Helen's English Transcript of 3rd International Anti-Systemic Seminarios: Planet Earth
3rd International Seminar of Reflection and Analysis: “Planeta Tierra: Movimientos Antisistémicos”
30 December 2012, 11 am
Mercedes Olivera, Xóchitl Leyva, Jérôme Baschet with Moderator Ronald Nigh
Translator Cita Davis lives in Oakland
We’re sitting in this big auditorium which is filling up, running late, as many things do here. This is a University for indigenous people, and most of the students live on campus. Universidad la Tierra, Chiapas. There are many buildings as well as vendors selling indigenous arts and crafts. I’m sitting next to a woman, Jess, from southern England who was here last year. She said there will be translations into the indigenous languages from the stage. We’re sitting in the English section where we have a translator who will be doing simultaneous translation from Spanish. Each of us has an earphone. Jesse, a man who just spent 6 months in Brazil on an island, has a lot of information about life there and problems in general in Central America.
Good morning everyone, welcome to the … planet earth anti-systemic movements.
Youth from Unidera, please come up front for a welcome. Brothers and sisters, friends, be welcomed. 21 Dec 2012 to who it may concern - Did you hear? It is the sound of your world falling down. It is our world. The day was night and night will be the day that will be day. Demoracy, freedom, justice. From the mountains of the Southeast of Mexico, from the clandestine EZLN SubComandante Marcos. (The complete quote is on the web site.) It brings joy to our heart to have you in our community, welcome.
People from all over the world are visiting; we begin with people from here.
The three people on this panel have a great commitment to our people. They are activists and academics.
For me it’s always an honor to participate in international seminars of reflection and analysis, anti-systemic movements.
From the organized women of Chiapis we give a warm welcome to the people who are invited to speak. We give all the people who are present who are welcome, those who fight for this movement. We women also want to send a greeting, a tireless greeting to Cideci for your solidarity, a special greeting to our friends at this university that make our time here possible, of deep reflection that we’re able to have.
From The feminist movement we compare two happenings, domestic, that are apparently disconnected – commemorating the international day against violence to women, and rituals of rebirth and re-life of the long count of the Baktun Maya. There is a convergent point between these two - the fight of the people, and these occurrences.
Summary for the mobilizations in November: Participants were organizations from many places in Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Chiapas.
Please recognize our translator friends because they don’t just do a literal translation, but also a political translation.
Day 1, 30 December 2012, morning session
We had a ritual for 4 days with people who do an experiment, a ritual of gratitude. In many parts these rituals, a deep sense of deep wisdom comes through because of these rituals. There were cases that were presented for the network against Oaxaca and Chiapis. We have preventing destruction of 30(?) Amazon hectares that had been approved from Monsanto that meant a terrible danger not just for those that eat, but for the seeds and our food system. We prevented contamination by genetically modified seeds, especially corn and the disappearance of our corn. It has been very important in the participation of women to see that in places like Costa Rica women are property owners. This is very important because the women figured that not being property owners makes them accept the decisions of their husbands. If they own land, they participate and claim their rights. Campasino women are not citizens and need their own property - it is important for defense of the earth. Their husbands see that the women can take care of the earth and take care of their families. Feminization of agriculture in the countryside is important in the fight against GM foods - from organizations of women. They sew organic seeds and do this as a way to recover and create propaganda against GM agriculture in the greater community.
Monsanto is planting tomatoes on the border regions in Guatemala and El Salvador and attracting workers from there with wages that are not living. This is a terrible exploitation of migrants.
On the 2nd day, dedicated to the defense of the earth and the struggle of the women was very important. The cases were raised against Monsanto. There has been a new territorialization of the struggle of those people, geopolitical exploitation is happening in a new way and we have new networks and webs against this, against the mining companies, especially Canadian and Spanish that are invading our territories. Thousands and thousands of hectares are being invaded by these mining companies. And the government and army are all part of this.
Recently the criminalization of protest has caused concern. There are many dozens of farm workers who did a peaceful march to request that the price of (electric?) services be reduced. It was very surprising to see that in Central America and Guatemala in the 1970s the death of thousands of farm workers and indigenous people in the countryside. I was in that situation. So you can feel the militarization - the agreements of peace make the situation very worrisome and we are not far from this type of thing, violence, in Chiapas. These cases in Guatemala and Ecuador fight for the defense of the earth, for the rights of the people. The consultations (referendums) have not created a real solution. The National Park in Cochabamba - the improvements are not in favor of the indigenous people, but in favor of transnational corporations. In Mexico there was a presence of many organizations, especially Chimiaca(?), that had a dispute of land between Chiapas and Oaxaca over land. This is about the companies that are cutting down the forest in their territory; the people are asking for solidarity. People presented from the Yaki community because of an aqueduct that has been proposed in their territory into Sonora for industries for transnational corporations who are making their industrial bases near their territory.
Another important case for denouncement, and the indigenous people sued the company that is building a mine to exploit more silver in the territory. Randicatorse corporation? In Chiapas we have also had many important cases of land invasion and the Zapatista land so the Center for Women’s’ Rights has brought a case against the para-militarization of the jungle like in San Patricio. The paramilitaries and the army have caused the population to leave their territory and to go the mountains - they have been invaded by armed forces that were previously Zapatistas. There is a great number of Zapatistas that have had to leave the organization because of need, hunger and have had to accept help from the government and take the very painful decision to leave the Zapatista organization, and this worries us much in the Center for Women’s’ Rights. It is very important to say that the experiences of this forum may leave us with some lessons –
The articulations and mobilizations are movements against the system, the patriarchal capitalist system. The new regionalization of Latin America is being challenged by a system that has enslaved our people and the regionalization seems like a real change of Latin America - the domination of the economic over the political system. It is now a reality that makes the campasinos and farm workers adapt - we must adapt. The struggle is absolutely necessary. We can’t just fight locally, regionally, nationally – we must form networks to really achieve our objective against the system. The new process of accumulation that have established strategies for nature and countryside economy implies a worldwide struggle against systems, including the IMF and WTO. Of course the people always end up paying the price and for their actions in our countries. We must take into account that the militarization and para-militarization no longer obeys the dynamics of the state. These struggles are part of the anti-systemic struggles that the governments are doing against the jungle populations - it’s happening all over.
We must take into account that new strategies have arisen, but also there’s a new youth movement and youth in the organization like the 132 and in Europe and China, the youth movements. There is a great presence of indigenous women in this struggle, not just the Zapatistas who serve as a great example, but all of the indigenous women in all areas of the country are participating in the struggle. It is important to also recognize that the internationalization of the solidarity is very important. Many of the people here form part of these new networks. The celebration .. I had the opportunity to be in Guatemala on 19 & 20 December, change, celebration of 2 years that has had …
Something made me excited - indigenous women with bright shining eyes are not just requesting the equality of men and women, but are planting an entire proposal against the patriarchal system to create one nature. From the individual we are returning to the collective where we are fighting against authoritarianism, hierarchy and constructions of the masculine paradigm and the women have realized this. To our gender struggles we want to achieve the unity of peasants and men and women. It’s also important, this struggle over the rights of Mother Nature. This has also been present in our celebrations of Baktun, so the long count of the Mayan calendar , 13 Baktun closes the cycle of resistance, resurgence of resistance and the ceremonies that I went to were all about the unification of men and women to find a new way to find justice. I was deeply moved by the silence of the Zapatistas in these movements. The marches in the cities that were taken by Zapatistas in 1994 (listed them) these marches were a great symbol not just to say we are still here, still fighting, but also demonstrating the power of the people, which is the only solution we have against the system. It’s a type of ritual symbolization of our struggle.
Let’s ask ourselves, reflect, what does the silence of the Zapatista mean to us, what do they want to say to civil society, what do we have to say to the Zapatistas? I believe that they want to tell us that we must also renew ourselves, that we open our consciousness, that we continue forward with our processes, but that we do it with the sense of political bravery with organization and enthusiasm to build new worlds, we need to build a new 13 Baktun for all of us and wonder what you all think.
Welcome to all of you, I am very glad to be here and thanks to all of you for coming from so many different places. I want to dedicate this to men, women, Zapatistas.
The 13th Baktun – the epic and all of the crises in the world.
(our translator seems to be reading from a paper – maybe we can get a copy)
Talked about the Zapatista history and the 21 Dec 2012 takeover of the 5 cities.
There are many interpretations of the 13 Baktun.
Some thought it could be bought and sold, but the Zapatistas closed and opened one more cycle – why can it be bought and sold? How is it for the Zaptistas who had a very different manifestation?
Multiculturalism: In 2011 the Tourist Department of the Pan government said the 13 Baktun is an invitation to mobilize the country and promote culture, it allows us to reinforce our national identity and connection with our roots (a quote). Mobilize the country?!? We were busy looking for 60,000 dead from the drug war – that’s how we were mobilized. They said that cultural tourism humanizes us – during times tourists are told to avoid certain areas of Mexico. The internet site presents segments, announced as sol, sun, beach, cultural tourism, snorkeling, conventions, etc. This allowed visitors to visit through the “Big Mayan Route”. On cable TV on 21 December they showed people in archeological sites, some people said they were there were there for all kinds of reasons, including to see the end of the world. The event was promoted with apocalyptic passion, even in San Cristobal churches. The Guatemalan president – a military general who supports “Operation Hammer” went to the architectural site to celebrate with the Mayan spiritual guide. (There is a March 1995 agreement on identity and rights of indigenous peoples.)
During the government’s implementation of the peace accords in Guatemala – they were signed by the government and civil discourse of multiculturalism it was recognized for the first time Mayan, Shinca and Cathicola but it has recognized that these accords – identity – that the state signed – the state had to assume multiculturism, giving it legitimacy, especially when talking about ethnicity. We know that it’s a devilish sword – the people continue struggle, but are co-opted – in 1996, Colon organized a meeting of 4000 Mayan spiritual guides funded by world bank – the National Guatemalan Tourism Institute presented to the public the Baktun 2012 but in Guatemala, this project and program had a strong counter balance in public opinion, by Mayan intellectuals, political leaders who were seriously working on the situation of the Mayan cosmovision, and were opposed to the official program. They gave a new dimension to Mayan spirituality. 13 Baktun became major press, debate of Mayan NGOs, were all debating this. One of these documents said, “The energetic changes in the cosmos are potential movements, to promote political, economic, … changes fomented by society itself”
This event promoted corporate greed. Cultural tourism sold cannot be seen alone. We need to see how it is part of the machinery of the Mayan world program and the trans-state organization, the Maya world organization, and on the web page, it says that it worked for 10 years to promote sustainable tourism of The Mayan Route. This is when Plan Panama started which prioritized foreign investment, infrastructure and megaprojects. Furthermore, we have to look at the Meridith initiative and Security plan – this gives us an idea of what is behind this pan. While the capitalist industry of cultural tourism aided by the film industry made us believe that culture difference is the root of all evils. The peoples, in struggle, show us the opposite. Redistribution is required …
All of these movements come from different cultures and have different things to contribute to the struggle. What about the Zapatistas? These current Mayans who have many strategies, Mexican ? of the 6th year administration calendar – has something to do with the tea party. San Andreas Agreement not fulfilled, Zapatista campaign 12 calendar of the revolutions, 19th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising, 29th anniversary of EZLN, 49th anniversary of revolutionary forces and the 300th anniversary of the Sao Pauo in Cancuk of 1712. Cracking Capitalism.
Good afternoon, everybody, for those of us who participated in previous seminars, this is an important time to celebrate the Zapatista movement and to ..
Part of our custom is based on what we learned before, but every year is different. This year is a delicate year, to speak at a moment between what’s happened and what follows. The power of silence and engaged in these steps that we will see from the march of dignity to the fluid mobilizations.
“We are on the way to creating other worlds – no to capitalism, no to missionary, taken to the extreme that ecocide, displaces the possibility of living humanely.”
We go with the conviction that other worlds can replace globalized capitalism through massive mobilizations like the Zapatista mobilization, and those that are smaller and less visible.
What we do and what we can do is create liberated spaces. They are not necessarily physical and not totally free of capitalism. Domination, but in the process. We can take consciousness that to reproduce itself the capitalist society needs social relations that are not capitalist. Our intimacy, our dreams are not mediated by capitalist norms. If it were not for those, life would be unbearable. We can mentally place our idea of liberated spaces and we can defend them in a concrete way. They are being invaded by the forces of capitalism – because of the lack of labor, preoccupation with money, competition, lifestyles, and lack of attention to the rest. These spaces must be defended.
Another step is to liberate more spaces. Capitalism and transnational corporations live off of our perception and our relations for profit. We can stop by not consuming those products – we can consume in another way – create and produce things in different ways, local producers and not large corporations, detaching from global production chains and engage in local alternatives.
Also, we can detach from capitalist ideologies of work and create new ways of working and new ways to sustain ourselves socially and economically. There are many forms we can use to escape capitalism.
The defense and expansion of liberated spaces start with those small steps and with better organizations and networks with other organizations, small communities, small villages; expropriation of electricity and other services could be utilized.
Liberated spaces allow us to experiment with other forms of living, particularly new relations based on non-capitalist gender relations, cooperation, and respect. One of the enemies of anti-systemic movements is internal and the reproductive of capitalist relations and norms, such as battles for hierarchy, power, egos that want to win over others and think themselves as having the right path over others. The idea is to construct another world. Subjectivities are essential.
The struggle is to de-capitalize ourselves.
We struggle against the comfortable life and survival. Liberated spaces can‘t occupy themselves for themselves without looking at the environment and must fight against transgenic agriculture.
Resistance to mining, exploitation, and megaprojects is growing.
To choose between creating liberated spaces or fighting capitalism. Liberated spaces are spaces of struggle that must maintain themselves and defend from capitalism and link with struggles in other parts of the world.
These liberated spaces aren’t fully liberated. John Hathaway agrees. We could de-capitalize ourselves mentally, detach ourselves from additions of capitalism, recover our capacity to organize ourselves, but it doesn’t disappear itself from the hegemony of capitalism itself because distribution of resources and means of production are controlled by them.
That’s why these spaces are not fully liberated and are in need of specific resources.
Question – production of goods and resources in a new form – how? Not expansion of production, but what’s being constructed for our new worlds and what’s left to construct?
Example of liberated spaces – Zapatista – a key reference point for movements around the world, which is why they are being attacked. Armed struggle in 1994 was necessary to construct liberated spaces of this size, but with the strength of their dignity we must look at how they were able to expand from Oct 1983 to now. The Zapatistas are not getting tired, and
Autonomy – means of production but expansion of their own capacity to do and to create spaces for learning, education, healing, and well-being of the community. Based on those examples of the Zapatistas, we can understand other projects and can plant the seeds that come up as we’re currently walking. Reflect collectively how we can organize a non-capitalist society. Experience a modern life that’s non-capitalistic. To collective decision making and thinking autonomy comes from below and is organized around different scales, issues, planes, juntas of guenviera?
