Statements of Support

**************

Twenty-nine Years of Dignified Resistance: An Echo in the Heartbeat of the People.

17th November 1983 to 17th November 2012

by the

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group

For the last five months, the largest international campaign to be organized in solidarity with the Zapatista support base communities in resistance (BAZ) for a very long time has been rolling out around the world. We, the Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, are pleased to have been able, along with many others in 25 countries, to contribute our grain of sand by helping to organize informative events and actions, disseminate news and information, and set up new groups, known as Committees of the True Word, to support our Zapatista brothers and sisters. In our small corner of the world we have been able to reach out to people not previously involved, and we know that, as a result of this joint effort in many places, many more people now know the history of the Zapatistas. As the Campaign says in its first Call to Action, “everyone should know this history of profound pain, hope, and inspiration.”

This history began in Chiapas on November 17th, 1983 and it was on the twenty-ninth anniversary of the founding of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, somewhere on top of a hill in the Lacandón Jungle, by 3 indigenous and 3 mestizos, that the enormous organizing effort that has been the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas” was finally wrapped up.

It is an anniversary that was not only celebrated in the hundreds of Zapatista support base communities throughout the mountains, canyons and jungles of the state of Chiapas in south-east Mexico, butt was also remembered among indigenous communities worldwide who are struggling for recognition of their land and traditions, by groups everywhere struggling against neoliberal displacement and dispossession, and by all people of good heart who work for democracy, liberty and justice. The Zapatista struggle has touched the hearts and awakened hope in people of all colors and continents.

As the “Worldwide Echo” Campaign has now come to a close, we from the Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group offer the following thoughts to mark where we have been and where we must continue to go. In particular, we hope all those who took part in the two stages find this of use.

The Campaign

Movement for Justice in El Barrio (MJB) is a majority Mexican immigrant women grassroots community organization that fights for dignity and against neoliberal displacement in El Barrio and beyond. They have a long history of supporting other communities and organizations that are part of The Other Campaign, including campaigns in solidarity with San Salvador Atenco and San Sebastián Bachajón, and they first planned the Echo campaign in response to an appeal made by the BAZ of the community of San Marcos Avilés, who are under siege from political party supporters backed by the local government.

The initial aims of the Echo campaign were “an end to the war against the Zapatistas of San Marcos Avilés, and immediate freedom for our Zapatista compañero Francisco Sántiz López”. The campaign was launched with the sending out of a stunning video message from the compas of San Marcos Avilés, telling of the nightmare situation they were, and still are, enduring, which provoked an enormous response. Our group have now shown this video seven times, to great effect.

Shortly afterwards, the war being waged by the three levels of the bad government of Mexico on the BAZ communities had extended to other communities, and the Campaign grew accordingly in order to offer support to all the communities under threat–a total of 6 by October. “It is absolutely clear”, states a declaration promoted by the campaign, “that the ongoing government repression being carried out against the BAZ of Comandante Abel, Unión Hidalgo, Guadalupe los Altos, San Marcos Avilés, Moisés Gandhi, and Jechvó, as well as the unjust imprisonment of the Zapatista political prisoner, Francisco Sántiz López, stem from the same source: the shared ambition and strategy of the municipal, state, and federal governments in their war of counterinsurgency to annihilate the indigenous Zapatistas.”

Background

The Mexican government’s war of attrition has remained the main strategy of its counterinsurgency efforts since 1994, when, under the ‘Chiapas 94 Campaign Plan’, a campaign was drawn up to displace the indigenous population, thus severing their ties from the land. It prescribed: “the forced displacement of the population under Zapatista influence into official shelters or refugee zones; neutralization of the San Cristóbal diocese; capture of Mexicans identified with the EZLN; expulsion of undesirable foreigners; death or control of equine and bovine livestock; destruction of planted and harvested crops, and use of ‘civil defence’ to break the support relationship that exists between the population and the transgressors of the law.”

This plan is currently being carried out through the use of paramilitary groups, or paramilitary-style attack groups, composed of local political party members, and armed, funded, trained and directed by the three levels of the Mexican government, with the aim of eradicating the entire Zapatista organization.

Paramilitary groups have a military structure, dress and operate as soldiers, and bear weapons which are for the exclusive use of the armed forces. They operate through daily threats and acts of harassment whose aim is to generate fear, attrition and stress in the community. The ultimate goal is to provoke a confrontation or to displace the community so as to crumble the foundation of the Zapatista movement: the BAZ.

“The bad government should hold its head in shame to claim that its police are there to safeguard order and social peace, when right in front of them robbery, threats, movement of paramilitaries, and the firing of heavy calibre weapons is carried out”, says the Good Government Junta from Caracol V, Robert Barrios. “What they should state clearly is that the police have been sent to protect the paramilitaries, so the latter can evict, pillage and steal the harvest of our Zapatista compañeros.”

In addition to the formation of paramilitary groups, the counterinsurgency, or civilian-targeted, war also manifests itself through measures including the military occupation of the indigenous territory of Chiapas, the injection of money through coercive social programmes, direct political persecution, the fabrication of charges, and the imprisonment of innocent members of the Zapatista bases of support.

Francisco

One of the latter is Francisco Sántiz López, from the ejido of Banavil. The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba) assert that human rights violations have been committed against Francisco, including: lack of an adequate defence and access to justice, not having a translator or a legal defender who knew his language and culture to assist him, violations of due process, and violations of the principle of presumption of innocence. For these reasons they have filed an appeal for legal protection for Francisco and requested his immediate release, stating very clearly:

“We believe that the case of Francisco is an example of the Mexican state using the system for the prosecution and delivery of justice to criminalize the support bases of the Zapatista National Liberation Army, as a consequence of their exercise of the right to self-determination and autonomy, based on the Agreement of San Andrés and national reference points established in Article 2 of the Constitution of the Republic, as well as the international benchmarks ILO Convention no 169 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

The current situation

In the face of the historical process of repression, the difference made by the campaign is principally one of increased knowledge and awareness. The perpetrators of repression now know they are being watched and monitored, and that the news of their actions will be rapidly disseminated amongst what has become a multi-country support network of new and veteran activists, organizers, and communities. All around the world, in countries from Korea to Argentina, people have grown aware of the situation. They are watching. Thousands now know about the Zapatistas and the attacks they are facing–many with no prior knowledge–and are creating new ways to offer solidarity to their compas in resistance.

Additionally, our brothers and sisters, the Zapatistas, know full well that they are not alone; that international solidarity, inspired by their struggle, is reaching out to them; that as they celebrate 29 years of the EZLN, strong in the belief that they will never give up, never surrender, there are hands held out to them across the oceans of the world.

