The birth of the Zapatisa Movement coincided with the beginning of NAFTA.
What does the upcoming Zapatista Freedom School have to do the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a secret trade deal to be fast tracked into law in October, with no debate or amendment?
The answer is: A lot!
Do you know why the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) declared war against the Mexican Government on January 1st, 1994?
Because that’s the date NAFTA got into effect without the consensus, the vote, or any possible approval by Mexican people. It got into effect even with the opposition of a vast movement across the country that US corporate media did not inform about to the US people.
NAFTA in Mexico was the first “experiment” on how to do these fatal trades under the most unequal possible terms, with no protections for the workers and the environment, no enforcement rules for corporate, no sales taxes for the richest and no expiration dates.
When the opposition movement was too big to fall, both the US and Mexican corporate-handled governments invented a “magic” formula to get away with whatever they wanted: “Fast Track”, meaning “in secret”.
Let’s not forget this lesson: Fast Track = Hiding from the public eyes, without consent. Without any kind of vote. Without democracy.
Just over one year, in 1993, more than 4,000 children in the state of Chiapas had died from curable diseases and starvation. So in January 1st 1994 when NAFTA got into effect, the Zapatista war against the neoliberalism started. Along with a military response, a smear campaign began. Corporate media stated that “foreign interests were seeking to bring the country into a wave of violence.” The Nobel Prize for Literature Octavio Paz said that they were “outdated” fanatics who just did not realize that the Berlin Wall had fallen. Journalists and intellectuals supporting NAFTA just could not believe this was happening to “them”.
It has been 20 years now. Far from dying and/or giving up, the Zapatista Autonomous Communities resist all kinds of attacks (paramilitary, military massacres like Acteal, legal tricks and smearing, now not only in corporate media but Twitter trolls and Facebook). With the Mexican people demanding peace, they agreed to peace and started negotiations, but then they were betrayed by all the political parties in Congress (including the leftist electoral party), when signing crucial “amendments” to the longtime negotiated San Andrés Agreements. Nevertheless, they built their own horizontal government system in the “caracoles” (the sneal conch, which is the Mayan symbol of time, representing also the spiral of History). Being the first guerrilla movement that openly and actively supported women’s and LGBTT human rights, supporting diversity in the widest possible sense (including kids, elderly people, people of all colors and sexual orientations and expressions) using the Internet in all languages, they proved to be more “modern” than their opponents at the time. Mayor Anamaría identified in 1996 two kinds of globalizations: the capitalism globalization which makes homogeneous every aspect of social life, and the resistance globalization where “we are equal because we are different”. “We are proposing a society where we have a place in, without make it homogeneous. We are not saying we must all be Indigenous and whoever is not Indigenous should disappear, but a world where every world fit,” their spokesman Sub-commander Marcos said.
Their Freedom School (“The Little School,” as they call it) starts online next Monday. If you have not received your address and password, and/or you need any information, please write to us:[email protected] so that we can give you your OWS password!
Have a happy, rebellious Friday!
Let us support our OWS campaigns against TPP!
For a world where many worlds and languages fit!