We need to break from the profit making production and territory and engage in a just redistribution of land and resources. We must destroy the motor of capitalist production which is the expansion of value. Generalized labor, re-do everyday aspects of everyday life.
Good life that indigenous communities propose a extraordinary force, to center that in our hearts and in our collective decision processes. This implies the reverse of capitalist production and implies a strict alternative production and construction against capitalist production.
A world that breaks with the perspective that dominates capitalism. Multiplicity, respect themselves in their diversities.
Revalue its particularities, open ourselves up to its diversity, a world we can put into practice, where many positions and gender can live amongst us and be respected.
The crisis of 2008 has not ended and is still underway, very profound and deep, it is part of capitalism, it is a structural crisis where capitalism is able to overcome their obstacles and crisis and still manages to reproduce itself and its obviously something we think about in construction of liberated space.
On behalf of the crisis of capitalism, accelerated ecocide – blind production of capitalism – many aspects of contamination of environment are well known. We have not perceived the magnitude of climate change – we can only maintain itself with 2 degrees change, but we might have to withstand 4 more degrees. Rising sea levels means bigger hurricanes, droughts, destruction of livelihoods, drought of agricultural fields and lifestyles, disappearance of the Amazon forest, limited water available, multiplication of displacement, growing inequality, increasing social tensions, because of the reclaiming of lands of countries like China and Japan.
Human production, capitalism, to understand how it’s organized around profit making over human life – where money is worth more than human life.
Is it possible that such a high level of ecocide attached to the human people can now provoke resistance? The blind protection of capitalism produces reactions by the earth itself? Hurricanes, plagues, natural disasters are reactions by mother earth are reactions to the extreme ways capitalism engages itself. The insurrection of mother earth – people can begin to reflect and push the need for change. This rebellion of mother earth is linked to peoples’ struggles and that’s where our struggles must begin. Understanding the mother earth is part of production and production of human life and we must detach ourselves from the mainstream discourses so we can engage in the anti-capitalist struggle and transition to a world of non-capitalism. Our capacity to expand and construct liberated spaces, the identification of the capitalist crisis, the insurrection of mother earth all struggle against capitalism.
The first step in losing the struggle is losing the land. When women are not able to own property, the property is more easily taken over. The community needs norms of assigning land. Recognition of collective territory is important (by the state) - much is about private ownership, when one concedes to the government, they all quickly lose their land. The transnational companies don’t recognize collective or state ownership of land. Should women, everybody, or nobody own land?
I speak of feminism. For me, when we speak of growth, we need to look at what type of growth – economic? So mother earth, the one who nourishes our lands – the problem of property is also of growth – whoever owns land wants to own more – we must pass it to the hands of mother earth, to get rid of economic growth as the pivotal factor of ownership. We must not seek power – our society cannot be formed by a logic of gaining power. We must look for life, our life. The other thing we can appropriate of our lives is not as individuals, but as collectives. We can destroy capitalism and really be human. We have not been able to be fully human. I’m from Mexico City – it must reform what it is, to minimize the economy, to maximize our life.
We are part of the popular assembly of ?? and have been looking at how we are acting, how we relate to other people, and how the Zapatistas have been able to unite different struggles, and for us being in a city we can’t live a communal life. Mexico City is a life where we see more extreme individualism, where we take propaganda to folks but it doesn’t create unity.
How we can apply these concepts to the city? Can we apply it in the city, without trying to take political power?
The schools, churches, and other institutions function as part of domination by capitalism.
Destruction of creativity – capitalism destroys creativity – the crisis of capitalism is us, when we don’t want to bear the unbearable.
Panel: Brief comments, but no answers – Capitalism cannot survive without growth – in the last decades, capitalism has grown by a factor of 10, and it is exponential growth. Financial and production expansion contributes to ecocide and destruction of humans. We need de-growth that’s not just about stopping consuming cookies and cereal, but economic de-growth of capitalist production, of things that are not necessary to human life. Taking those out of our lives, taking that into account, we need de-growth.
Cities are more immersed in capitalism than indigenous communities. They don’t have it easy, either. Zapatista communities – it took them to organize themselves – they had an armed rebellion – to take it to an extreme to echo the defense of their lands. The capitalist crisis – the un-sustainability of capitalism is growing. As we keep pushing and constructing larger liberated spaces against capitalism - it can only grow on its own ability to control the means of production, financial capital and credit and debt, so in social relations, life under this system is unbearable. That’s why our “no to capitalism” is, our world is unbearable - with ecocide and genocide and other destruction. Social relations amongst our friends, our partners, where we sleep, they are in the process of being co-opted by capitalist production, but they aren’t fully successful, because we are here – are not already dead. These small spaces allow us to survive.
It’s unbearable, but we keep living. We take another step, create more liberated spaces and expand on that.
Disappearance of the family is part of the state. In indigenous communities, women have no possibility of self determination. This makes a very complex situation. In between them, it’s about not being considered as property owners. We’re not referring to private property – all types, where women aren’t recognized the same way that men are. That’s what we are demanding – respect, equality and rights of ownership – private and collective. We have many cases where we see that only men have received land titles – what about women and children? There are many problems of those communities, but not many problems between children and widowed mothers – the children want to displace the widowed women while they are surviving with their children. In the first years of Zapatismo, women did not fully participate because we were broken at individual and collective levels. This reclaiming of land is more complex. We struggle for self-determination and rights of women in each collective.
How do YOU all work in the city? Turning the question to how folks function here (at this university)? We constructed this space so we could dialog not just here, but after, talking with each other.
One problem is that we study topics that no one cares about. How do we break down how the system works? Our work is for us to collectively demonstrate how this can work. Take ourselves seriously and go back to profound analysis of system – who, what, where, why? We do this in different ways.
Find yourselves – what are your liberated spaces? How do you construct your liberated spaces?
2nd Session, 5:30 pm 30 December 2012
Félix Diaz (Qarashé de la comidad Qom, Argentina), Arturo Anguiano, Ma. Helena Ravello y Mirta Coronel (MOCASE-VC / MNCI- Argentina), with moderator Stella Maris
Félix has honorary degrees for his representation of the Qom people. He is an indigenous expert from Argentina.
The truth is that it’s a very important moment in our history to be able to be here in this place where we have the strength of the indigenous people of the Americas. In my community, I have been chosen as an authority by an election imposed by Argentina. I am able to argue with the state about the indigenous rights. We are a people, 850 to 1200 people in our family. We had 20,000 ha in our territory in 1926, reduced to 5,000 ha by 1977 and are still losing land because we as indigenous people believe in the word of the other (we trusted the government and treaties and laws), which made it difficult for us to advance and to protect our territory, that of our ancestors.
In 2002 Argentinean law 1066 was passed, where the Argentinean state recognized the indigenous people, which should have been the tool for us to recover our territories. However, through trickery, and our good faith, through force, many of them drove our people off of the land. Our ancestors didn’t put up with the racial persecution.
“Community legal personhood” is a concept that requires “board members” and is the state’s legal form for an indigenous community – of course this structure has nothing to do with our cultural traditions – our land was put in the this non-profit form in 1986. They were useless instruments; we were supposed to collect dues and elect a board, and then have legal ownership of the land, but it didn’t really work.
The Argentine law 2203 was passed because the norms aren’t being complied with, so these lands will revert to the state – this is a legal mechanism to take away our land – we didn’t continually update the “Board of Directors” of our nonprofit, so in 2007 they stole our land under this law, which supposedly guarantees the right to territory for indigenous people but was actually used to steal our land. What can we do now? The only tool left was to block highways. In 2010 we spent 4 ½ months blocking highways without food and water, and the police would come burn our encampment. They accused us of highway accidents that we had nothing to do with, and drivers would run over us without being charged with the crime. We face all kinds of discrimination. Many of our brothers and sisters have died in their homes because they can’t make legal denunciations. They are criminalized because they are demanding return of their ancestral lands.
Before the state recognized indigenous communities, the state paid gunmen to try to assassinate me. Luckily I was able to escape from those attempts. The state made legal charges against me for trespassing, being a terrorist, being a rebel, and rape, an unbelievable number of charges, so I was under the risk of arrest – all in 2010. I had to go into exile to avoid prison. We had to do a large protest, so for four months we camped out in the capital city, and occupied a central avenue in the capital. The state charged me with impeding circulation of traffic in the capital and put out an arrest warrant for that. I was 1 ½ years without being able to go home; my kids couldn’t go to school; they cut off the water to the house; I couldn’t go to the hospital, and endured death threats. Despite all of this, we are still in struggle because it’s our struggle. We don’t have any hope that the Argentinean state will do anything for us indigenous people, because we know the state has always been responsible for the death of our people. That history is in the memory of our elders – death, persecution, eviction. Now today, we are supposedly an advanced society, but we always are excluded from these rights despite that the constitution of Argentina is supposed to give those rights to everybody.
Nobody tries to extend constitutional rights to indigenous people. A man who was elected first in 1983 continues to be the governor of this province, and he is completely authoritarian. There is no hope that he will return our lands to us, but we are conscious that this territory is our territory, of our ancestors. For that reason, we give our lives. Our life is that territory. Those territories have the history of our people, and the strength of our people. It is our supermarket, our pharmacy; without it, our people cannot exist. It’s like being exterminated.
We can’t renew our spirituality with another territory or practice our culture. I would like to tell you so many more things. This struggle is the struggle of those that have a heart that is not made of stone.
They don’t treat you in the hospital in Formosa. This is how we die, abandoned, here in our houses. We see a picture of a man, who was refused treatment in the hospital. He died of tuberculosis a few days later.
Territorial conflict – La Primavera community – Gran Chaco was founded 8000 years ago by nomadic people. When El Parque National was created it took another big chunk of our land. In Rio Pilcomayo, someone else rented some of the land. In 1984 we rented land from the national park to make up for what was lost to the rich family renting a portion of the land. In 2007 the province bought this land for a university from the rich family and created the university. They have taken our land through one pretext or another - the land that is for our children and grandchildren. We have to struggle to have some kind of freedom; we can’t even plant or work because our farmland was taken from us and we don’t have money for tools. The province has not implemented the law.
The struggle – no more lies. La Primavera Community lost its land to Formosa Universidad Nacional de Formosa.
We blocked international highway 86 in 2010. The repression 23 November 2010 in the afternoon – about 200 meters from here (points to a picture) - the police came and advanced against us. We discussed what to do; then we went to each side of the road. The police tried to surround us and were in the middle of the field. One group went toward the police. A fight started and the jandarm came towards us on the road. A woman fell on the ground and 4 - 5 police beat her - she was 50 – 60 years old. They had no shame, beating elderly ladies. The people ran, but the police knocked them down and then beat them.
The ladies had a house over there, they tried to get back to their houses and the police set fire to the houses after beating the ladies - burned them to the ground We lost everything. The children were in bed when the police set fire to the houses. They killed my brother. We saw sharpshooters shooting at people.
Roberto Lopez was assassinated in the repression. The community continues to demand return of their ancestral territory. We need justice for the death of Roberto Lopez.
Amnesty International knows about this case. Hunger strike was done. No more ethnocide. We won’t tolerate any more attacks.
Qom community of La primavera, an indigenous community that has suffered oppression.
We have sacrificed a lot to be here on our land. I’m happy that it rained last night, so my plants will grow. These plants also help the soils. He wanted to cry after recovering this piece of land and seeing the plants grow again.
In Mexico there exists 2 different logics – one from the top, sees Mexico as prosperity, mobiity and a new type of rich who have money and modernization. The logic from below is exploitation, abandonment, inequality. Political themes from above are media spectacles, from below is violence, racism, unemployment, criminalization. These destroy the social tissue and bring fear and terrorize the country and affect the oppressed people who resist and are looking for alternatives to the state crisis, which nobody talks about, but continuously renews the authoritarian regimes without transformation.
The 1968 political transition that was announced has not made democratic changes in the country. We suffer from monopoly, oligarcharcic corruption. The state policy produces at the exclusion of many groups who must live as spectators and are excluded from public institutions. There is a culture of power forged by many decades of police. This has been recycled to the new government with the new rich.
All of the political parties support the neoliberal capitalist policies. The dialog between society and government is broken. The two logics – the top, that want the below to be their clients – and this is a trick. From below, people experience this as a threat to their culture and practices and especially the Calderon war, which raises fear and insecurity.
The long threat has not dismantled the resistance. Every day the repressed revolt, recreate the collective with creativity and solidarity even thou the media does not report it. Today we resist dams, land stealing, etc – we resist in different ways to confront the neoliberal economic policies.
Our objective must be to rebuild the social tissue from below. New, equal relations are being built, and one example is the Zapatista experience. We will recover forms of ancestral resistance from all over the world. The tendency to organize and self-determine is everywhere. Where there is fragmentation, we need to find it and articulate it to find long term solutions. We will find ways to have collective practices with liberty, democracy, and justice.
How can capitalism destroy itself, and how can we help in its destruction? We need to stop the possibility of capitalism. It’s a political struggle in all of our country and is being done from below no matter what is done from powers above.
How can we stop the capitalist power? How can we change the world without taking power and possibly without destroying capitalism?
Ma. Helena Ravello and Mirta Coronel (MOCASE-VC/MNCI-Argentina)
This struggle started in 1990. Peasant and farm workers from our ancestral lands were displaced when corporations took over to plant cotton in the 1980s. We didn’t know what to do, and went to the cities. In 1988 we started working together to ask, “Do we have rights?” For thousands of years we were there on our land. We organized ourselves and started to struggle with just a few families. We had animals and production and in Santiago started the struggle, started talking with other people and encouraged them to resist, too. In the 1990s we formed a struggle and continued to resist and got into conflict with the government, who are capitalists. They thought they could disappear us but were not successful. We demanded removal of those politicians. Now, over 9000 families resist – many were killed in resistance, even as recently as a couple of months ago.
There are political prisoners for defending our land, and some have been in prison for more than 20 years. We organize encampments at tribunals and demand that they change their politics. We don’t ask for anything that’s not already ours. Many families have been displaced from their land. We continue to support families that were displaced. Many pregnant women are in prison or with their babies. We’re convinced as indigenous that history will be on our side. We struggle for water, education, food sovereignty, and to teach our children to take control of their food, medicine, and to know our ancestral history.