In a recent communiqué, following acts of harassment denying the BAZ of Jechvó access to their own water supply, the Good Government Junta of Oventic declared: “We want to make clear to the 3 levels of bad government, the officials and their people who they have paid, controlled and manipulated, that they should not think that, with provocations, threats, assaults and persecutions, they will stop the struggle of the Zapatista peoples, the struggle of all the original peoples from all over Mexico for the construction of our autonomy, self-determination as indigenous people and national liberation; whatever it costs us, no matter what happens, we will continue onwards, because dignity, reason and justice are on our side.”

Support

As the campaign drew to a close, actions and events continued to be organized on a daily basis, and messages of support continued to arrive from all over the world, from young people in the Basque Country to indigenous students in Canada, from the streets of Calcutta to the mountains of Colombia. Likewise, some of the campaign’s more well-known supporters sent new statements backing the Campaign. Here are extracts from a few of the messages we have found particularly moving:

Hugo Blanco, Peruvian social activist and editor of Lucha Indígena:

“There is a campaign by the system governed by the 1% to crush this island of democratic self-government, so that it will not serve as an example to the world that this is both possible and healthy.

Their instruments are the governments of Mexico and the state of Chiapas, political parties, criminal gangs and even campesinos who want to get land easily and with the protection of those from above.

It is therefore both an obligation and in the direct interests of all of us who are seeking a new world, of all who want a horizontal society in solidarity, of all who understand that the 1% is leading us to the extinction of the human species and who are committed to its survival; we must organize with all our strength and collective intelligence, in the defense of this island of freedom and democracy in Chiapas, which shows us that building another world, a world where there is room for many worlds, is truly possible.”

Raul Zibechi, Uruguayan thinker, activist, and writer:

“Hundreds of families are being besieged by paramilitary groups, with the unconcealed aim of putting an end to one of the most remarkable examples in the world of the power of those from below.

They will not succeed. Due the strength of the communities which have sustained for decades their project of life, despite repression, death, hunger and isolation.

They will not succeed, because Zapatismo is the seed which grew from the Ya Basta of January 1, 1994. Because it was rooted in the hearts of millions in the March of the Color of the Earth and it returned stubbornly to fight for life with the Other Campaign.

Zapatismo is indestructible among the many from below who struggle to continue being, who work every day to build a new and different world.

All solidarity with the besieged communities.

Let every heart beat together, intoning the mutual support among those from below, celebrating the joining of all the struggles, of all the other worlds.”

Dr Sylvia Marcos, Mexican feminist, thinker and activist:

“The indigenous peoples appear too often as the object of “help”, “development”, “education” and not as what they are, subjects from whom we can learn and who have already opened a new path which has illuminated hope under so many skies of this world.

This path is today a living possibility, which is manifested in a sustained peaceful resistance which we in the cities, the mestizos, can only admire. Why is there so much fear, on the part of the powers, both governmental and de facto? Why, among other things, this concentration on aggression, this excess of violence? Why?

We know that the paramilitaries are armed with the consent of the three levels of government: federal, state and municipal. So the attacks on the Zapatista support bases raise a crucial question…….

What are they afraid of to make them deploy such destructive force?

What is the danger from the proposal, the resistance and the survival of the Zapatistas for the prevailing capitalist order?

Is it because they show positively that other ways of life, in justice and dignity, are possible? That the satisfactions of life and the joy of being need not be governed by consumerism and commodification? That we can “live well”, as they say in the Andean communities of South America, with other ways of organization, government and campesino production, in which the best way of living is not the accumulation of material goods, but community solidarity and sharing what there is?”

Gustavo Esteva, well-known writer and activist

“The Zapatistas gave us Zapatismo, which now no longer belongs to them.

They gave us hope again, as a social movement, and affirmed for us the value of dignity.

Zapatismo today is a force which travels the world and transforms it. It is always local, and always open to the world, linking all our struggles in coalitions of the discontented and the rebellious.

Adopting Zapatismo as our own, as a new attitude which links us together in these dark times, does not mean forgetting the Zapatistas. Not only do they continue to be a source of inspiration. They have become an effective demonstration of that sense of the possibility of transformation which surrounds us. This has made them the subject of ongoing attacks which try to destroy them or at least to suffocate them, to stop them. For this reason they demand our solidarity.

One of the more radical positions of the Zapatistas has been to argue that they are simply ordinary men and women and therefore are rebels, nonconformists, dreamers. This underscores the fact that Zapatismo is not the work of leaders, vanguards or parties, but of the common people. It is a hugely important political position which still today defines the Zapatistas…..

We must act. We need to continually express our solidarity with the whole Zapatista project, but particularly with the communities which at this moment are exposed to direct and daily more intense aggression. We need to extend this campaign which embraces them.”

Next steps

We have great admiration and respect for the Movement for Justice in El Barrio, and would like to thank them for putting such tremendous efforts into inspiring and launching our collective Campaign. Indeed, as they state: “The government and its people have their strategies, their violence, their terror. But we state here that we also have an option in the face of so much repression: we have the option to organize ourselves and to fight for justice, dignity, and autonomy.”

Although the Echo Campaign has now come to an end, we must not relax our vigilance. The BAZ communities face great risks and remain vulnerable to new threats as they enter their twentieth year in resistance, and the thirtieth year since the founding of the EZLN. We must continue to organize in their support and for our own liberation(s). The newly formed Committees of the True Word must continue their work, walking the word through the world in opposition to the repression and in support of the other world we need.

Why? Perhaps it is best to allow our compa Hugo Blanco to respond: “The Zapatista zone is a living example that ‘another world is possible’. This other world is not only possible but urgent, in order to maintain the survival of the human species.”

*************

“Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas”

https://sanmarcosavilesen.wordpress.com/

NEW LETTER FROM GUSTAVO ESTEVA ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE ZAPATISTAS

Compañeras and compañeros:

The simple and humble people of El Barrio, New York, greet and embrace you.

At this time and through this letter, we want to share with you some new words written by our brother, the well-known Mexican thinker and activist, Gustavo Esteva, as part of the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas”.

This letter has a very distinct nature, very other, which feels like a rebellious affection, strong, and full of solidarity. As if it came straight from the heart.

In this way, our brother Gustavo gives us a piece of writing full of life and wisdom and truth, answering the questions, “what is Zapatismo?” and “why be in solidarity with Zapatistas?”

