cooperatives and gender equality, always in a manner of governing with obedience to the people and moving forwards by asking.

Since 2005 and with the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, the Zapatistas have started constructing networks of solidarity against the neoliberal capitalist attack against all of humanity and nature. Such networks, based upon respecting differences and using dialogue, are the Other Campaign in Mexico and the world (January 2006), meetings with Via Campesina (July 2007), American Indigenous Peoples meeting (October 2007) and meetings of the Zapatista peoples with the peoples of the world (January, July and December 2007), amongst others.

Many European collectives have been inspired since 1994 by the Zapatista struggle and this has led to solidarity projects that have helped in the construction of the Zapatista autonomy or inspired global processes such as the PGA itself.

Especially during the last year, the threats towards the autonomous Zapatista communities have increased significantly, along with increases in the number and camps of military special forces and paramilitary groups such as OPPDIC. In addition to this, the deliberate silence of the media over the increasing repression in Chiapas and the distance that the so called left political party of PRD has taken after the initiation of the Other Campaign in 2006 and the Zapatista proposal to search for another way to make politics that is non electoral, have taken their toll on the Zapatista communities and let the right wing PAN government of Felipe Calderon and the left PRD governor of the state of Chiapas Carlos Salinas attack the Zapatista bases of support.

At the same time, the movement of the Other Campaign is repressed throughout Mexico and the rebellion in Oaxaca and Atenco were violently repressed. As was seen in the Indigenous Peoples meeting of the Americas in Vicam and in the Second Meeting of the Zapatista peoples with the people of the world, the situation of increasing repression is the same throughout the Americas and the world against indigenous and rural movements such as the movement against the Winter Olympics in Canada, the struggles to keep the oil in the ground in Equador and the Niger Delta, against farmers’ and indigenous peoples’ movements such as the MST in Brazil and many more throughout the world as they were expressed by Via Campesina.

The need to get to know such struggles is evident as they are part of the global anticapitalist struggle, the fight for our Mother Earth and our right of self determination as peoples. The indigenous struggles of “Tierra y Territorio”, for land and territory, for land and freedom, have similar goals to the squatting movements, reclaiming the streets and many more struggles in European history of reclaiming the commons and protecting the Earth.

Solidarity to such struggles is our weapon, by building local creative resistances which construct our autonomy, along with communication and coordination with these struggles through common networks, as is proposed in the Sixth International that was created in the depths of the Lacandona jungle in Chiapas. This is the essence of the People’s Global Action network.

We need to come into contact with Indigenous struggles in the Americas and the world, to understand the essence of Zapatismo and to activate the Sixth International in Europe, and to build solidarity networks with the post capitalist communities that are being created or struggling to survive, right now all over the world in many different ways, and always from “Abajo y a la Izquierda”, from the bottom and to the left.