As we learn, we teach the next generation. We know the land we defend has our blood in it. Every comrade is a seed. For every one, there come 20 more.
We denounce the toxic corporations in Santiago.
We are worried about our young people seeking another life in the city. They can’t read or write and we’re concerned about our education system. We talked to an old wise man and decided to have an agricultural school, to give other options for our youth. The first year, there were 70 students, this year we have 60, and next year we will have 150 students. There are workshops one week per month from different cultures to share farming strategies – people are not used to sharing their ideas, so young people need to be trained in universities. In Santiago we were given 10 ha and that’s where we’re forming the first campasino university. In April, we start the first career, social economy.
We have all natural candy factories where we buy from farmers and make traditional candies. Many are women who care for animals, make cheeses and medicine, and struggle against pesticides. A Buenos Ares group accompanying us has their own healing space for each community. Plants and herbs for traditional medicines are gathered – we are reclaiming them to save them and to compliment modern medicine – we conserve our seeds. Our way of farming heals the earth.
Communication is a problem – some communities are more than 80 km apart, so we have radios. We also have four FM stations. We are using solar energy and we have indigenous programs on the radio where we talk about laws, our rights, etc.
She sang a song for us.
To see the slides we might look for Raly Barrionuevo – Oye Marcos or try Folclero.blogspot.com or look for Campesino movement of Santiago.
Questions and comments:
I didn’t record these, but we talked about a benefit dinner being held tonight in support of a displaced community, and about how mining companies are displacing communities.
Day 2: 31 December 2012
Emory Douglas, cultural ministry of black panthers, Movimiento por justice del barrio-nueva York, and Francois Houtart, Belgica with Moderator: Nelly cubillos
His daughter: Merysea Gabrielle - In solidarity, may these words be the ancestors... Before America was called America, and Africa was called Africa, and a snail was just a snail, before the Zapatistas took to the Mountains of Chiapas and the black =panthers took to the streets of New York, before Mayans and Africans traded, they were one. Let your presence be testimony of the ancestors. Before we were revolutionaries in different countries, there was we and we were one….
Emory: Greetings, all power to the people. I will give you some historical perspectives, it’s an honor to be participating today. The symbol of the Black Panther comes from the south, pre-black panthers. It was during a period when racists were running the Democratic party in the south, and they had a lot of illiterate whites who supported them, so they were allowed to get a rooster icon next to names on the ballot so those who supported the racists would know who to vote for. That allowed for blacks, who organized sharecroppers, who were also illiterate, etc, got a symbol of a panther. That’s how it got started from the south - then to the north and transcended the borders of the U.S. Picture – Pull the lever for the Black Panther. They had to deal with self defense as well.
Huey Newton and bobby Seal, both political prisoners of US fascism - poster of the 2 founders. Police abuse in northern California required defense. I became involved 3 months after its inception for defense. In May 1967 I was given the title of the revolutionary artist for the Black Panther Party. And thereafter I was in the Ministry of Culture.
When we used to work in our offices in the early days, we had space, and I worked on the newspaper and Huey Newton would come in and we had a discussion, what is a pig? (cartoon showing a police pig). This image became an iconic symbol of repression of black people and police violence throughout the U.S. What is a pig? “A low natured beast who has no regard for justice, or rights of people, … of an unprovoked attack”. We had liberation schools, our own school, 1971-2 Oakland community school. It was considered one of the best alternative schools in the U.S. We had only 20 kids, but a waiting list of over 2000. They were sending kids to the school who were labeled encouragable, but all they needed was tender loving care. We didn’t try to teach them what to think, but instead, how to think so they could think for themselves when they got into the world. My daughter was a Panther Cub.
Here is the hope and exuberance in the school, and it inspired this poster - we shall survive, without a doubt. We offered free breakfast for school children, throughout the country. We had doctors testing for sickle cell anemia – that is reflected in the glasses of the young man in the poster. With these programs was a contradiction of what the U.S. Government was not doing to give health care and other services to the people of the country.
Here is a photo of some of the women of the Black Panther party. Many women started chapters and branches of the Black Panther Party and many women were incarcerated, and some are still in exile, some are political prisoners. 1968 photo. We used to wear our uniforms quite a bit during that period, but later on we put out a directive to take off the uniforms except for certain celebrations, so we wanted to be more with the people, so we had to dress like the people. It was intense between the Black Panther Party and the government. 28 Black Panther people were killed, and 14 police were killed throughout the country in these conflicts. They used to attack our office; they would destroy the breakfast food and milk first. We had community political education classes. (Picture of free breakfast program).
We had food programs in churches, community centers, and people’s houses. Free food giveaways – 10,000 free bags of groceries – Bobby Seal in this photo. People’s Free food Program picture of 2 women recipients. Free clothing program. Erica Huggins, incarcerated in New Haven, CT and Bobby Seal – had been charged with murder of a panther – an agent provocateur did the murder –they were finally exonerated. Rosa Parks is also in the picture; she came to stayed with us for 2 weeks. She’s the one who sparked the civil rights movement in the South. Because blacks were forced to sit at the back of the bus, she got on the bus and sat up front, she was told to go to the back, she said, my feet are tired; I’m not going to the back. That sparked the movement in the south of the bus boycott. Huey Newton was incarcerated when he got wounded and 2 police were killed, and this picture is showing our solidarity with him at the time. “Yellow Peril supports black Power” “Free Huey” Brown berets are in the picture. We got support from the Asian community, also had other Asian roots, who were our supporters, along with the Young lords in Chicago and New York,
Farm workers support – boycott lettuce. Cesar Chaves was with us when we marched to Sacramento to protest against the pesticides that were harming the farm workers. When people marched past our office, said they were hungry, we took them to the school and fed them, then they continued the march.
Our fight was not in Vietnam. We were against the war and here is a poster, Free the GIs. The Vietnamese weren’t causing inferior education, housing, food – our fight was in the U.S.
Basta Ya! Was a special walkout issue – 7 Latino brothers were charged with killing police in San Francisco, and we let them use the paper to talk about the issues of the case. They were exonerated of all charges.
Get out of the ghetto, Latin America, Asia, Africa, US imperialism.
Here we are living in crisis – fundamental - evident a crisis of economical and financial expansion – that’s the reality of the productive economy, since the 1960s is a trend going down, the trend of real economy – the curve going up since the 1990s is the financial economy, capital, which since 1920s has begun to dominate the whole economy. This is the contradiction – the real economy and totally artificial economy - the exploitive casino economy.
In 2008, the subprime crisis – we see the difference between the virtual casino economy – a big egg in the middle – to the right are the small balls representing the real economy – the real global economy – we see the contradiction between a totally artificial economy and the real economy – inside the capitalist system has been constructed this contradiction that has affected finances and the whole economic system. Unemployment has increased in Europe and industrialized countries, and in the end it shows a decrease in the real economy. Nonetheless this crisis is not the only crisis – that’s the difference between this crisis and that of the 1930s.
Graph of the price of food – we are confronting a food crisis with cultural aspects – in 2008 we see the price of corn in Chicago, where it is set. We see in 1 year a huge increase in price of corn – also wheat, by 100 % in just a few months, also soy and ethanol whose source is sugarcane or corn. This is not a result of decrease of production, but is totally speculative – financial capitalism looked for fast gains in the food market which caused these prices to increase so quickly. So this is an economic AND a food crisis.
Another aspect, more structural, is the concentration of land in the whole world, which is anti-agrarian – campasinos are expelled and land given not to larger land holders, but private agri-companies that work on speculation.
Mines, monocultures, and agro-combustibles are another crisis.
The 3rd crisis is the energy crisis. Here is a graph of all of the natural resources in the world from 1950 to 2050 – the probable dates of finishing of these resources – carbon 2155, aluminum in 2145, first will be terbium, hafnium, argent, antimony, palladium, gold, zinc, inium, etain, lead, tantale.
Today’s world is not a planet that is infinite, there are no infinite resources – they are finite and we have used up the resources to the point that we cannot use them sustainably.
Energy graph – carbon, petrol, gas, hydro, nuclear 1983-2008 – since liberalization of trade we have seen a huge increase in the utilization of energy and we are using up all of these sources of energy.
A future graph – use of petroleum, gas, etc: The capitalist system, to reproduce itself as it is, we won’t have even half of the resources we have today. We must stop this unnecessary consumption. Capitalism is trying to create agro fuels – see the plans of development for agro fuels in Indonesia – palm oil, etc – deforestation – of Sumatra 1900-2010 – massive! The rainforests are almost gone and in 2010 are practically nonexistent. – African palm oil and eucalyptus are replacing food crops in many parts of the world.
Fires: To construct plants to produce oil contaminates the region; people lose food sovereignty, and there are km after km of palm plants. You can’t even see the sky. The little white zone is for the campesinos, so they must buy their food – this sparks conflicts between plantation companies and local communities. The agro business is even more destructive than fossil fuels for energy sources when you look at the whole picture.
Two years ago in Brazil, the EU signed with Mozambique to develop 4 million ha of sugarcane to provide Europe with ethanol – To make European oil, they used Brazilian technology and Mozambiqueans and their land. It can be useful in small scale, but what we have done is not.
The crisis of climate – looking at graph of CO2, more and more 1970 – 2004 had more CO2 and fewer sinks (forests) 20 tons/year per US citizen, etc – China uses less per person but is developing and has more people. Brazil, China, Russia – destructive model of development continues. There are some efforts to reforest in china.
Sunlight photos – El Gran Hermano de los barcos – demonstrates the irrationality of this system.
To take advantage of lower wages to pay and fewer ecological laws to obey, there is much movement of raw materials and products across continents and oceans.
Military expenses – after the cold war we could expect the end of militarialism, but it’s been the opposite – look at the distribution of military expense in the world – top is US – this fundamental inequality means the US empire is losing economically – losing influence – political influence, but they don’t lose their function as the guardians of the capitalist system, which is why the have hundreds of bases in the world and unequaled expense budget.
The final result is this UN graph showing distribution of income in the world – 20% has concentrated 83% of the wealth and 20% at the bottom get 1% of the wealth. This isn’t by chance - also power is concentrated – military and political. Today there is resistance in so many communities in this world – we are in the front of this general resistance to the system that’s constructed today.
WHAT do we do? It’s not enough just to protest, to scream – we need to think and construct this new world and all of us are called to this construction with different paths – Zapatistas – one world with many worlds – propose an new concept, a new paradigm. In front of this crisis that’s a crisis not in the system but of the system – the logic of development, that affects the whole world – we must find alternatives and not just regulations – we propose the common good of humanity. Some books in front to the building about the concept of the common good – the construction of utopia, the scandals of agri-fields, construction of the common good, the life of the earth humanity that corresponds to the quality of life. We should make this more concrete.
There are 4 fundamental aspects to construct a relationship with nature and move from exploitation to respect of nature. Not private property, corporate property, seeds and water belong to all.
1 and 2) The way we produce and move the value of exchange – if it can’t be sold then it’s worthless – move to a value of USE – use value that corresponds to the necessity of life.
3) Collective lifestyle like here with the Zapatistas Caracoles – create democracy in all aspects of life – men and women,
4) Culture – how we understand our wealth and accept the inter-culturality – all religions, culture, to construct, to think with a diverse spirituality that will be different in different parts of the world and an ethic to construct this new era.
Based on these 4 principles from the local to the international level, this may seem like a utopia – yes – because we need utopias - capitalism has destroyed utopia. But there are thousands of initiatives that are reconstructing our relationship with nature, to meet humanity needs, a generalized democracy and to accept that the occidental civilization is not synonymous with development. All cultures have something to bring to a new development. This can bring us to rethink totally the reality of this reality to pass to a convergence to have enough strength to force the system to something else.
Movimiento por justice del barrio-nueva York
Juan Carlos, Mexicans in West Harlem, part of The Other Campaign.
Like most of us who are immigrant
Movie – the other Another world, another path, another barrio.
We are primarily Mexican immigrants that fight for justice in West Harlem.
In the cold winter of 2004 we were fed up with inhumane living conditions and the way Mexican immigrant women were being treated.
We are the humble and simple community – poor, marginalized, targets of those from above, politicians, corporations, push us from our homes.
We have a big connection with Chiapas and the Zapatistas.
Down with Virerito – we denounce the injustice of Melissa Mar (?) - she wants to evict us. She wants to evict people to build luxury apartments.
We left our countries due to bad governments, now we are being displaced from our homes in the U.S. We organize going door to door, building to building, block by block to find resistance to displacement. We form committees in each building and they are autonomous. There are 72 committees in el barrio. Collectively we plan, decide, carry out strategies like lawsuits, protests, marches. El Barrio is not for sale.
No nos vamos. We have over 750 members of the struggle.
The politicians are corrupt, including Mayor Bloomberg.
The resilient will fight to the end. We are not going anywhere.
Our children see their parents in the struggle and this continues to bring a practice of getting familiar with the members of the movement. With time, we’ve made it apart of the culture.
We joined The Other Campaign. We must build another world, one on which many worlds fit. Immigrants, LBGTQ, everyone.
We fight so that the oceans and rivers and deserts will belong to those that live there and those who will take care of them.
No one will own more land than they can cultivate or own more homes than they can live in.
Zapatismo in el barrio. We practice consultas in our buildings. La consulta del barrio – our form of struggle consists of what the people decide – the community has the last word – the principles are democracy, autonomy, self determination. We consult the community through a community ballot. Three problems were identified and three public meetings were held to find out what is most important, then develop strategies and define the form of struggle.
We are inspired by Zapatistas. We have encuentros in NYC - our encuentros.
Zapatistas – the encuentro invites you to speak for yourselves.
On 12-4-2011 we had an encuentro in New York City – a way of sharing developed by the Zapatistas, from the left and below – we all listen, we all learn, we can share different struggles that make us one. Representatives from community organizations and collectives organize to fight for justice, etc. We are fighting the same enemy. We had 5 basic points – who we are, conditions we face, who are our enemies, how we fight, ?
Some titles from a slide show:
Our differences break down borders.
One problem is detention centers.
Projects destroy the culture – you forget your own language, etc. Difference is basis of true democracy.
The landlords are kicking out low income tenants.
Marginalized groups take center stage at the encuentros.
Video messages are sent in from those who can’t be there.
Free trade agreements – benefit the rich, take away our land.
Atenco airport project – will displace poor people.
Smash a neo-liberal piñata.
The only way to win is to organize. Democracy, liberty, justice – we walk for them. Knock down the walls.
Other similar movements are people’s front in defense of the land, shack dwellers movement in South Africa, San Sebasian.
Mexico lives in our hearts.