As he explains: “one of the most radical positions of the Zapatistas has been to argue that they are, simply, ordinary men and women and therefore are rebels, nonconformists, dreamers”. Being migrants, displaced from our beloved Mexico, these words touched our hearts, and we know that each one of you will find in them your own truth. This is an essential part of the Zapatismo which all of us in this campaign have put into practice.

With memory, with truth, with our many differences, we will continue breaking borders, boundaries, walls, and any other division imposed by those from above, so as to continue building a new world.

With these thoughts, we offer you here the full text of the new letter from Gustavo Esteva. We ask you to disseminate it very widely.

NEW LETTER FROM GUSTAVO ESTEVA ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE ZAPATISTAS

The Zapatistas gave us Zapatismo, which now no longer belongs to them.

They gave us hope again, as a social movement, and affirmed for us the value of dignity.

Zapatismo today is a force which travels the world and transforms it. It is always local, and always open to the world, linking all our struggles in coalitions of the discontented and the rebellious.

Adopting Zapatismo as our own, as a new attitude which links us together in these dark times, does not mean forgetting the Zapatistas. Not only do they continue to be a source of inspiration. They have become an effective demonstration of that sense of the possibility of transformation which surrounds us. This has made them the subject of ongoing attacks which try to destroy them or at least to suffocate them, to stop them. For this reason they demand our solidarity.

One of the more radical positions of the Zapatistas has been to argue that they are simply ordinary men and women and therefore are rebels, nonconformists, dreamers. This underscores the fact that Zapatismo is not the work of leaders, vanguards or parties, but of the common people. It is a hugely important political position which still today defines the Zapatistas.

As we celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, we must not forget the extraordinary actions of those who created it. It is important, in particular, to highlight a central legacy of Zapatismo: it was from the beginning an intercultural creation which was built through interaction. The Zapatistas have created a community which is always learning and which is continually transformed by linking with others.

At this anniversary celebration, honoring especially the memory of those who lost their lives in this undertaking, we need to emphasize that the Zapatista communities today need our solidarity. At the same time as they are consolidating their achievements, the bad governments are intensifying their actions to undermine their successes, to dismantle their institutions, to block their path. They are increasingly using paramilitary groups which carry out direct attacks, supported by local groups of campesinos, indigenous and non-indigenous, who try to seize the assets of the Zapatista communities and even their land. The repressive actions of the bad governments are passed off as inter-community conflicts.

We must act. We need to continually express our solidarity with the whole Zapatista project, but particularly with the communities which at this moment are exposed to direct and daily more intense aggression. We need to extend this campaign which embraces them.

Comandante Abel, present

Autonomous Municipality of San Pedro de Michoacán, present

Community of Jechvó, present

Unión Hidalgo, present

San Marcos Avilés, present

Moisés Gandhi, present

You are not alone, compañeras, compañeros

We are here.

We celebrate with you your anniversary, your life, your strength, your dignity.

San Pablo Etla, November 2012

Gustavo Esteva

*************

“Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas”

https://sanmarcosavilesen.wordpress.com/

NEW LETTER FROM SYLVIA MARCOS: THE BIRTH OF THE ZAPATISTAS

Compañeras and compañeros:

We send you greetings and affectionate embraces from El Barrio, New York.

Movement for Justice in El Barrio are full of enthusiasm to share with you a new statement which has been sent to the campaign “Worldwide Echo in support of the Zapatistas.” This statement comes from the great Mexican feminist and thinker-activist Dr. Sylvia Marcos.

Throughout these almost five months of solidarity struggle and worldwide organization, we have received numerous statements in support of our Zapatista sisters and brothers, from some of the thinkers who are most committed to social movements. Together, these documents provide a host of new ideas, political concepts, and words that give voice to what we know sometimes in our hearts. Together, they reject the lies and distortion of our common realities which are promoted by the media and the spokespeople from above.

As part of the strategy of the campaign, in particular “Walking the True Word”, these dignified words have arrived to protect the memory reflecting on the basic question: “why solidarity with the Zapatistas?”

Following in this vein, with great precision, clarity, and emotion, Dr. Sylvia Marcos gives us some pages full of wisdom, power, and truth. Explaining the reasons why it is urgent for us to give our solidarity to the struggle of the indigenous Zapatistas in Chiapas, it becomes obvious that these ideas have been developing for many years. Concluding the reflection, she leaves us with questions that invite us to answer in the most important way: action.

Without any more words, we leave you with this urgent missive from the compañera Dr. Sylvia Marcos.

Please make them fly.

With love and solidarity,

Movement for Justice in El Barrio
The Other Campaign New York

The birth of the EZLN

Sylvia Marcos

Having accompanied Zapatismo for all this time, before one more of its anniversaries, when many communities of Zapatista support bases are suffering concerted aggressions and attacks, I raise my voice:

I remember my walking throughout these years at the side of the Zapatistas.

I try to imagine the profound creative process that those extraordinary beings went through, those who first committed to meet with the struggles for justice already existing in the Chiapas jungle. No, they did not get the chance to “teach them” how to make the revolution. Neither did they train them in how to seize power by force of arms. They managed to put their previous training aside, the strict frameworks of the theories and practices of struggle which they had learned before arriving. Here with the unsubmissive and rebellious Maya, it was necessary to learn other ways. As Marcos, one of them, said several times, “we realized not only that did they not understand us, but also that their proposal was better.”

As a result of this opening up, the search for justice became more complex, it became peaceful, expressed through Mayan symbols, and Mayan expressions translated into Spanish.

So the struggles were enriched and could embody the unexpected new phenomenon that had surprised the world. This name of this phenomenon, which was and continues to be a reality lived and practiced, a sign that another world is possible, one which you can speak of with hope, is the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), in its civil manifestation the Caracoles of autonomous government. It is an army which proposes peaceful resistance, which makes decisions by consensus and horizontally, which has no interest in taking “power”, and which encourages and promotes the participation of women.

Those from above do not understand, because it is a reality which cannot be seen from above. For those who make politics from above, the Zapatista movement is a mass of absurdities, in the best case, an unexplained paradox. These paradoxes are made clear in the eyes of those who see things from below; they are transformed into the best way to understand the profound significance of the Zapatistas. The metaphorical wealth, the deep philosophical symbolism and the Zapatista ceremonies are all strongly rooted in Mayan and Mesoamerican cosmovisions. The Sup is a translator who was able to use his obvious poetic talent in the service of this way of being in the world and its expression in Spanish.

