Material for study from the Zapatista “little school”
From 12 to 16 August, more than 2000 students from several Mexican states and other countries attended the Zapatista “little school” which was held behind closed doors in the five caracoles and CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Some of these students could also follow the classes on “Freedom according to the Zapatistas” online, by accessing the Enlace Zapatista webpage. The students received a package containing two CDs and several books dealing with the issues “autonomous government, participation of women in autonomous government, and autonomous resistance,” and they moreover were invited to stay with a “votán,” or an EZLN member who was especially designated to serve as comrade, teacher, and guide.
The first day examined the question of “autonomous government” in which was detailed the functioning of the Good-Government Councils (JBGs) which are based in the five caracoles, 10 years after their creation. The Zapatistas noted that the fact that they are called JBGs does not mean that they are already good, “but rather refers to the tendency permanently to be vigilant.”
The second day explored the participation of women at the local level, in the autonomous municipalities and the JBGs.
The third day presented the paths of the Zapatista communication media, educational system, and communal organization, which include farms, stores, shoe-stores, and autonomous banking systems, all of these based on communal work.
The fourth day saw discussion of the question of justice, thus strongly challenging the failures of the official system and presenting the model of autonomous justice which the EZLN has implemented in its spaces of influence as an alternative.
On the fifth and last day, democracy was discussed, with the contrast established between the operation of the “official democracy” with its elections every 3 or 6 years and the Zapatista system, in which “the most important thing is that the people give their opinion and proposals, and if they make mistakes in electing their authorities, remove them.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Parten a los caracoles casi 1,700 alumnos que asistirán a la Escuelita zapatista (La Jornada, 12 de agosto de 2013)
Inicia clases la Escuelita zapatista en San Cristóbal de las Casas (La Jornada, 12 de agosto de 2013)
A puerta cerrada inician clases mil 700 alumnos en la “escuelita zapatista” (Proceso, 12 de agosto de 2013)
Detalla EZLN el sistema de gobierno en sus Caracoles (Proceso, 12 de agosto de 2013)
Destaca EZLN participación de mujeres en la segunda jornada de la Escuelita (La Jornada, 13 de agosto de 2013)
Presumen zapatistas sus granjas, zapaterías y banco (Proceso, 14 de agosto de 2013)
Manifiestan en la Escuela Zapatista que en el gobierno autónomo la justicia no se vende (La Jornada, 15 de agosto de 2013)
El EZLN muestra en su ‘escuelita’ los logros de 19 años de autonomía (CNN México, 16 de agosto de 2013)
La democracia se simula con elecciones cada 6 años: EZLN (La Jornada, 17 de agosto de 2013)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: EZLN denounces nocturnal military overflights above Zapatista caracoles (21 August 2013)
Chiapas: Celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Zapatista caracoles (21 August 2013)