In 2012, our movement with thousands of people had 2 solidarity campaigns to support indigenous struggles in Mexico.
Bringing down the prison walls!
“Committees of the true world”
Free Francisco Santiz Lopez
Oct 12 – Nov 17 direct action and protest.
Worldwide echo in support of the Zapatistas.
The revolution is not today or tomorrow – this is the beginning of the end.
Cairo, Athens, Madrid, Philippines, Yew York, Tokyo, Cape Town – have had demonstrations recently. You never know when people will reach the breaking point, like in Chiapas.
Images from Occupy
Long live women who fight!
Obama? Angela Davis?
Obama is a puppet for corporate America. Continued in my book.
Obama is a puppet in a box – He ran against someone in Chicago, Bobby Rush.
Angela Davis is a good friend who was briefly in the Black Panther Party, then in the Communist Party USA. In many of our papers we supported her, when she was arrested. In the early days in Los Angeles Black Panther Party, we had meetings at the same location as the CP USA. In the 5 hour shoot out between Los Angeles Police Dept and the Black Panther Party, Angela Davis helped organize the community.
What is the Black Panther Party doing now? Working with youth who are inspired by our history. We have chapters and branches and Black Panther Party history month to share the history with the youth. Public libraries, community centers, exhibits, and we come to be part of those programs.
We also support political prisoners. There are 20 – 30 BPP members still in prison, some for 45 years. Some have been in solitary confinement for more than 39 years!
10% of the population we work with are disabled and 10% are elders. We are part of this movement. We had disabled people in the BPP ad a center for independent living in Berkeley, who were responsible for the Americans with Disabilities Act law.
How did you found the BPP schools and get the US government to accept them? We started with liberation schools and then created our own schools. People wanted to contribute, so we got a location in a Presbyterian church, one whole square block and got lawyers to purchase it for us. The media talked to the minister – did he know that BPP was buying the school? No, he said if he knew he wouldn’t have sold it to us. Students played a big part – they had discipline committees of their peers, and they would decide on the method of correction – we taught them how to think, not what to think. We had many field trips and guest lecturers. We had one of the best alternative schools. We offered politics. We had to put it under a corporation, called Stronghold Consolidated, instead of BPP, but everyone know who we were.
Day 2 evening Session
Severino S. Sharupi Tapuy (CONAIE-Ecuador), Andrés Cuyul y Luis Cárcamo-Huechante (Cumunidad de Historia Mapuche), Ivonne Maria Soto (Puerto Rico), moderator is Victor H. López
Change of speakers – Severino postponing for a day until Jan 2, carcamo will present Jan 2, today
Andrés Cuyul y Luis Cárcamo-Huechante (Cumunidad de Historia Mapuche)
Andrés Cuyul: I came from Mapochil in Chile 1996 and started working for the land of the Napucha people, and we wrote a book called History and Assistance of the Mapochica Country with 14 authors. I studied social work, but focused on health and peoples’ desires to share experiences of their health and the way the state has intervened.
What does it mean to be Mapuche? We are committed to our communities and especially to recognize our rights as Mapuche people. We have our lands and have been struggle against the Chilean government, and the struggle for recognition of our rights. We are 604,000 people and 87% live in rural communities. We also live in urban areas and some of us have been lucky to study in University and we have had fellowships in various countries and specialties. I have been working on health and the way the Mapuche people are working on health. There is a strong mistreatment of the Mapuche people. Since 1999 several Mapuche organizations are developing health centers in response to the critique of the mainstream health system; we are recovering the territory but also the traditional health systems as part of the social mobilization among the Mapuche people. We have told the state that we don’t want their methods because they don’t respect our communities. The policies from the state affect our territories with the practices and we don’t want a health policy that doesn’t recognize the health affect of the sewage that arrives in our communities. We don’t want policies that don’t pay attention to what sewer water, factories and dumps are doing to our communities. There are 3 Mapuche organizations that are working on health issues and have created hospitals and several health centers and are recovering the territory and health knowledge from the Mapuche people. Currently the state of relations in the area of health is tense, since there are new health policies that the state has implemented.
In 1861 the state sent the army to the Mapuche territory, violating several treaties and several times until 1881 the territory of Mapuche shrunk. Our land was given to people from other parts of Chile and other parts of the world, so we were colonized and our land was appropriated and we were dispossessed of our land and resources. We can understand the colonial relationship that the state has with the Mapuche people. We have documented several illnesses as a result. Typhus, tuberculosis, and colon problems, that have killed so many of us that were brought by the military.
Since 1980 they implemented health policies of neoliberal format, in which companies provided the health services. For that type of service the Mapuche people are classified as ??, which has high rate of mortility and infant mortality, and this is due to the reduction of the territory and resources, and the advance of the capitalist model in which destruction of resources continues in our territory. Since 1999 3 Mapuche organizations have been created?? Said which ones, in Spanish – health is one of them.
There are several health promises, such as a program for indigenous health founded by the multinational bank. It is a very hierarchical program in which the different laws come from the top down and they are implementing anti-cultural policy of health.
In these policies the situation of lack of water, water resources is not taken into account in the conditions of health of our people. It is a multicultural trap. The state is using multicultural health system to legislate the biological approach, but they do not recognize our experiences since 1999.
In this globalized world, the policies of the Chilean state have been able to create hospital in which they invite healers from Mapuche tradition. However, the social contact in which the Mapuche heals is absent.
The state wants to reduce our broad vision of health to a box in a hospital, where they put the doctor and patient into an isolated room, isolated from the social reality, and in this sterilized space they don’t allow for the traditional parts needed for healing. As professionals graduated from universities, we are hired by the world bank to implement this multicultural policy. Anthropologists are hired to study our plants and we realize that we want to study what the state is doing with us. How the state is codifying our territories, our practices, our health practices.
The state has the obligation to finance the health system and therefore they are supposed to budget for the Mapuche clinics and hospitals and therefore they have been putting some demands on the traditional healers - they need to have a record of what kind of healing they are doing, which bones, for example, and a record of what they do to fix the problem. The state is registering these practices. This is a process that is getting the knowledge and peoples’ identities into the neoliberal system, so the method they are using is to hire traditional healers into the institutions, then make programs for the Mapuche that implement different multicultural policies. Then they use the technologies and make it part of the institutional health system and they now also offer those systems in the public health hospitals. They are appropriating our practices and using our traditional ceremonies in the hospital and we are losing our spaces because they are starting to co-opt the traditional healers. Now there is a strong tension between the health policies and the Mapuche organizations working in health. Also, the tension is against the Inter American bank and the nations, and from corporations like Coca Cola who cause health problems. The state is making a lot of pushing efforts that they are using our practices very well – we demand our autonomy and not this cultural essentialism that the state is trying to appropriate with our practices. We need to be careful about these offers, and the destruction of our knowledge. We need to be very careful about how these policies are affecting our communities.
We need to strengthen our collective, but specifically what people do every day during the day very concrete to our people so we are appropriating the health policies we can create our own methods to strengthen our capacity of living.
The challenge is to create a collective administration of the different clinics and hospitals instead of one director from any part of Chile, we should have one Mapuche director. We don’t want to just bring just any Chilean, we want our Mapuche director. The way we do our administration is collectively and the rights of the Mapuche people have not been recognized.
We live under a dictatorship. We demand the state legal instruments to implement our own health policies. We have from 1980, a decree that provides the funds for private enterprises to give health and under that we receive money to do our clinics, so we are considered a private provider and therefore we need to demand a different legal structure that can cover our health system that is legal but is public at the same time.
Our clinics, health practices, and culture will be codified and this is an example about how the neoliberal politics are applied to the health area.
See our book for more information.
Ivonne Maria Soto (Puerto Rico)
Ivonne is a Medical journalist – in 1968 the first wars of liberty were fought for the Puerto Rican people, sharing the testimony against the Spanish and now our colonization.
It’s a very special day because here this community that I admire and love is truly magical; a movement that we know as Zapatista. For the Puerto Rican people we are walking the same path.
We still have the oldest prisoners, black Americans and indigenous prisoners.
Two empires colonized us in their most defiant era – first Spain, then the US. It is empire – you are companieros – our voice was hidden and suppressed.
I am thankful that there is this space for liberty of expression.
You don’t know what it’s like to live in a colony, 21st century - we are poorer than Mississippi. How can I relate what it is to be colonized? Who are the Puerto Rican people? I was born September 1951 and it took 2 hours to get a medic to my mother, which was easier than having a midwife in the middle of San Juan. I’m born of the orphan class – agriculture – they had land and they had cows and a means of protection. They had no well, but did have a water reserve. There were 12 of us children, and I am the only one that went to university. We don’t talk about independence because it is taboo. Since my mother spoke about it, she had to run all over the place – she had the fear that they would burn their land.
(we watched the Noche de Cine movie)
They continue to massacre us. Last month, my luggage was late and my movies were stolen when I came to Cedeci.
Spanish crown came with military boats – we called it an invitation. The Spanish lost the Pan-American war. 1868 hurricanes were making things even more difficult.
When they came, it was a majority of Protestants, but the Spanish were Catholic. First they prayed to Saints.
The people were forced to leave their land. They migrated.
Nationalism was a huge movement in my parents time. The US military came in with force. Our people who had consistency, the huge generals, the last point was to liberate Puerto Rico. They committed to free political prisoners.
September 23 could not be celebrated, days of revolution. Father didn’t know what to do in the cities, but that’s where we had to go. We had agriculture. There was a big displacement – these images don’t exist.
In 1918 my grandmother was a candidate for the independence party of Puerto Rico.
We had to reclaim our independence and our Puerto Rican independence.
There was armed struggle.
They turned sugar plantations to military plantations. The Nationalist party as very harshly repressed.
Electoral struggle was our only option. We chose the electoral option, but let’s keep respect to the military companieros. They took the voice of the Puerto Rican consciounsness and took him to prison and tortured him.
1967 we rejected US citizenship, because we thought it was for military purposes, which it was. In Puerto Rico we haven’t seen change. The military bastion that the US imposed still exists. There are US military bases all over Puerto Rico.
There is an economic struggle. The founder of independence party had a victory in 1952, but the electoral ballots were not sent in properly, so the 2nd wave of repression began.
The military advertised a “one stop shopping” on two islands – Culebra, and Vieques and they took them over for military use. The islands had warehouses of arms – the military come to Puerto Rico to practice with live ammunition and live targets, and to warehouse arms. They even used depleted Uranium weapons. Our men were going into the US military – I can’t tell you how many disappeared from sight. Many went to live in the US. Some have the hope to train in the military to be trained, then to come back and join in the armed struggle. My father never left Puerto Rico. He was born there, he died there.
I went to New York to work with a transnational news agency, but found out that if I wanted to cover Puerto Rico, after the resolution in Puerto Rico that says that we have the right to self determination, it was ratified in the US, but in Puerto Rico we are harmed by the pharmaceutical companies and the arms industry. My partner got partner. 32 women formed an alliance in Vieques. In this biggest military project, we took out the US navy – it was a huge victory. We used all tactics to get the Navy out.
The Puerto Rican people still live in a colony. Not even one square foot is ours. They’ve been selling everything, expanding the arms industry. The women who founded the alliance of Vieques, for 25 years we were living in a small area with only 2 roads. For 25 years they didn’t speak. This is one of the most important alliances in history. We still have political prisoners – political journalism, don’t even think about it. What I want is my national territory so we can have opportunity for the first time, not to have the life that our parents had. I am waiting for my life in prison. I brought a resolution approved for human rights and have come to ask your support.
What you do in Chiapis is very important to us in Puerto Rico.
We want to celebrate the revolutionary part of the Puerto Rican workers that are clandestine and are saying in a communiqué to SC Marcos – (read a statement) It talks about the creative use of diverse tactics just like in social movements, including clandestine armed struggle to advance our strategic objectives as a nationalist movement. As our enemies have globalized their strategies, we can globalize the spread of ideas, begin the rhetoric, and globalize revolutionary practices.
I ask for your support and to claim solidary support to this resolution from the human rights congress in Puerto Rico that demands the rights of self determination for the Puerto Rican people through the transferring of sovereignty to the Puerto Rican people. Obama knows the lies that he is expanding, started by bush.
People from all over the US have signed on in solidarity and we ask that you support us.
How has the US government been successful in controlling our colony? This barbaric colony – what do we have to say? They manipulate the media. How do we explain this colony? The transnational corporations monopolize all over Puerto Rico. They do not lower inequality or hunger, but the opposite. We propose in Puerto Rico – demilitarization, decontamination, return of occupied territory (13%) by the military. 53% of our people have gone to the US. The houses that they built are full of cracks. In Vieques and Culebra we have seen forced sterilization of our women – that’s genocide. We also have health problems. The pharmaceutical empire operates in Puerto Rico as well. Today I present to you this demand – unconditional release of Oscar Rivera Lopez and the freedom of Puerto Rico.
DAY 3, 1 January 2013
Morning sesión, moderadora: Rocio Noemi Martinez
Good morning, good year, and its difficult to begin without mentioning many things. We would like to begin by thanking Cideci for this space and for the possibility… so
Cideci is a territory that is always in construction – many people in their heart and mind and way of seeing things, there is a harmony, a conjunction. We create community here and it’s creating itself by the community. We are unique, but part of everything. Corn has never been just food, not just a crop; it is something that is born intrinsically. It can’t be grown by itself – it was just a kind of grass and is an agricultural creation and has produced a variety of foods and it was never separated from the people We cannot live without each other, so it has been carried though religious cultural values that make it enormously strong and important. So everything that has been involved with the mutual raising of the corn is also part of the people. The Zapatista uprising is one more of the uprisings of the Maya people, who have never themselves been completely taken over, so there’s always an uprising and it always has to do with the right to the territory and to be a people.
There is a situation that causes us to rise up. These are the moments when our dignity is compromised and when each of us wants to decide about our lives. We are in the middle of a deep attack against the heart of our culture, because indigenous and peasant communities are in territories. The capital, in crisis, wants to take advantage of resources, and the capitalist system is in crisis, so there are deeper attacks for more resources – mining , petroleum, more infrastructure creation - roads, destruction of biodiversity, water. The problems are interconnected, just like all of these terrible exploitations cause the displacement of indigenous people and the violent growth of cities, which cause pollution. One of these attacks is the appropriation of food systems. Corn is a symbol – how transnational corporations are planning to eliminate all independent food sources, and in this sense you can see many different facets.