What is really surprising is that these beings, these urban and university based people, when meeting the Maya communities managed to respect, understand and comply with the teachings of an “old Antonio”, for example. They welcomed and incorporated them into their proposal, so entering into a profound relationship in relation to the vision and way of being of the Mesoamerican worlds. They knew how to rid themselves of every trace of discrimination, something that disfigures political speeches on the left, in which the indigenous peoples appear too often as the object of “help”, “development”, “education” and not as what they are, subjects from whom we can learn and who have already opened a new path which has illuminated hope under so many skies of this world.

This path is today a living possibility, which is manifested in a sustained peaceful resistance which we in the cities, the mestizos, can only admire. Why is there so much fear, on the part of the powers, both governmental and de facto? Why, among other things, this concentration on aggression, this excess of violence? Why?

We know that the paramilitaries are armed with the consent of the three levels of government: federal, state and municipal. So the attacks on the Zapatista support bases raise a crucial question. The attacks are on these, the BAZ who live and thrive in the alternative and autonomous Zapatista civil proposal. Communities such as Comandante Abel, Unión Hidalgo, Guadalupe los Altos, San Marcos Aviles, Moisés Gandhi and also Jechvó. And almost simultaneously they all suffer armed displacement, sexual assault, destruction of their autonomous schools, violent attacks, invasion of their lands and territories.

What are they afraid of to make them deploy such destructive force?

What is the danger from the proposal, the resistance and the survival of the Zapatistas for the prevailing capitalist order?

Is it because they show positively that other forms of life, in justice and dignity, are possible? That the satisfactions of life and the joy of being need not be governed by consumerism and commodification? That we can “live well”, as they say in the Andean communities of South America, with other ways of organization, government and campesino production, in which the best way of living is not the accumulation of material goods, but community solidarity and sharing what there is?

Here I leave my questions, waiting for blunt and honest answers, coming from many corners of the world to explain the destructiveness of these criminal attacks which are also killing our hope.

Sylvia Marcos

November 17, 2012

**************

International Campaign:

“Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas”

https://sanmarcosavilesen.wordpress.com/

NEW LETTER FROM RAÚL ZIBECHI

“Zapatismo is indestructible amongst the many from below who fight to continue being, who work every day to build a new and different world… All solidarity with the besieged communities.” – Raúl Zibechi

Compañeras and compañeros:

Receive warm greetings and embraces from Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The Other Campaign New York.

As part of the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatista” campaign, this entire week we will be sending out very special pronouncements from different corners of the world to celebrate the anniversary of the Zapatistas on November 17th.

By way of the following, with great pride and enthusiasm, we share a few powerful and important words that has been sent to us by our compañero Raúl Zibechi, who has consistently supported the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas” Campaign since its very beginning.

Against the pessimistic tendencies and ignorant discourses emerging from certain “intellectual” circles which state that Zapatismo no longer exists or is an isolated phenomenon, this new reflection by the renowned Uruguayan thinker-activist and writer strongly enriches the conversation on the urgent situation besieging the Zapatista Support Base communities (BAZ). Beginning with a brief recount on his experience visiting the Francisco Villa Independent Popular Front in Mexico, Zibechi reaffirms the both historic and contemporary importance that our Zapatista compas hold in our movements, communities, and in the world at large. Our compa Zibechi explains that these problematic ideas arise, in part, from the point of view of those that see “from above.”

Meanwhile, those of us from below continue to demonstrate that Zapatismo remains fully alive, particularly during these moments when the bad governments and their lackeys are intensifying their acts of repression and violence against the Zapatista communities. The following letter by Raúl Zibechi gives voice to this clear truth and encouragement to our hearts. As he concludes his note, “May all the hearts beat together, intoning the mutual support between those from below, celebrating the twinning of all the struggles, of all the “other” worlds.”

Here is the latest letter by Raúl Zibechi in its entirety:

A New Dawn

To the compañeros and compañeras of the Zapatista communities under siege from the repression and the paramilitaries.

A few days ago I returned from Mexico. Unlike other trips, this time I concentrated on the Federal District, where I was able to visit urban communities such as Acapatzingo, of the Independent Popular Front Francisco Villa (FPFVI). To my surprise, in this urban space, where 596 families live, we can see functioning a kind of popular power, or whatever we choose to call that form of community life where decisions are taken by everyone, and neither the government nor its armed units are in charge.

During those days the compas started a seminar on capitalism, socialism and autonomy, with great participation from their neighbours, especially the women, young women with children, women workers and activists, and a handful of men. We shared breakfast and lunch, conversations and spaces such as the nursery (which is fighting for food autonomy), the community radio, and spaces for children, young people and elders. In a short time they will have buildings for the secondary school and the health clinic. I must say that this is one of the most powerful urban other worlds that I am aware of in Latin America, with high levels of organization, awareness and participation. I am not saying that it is the only one, but I can assure you is one of the most consistent I know about. Somehow, it is a kind of urban caracol. I feel that it belongs to the same type of construction as Zapatismo in Chiapas, beyond all the differences and particularities.

In the days I spent in Mexico City, I was struck by the prevalence (among the urban middle classes, the analysts of above and much of the institutional left) of political positions which affirm (using these words more or less) that “Zapatismo is now isolated in Chiapas and no longer exerts any influence on Mexican society”. Some even believe that Zapatistmo no longer exists, while others believe that it has lost all validity. Who has not heard this discourse in recent years!

The urban community of Acapatzingo is the best proof that these ideas are deeply mistaken. Those who think this way do not see beyond the moment, usually the electoral moment. They tend to give political value to whatever attracts votes and media attention. They do not hear the heartbeats of the different belows, those who struggle in Cherán and in Huesca, to name just a couple of examples among those they could listen to and learn from.

There is another typically leftist and intellectual trend, as petty as the previous one, which considers that Zapatismo is the communiqués of the EZLN (even better if they are signed by Subcomandante Marcos), which focuses the Zapatista movement on the acts and public appearances of the comandantes, and little else. In this field of vision the caracoles and good government juntas scarcely appear. Even less the communities. The common people, those who really make history, are just a distant reference, a note at the foot of the page, a nebulous photo serving as a backdrop to the leaders. This view from above is the one which believes that Zapatismo has lost its validity.

This is why, in these days when dozens of communities and support bases are being attacked, as has happened to the compañeros of Unión Hidalgo, Comandante Abel, Guadalupe los Altos, San Marcos Avilés, Jechvó and Moisés Gandhi, almost no news or analysis is heard about these new military offensives against those from below. Hundreds of families are being besieged by paramilitary groups, with the unconcealed aim of putting an end to one of the most remarkable examples in the world of the power of those from below.

They will not succeed. Due the strength of the communities which have sustained for decades their project of life, despite repression, death, hunger and isolation.

