Chiapas: Close of the Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion

January 21, 2015

Foto @ SIPAZ

Photo @ SIPAZ

3 January 2015 marked the end of the First Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion: “Where those from above destroy, we from below rebuild.”  Organized by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), the Festival ended in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, after having shared spaces in four Mexican states.

The events in Chiapas began in the Caracol II of Oventik, “Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity,” where 21 years since the Zapatista uprising of 1994 was celebrated on 31 December and 1 January.  Following speeches from family-members of the 43 disappeared students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés read a communiqué and recalled that “only as organized peoples will we find the truth.  All that we want as people is what we have to build among ourselves.  It is in this way that the relatives of the murdered and disappeared students of Ayotzinapa are developing their search for justice and truth.”

Sup Moisés invited those assembled in Oventik to imagine “how a new society could be,” so that they began to struggle using “the example that the relatives of Ayotzinapa present us, that is, that it is better that we who suffer from this disease known as capitalism search each other out and meet.”  He stressed that “what is now most urgent is the truth and justice for Ayotzinapa,” given that “the most painful and indignant reality is that the 43 are not with us.”

Beyond this, Moisés individually embraced the group of relatives and students who were listening to his comments on stage: an embrace “of caring, respect, and admiration.”  Nor did he forget to name the 46 “absent” individuals, including the 3 students who were found on 27 September.

Lastly, on 2 and 3 January, the Festival ended with the sharing of conclusions, agreements, and pronunciations at the CIDECI-Unitierra.  Members of indigenous peoples of the CNI indicated that “we share this same pain that is called capitalism, [and we hope that] our path will be constant.”  One of the students from Ayotzinapa mentioned that “when we bid our farewells to Subcomandante Moisés, we told him that we also desire autonomy for our rural normal schools and […] we believe that with courage, dignity, and the determination of 43 families and thousands of people in the country and throughout the world, this and much more will be possible.  Many thanks.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Clausura del Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y las Rebeldías Contra el capitalismo, en Chiapas (Colectivo Pozol, 3 de enero de 2015)

Entrevistas al final del Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y Rebeldías contra el Capitalismo (Radio Zapatista, 6 de enero de 2015)

EZLN celebra 21 aniversario del alzamiento, abrazando al movimiento de Ayotzinapa (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de enero de 2015)

Palabras del EZLN en el 21 aniversario del inicio de la guerra contra el olvido. Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés(Enlace Zapatista, 1 de enero de 2015)

Todos debemos acompañar a los padres de Ayotzinapa: EZLN (Aristegui Noticias, 1 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Inauguration of the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion (30 December 2014)

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN to cede its place to relatives and disappeared students of Ayotzinapa (19 December 2014)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)

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Chiapas: Celebration of 20 years since the Zapatista uprising

January 15, 2014

Año nuevo en Caracol III Resistencia hacia un nuevo amanecer @ SIPAZ

New year’s in Caracol III Resistance until a new dawn @ SIPAZ

On 31 December 2013 and 1 January 2014, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) celebrated its twenty-year anniversary of resistance since its insurrection on 1 January 1994, which demanded land, food, work, health, education, housing, justice, and equality for indigenous peoples.  The uprising coincided with the entrance into law of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  There were celebrations in the five caracoles, with sports games, dance, and food.  At 12am, the Mexican and Zapatista flags were presented, while both anthems were sung, as followed by the reading of a communique which mentioned those who are not present, such as Subcomandante Pedro and Comandanta Ramona; as each name was read, a “presente” could be heard cried out.

20 years since its armed uprising, the EZLN spoke to its successes.  With regard to health, for example, the Zapatistas have constructed four regional hospitals staffed with surgeons, some of them specializing in reproductive and sexual health, in addition to dozens of municipal clinics, and it estimated that more than 1100 widwives and 1500 herbalists have been trained in this period.

“20 years ago we threw the political parties into the trashcan.  We are trying to improve our health, educational, and governmental systems.  We know that much remains to be done, but we also know that our struggle will continue,” read Comandanta Hortensia in Caracol II Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity.  She added: “We exist and continue here.  20 years ago we had nothing, no system or educational systems based in the people.  There was no governmental authority of the people.  Now we have our own autonomous governments.  Whether it be good or bad, it has been based on the will of the people.”

The bishop from Saltillo, Raúl Vera, indicated that “the rendering visible of the demands and needs of the indigenous peoples of the country who have been among the most marginalized sectors in historical terms has perhaps been the greatest contribution made by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), whose social and political proposals have transformed Mexico and continue to be relevant, though this group does not for the moment dominate the media’s attention.”  With the public appearance of the EZLN in January 1994, the conscience was awakened that “we Mexicans cannot continue being inactive.  We learned from our indigenous brothers [and sisters] that democracy cannot be attained without efforts and sacrifices, that we will not get out of this if we do not move ourselves from the base, as they have done.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Dar a conocer necesidades indígenas, principal aportación zapatista: Vera(La Jornada, 2 de diciembre de 2014)

Los combates duraron 12 días; la lucha sigue (La Jornada, 31 de diciembre de 2013)

Lanza EZLN nuevo llamado a la rebeldía (Proceso, 1 de enero de 2014)

EZLN gobierna a 250 mil indígenas (Red política, 2 de enero de 2014)

El Ya basta! en América Latina (La Jornada, 27 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities (27 December 2012)

Chiapas: Communiqué by the EZLN: For reflective criticism, individuals and collectives (15 April 2011)