The appropriation of seeds has a fundamental factor, which is that seeds are the key to all of the food chain, what opens the food chain. There are Monsanto to Walmart and 20 different corporations that make a chain and chain us to this chain. We are against this type of chain. Why is it important to appropriate the food chain? Monstanto is a poison factory – all of the seed factories are factories of poison from 100 years ago. There were food systems that were out of the hands of the corporations, and that gives power to resistance. 2 tactics – 1, earnings of many and having power over something that allows them to manipulate us because of our dependence on them, and 2, illnesses are all connected to the food system and we know physically that this is the way it is, that the system that is trash is less and less food and more and more chemicals, so all of these facets make it so that they have power over the food, the whole chain. Even though they have enormous power, we should never begin an analysis that doesn’t include them. 147 trans-nationals have hold of about ½ of the economy of the world. Governments are no longer independent of them. Their interest is only of making money. If you focus on Mexico, Monsanto is not just the biggest seed company in the world but also the biggest agro-toxic company and largest corporate monopoly in the history of capitalism. It has 90% of genetically modified (GM) seeds. This does not happen in any other sector – and is in the sector that gives life, food. Monsanto and DuPont and Dow want to plant 2.5 million ha of GM corn in Mesoamerica, the center of origin of corn. This proposal is to plant GM corn in the base of origin of this crop. Not just GM contamination into the genetic center of corn itself, but a brutal hit against food for the world. If they achieve this, everything that happens after that is terrible. There are 30,000 different varieties of corn in Mexico, so to contaminate those seeds at the biological level, where the plant becomes sterile and other terrible possibilities and those GM seeds are patented, so to make a patent and say, I invented something, there must be an inventor. You can’t give credit to a food for an inventor. When a neighbor’s food is contaminated, they must pay fees to the inventor. Monsanto is suing the farmers and what will happen - the farmers become criminal unless they pay to Monsanto. 6-7 years ago, Monsanto said that whoever planted GM soy would go to jail. What are they going to take from the peasants – they will make us illegal. They will be in debt to the corporations. There is an avalanche of GM food and agro-toxic chemicals. The seeds are resistant to these chemicals; you must use tons of chemicals that kills everything around. It contaminates earth and water and people and taints the food that we eat. A study published in October in France says the chemical causes cancer damage to kidneys - the problems start after just 4 months. GM foods cause terrible harm to humans.
There’s a symbol - a problem to destroy the people with the corn. This is more important than the toxicity – there’s an extra for the businesses – it is a central part of culture - they don’t care, will fuck it up. They have a power that’s bigger than appropriation.
The price of corn went up recently.
What is growing, how to protect it? Corn is not just a food, it has relationships to feed and be fed - corn is in the center – not just as a seed. We also plant squash, beans which are very important. Corn – allows us to count time and decide what to eat and gives us autonomy. The people have to decide if this is working or not. The most important thing is the relationship so we are talking about a new Baktun and be conscious of these relationships. What is the importance in the defense of corn we are defending peoples of the corn – we need to defend the seed – it is our companion. What we – the best defense is to know what seeds go into a community and where most of the contamination comes from.
Contamination happens due to wind and massive planting. People’s permanent tribune, in 70s called ?? and it began to denounce ?? in Vietnam but if not for this tribunal we wouldn’t know about it. People’s tribunal to collect the collective voice of the peoples and defend their collective rights.
We want to know what’s happening first – that’s a tool – it’s not just knowledge. In this hearing the primary focus here in Mexico in Oct 2011 was to denounce feminicide, violence against migrants, violence against workers, environmental devastation as separate hearing, another about the dirty war, corn and food sovereignty. Network in Defense of corn.
1) Legal processes to dismantle the rights of territories, water, and common property. For example in Mexico to be able to send … NAFTA – Rights were taken, laws involving our territory subject to NAFTA – the systematic dismantling of production not just food, but sovereignty is a fundamental part.
2) Infrastructure dismantles and destroys common property and introduction of laws that criminalize saving seeds – the Monsanto law, requires people to certify about their seeds and have to pay for that, and exchanges of seeds between people. This whole package of measures against the basic structure of autonomous food structures.
3) GM organisms are privileged – the businesses that produce hybrid seeds or it is hybrid and not detected, the GM organism causes a change in the species because those genes of bacteria and plants – Monsanto could say you’re raising my patented seed because those genes can be detected. This is intentional to have contamination.
The victims have to pay – it’s perfect for the agro-business.
The government of Canada says you must pay to Monsanto, so show me your invoice for the corn seeds. It works for you to buy the seeds, because if your crop is contaminated you have to pay anyway.
4) Appropriation AND an invasion of territories, mining projects, dams, monocultures, African palm, affected communities have no way to grow food, it’s harder to resist, so going against food sovereignty . What could be more perverse than selling ?? from the forest to the people? RED - ?? is owned by the business, so people can’t go to the forest.
Forest preserves – alienating the people. Not having food sovereignty, people are much weaker.
There are a lot of documents about GRAIN organization – fighting against multinationals – the biggest cause of climate change. 14% of greenhouse gases caused by industrial agriculture, but also transportation and other parts of the industrial system. Organic waste which in the cities is almost all organic, this has a big effect on climate change. What campasinos produce, goes back into agriculture.
Proposal? Strengthen food system in indigenous communities and migrants and communities and general. Campesinos are really responsible for 70% of the food in the world. If the remaining 30% is putting their rules out for all of us, we can support the Network in Defense of Corn. When the struggles are fundamental, they are permanent. Change of an era, we have to defend territory in all areas and make community and work against destruction of communities, that’s permanence. We have to decide that all of our struggles are permanent and there will always be a struggle for territory. It’s a change of mindset.
We can recover corn and strengthen our community.
Intro: Center of Intercultural Centers and Dialogues in Oaxaca. Rejects the terminology of development in all forms and considers them destructive. Opposes social control.
Good morning/afternoon, thank you. We live in times of indignation and that’s why we live in times of reflection. Many years ago on a cold rainy afternoon some friends met - we are angry, indignant with rage - we have to have clarity over that range – where does it come from – we just find our heart within. We learn that we’re walking together.
Mexico is falling apart; its social fabric is ripped apart. Without an apolyptic discourse we need to consider where the rage comes from to recognize ourselves.
A brief reflection: 1/3 of Mexicans live outside of Mexico, 37 million people. 20 million Mexicans have left since NAFTA. Vast majority go to US and Canada, some as far as Japan. Mexico lives in a state of permanent war and internal occupation. Calderon’s war – repeat the stats 100,000 dead, 18,000 disappeared, 50,000 kidnapped, ½ million displaced – the most violent conflict in the world. We have registered many masacres. Mexico has stopped being a state of law or rights. IACHR defined it as the use of powers of the state to chase and revert the human rights of people. Those in power act in bad ways to the people they are sworn to protect. Amnesty International says the national security forces are generalized and have reached extreme statistics. Mexico is no longer considered a democratic society – fraud, buying votes, the party system has decomposed. Corruption affects on every level. Electoral forms and despotism has destroyed our faith in this regime.
Journalists in New York say there is a repression of journalists in Mexico because there are arrests every year and an imposition of silence. The economy is a disaster, one of the worst in Latin America. The crisis is every part of the economic sector. More than 60 million Mexicans find themselves in poverty. 12 million cannot buy groceries and 25 million are hungry. The middle class is in the process of degradation. Mexico produces the richest man and the poorest people in the world. The legal doors for the young are closed – they can’t study or find employment. Graduates cannot get employment. Immigration is closed. Their families can’t maintain them, they succumb to illegal actions – theft and crime and a deterioration of the community.
The state of nature does not have residence in the country. Deregulation and concession of the territory causes environmental destruction and causes irreversible damage to air, water, ocean – continued degradation. 30% of national territory already has been sold to transnational corps. These are concessions of 50 years (NAFTA). No area of our reality where there is not destruction.
One statistic in the debate – almost ½ of consumption in the country is corn - we are abandoning our basic staple and it has become an industrial commodity. Like always, in this, the women are the ones who have the worst time. The course of these decades the governments use distance economic and social policies and have not planned support of logic and inalienable rights of transnational corps. This is a horror. We’re not at the border of the abyss but have already fallen into it and we can’t see the bottom of it. This is the horizon of our current struggle and we should keep it present in our struggle.
We are not alone.
150 years ago some German socialist thought they would not suffer from what England would suffer. Marx said that now that you have capitalism you will have to suffer the same horrors. Look at yourselves a little more –
Mexico is an extreme situation of disaster in every aspect of our everyday life. Don’t believe that you are safe because you have a leader that pretends to be left. You can see yourselves in this mirror – you are on your way there. We need to look at the nature of this horror. Perhaps we will leave this neoliberal nightmare into something that’s even worse.
Neoliberals put everything in the hands of the market, minimize the state. Some person who worked for Bush said, “I want to make the state so small that it can be flushed down the toilet.” They have started to realize that the state regulates the market and we can’t get rid of it so easily.
We need to realize the state crisis of capitalism. The state is no longer a gestation of ideas but it is go control capitalism and protect from its own excess.
More and more
Capitalism suffers a form of regression. In the midst of economic traps, used by capitalists itself for the excess of a few, results in absolute displacement. Capitalism always is an instrument of displacement – accumulation by displacement.
Since Marx, we talked about permanent accumulation and talk about the particular displacement that capitalism was set on. Displacement never ended, but became marginal because the center is occupied by abstract notions of value.
We see mining companies and resource extraction. The current regime is beyond the laws of value, but is worse because of displacement.
Equal use of the carrot and the stick are used. Many well educated, prepared local hitters are put against those that defend their territories so that the conflict doesn’t seem to be police repression, but a conflict within communities. There’s no place for optimism. It’s not about ½ full, or ½ empty – our glass is full of shit and it smells very bad.
How to avoid desperation? Losing hope is the same as dying. Recovering hope as a social force is a fundamental key for the survival of the human race, planet earth, and popular movements. Hope is not a conviction that something will happen in a certain way. We have to nurture it, protect it, but also it’s not about sitting and waiting for something to happen – it’s about a hope that converts to action.
Wendell Barry, a poet, says that to avoid desperation – we can imagine something different – already a fundamental fountain – and make concrete today, here and now, a small piece even of that imagination that we have imagined. It’s about connecting the hope with reality.
Just saying no is not enough. This no has to be accompanied with a continued way, with a creation of an alternative. If the Zapatistas showed us something, the time of action is now. The told us a couple of days ago that they are doing everything of their part and now it’s our turn. Those already in movement must make concrete their actions; those that are paralyzed must lose their fear and begin to move.
Many think to the future to change the operators of this system and it will be resolved, but they need to come back together to create a society that’s much more beyond our current reality. Zapatistas tell us that we must move now, but now stupidly – not about the next door, what door to knock on. How do we move? What direction? What action do we take? There’s a consensus of urgency. How do we do this in the city? There’s a way to begin to suggest where – we change the nouns for the verbs. Education – we submit ourselves to someone educating us – but with the verb learning we recover our ability to learn – it’s us that learns – we need to find the way that we can all learn and give away our dependence. Health > healing – how do we heal ourselves? Change from the nouns to the verbs. This action is clear. It’s not about taking the state apparatuses of repression- how do we dismantle the state? By making them irrelevant. Capitalism production abstraction exploitation – how do we eliminate these? By minimizing their necessity to exist. We’re in a structure of hierarchical system – how do we dissolve those structure – most urgent – make them unnecessary. Then everything will come into place.
Each Zapatista school, each small group of friends that learn and study is joyful, uniterra, cedecis are making unnecessary the teachers and making them disappear!
Like Zapatistas told us, they do not need us to fail – just like educational reforms will fail. We don’t need them to exist. That’s what they tell us – we don’t need those structures and institutions or substitute teachers. To learn, organize ourselves to learn. Not accepted into University – not about that – not to demand more seats in the universities. Today we could organize ourselves that every Mexican can learn what they need to learn, minimizing the necessity of the apparatus. This works in every aspect of life.
It works for medicine – MDs make more disease than they cure. The most important health reform (Obama) - at the end, the health care system is the most expensive in the world. Our women and children are dying when trapped in that system of health. We can live without it. Look at fever – it is an expression of a healthy body – it reacts in a healthy way – elevating the temperature helps eliminate the viruses – give it 3 days avoiding really excess fever, the problems will resolve themselves because our defense system will heal us and be strengthened.
Redefine the body and soul – it’s about being well. Here we know, the Zapatistas created a network of practices of installations – not just healing, bur communities that go to these communities to heal themselves.
Eating – Galliano says in these moments of global fear - those who do not fear hunger fear eating. Millions of people go to bed with empty stomachs. The rest know what we are eating – that in every body is poison from our food. We are either afraid of hunger or eating – will we wait for the government to change things? Some moral change from Monsanto or Walmart? The biggest or in the history of humanity, campasinos, with the fishing community, has reached a consensus – food sovereignty – defining what we eat for ourselves, not the market or state 2) produce it for ourselves, by ourselves. How do we produce what we eat? The people already produce 70% of what we eat;. The possibility of us producing our own food in the cities or any other part of the world –witness Cuba, during collapse of Soviet Union, they were able to produce 60% of their food in the city.
Detroit is another city where urban gardens flourish. The mayor of New York wanted to prohibit chickens from crowing before 8 am - they sing – the neighbors (in NY) said they were used to the sounds of the cars, but not the chickens. This is happening everywhere, in the middle of Mexico city, food is being produced. What does this signify? A struggle against the forgotten from the 80s and 60s. In the mountains of Chiapas there was hunger. This was the only place in Mexico where people could die beside the road from hunger and the diseases caused by hunger – in this very zone right here. We came here in the 70s and 80s. Now there is no malnutrition and they have the capacity to grow their food, what to eat, how to prepare it. Eating is the first. That’s where the people are at. Each of us ask every day, what did I do to begin to advance the production of my own food, to define what I eat?
Labor, the left – heir to the protestant ethic of everyone to work, became an idol. The word labor comes from torture. They torture us in work. Employment will be none. Deterioration and Abstraction – we stop working and reactivate our lives and engage in activities that give us the ability to live.
Paul Krugman(?) – what if our side of the revolution won and you have the perfect society – what would you do in that society? Now, Paul Goodman(?) says, now that you’ve imagined it, start doing it today. You will be doing what you want to be doing in a perfect society, in our immediate context. It’s not about the utopia – it’s already being constructed. The Zapatistas are the most radical, but there are millions of people reacting to the problems and are doing something. It’s not about taking the white house or changing power, it’s about we are the words that we use.
We must recover the we, and in every we, we are not individuals even though that’s what we think, we‘re not – we are relations – we are part of different communities. Now we are regenerating ourselves. We can recreate community relations starting with a few friends, to create a new society.