They will not succeed, because Zapatismo is the seed which grew from the Ya Basta of January 1, 1994. Because it was rooted in the hearts of millions in the March of the Colour of the Earth and it returned stubbornly to fight for life with the Other Campaign.

Zapatismo is indestructible among the many from below who struggle to continue to exist, working every day to build a new and different world.

All solidarity with the besieged communities.

Let every heart beat together, chanting mutual support among those from below, celebrating the joining of all the struggles, of all the other worlds.

Raúl Zibechi

Montevideo, November 5 2012

***************

 

“Eco Mundial en Apoyo a l@s Zapatistas”
http://sanmarcosaviles.wordpress.com/


Numerous Groups of the #YoSoy132 Movement Issue Public Support
for the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas” Campaign

Compañeras and compañeros:


Receive warm greetings and embraces on behalf of Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The Other Campaign New York. We are writing to share with you the latest news on our worldwide campaign:

Day after day new voices join our efforts to express their rage at the acts of repression meted out against the Zapatista communities by the bad government of Mexico—motivated by the realization that our struggles, though distinct, are rooted in the same soil and confront the same enemy.

That said, we wish to announce that various groups, and assemblies of Yo Soy 132 have received the call issued by our Zapatista compas, and have thereby joined the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas” Campaign. In this way, these national and international collectives of Yo Soy 132 have taken on our dignified demands of freedom for Francisco Sántiz López and justice for the Zapatista Support Bases who are presently under siege by forces of the repressive government of Mexico.

In the words of the Yo Soy 132 collective from the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua:

“The Zapatistas are not alone, we are with them; the struggle for a better México belongs to everyone… We have become tired of the current situation of our indigenous brothers and sisters of Mexico, and for this reason, we have decided to stand in solidarity and raise our voice in their support… With this we also say “enough of so much injustice!” that the Government has created since the Zapatista uprising; we know that once we disturb the government, we must struggle constantly to resist.”

Solidarity is our principal tool to continue building our organizing networks based on mutual support, and to continue the work of bringing down the border walls, at the local, national, and global levels, which those from above impose upon us to keep us divided. It is, in sum, clear that we shall continue building internally and externally to support the Zapatista resistance.

That being said, compas, the following is the list of the cells, groups, and assemblies of Yo Soy 132 that have joined the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas” Campaign:

Yo Soy 132 of Campeche, assemblies of: San Fco. de Campeche, Cd. del Carmen, Escárcega and Camino Real.

Yo Soy 132 Chihuahua, Chihuahua

Yo Soy 132 Wuppertal, Germany

Yo Soy 132 Barcelona, Spain

Yo Soy 132 Chile

Yo Soy 132 – Montreal, Canada

Yo Soy 132 – Munich, Germany

Yo Soy 132 – London, England

Yo Soy 132 – Chicago, USA

Indigenous Languages Circulation Group of #Yo Soy 132

From El Barrio, New York…


Movement for Justice in El Barrio

The Other Campaign New York

**************

Statement from the UK Zapatista Solidarity Network

The UK Zapatista Solidarity Network welcomes the new Call to Action from the “Worldwide Echo in support of the Zapatistas” campaign. The Network offers its full support both to the Campaign, and to its Second Phase “from truth to action: stopping the repression”, which starts on 12th October.

In view of the alarming increase in levels of violence, the complete impunity with which the attacks are being carried out, and the threats to the lives and personal integrity of the Zapatista support bases, we believe it is imperative for us all to take action in whatever way we can.

UK Zapatista Solidarity Network                                                  October 2012

Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group

Kiptik

London Mexico Solidarity Group
Manchester Zapatista Solidarity Group

West Yorkshire Chiapas Solidarity Group

**************

Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) Joins its Voice to the

“Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas” Campaign

 

On behalf of the immigrant women of Movement for Justice in El Barrio, it is an honor to share with you the following statement of solidarity sent to us from our sisters and compañeras at Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE). Born in 2007 in New York City, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) is a leading grassroots women’s organization that fights against oppression at the global and local levels by connecting the “Filipino diaspora to the women’s struggle in the Philippines.” FiRE organizes both immigrant and non-immigrant Filipinas “across class, gender, sexual identity, and age lines” to lead their own struggle for justice and against imperialism. In this powerful statement, our compañeras from FiRE issue a clear and resounding message of solidarity, hope, and struggle to our Zapatista compañer@s who are facing severe government-backed repression. As women of color and immigrants from a country that has endured a similar history of colonization, imperialism, and repression, our compañeras from FiRE affirm that “As political repression continues, we must stand and fight together against such atrocities. We are stronger united in our shared struggle.” With this statement, our campaign, and the global struggle for justice of which it is a part, reaches new heights. The struggles of those from below, in particular women, are strengthened each time they meet and share. Long live solidarity amongst those from below! Long live our compañeras of the Philippines! Long live the indigenous peoples of the world!

Here is their statement:

 

In response to the Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas.

To our brothers and sisters of Zapatista communities in Mexico:

Warm militant greetings from the women of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) – GABRIELA USA in New York City!

We express our sincere and heartfelt solidarity to our brothers and sisters of the Zapatista communities in Mexico that have suffered government repression through displacement and imprisonment. The Mexican government targets these indigenous communities because Zapatistas are building an alternative form of living where people have sovereignty over the land and pursue justice for indigenous people.

To our companeras and companeros of San Marcos Aviles who were displaced for over a month from their community, we stand together with you in your fight against the corrupt government that imposes such cruelty. To our companeras and companeros in prison due to trumped up charges especially Francisco Santiz Lopez, we will spread the truth and demand your freedom.

In response to these acts of injustice and outright brutality – we vow to fight against these forms of violence. The Mexican government has no right to threaten the indigenous communities and their people.

Your struggle is our struggle. In our homeland, we suffer similar repressive conditions at the hands of the Philippine army and government. Since 2001, hundreds of Filipino men and women have been abducted, killed, tortured, imprisoned, and displaced by the Philippine military that is largely financed by US imperialists – and still to this day no justice has been served for these crimes. The victims of government repression are organizing and resisting like the Zapatistas, creating and building communities and fighting for justice and social and economic reforms.

As political repression continues, we must stand and fight together against such atrocities. We are stronger united in our shared struggle.

MAKIBAKA! HUWAG MATAKOT! (Struggle! Do not be scared!)

LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!

From your sisters of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE)– GABRIELA USA

**************

“Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas”

https://sanmarcosavilesen.wordpress.com/ 

FROM SOUTH AFRICA: VIDEO MESSAGE IN SUPPORT OF THE ZAPATISTAS

 

In a powerful new video message, Zodwa and Mnikelo, members of South Africa’s largest grassroots movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo (the Shack Dwellers Movement), send heart-felt messages of hope and solidarity to the numerous Zapatista communities currently facing severe government-backed repression, to the Zapatista political prisoner Francisco Sántiz López, to the women Zapatista, and to the women of the world. Deeply familiar with the destructive and painful impact of repression, since its founding in 2005, the Shack Dwellers Movement has itself endured constant attacks, including forced displacement, arbitrary arrests, destruction of property, and even deaths, orchestrated by forces of the local government. Reflecting on these experiences, our compas from South Africa affirm that since the primary goal of all repression is to break our bonds as movements and communities, we must stay united and firm in our commitments and see our struggles as one.

On behalf of Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The Other Campaign New York, it is with great pleasure that we share this video-message with you. We ask that you please share and circulate this message as widely as possible. Thank you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMmwS4ju1PU&feature=youtu.be

***************

************

“Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas”

NOAM CHOMSKY STANDS WITH THE “WORLDWIDE ECHO” CAMPAIGN FOR THE ZAPATISTAS


In a recent statement the world-renowned writer, linguist, and political commentator, Noam Chomsky, issues his public support for the campaign “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas.” The campaign, which has rapidly spread throughout cities and communities around the globe, seeks to mobilize support and solidarity for the Zapatista support bases of the Comandante Abel, Unión Hidalgo, San Marcos Avilés and Moisés Gandhi communities currently suffering severe aggression at the hands of local, government-backed attack groups – and the Zapatista political prisoner, Francisco Sántiz López, who has remained unjustly imprisoned since December 2011 under false charges. These attacks stem from the current wave of government repression against the Zapatista movement, which encompasses thousands of indigenous communities in resistance throughout the Mexican state of Chiapas. As Chomsky writes:

“It is very disturbing to learn of the attacks underway, and planned, against the Autonomous Zapatista Community of San Marcos Avilés and in particular against the Zapatista political prisoner Francisco Sántiz López. I would like to join in support of the campaign “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas,” and of all of those who are standing up courageously to oppose the repression, and who are calling for justice and freedom for the endangered communities and individuals subjected to persecution and serious threats.”

To find out how to support the “Worldwide Echo” campaign, and for the latest on the situation:

1. Write to
laotranuevayork@yahoo.com

2. Visit the Worldwide Echo Campaign website at
https://sanmarcosavilesen.wordpress.com/

3. Watch the video-message from the Zapatistas of San Marcos Avilés: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY-8CBt3Vkg

***************

“Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas:
Freedom and Justice for
San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López”

https://sanmarcosavilesen.wordpress.com/

SYLVIA MARCOS TO ZAPATISTA WOMEN:


“THE WOMEN OF MEXICO JOIN YOUR STRONG AND DETERMINED STRUGGLE”

In a moving and crucial letter, Dr Sylvia Marcos adds her voice and the voices of all Mexican women to the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas: Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López” Campaign, demanding in burning words an end to the aggression against the Zapatista project and the immediate release of Sántiz López.

The great Mexican thinker, academic, and feminist—known worldwide for her numerous articles and books on gender, Mesoamerican religions, and indigenous knowledge in Mexico—addresses directly the women of the Zapatista movement in the following statement. She writes that the dignified women of Mexico are on their side, as they see “in the Zapatista women the model of being a woman who defends her rights without forgetting to support the collective rights of her people.”

Author of the recently published book Women, Indigenous, Rebels, Zapatistas, Dr Marcos expresses her hope that the “cry” emanating from around the world manages to stop “the aggressions against the autonomous education project and against all the ways of life of the Zapatista organization,” as “autonomous education forms the new beings who will make this other world a reality.”

These words serve as an important reminder that what the Zapatista project offers extends beyond the jungles of Chiapas; it holds significance for the entire world. Leading the construction of this project are the indigenous zapatista women.

On behalf of all the women who lead Movement for Justice in El Barrio, it is with great pride that we share the full letter from Dr Sylvia Marcos.

Long Live the Zapatista Women! Long Live the Women of the World!

Message from Dr. Sylvia Marcos for the Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas: Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López

Dear compañeros,

I am totally outraged by the situation of violence and repression that exists in the Zapatista community of San Marcos Avilés, and by the situation facing the compañero political prisoner Francisco Sántiz Lόpez.

Here’s my message for the Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas: Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López.

Compañeras women and men of the world,

The Zapatista women, brave and rebel compañeras, are defending the legacy of Zapatista autonomous education; and from here, the women of Mexico join their strong and determined struggle.

They can count on our support as they continue building the world we all long for.

We can glimpse the daily and painful struggles which are facing our Zapatista compañeras and we join together with them.

We demand an end to the acts of aggression from the enemies of this educational, social and political Zapatista project which gives hope, especially to women, who see in the Zapatista women the model of being a woman who defends her rights without forgetting to support the collective rights of her people.

You must know, Zapatistas compañeras, that your project is the hope and the light on the road to the construction of an “other” world, where it can become a reality that “we are equal because we are different”, as you yourselves have said.

We support them and we hope that the cry emanating from around the world will stop the aggressions against the autonomous education project and against all the ways of life of the Zapatista organization. In San Marcos Avilés, Zapatista support base, a way of life is being put in action which makes possible today the worlds to come which we all wish for: Worlds where justice, dignity and peace and gender harmony can be experienced and made possible. Autonomous education forms the new beings who will make this other world a reality.

And the unjustly imprisoned Zapatista compañero Francisco Sántiz Lόpez must be freed.

Sylvia Marcos

*************

“Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas:
Freedom and Justice for
San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López”

“THE TIME FOR RESISTANCE AND SOLIDARITY”:

GUSTAVO ESTEVA SENDS NEW LETTER
SUPPORTING SAN MARCOS AVILÉS AND FRANCISCO SÁNTIZ LÓPEZ

“It is urgent to show ourselves at the side of our compañeros in San Marcos Avilés. The threat is immediate. The Committees of the True Word must make ourselves known in every way we can, to show clearly the strength of our solidarity.”

– Gustavo Esteva

Compañeras and compañeros:

From Oaxaca, Mexico, as part of the first phase of the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas: Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López” Campaign, the long-time Mexican intellectual and activist Gustavo Esteva sends us a critical and poetic reflection that lays bare the reasons we must support and stand in solidarity with the Zapatista resistance. In his moving piece, titled “The Time for Resistance and Solidarity,” which incorporates quotes from the Zapatistas themselves, our compa Gustavo gives language to what we know instinctively, as a feeling. The dignified resistance of the Zapatistas is not some isolated or distant thing, as Gustavo explains, but rather a movement of dignified people that unites us. It is directly relevant to all of us. Therefore, we must defend it; we must defend ourselves.