We all know that is our main sin – fighting all of the sins of the left. If we are boiling with horror and rage, and confusion, feeling that we can’t connect with others, we must get past that misconception and re-conceptualize our struggle. We need to realize that today we can live in struggle.
How do you continue resisting? It’s like air – we can‘t stop breathing, we can’t stop resisting.
Zapatistas – we are only men and women (ordinary) and that’s why we are rebels, nonconformists, dreamers – this is the time of rebels – ordinary people. On 22nd with communiqués and today they are sharing their social construction of autonomy and are willing to define every system – everything for everyone, not just for us. The Zapitismo does not just belong to them – we are defending ourselves.
2nd – seeing, acting with conscience – acting know what it means to do what we do every day. Knowing that tomatoes growing on my roof are revolutionary. A change in our every day actions and consciousness.
Anti-capitalism today is anti-patriarchy.and we have to address that at this time. A patriarch was not there yesterday – doesn’t happen with false quotas – It’s about re-inventing the world, about creating a new type of society to finish off the sexist regime, patriarch and modern sexism – gender fundamental, center our society around gender. The women are well aware and have taken leadership of the change. In Oaxaca, the feminization of politics – when they suffer, they suffer from the old patriarchy and the modern sexism is the definition of hell. They recover the histories of people, the sense of being people and commit themselves.
We are already in the new world. It has already been born. The first bourgeoisie died without knowing what they were. The capitalist system was already invented. Let’s not let the same thing happen to us. New social relations already exist and we are affected by some harms, imperfect. Open our eyes and ears, learn to recognize ourselves.
Comments and questions:
With what I’m hearing about the poisoning of the earth, our bodies, the imagination and creation and soul, and we have to always begin to make the change arise from myself – what is the % of poisoning of the earth? What is the value of earth that is poisoned?
How many of our ideas are really healthy? How much imagination do we have, how many of our ideas are healthy?
It seems like this can’t get better, but it can. I come with the Yo Soy 132 movement, the popular assembly and the multi-love collective. Based on monogamy and based on romanticness, the film industry has exported this model. Do you think erotic resistance has a place in this movement? Is it possible to get to a non-capitalist world without questioning the forms of love?
I’m Mexican and Canadian, a migrant and have a different perspective to capitalism – I’m a union member, a socialist, anti-capitalist. The last reserve is hired hands, workers. Don’t forget about the vanguard that the party should take? How is capital taking over autonomous movements? In Canada and the US there is a tendency - for example the Detroit community kindergartens, and I see the middle class and working class don’t understand how they are oppressed, and buy in Walmart. We produced our tomatoes – all anti-capitalist, so capital tends to invade our liberated spaces – how do we challenge the privatization of our thought and radical practice?
I’m in a collective in the north – the situation as the project goes farther, even air is appropriated. We began to investigate with support of campasinos and were surprised cutting down trees in the commune goes against this new carbon reduction so we’re going to be sanctioned as farmers, but the argument is that probably they would have to pay the accumulation of carbon to the farmers so they could take care of the forest, but we suppose this RED+ - where does the profit go? The state uprooting to justify the spoilments, we thought that the nation state was falling, but we tried to justify despoilment and the countries don’t lose the capability of having their nation state sell to the transnational companies – this is an illusion – strengthening the nation state to justify despoilment because as the mines and land is being sold for the construction of businesses?
Answers: Percentages – there are institutions measuring it – the price the environment – it is the most brutal crisis. Erosion, biodiversities, fewer species, less diversity – comparable to the dinosaur extinction time. This all has to do with displacement of varieties, natural or cultivated. I don’t have more data, but there are 9 particular problems defined on a planetary level because they threaten existence, like the meaning of the oceans, which is most significant – a combination of climate change and toxins in the water. The meaning of agriculture. Animals that have a shell in the oceans are dying because of agricultural products – this has a huge impact on the earth, just one example. Ozone, climate hange, erosion, a lot of general indictors which are past the emergency state. We are destroying the planet in less than 100 years. There are organizations – people born in the US in the 80s have traces of hundreds chemicals in their body from breastfeeding. The most widespread illnesses – diabetes, heart, cancer are all linked to junk food. Instead of changing, the mentality is to fix our diets and nutrition, but really this is one of the ploys.
Health thoughts – we have a lot of capability to be the worst or the best. Confront each other as equals in a community. We are a network of relations, not individuals. This is a way to develop wisdom.
A new food class where the worst food in the supermarket is cheaper. Those better off can have organic gardens. The movement in the north are different from Brazil, completely peasant – organic agriculture movements started there. S. Brazil they are doing organic production – not more expensive. The farmers develop their own production, eliminate intermediaries. Seems strange to grow organic food for others. Need to recuperate growing our own food. Rosario, Argentinia with most gardens, strategy of the people to feed themselves. What is happening in the north is not necessarily happening everywhere.
Deforestion 70-90% is due to agriculture expanding, so we go back to the food system. Those who deforested already but stop, take credit for carbon. McKenzie group does this. Pubic business in Congo, Guiana, how can we show that deforesting – if they deforest 100 units, they will say we were going to deforest 150, so we’re really deforesting more than we thought we would – this is very perverse. There are no uninhabited forests. They say, if you don’t cut the forest, you can absorb more carbon and we will pay for that. So you don’t cut, and we’ll deforest. In Mexico are very severe cases in Oaxaca, communities started accepting these payments, but in the 2nd year said they don’t pay us much, but we can’t do agriculture - we need to end the contract, they said not, there’s a 5 year contract, so the state declared the zone of the community as a protected national environment services area, and now for 30 years you can’t decide and the indigenous people are responsible for climate change because they don’t want to honor this contract. There are several communities in this situation in Oaxaca – they went to trial and won.
This is a frightening apocalyptic panorama. 99% of all medicines have GM corn and we are consuming GM corn even if we aren’t eating it. It’s almost impossible to get chicken on the market which isn’t severely poisoned into our body. This is catastrophic. We need to research so we know the level of poison.
In 40 indigenous communities they have abandoned chemicals; we have to create another system. The Zapatistas know that we are contaminated and our ideas are poisoned, but we can take into account – the concepts from a previous era might be obsolete. We must trust in artists and poets that don’t use previous thoughts. We must propose how to challenge the institutional production of truth.
Love – a wonderful guide for us once he came here – shows with great clarity – transition to another age – book describes as transition from gender?? Capitalism is the destruction of gender. Before capitalism there was no sex (?) Each person masturbates with the body of the other. The real possibility to live in the face of the other – the UID. There are communities in which gender is broken but not destroyed. We can regenerate gender. Gender, in the rest of society has been completely destroyed. We have to make erotic effectiveness an exploration.
The corporations, market, state will do everything possible to impede transformation and the autonomous – Walmart has a goal to control 90% of organic food and 80% of all vegetables.
All of our initiatives are possibly open to cooptation. Not just gentrification, community gardens are not doing things well or efficient and we will concede them to a business but will change the whole idea. Avoid cooptation. Distinguish when the tomatoes on the roof are revolutionary.
This autonomous kingdom cannot be co-opted and made to disappear. Even the queen kills the workers when they bring food that poisons her – we can infect the corporate world to dismantle it.
One more thing about the nation state – it is a traditional regimen constituted for and by capitalism and was how it developed. It has to be dismantled. Its primary function is to administrate the economy, using police if they need to. No state can carry out their principle function. Police structure control, there’s an appearance of a nation state. In England there is still a queen and they celebrate the monarch, and England is not a monarchy – they have rituals, but the nation state died. What do we do with what’s left? How do we lead with this mechanism in which the laws are privileges according to class? Some can violate them with impunity and others are punished. How do we see the judicial police regime? We have to confront this very great problem. What do we have in place of the nation state?
Questions: Without feminism there is no socialism – from last year. To think about anti-capitalism we have to think about anti-patriarchy. We need to make ourselves more conscious. We need to describe capitalism as patriarchal and we realize we must raise consciousness. The protection of humans needs to be lead by women. 1) How is the process of raising consciousness possible, today, winning over the violence – social movements would have to assume and think what state do we need, or do we need that state?
Not just denouncing the health sector, but I’m from Neoleon?? We do not have many people in medicine. Leon has an article (law), which is racist, you can be fired if you charge or not. In my collective is a person with a masters in Mexican history, when he was diagnosed with diabetes he is fired. How can we create an autonomous hospital? Medical students are taught to make money or research, and they are grossed out by their patients. How can an autonomous hospital with good equipment and surgery, where there is no charge, but voluntary donations, how can we break the cycle where there isn’t enough people and medicines to care for people? The pharmaceutical companies do research – we would not enter into the pharmaceutical companies’ research.
My group in Mexico city is dedicated to traditional medicine. A book – important to burn the countryside of Marsailles to see what would happen to the people. Read about how the north of the country is coming up with an accord of this idea. Certification of the north to certify GM corn in the north of the country?
How are we discovering that we are going to create a new world, when all of this idea of liberation theology began in 60s and 70s, there is a phrase that said, begin the kingdom of the heavens now, when we get together we are creating this kingdom – socialism, communism, utopia, we see it – while we are seeing it, we are constructing it. From here, we are transforming the reality. Purity of thought – in the 1960s there were musicians that to not be absorbed by the music companies, they decided to do punk rock, so they created just pure noise, but they started selling CDs and entered the market.
Answers: Women are taking leadership and doing something different than before. In a healthy way, all of the existing organizations have a patriarchal structure – we must rethink all of the organizations, with new words – how can this organization be matriarchal, what is the patriarchal meaning in the national state of Mexico.
I was in an assembly and ½ way through, a macho man leapt across the room, grabbed the microphone, we have to see what is happening? The clinics and departments and this organization are in charged by women. We have lost our power, we cannot put men in power – we are happy! Women don’t boss people around from the top, they do things differently, they open the pathways in different ways. It’s not time to just give responsibility to women in San Andres and Oaxaca, now the women said if you men recognize that you are impotent to realize your jobs, then we will take over your jobs – but if you recognize that you can still do it, we have more important things to do.
We can’t in one day invent an autonomous hospital. We have to think about what is healing and live in health. You can decide about technologies, but many don’t make sense. I want to live with dignity in my house and not with tubes that are uselessly prolonging my life. For a broken bone, they will take an X-ray, because there is not a better way. Some technologies are necessary, but we need a collective redefinition about living healthy. In the right moment, we can visit Zapatista friends to see how they created their autonomous hospitals.
The high level of violence in the north is to make it unlivable to live in the north so we can do other things in that territory – a possible conspiracy. Take into account the history. In the north, only 6% of the land was in the hands of the indigenous, so the Rockefellers and Mexican government are together in the north, called the green revolution, there was the idea of creating a cushion between the industrial revolution and the peasant south of Mexico. How can we put it into a historical context and what are the springs making it happen?
Coincidence between the crops in the north and the creation of the wall on the border – there is an automatic coincidence – that people will leave the north because of the GM seeds to be planted and the wall created, and the urgency needs to be clear that we need to stop this planting of the GM corn. Calderon wanted to push it forward, but there were many protests, so contaminated corn is a global issue, but they said let’s leave it for next administration so we make many changes so it will be approved. We have to organize against this.
When patriarchy is dismissed, it is important to talk about here, because all of the sexisms aren’t different from racism but an important economic structures – if you are a certain person you can be excluded from participating.
There is a power structure – we asked that oppressive power that is expressed, people of color and women have biological traits that oppress us.
Day 3, evening session
Chavez Alonzo was honored, has recently died. What does death mean to us? We don’t see death as the end, but the beginning of a new life, the beginning of silence, uniting our energy with earth, water, sun. Before our mother moon and our father son, death is the moment to deposit the seed into the mother earth, where unification of the sun and moon manifests itself as eternal life. Putting the body into earth represents planting the seed of life. We say physically he’s not here, but spiritually he is.
We May the 4 elements guard you.
We offer our best wishes to our brothers and sisters.
Representatives of the pueblos and tribes of CNI
Sun Ha and La Laurez de Sunchun – good evening. Communication from pueblos – to brothers and sisters - the Nawa communities would like to greet you wherever you may be. Thanks to Cideci and Chiapis. We are paying close attention to what you’re analyzing. Thank you to the campaneros of the Zapatisto army, for this is how we came together, and for the national congress of the indigenous of 1976? where Romona was present. We are witnesses to the way the bad governments treat us, put us in jail – those who defend the water, land, air, brothers and sisters. We see how the bad governments come together to exploit, rob, jail people unjustly to keep the poor of the world vulnerable – women, children. We see the way the fooled us no matter what flag they may have. We need to change the rules of this world – capitalist and we need a place where there’s no violence war, everyone gets respect.
Not only respect towards humans, but for mother earth and all those who live on her. The beings whom we’ve lived with for all these years.
We need to prepare ourselves to complete our promises. We are sure that governments create laws that do no good for indigenous pueblos. The only want us to be slaves. In the capital city of Mexico, the politics of indigenous people continues. We’re not going to let them continue to destroy the forests and springs. We see how they want to buy people’s consciousness. In Mexico city a brother just barely survived – he supported the Qui – for us and for all the world he is Francisco Qui Candalial. Punishment to the guilty. They are still in charge of Mexico city and all of Mexico and also the owners of the big corporations. Thank you again for CNI to continue to struggle and resist. Thank you to everybody to help us to build a better world. Never again a world without us!
Amusco town in Guierroro. Brothers and sisters in struggle, we send warm greetings, our hearts and thoughts are there and we are part of the same struggle against capitalism. Our small effort is focused around our right to speak, and is a right everywhere in the world. We have the right to speak in our own language. Capitalist laws make it a crime to speak our language, so we come together to struggle against this. We struggle to decide how we want to live our lives. We continue struggling against capitalism, to cultivate corn, to speak our language, the word of our collective dreams and resistance. From the word of water is free and clear.