With great pride, we share here this beautiful letter in its entirety:

THE TIME FOR RESISTANCE AND SOLIDARITY
Gustavo Esteva

“Struggling together, the colour of our skin is not important, what matters is the content of our hearts,” they told us in the Good Government Council, somewhere in the Mexican southeast, in the month of September 2012, as the true word continues walking for our compañero Francisco Sántiz López and for the compañeros of San Marcos Avilés.

Struggling together, because that is the only way we are able to confront those who are doing everything in their power to disrupt our initiatives, our livelihoods, our organization, our autonomy.

It is more than ten years now since our Zapatista compañeros told us this clearly, but it seems that at that time we could not hear them. We did not see then with the clarity we have now that we are in World War IV. It is not a war between countries. It is a war of those from above against those from below. Because we, those from below, are now walking in rebellion; because we have been saying “enough!” ever since the first of January 1994, when the Zapatista uprising awoke us. Because we are no longer willing to let them continue to destroy our Mother Earth, and to continue to kill and imprison us. Because we have organized ourselves now, and we are building alternatives. For these and many other reasons they have unleashed a continuous war against us, from outside and inside, making it more and more difficult for us to live. They want to turn the whole world into a prison. The market has already got used to the new situation. It operates within a war scenario and trades everything on the stock market, leading to uncertainty. But the people do not get used to it. And we resist.

“Resistance is no longer just a word,” they said to us at the Junta. “Before, we thought it was easy, we thought it was no more than just enduring. Now we know that it is the only way, the way to show that life is not made with money, but with the resistance with which we live and work. Now we do not often speak of resistance in our communities, because we have become accustomed to it. But we see resistance where the bad government comes to beat us, with attacks by paramilitaries, here yes we see resistance because we have to care for what is ours, because if we give up the resistance even a little we will give a space to the bad government to take away what we have, and we are not going to go back on what we have built. We know that some people do not like us to organize, and for this reason many things happen, they attack us, but never mind, each of us is still here, safe and happy, if something happens to us there are other compas waiting behind us. Despite this, there we see that we are living a quiet life with our brothers and sisters, and that is where we see the resistance. Resistance is the place where we do what we want without asking permission from anyone, and so we say that there are many resistances. We do not have a timetable for the resistance or a set time. We will never come to an end, we know that we will not give up, even if they kill us, because our word will continue.”

“We are finding that there are many like us, for nobody teaches us what we are going to do, and so what matters most is unity, the best way to build the world where many worlds fit is through unity, to be and to want to be together, although we are different. It gives us great pleasure when we hear of the struggles of other countries and places. To be fighters we have to be ready and willing, not only for prison but also for death. But if this is what we want, then let us continue. This is the only way we can go, there is no other way.”

Both Francisco Sántiz López and San Marcos Avilés are frontlines in this great war that escalates daily in the Zapatista communities, because their resistance is walking onwards, because every day they affirm themselves in their autonomy, consolidate their achievements and take them even further. The bad government watches how the Zapatista resistance is enriched, how they extend their own ways of learning and justice and health and all their modes of living and how, despite everything that is done against them, the new social reality, which is the foundation for a different mode of existence, spreads and is strengthened. The attacks are not directed against weakness, or against something sad or dead. They attack all that flourishes, all that is robust, and all that serves as an example and is a source of inspiration.

You might think that these attacks are very distant, that they occur over there in some small community in the highlands of Chiapas, where they think no one will ever witness the horror of this attack unleashed against those who just want to continue to live in their own way, in the construction of their autonomy, and to extend the activities so that their children may learn to participate in this autonomy. But Sántiz speaks well from his prison: “If I’m here, I’m there; if I’m there, I’m here.”

The demons are on the loose. The war is everywhere. But so too is solidarity—that decision to be together in this common struggle that no longer respects territories. In each place it is different. But everywhere the same phenomenon is reproduced: the people affirm their dignity and say ‘enough!’, and they take their path, and the response from above is intimidation, aggression, corruption, continuous war…

It is urgent to show ourselves on the side of our compañeros in San Marcos Avilés. The threat is immediate. We, the Committees of the True Word, must make ourselves known in every way that we can, so that the strength of our solidarity may be seen.

It is the time for resistance. And to resist is to struggle in common, together, in the embrace of solidarity.

Gustavo Esteva

Oaxaca, September 2012

***************

“Those from above have declared war on the Zapatista communities, a war which these days is focused on the community in resistance of San Marcos Avilés and the Zapatista political prisoner Francisco Sántiz López.” – Raúl Zibechi

Compañeras and compañeros:

Another letter in support of our Zapatista sisters and brothers is born amidst the global consciousness raising activities which form a strategic part of the first phase of the “Worldwide Echo in support of the Zapatistas: Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López” campaign.

This time the words of solidarity come to us from Uruguayan lands by way of the pen of the thinker and activist Raúl Zibechi. Like in the previous letters, these words are full of truth, anger, and dignity. Our compa Raul sums up for us the true goal of those from above in their war against the Zapatista communities – “to defeat a dream made ​​reality, one which we can see in the Good Government Junta of Oventic, and in so many other places.”

That dream is ours as well.

Here is Raúl Zibechi’s letter in full:

“Those from above have declared war on the Zapatista communities, a war which these days is focused on the community in resistance of San Marcos Avilés and the Zapatista political prisoner Francisco Sántiz López.

The information sent to us by the compañeros and compañeras of the Movement for Justice in El Barrio shows us the nature of this offensive: it is aimed at eliminating all resistance at a time when capital is unleashing hunger and misery upon those from below in order to increase and protect its gigantic profits. To safeguard their continued accumulation of wealth, it is necessary to wipe from the face of the earth all obstacles, every kind of resistance.

What the media and the “experts” call crisis, is actually part of this offensive to remove from the scene the peoples and the individuals who refuse to give way. Those from above are not in crisis. It is we, our strategies to survive and change the world, who have entered a crisis after decades of being anaesthetized with electoral illusions which promote the idea that it is possible to build an Other World without struggling, without addressing the hatred and the crimes of those from above.

It is not a coincidence that the Zapatista communities are being repressed. They have shown millions, throughout the whole world, a path of resistance and construction that is multiplying in the most remote places. For those from above, destroying the Zapatista movement would be a double victory: against the peoples and communities of Chiapas and against all those in the world who find inspiration in their example. It would mean bringing down a dream made flesh, like the one we can see in the Good Government Junta of Oventic, and in so many other places.