The situation in Mexico has been a series of violence, rape, pillage. The Yakis that are struggling right now send greetings, struggle for water. Greetings from a different conference. Those struggling in Jalisco against mining send their greetings. Witchitan in Oaxaca brothers and sisters at the conference, in Witchitan are in the same struggle, sorry we can’t be with you. Years ago the federal government let oil companies invade our property and land and they continue to arrive in our towns and pueblos and are continuing to create agreements with transnationals that are putting our pueblos in danger. Production of energy with wind mills are projects that dominate our land and make it difficult to create a sustainable system. In the isthmus we are resisting wind projects. Mexico is not respecting our right to resist. In Witchitan they are trying to occupy the lands through false documents and agreements. So we came together and took over the municipal palace to resist this decision. They continue to occupy the territory so the wind mills cannot continue their presence there. Dec 7 the popular assembly managed to suspend the windmill project. 28 Dec 2012 four trucks with hit men invaded one of the towns with the state police, realizing people are resisting the project, the doors of the palace were closed but they entered by force and many of our people were wounded. Many of the people in favor of the windmill company and project came together and said that our assembly was fraudulent and began a campaign to deceive the population and tell them that the resistance was fraudulent. We denounce the police and others who beat our companeros. Many of our people are now on the run trying to escape the government and police that are trying to prosecute them. We continue to resist those that invade our territory. We hope to unite our voices of struggle and resistance so that we may prevail. The windmill project in Santa Teresa is not going to happen. Long live the Zapatistas, long live the CNI
Margarita Chavez Alonzo, daughter of Don Juan Chavez from Inmoria community
Good evening, I am Margarita Chavez Rodriguez member of Don Chavez Alonzo, our community established Moria before we can remember and the community of Epichan. My father always expressed the countless events that he participated in, in the struggle of our communities, to achieve its autonomy. In the absense of my father we will continue to be loyal to the struggle for defense of mother earth and defense of our land. No matter how difficult our conditions, our land is not subject to negotiation, much less selling it. To continue our practices, obeying, respect to our authorities and our general assemblies and to collective consensus. These practices strengthen our memory of our ancestors. As his descendent I express to you the name of my family. I will continue to promise to struggle and other communities in their struggle for autonomy. I continue to honor my father.
Viva Zapitastas! Viva Jalusco!
From Inoria town – breaking some of the rules, someone very well known suggested not taking yourself too seriously; we will try to do that. Good evening, brothers and sisters, I ask permission to speak. Many men have taken to the streets in our town of Mitchijuacan. My father certainly would have like this and judged these lands and gallantly said goodbye before continuing on his path. You’ll see that these words have different characters aside from conversation and advice, Put in my mind the figure of Juan Chavez. I asked from the gods and goddesses to teach us what he knows on this path. I don’t know exactly what happened. I felt known when I arrived; he made me space by his side on the bench that he occupied. Even though the physical body is not here the nature and the land continues t struggle.
We labored in favor of education, and established community centers so everyone can be part of it. There’s other struggle to reconstruct the dignity of the Comecha nation, to decide every aspect of our life, to get rid of lies, to honor. It’s here in these lands and mountains in the sea that I know more about the words of this great man and the reason that everybody has to be here – with his example he brought us here as our older spiritual brother. From the NCI we say hello to you.
Recipa community document
Good evening to the conference, EZLN, members of the resistance.
We are people that want to live healthy lives. Our resistance consists of taking care of each other and the communities in which we lie collectively. To construct a distinct world we live by a water well and corporations want to destroy it. Many years ago we prepared ourselves to defend our water.
We take care of mother earth – cultivate it without agro-toxics. We use herbs to take care of our production in times of drought. We want to change the way we treat each other as people, just like with mother earth. 15 families are taking up the flag of resistance. We are convinced that we need to defend our territory – without it we are no one. We are being threatened - small properties – companies who want our land and send their paramilitaries. We struggle each day for life, for dignity, the struggle is not to become landowners, but so that everything becomes for everybody. The land does not belong to us – we belong to the land.
Abehas in Chiapas
Good evening, night, day, companeros – we apologize for our ignorance that we did not ask to speak, I speak in the name of the Tsutilas, the men and women. We are indigenous, but that’s a way to catalog and men and women of the corn. What we do, not exactly what we think should be done. Our word is not written - it is spoken. We struggled over 20 years ago, defenders of human rights. We don’t have degrees, but stand against violence and death that the state commits against our friends. The struggle began many years ago, but 20 years ago we formed Las Horehas. Dec 20th and 22nd we celebrated those 20 years. Not everything has changed. We don’t understand anti-systemic. In Tsotsil, we say ??
The Spanish tried to impose a name and god – we have our own language, we know there are multiple systems. We as Tsutilists have our own system, so if we are anti-systemic, then what system are we against? We only create a system that’s our own, we’re not subjects. They damage nature, humans. We need to develop a system, that’s of the people, another form of justice, not the one that’s being imposed on us – only our system restores, returns, doesn’t condemn, doesn’t punish, We aren’t converting to a party or a front. We heard about the Black Panther Party, but we know that if we are a party or font we would take power and would become the same bad things. We would reproduce the same things. Not of the power, but a social equilibrium – social and with mother earth. The imposed system – that’s what we were living – we don’t ask permission, but only when we are supposed to.
Carlos Selinas, a bald man, 20 years ago, modified articla 27 of the constitution, agricultural reform – said we needed to ask permission to use the land. We said no – we don’t have ask permission to a person – just mother earth, because we are part of her. The land doesn’t belong to us, we belong to the land. We have 20 years without asking permission from the government. Capitalism – we must resist. Resistance is working the land, living on the land, and as the world changes, because we also talk about climate change, and it is accelerated because of the factories. Not just work the land, but resist – what to resist? In order for us to exist we have to reject government programs and struggle against the assistance programs and the megaprojects of death. We struggle not just for ourselves, not just the tsatsillas – for everyone that is human. We get tired of being forgotten, being displaced. We need a space for us. We do not need more violence and death. Because of the media we don’t get to know everything, but on Dec 2 1997, 47 people were murdered because of the forced displacement by the Mexican government so they did counterinsurgency on the Zapatista army. They knew that we were pacifists, not with our arms closed, but not quietly so that others can kill. What the government did and armed paramilitary groups of 1995 and 96 so those 45 people were killed with impunity. We look to gather the testimonies given and share them on the media. When we want recognition and space, the government thought they would silence us and we would stop denouncing the injustice, but they were wrong. Now everybody knows about the massacre. We are people of the corn. We know that the government is doing because we eat corn and the government eats McDonalds with no nutrients know that corn is stronger and we are stronger. They can keep killing us we will exist.
Collective ARMA of Los Angeles. More than anything I wonder if you’re thinking who is this guy? What are the Chicanos doing here? That’s part of the border region. We understand the reality of the people of color and the relationships of people with power. Don Juan Chavez went to LA and came to my house and we recorded 54 songs. We continue walking together. What is the struggle in the fucked up states? The solution to migration is not reform the US but another Mexico. On behalf of our grandparents we recover our history.
Cicano history – we speak in English – not Mexican or indigenous. We connect on behalf of the cultural connection. We need to recognize our indigenous culture in our leftist politics. We struggle in our barrios. The people of the cities – we connect to the struggle of the barrio, which is the Chicano struggle. We connect on behalf of the indigenous people, and in what space do we struggle? Politic. We walk with the indigenous communities, the Zapatista movement. In The Other Campaign we walk with the tribes of the north. Why?
How? That varies, depending on our capacity. Sometimes is small, but we are still there. Sometimes we make errors, but we know the why.
The indigenous people of the north aren’t listened to. Not many made it – too small?
For us, here is our peace our movement. We’re Chicano and not to be confused. The Chicano has indigenous roots and leftist politics. We can’t break down what patriotism is, but we know about colonialism.
Hip hop music is a tool to get to where we want to go.
Cherdan community - brothers, sisters, friends, forgive us for the ways each of our communities participate in the CNI today only some of us could come, so our word keeps being extended. We ask your permission to start. This 3rd seminar organized by Cedice in San Cristobal, for us to recognize and we say hello to them. With the permission of those friends at this table, we ask permission to speak. Chalan Ichuacan, part of CNI, hello from our grandparents. We were born from clay. We’re a fragment of Juan Chavez March 28, 2001 we marched with the Zapatistas. When the government turned their backs on the indigenous law, the indigenous leaders have in our memory the remembrance for the days. We have the calendar in our language – for us, the beliefs are as this day is the day of the eagle because it is the 15th day of the 17th month. Represents courage. 1 year is 18 months of 20 days, days represented by an animal – eagle, plants, trees, stars, plus 5 days for meditation and intense reflection – the palagua – the bonfire. Around that our grandparents dialogue and we listen. Also the kids at the end we take silence to listen to the silence and in that way to understand the past, feel the presence know what is to come. We are accompanied by earth, water, and air. We ask for you all, those who can walk with us so we can reach the wisdom and exercise the project of life – a world where many worlds fit. We are part of the CNI and it’s a space of reflection, the house of every community from the left, anti-capitalist. We are adherent to the 6th declaration and The Other Campaign. CNI is a space of reflection, to talk and share our experiences of struggle.
It allows us to think of what to do and how to support us to continue self determination. In CNI are no leaders or bosses and we don’t ask permission to talk or struggle. We respect the values of our communities of self serving, constructing and not destructing, convincing, proposition, not imposition. We agree with the 6th declaration because it helps us know who we are, how to change, from below.
Bad government signed NAFTA.
Organized crime is the name that the bad government put on it, which is respected by the bad government and it works to terrorize further civil society and see that crime is the one who gives orders to the police and in this context indigenous communities have organized ourselves to teach autonomy and self-determination. Charat – we stood up, the demands are security, justice and reconstitution of our land. We have proportioned our own security. The bad government does not give us protection. We put our wisdom of self defense with our traditional practice of taking care of our entrances and exits of our territory – barricades. The bad government wants us to take down our barricades and when we go to the dialogs to demand what is ours by law – liberty and justice, we don’t have it, so we reclaimed it, since those two conditions don’t exist, there was no democracy. If our barricades bothered them and they have their barricades as well, because they ask for our ID, they check us, they have a metal detection, video cameras and armed police. We are offended when we visit their buildings – it makes us feel undesirable and dangerous. The bad government hasn’t worked to bring justice and insist on us caring about their projects, which only serve social control and domination.
The PRD accuses us of losing governorship of Mitchuacan. We have a long way to go, are working – we are doing it with
Never again a Mexico without us.
I am honored to be here with the community of the CNI.
What does your heart say? My heart says before the 21 December 2012 Zapatista appearance, thought, organization, love. Mostly young Zapatistas were aligned, marching in silence under the rain – what do they say to us? 40,000 people, disciplined, organized, silent. What do they say to me? The theoretical practice of Zapatismo resurges when everything seems to crumble. The practice, the body, the movement with a strong practical component – practice and theory – one more aspect of Mayan communities. This movement embodied and says to us we don’t involve our bodies in the revindication that we do. Thousands of men and women marching together. Women Zapatistas next to men. Feminists. Struggle for the rights of communities and right of women are one of the facts of the Zapatistas. We can’t prioritize one above the other. The theory of positionalities has to have the flexibility . These young Zapatista women were marching next to the young men, together. I have heard from their mothers, grandmothers, their Zapatista teachers, they show us that the Zapatista education has been working for them. They are continuing to think for the initiation of the struggle and they mobilized for the date announced and the path of the Maya. They are inspired by their Mayan ancestors. It doesn’t exist the end of the world – it begins and ends. For them, the time and place that founds and repeats these circle of cycles. It’s the end of nothing – the entrance to another world, rebuilding it. A world can not only exist and can resurge – here they are and they’ve never left. They have grown and are growing – they came to show that others resist. And they are staying, they have patience. They say it with their bodies. The Mayan philosophy fuses body and mind. Not just because of theory. The body is one and interconnected with the cosmos. They rebuild it and confirm it every time. All this says to me, the mobilization of the Zapatista, recognize that in miles and miles they march in silence. Who said they disappeared, they don’t exist? Certain media think they have power – like magic. What do they say – that they are a collection of communities; that their concept of democracy goes much further than representative democracy. Democracy is constructed from obedience; it is implemented for those that have been elected. With their bodies they have told us this. I saw it in their bodies wet from the rain. They didn’t just send certain representatives – everyone that could come, came. The silence screams. Many of them were born or grew after the first appearance of the Zapatista in 1994. They have had autonomous education and know how to share. The aggression of the para-military from the powerful governments to the parties … with their vision, force, social projects and their own politics.
What does their march say under the Mexican flag? Their look for autonomy doesn’t say something outside of Mexico – it is a citizens concept, plural national, population ethnic cultural is an important part of cultural identity. One citizenship that is large, and signifies what are the United States as a citizenship. They want to be Mexicans. Everything they say that is pure political theory they march with the Mexican flag in their hands. A theory without practice, touching strong against the earth –
What are Mayans and what enriches their anti-capitalist with traditions that are ancestral are revitalized and recreated today. The Zapatista woman walks with their men to fight for justice, for their communities and for them as women and their path in this world has something for everyone. They as women and men have made a good path. The citizens have to think from their plural nationalism.
Pablo González Casanova
Professor at National University of Mexico. Committed person, sociologist studies indigenous people of Latin America and justice and democracy.
I want to propose that we send a message of solidarity to the extraordinary document - the communiqué published day before yesterday of the revolutionary committee and the commandantia of the EZLN. It’s a communiqué of enormous importance. The emphasis we put on our reunions and the category of corporate capitalism that the capitalist and its articulation with the complex business, military process that it manages
I’ve learned a lot here listening. Reflections that are a product of the memory of our struggles and the practice of our theories, the emancipation of other worlds, African, Asian, those that are coming from the 60s and 70s.
To the Tsutsul – how did you read the communiqué? W all read with a specialized way - we have to find ourselves and act together. The CNI and project of increasing the links to other movements around the world. This allowed me to refocus the problem that I want to talk to you about.
This is the opportunity to think. An immense network of networks in defense of the territory, the land. We have to think of the other politics from the left. We need to think of the most oppressed communities and how their lands are being taken from them.
A proposal to replace the old form of revolution. New thoughts, politics – in the style of the 1920s. Worldwide organization in defense of the land – construct politics that
Property and the force – domination and sovereignty are two forms which have been integrating themselves in the countries of the world. Restructured them in a way that have destroyed them –
Day 4, evening session
Louis Villoro and Fernando Navarro cannot come.
Jean Robert, with moderator Lazaro sanchez
Luis Carcamo Huechante, Mapuche community, professor from U of TX in Austin.
Mapuche – tierra, che means people – people of the earth – gente, personas
Greetings to our sisters and brothers, I’m pleased to be here in Mayan and Chiapas land and Zapatista territory with all of the presence all of you bring the strength and energy which from the earth and from people.
Thanks to you and our fellow speakers.
I’m grateful to be here and grateful to this land and to all of you.
My circumstances – I left Chile in the 1970s and then I continued my studies and finished PhD in the US and where I am a university professor, far from my people and land and try to maintain my relationship to the land and people.
To be assimilated to the gringo culture is too easy – what’s difficult is to maintain the relationship with the land and your people. It’s a continual struggle for me and collective, and here I am with a collective, because I’m here with my people and learning from the Mapuche, learning from them.
For us we learn collectively. We know not as much from the university but support the actions.