For all these reasons, solidarity with San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López is as essential as it is urgent.”

Raúl Zibechi

****************

The renowned fighter for social justice and director of the Peruvian publication Lucha Indígena (Indigenous Struggle), Hugo Blanco, issues this important and beautiful statement as part of the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas: Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and Sántiz López” Campaign. The central task of the first phase of this campaign is to educate and raise consciousness at the international level regarding the severe repression and violence being carried out against our Zapatista sisters and brothers. In this letter addressed to “A quienes buscan un mundo libre” – or “To those who search for a free world” – our compañero Hugo consummates this task by offering us the gift of memory, as he throws light on the historical, economic, and political context in which this nightmare unfolds. With impassioned words, he makes clear the true reasons and forces which seek to do away with, what he calls, this “zone liberated from neoliberalism, where the people govern themselves.”

With great pleasure, we share with you, compañer@s, Hugo’s letter in its entirety:

To those who search for a free world

In 1994, at the full glorious height of the neoliberal system that oppresses us, a voice of rebellion arose, the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, Mexico.

Naturally Salinas, the then president, launched a bloody military offensive thinking to rapidly crush the rebellion. Not so, the indigenous fighters resisted. The people of Mexico were outraged at the bloodshed and demanded an end to the attack.

The U.S. government was alarmed, because with the number of Mexicans and Chicanos who had been and were being oppressed in their territory, there was a danger that the Zapatista armed uprising might spread to the seat of the empire. Therefore they ordered the Mexican government to stop the attack, an order which, of course, their subject obeyed. The rebels announced that they were obeying the people of Mexico, who were ordering the war to stop, and suspended the armed conflict.

The government offered talks, the Zapatistas accepted. With the democratic spirit they have, they would not wish to be the ones to speak on behalf of the indigenous Mexicans; they called on indigenous and indigenists from across the country to set out the indigenous demands. This task was completed, and their arguments were so convincing that the government commission had to accept many of them. Both parties signed what were called the “San Andrés Accords.” As these had to be in the form of a law to be approved by parliament, a commission was appointed with the task of putting them into the appropriate format. The commission completed its work and submitted it to both parties; the Zapatistas accepted, but the government did not. Instead they filed another document, thus betraying the agreements they had signed. The members of the chamber [of deputies] gave in to this outrage and agreed to discuss and approve the government document. Therefore, the Executive, supported by parliament, betrayed the agreement.

The military government made a treacherous attack on the Zapatistas, trying to liquidate the leadership of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). They failed. But, (whoever is the current president), they do not abandon their intention of making this island of freedom that exists in the world disappear.

Do not forget that the first international gathering of those oppressed by the neoliberal system which is crushing the world was called by the indigenous Zapatistas, and took place in the mud of Chiapas, years before the World Social Forum

Recently the attacks on Zapatista communities have been increasing, the chief and fiercest ones are those being suffered by the Zapatista autonomous community of San Marcos Avilés. The Good Government Junta ‘Towards Hope’ and the Good Government Junta ‘Heart of the Rainbow of Hope’ have also reported attacks.

These attacks and the continued detention of Francisco Sántiz López and Alberto Patishtán Gómez, are the spearhead of the attack to crush the zone liberated from neoliberalismwhere the people govern themselves through the Good Government Juntas. This is seen as the great enemy by the transnational corporations (the 1% of humanity that crushes the 99%), as they are a living example of the fact that “Another World is Possible”, “A World where Many Worlds Fit”.

We hope that the insurgent rebel movement in Mexico, # yosoy132, understands that their essential task is to defend the island of freedom that is in their own country; if they crush the Zapatistas, # yosoy132 will be easily crushed.

Let us fight in the defense of San Marcos Avilés and against other attacks in the area. Let us fight for the freedom of Francisco Sántiz López and Alberto Patishtán Gómez.

It is in the direct interests of humanity to defend the island of freedom that is the Zapatista area.

Hugo Blanco

***************

The UK-based National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts
Declares its Support for San Marcos Avilés and Sántiz López
 

From the United Kingdom, the National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts (NCAFC) has issued the following declaration endorsing the international “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas: Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López” Campaign.

In opposition to the destructive trend towards privatization that is destroying higher education the world over, the nearly 8,000 student and education worker activists who form the NCAFC have fought since February 2010 for a just system of higher education that is free and funded by “the taxation of the rich and business.” The following statement approved by the NCAFC joins the thousands of individuals, collectives, and organizations from dozens of countries worlwide who stand in firm solidarity with San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López. In doing so, the NCAFC makes the necessary connection between the struggle for autonomous education in San Marcos and the struggle for socially just education at the global level.

Statement of the National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts (NCAFC)

200 Zapatista supporters in the indigenous community of San Marcos Avilés in Chiapas, Mexico, are at very serious risk of violent assault and displacement. The threats made against them have increased sharply since the Mexican elections in July 2012.

The aggressors are government supporters organised in paramilitary style groups who are heavily armed with shotguns, rifles and pistols, and are specifically threatening the women and children. They have already stolen the land, crops and livestock of the community, leaving them without a food supply and destroyed their free autonomous school. Observers report that the situation is one of siege, and that the families are heavily traumatised.

In 2010, 170 men women and children were forced to take refuge in the open on the mountainside during the rainy season for 33 days. The current situation is one where it is feared another such tragedy may occur at any time. The aggressors are threatening to kidnap the community authorities and forcibly displace the rest of the population. Anyone denouncing this harassment, they say, will be locked away like Francisco Santiz Lopez, political prisioner since December 2011.

In the face of this alarming situation, an international solidarity campaign was launched recently, and a Worldwide Declaration in support of the community of San Marcos Avilés has been issued calling for an immediate end to the repression.

WE DEMAND

–An immediate end to all death threats, verbal and physical harassment, and threats against the property and well-being of the Zapatista Support Base members by elements of the political parties in the San Marcos Avilés ejido

–Protection for the lives and safety of the Zapatista support base members of San Marcos Avilés

–Respect for the Zapatista Support Base community’s inalienable right to autonomy as indigenous peoples, as enshrined in the internationally recognized ILO Convention No. 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, both of which the government of Mexico has signed

–Immediate release of Francisco Santiz Lopez

For further information, please see:

https://sanmarcosavilesen.wordpress.com/

If you’d like to actively participate in the campaign please contact:

laotranuevayork@yahoo.com

For more information about  the National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts (NCAFC):

http://anticuts.com/

 

*************

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s