The work we do in our communities, how do we interrogate the gringo academy. Another experience in 1990s – Mapuche community radio that Mapuche activists use to support the territorial struggle.
Finally, at the end, a denounciation of the terrible situation of the political prisoners who are Mapuche. The Mapuche country, the Mapuche people.
This not a gringo map - - you don’t see Chile and Argentina – it’s a different map – WallMapu – the Mapuche map. We use it in meetings, assemblies in Chile and Argentina. We recovered a name that was lost – the Mapuche map and country and territory – it covers both Chile and Argentina territories (part of both) It means the western land.
It goes to the southern part of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
There are 692,192 indigenous in our land. In 2011 we gave a seminar to give final plan to Ta in Cilka – the history of colonialism and struggle – 14 of us wrote 13 chapters and self-financed the book, doing a self-managed campaign. This will guarantee its free distribution. We proposed autonomy in the editorial development in the book, not depending on foreigners to publish, edit, etc – not where an outsider interviews us, but written by indigenous people themselves. We worked with traditional and non-traditional knowledge. 2010 to 2012.
We proposed to use this book to intervene in the realm of literature by placing our viewpoint into the economic discussion particularly how the indigenous people lived in colonialism, so it’s radically different from traditional academic work.
We modestly contribute to the social and cultural discussion, using the book to stimulate discussion – our thinking places us in the spade of Mapuche thought and thinking and the intention of our words carry forward to action and to generate new reflections. This book is the product of this exercise. Collective reconstruction of the histories and memories in order to decononize.
Another effort – Mapuche radio, as a way to connect our territories. Radio programs in Chile and Argentina, the narrative of the resurgence of the Mapuche people, using the radio of a 1993 in Santiago began to transmit the program in Mapuche language, wixage anai, which means I help you so we continue united.
The radio initial initiative was by a group who had been teachers of language and culture and participated in political organizations. All speak Spanish and Mapuche. We created a collective of Mapuche people to start the radio program in Santiago. He describes 3 of the founders. For me, it was something new, a novelty. Almost none of us had seen a microphone before. We had this clarity in terms of our communications goal. To revitalize the Mapuche people. The program was called get up, stand up!
The ! are very much used in the Mapuche language. The policy to move the Mapuche people through this program developed in a time when Chile had Pinochet was coming to an end, and in 1990 the supposed democratic election took place. Between the political elites and business class would guarantee the capitalist model. The social movement of the Mapuche people gain seed strength and various organizations were formed.
In 1993 the new government passed the indigenous law. In that law, Chile established the rights of the different ethnic groups, but they don’t recognize us as peoples, only ethnic groups. We wanted to grow the strength of the movement – linguist – get up, wake up, stand up. Helped rise up the Mapuche people. People don’t earn money from the radio – it’s voluntary. The program grew over time and became a very important and dissonant voice against a growing news media in Chile. In the 1980s transnational corporations bought up most of the radio stations. In 1991 the big consortiums had 381 stations – a big %. Corp monopolization – media colonization, acoustic colonialism. The Mapuche initiatives are growing up from the bottom, and opposed the dominant capitalist model and were a very important resistance to this corporatization.
The political prisoners – one of the struggles that you hear most about in media is the struggle to free historical lands of the Mapuche people in the last 20 years. At the3 beginning of the ‘democratic” process 1992 and 1993, one of the big Mapuche organizations began to push for the recovery of the lands in Southern Chile. In this process, these communities were organized as political organizations and in 1993 they were arrested by the judicial authorizes – 134 people arrested. Repression was already beginning post-Pinochet. This struggle during the 1990s has become stronger and more acute.
In October 1997 was one of the biggest land recoveries in Chile, in the area of Mariecho. As a result, the government called the Mapuche vandals and terrorists – they used the anti-subversion law, passed by Pinochet against them.
I will show a movie of Pasqual Pichun, speaking from jail, 5 years at the time, of Pasqual – new territorial movement strong decided to do a land recovery. There was a big hacienda “belonging” to Juan Augustine Figueroa. In the area of large states, 100s of ha “belonged” to wealthy Chilean families, and Mapuchan farmers were scattered on poor quality land. We started to question this system of land ownership. There was growing tension between the Mapuche leaders and the land owners.
Figueroa tried to use the local courts to stop the uprising in the early 2000s but that didn’t work. He couldn’t get the local justice to arrest us, so he went to the federal court. He was connected to the elite leadership, was the first Minister of Agriculture after the fall of Pinochet, was President of the Paolo Navruga(?) foundation – a communist Nobel prize winning organization (??) but he was nefarious and corrupted and accumulated this huge estate – he had power, protection. In Sept 2003 he got the Supreme Court to say the Mapuche burned a house on his estate (according to the nation newspaper) – he had a huge influence on the Supreme Court and they called him #22 (after 21 members of the Supreme Court). When the local court absolved the people and he appealed to the Supreme Court, they sentenced them to 5 years in jail. 144 Mapuche were jailed for land recoveries, all of them with trumped up charges. Of them, 40 were accused under the anti-terrorist act with sentences associated with terrorism, so this hit not just the leaders but the communities.
When the police arrived looking for the leaders to arrest them – 8 months ago (in 2003?), in Oct 2009, a humble local primary school had the bad luck of being totally invaded by 200 police, who no judicial order fired tear gas and metal balls leaving 7 children injured and several newborns almost suffocated, and many people hurt – the police also fired machine guns.
In response, the leaders responded with hunger strikes from jails. In July 2010, 23 Mapuche leaders in jail started a hunger strike using their own bodies as a form of resistance – the one territory they could hang on to – their bodies. Hector Jungtul(?) expressed his willingness to use his body for struggle.
Amongst these struggles my brothers and sisters cannot be pessimists. We are called to support the struggle and help the struggle, to create autonomous media to announce the Mapuche struggle, contributing our own capacities and force to this resistance.
(Movie, in Mapuche) talking about the police invasion and attack at the school
Javier from Argentina
Good evening, I have an invitation from the indigenous people of March for Life in Argentina. In Buenes Ares, Argentina on December 10, 2012, we met in assembly – we decided in October of 2012 to hold the first conference of indigenous women. As indigenous women of indigenous nations we invite you. We will talk about political, social, mining, political prisoners, self –determination, the crisis which affects our bodies and spirit. We invite other organizations to share the struggle for liberation of our people in solidarity with us. 5-7 Sept 2013 is the tentative date – this is your invitation.
United Campesinas of Argentina.
Severino S. Sharupi, tapuy – conaie of Ecuador
Joined the organization 21 years ago, Schwan people of Ecuador.
Something unknown – we thought Marcos didn’t really exist, but when I arrived here, I realized that the Zapatista struggle continues and Marcos is alive. The organization peoples are in struggle against the great powers. I want to be very critical. The movement has been a principle access to political struggle since 1990.
Test this argument because we are not here to say just the best of what we are, we want to work together from a basis of reality in our territories. Not a competition. Faced with that,
First, locate you geographically, historically, then talk about the political project of the indigenous movement, then what happened since 1990 until 2013, the current conflicts in economy, and will talk about our new generation of leadership, our agenda, some general ideas in terms of regional work, finally a few bits of wisdom which I picked up from the leaders and elders.
Ecuador 283,000 sq km, Mexico is 7 times larger. We have 3 regions, coast, sierra, Amazon. We have organizations in 80% of the national territory. 8000 communities in the CONAIE, 50% of the economic territory is in the communities of the CONAIE. All are under threat – all. For us, beginginng in 1970-80s were good for the process – students, workers, indigenous struggle all grew up in that time. In debates, they constructed a ideological project which CONAIE still continues – it started in 1930s with 2 historic women.
1986 CONAIE was founded, 1990 was indigenous uprising in which our peoples became political subjects and actors in economic national politics. The political project had political, economic, and cultural axes. In political we propose construction of a state of multiple nations in which none propose to take power, but respect power and we criticize the colonial state created in 1830 in which we have no place, for which we propose to abolish this colonial state, and it’s a house that’s falling down. We will not legitimize the executive, judicial, or legislative power of Argentina(?) – we don’t recognize their states, provinces, etc – it heeds abolished, need a new system from below.
Economic – we propose a construction of a new humanitarian system, no exploitation of land by man, no exploitation or extermination of mother nature, no accumulation of wealth into a few hands.
Cultural – education, bilingual model, because we believe that the new generations will confront the state need to have a new kind of education to prepare them for that struggle.
That’s our political project – for workers, poor people, exploited people.
1990 until 2013, we haven’t achieved it yet. Hits, misses, errors –
In our political project, we propose abolition of the state, but it created indigenous institutions like education within the structure of the state and we went along with that, and health, national council of indigenous, and finally, we created a political party to participate in elections – we won deputies, mayorships, governorships – the state changed these people so we became one more element to support the state – we became part of it.
At some moment, we decided – what method will we use for the struggle to construct and take power – electoral or armed struggle? We decided then for the electoral method, and created Mapuche as our electoral party. It seemed to be going very well, with a strong organization we were able to block a free trade agreement, un-elected 3 presidents, but our elector power is now in decline because there’s always the dream to take the power through the elections but it doesn’t happen. We even got a new constitution and some of our demands are there, but only on paper. And we made a mistake of getting on paper rather than power from below.
In 2005 we reflected on this, so the parties encrusted in economy were encrusted in everything, Rafael Correa created for the elections. The indigenous movement didn’t really support Correa but the general population did, because he took on many of the demands of the indigenous and poor people. After elected within 1-2 years it was clear that he was not going to implement his promises and continued the old economic model – this demobilized us and depoliticized us. Like, what would have happened if the Zapatistas has supported Lopez and he had then gotten elected?
We’re going through new elections this year, we are participating as a candidate as a unified left and we might support him, but a majority of the congress decided to support him, so as CONAIE we are supporting him. I think our political goal is in danger, because once again it’s the idea of taking power within the same state, but we might be demobilized again – this is a playing field that is not our own. This left government did more damage to the movement than the right because they know who we are, how we function, the enemy has co-opted some of our organization and some members are co-opted and they’re dividing our organization because the government comes through our organization. 200 people in our organization are accused of being terrorists for defending our rights and territory. This primary extractive economy is the new business that economy is presenting to the world, opening economically to these corporations. W are mobilized at this moment. They are bidding for 16 petro wells in the Amazon a high proportion of the Amazon is mobilized against these wells, some of the concessions are given already. Water being privatized – we are struggling over that. Direct consultation to defend the interests of big capital. In coast agricultural areas a new movement for land and water is a new struggle.
Our fronts, in this context, we have a very important role for youth – from 8 – 22 of March, we marched for 15 days from the mining region and moved 150,000 people, 30,000 arrived from the whole way, 60% joined the march spontaneously and the youth were very active in organizing. We returned to our communities and grandparents with tears in their eyes who said that we though the struggles were dying and now we feel that it will continue.
The CONAIE had not before started a new political discourse, but now are talking about how important are the new generation – very important. The new generation should no longer be as the dominate society constructed – the young people – sports, culture, music, dance – study in universities and labor – NEW ROLE is as thinkers.
2 women in 1930s started in the struggle in their teens.
There’s always been a role, but the dominant society wants to take away that role.
The government is imposing the agenda on the country. We have this ask, agenda is the agrarian debate, about taxes, high cost of living,
Within the CONAIE, we need to debate the economic model which is the 3rd axis which we had not gotten to, hanging in the wind. We need to talk about this. We need to take control of production. People are dying of hunger, so how are we going to struggle for other things.
General ideas - in these historical moments it is very different from a moment when Marx put out the idea of a revolution, there were not these crises like climate change and destruction of mother earth. If we halt history mother earth will shake all of us out – all of us – stop this now or we’ll all be out. Sometimes you hear go slowly, see what happens – this is a time for action now. The earth has a certain life span if we continue to destroy it as we are now. If we don’t do something major in the next 10 years, we will not survive. Therefore, I don’t think all of humanity is conscious of this yet. In 10 years, will all of humanity have all of this consciousness? If we take concrete actions – we can’t wait for magic to take action. On the other hand, you know, power when it’s protecting its own interests doesn’t say we will dialogue – they will annihilate us. Not everyone knows this – when you really threaten power they will take whatever action is necessary to stop you. It is very important as history is teaching us in Cuba and Mexico and Colombia, I am convinced that every broad movement internally should have a plan B – a political/military operation like the Zapatistas – we will not give up our arms. When we peasants rise up when people of the forest rise up, people in the city need to rise up and we have to build strong orgs in the cities as well, not just in the country – without organization in the city we can’t do this – students, youth, housewives, etc, workers – 30-40% of the cities need to be organized so that when we move in the countryside we will all move – prepare ourselves – within 5 – 10 years we will be ready everywhere – revolution on a global level – all of the countries on this planet.
These are not just my words, but they come from our thinking in economy in the Southern part of the Americas. We believe that 500 years our first peoples struggled and everything was looking down, careful, and that’s why we still have this political work to do, but time has changed – we can’t have our heads down –we must resist and we have to move forward rapidly now – not just in resistance. In the last 25 years we have been in resistance but have less land than before. This is a time for rebellion, time for a step forward.
Also, since we are a people in process of construction, we were taking turtle slow steps – turtle walks on 4 feet – we shouldn’t fall, need very strong but correct steps. Proposing changes that will last a long time – 500 years – saying, doing, doing, saying was the slogan of our march. Need to construct actual processes – doing and saying. Theory and action – saying, doing, saying, doing.
Slogans – people who are not united are people who are defeated.
We won’t allow the army in our communities because everyone has a shotgun, a spear, a machete, that’s why they still can’t sell petro concessions. These are arms – people have always been armed here, not from foreign influence.
San Cristobal 19 Decemver2012 – we send our greetings. Indigenous people who are in jail unjustly because they think differently or are poor or illiterate. They are condemned to up to 60 years in jail for thinking differently. We hear the cries of the suffering and really listen – they suffer daily injustice because of their love of life. It is a joy to us to know that people like you are real and want a better situation. We think that with encouragement …
Francisco Sanchez Lopez,… (list of names) From an organization of indigenous political prisoners
Is an architect, built banks in Switzerland and toilets. Now he teaches in university – architecture and urbanism and has written books and articles.
Good evening. First of all I want to thank the organizers and inspiration and Zapatista communities. I was going to talk about a couple of indigenous groups, and then the communiqués of 30 December cause great relief in reference to the new Mayan era. The world in which many other worlds fit. What happens next? I’m not a profit or magician and cannot see the future. I can only talk about the present. The notes that I wrote during these 4 days, where are these winds blowing? I learned something by listening, I want to perceive that the winds take us to a world in which many worlds fit. “Us” will recover its true way. Impregnate us with a concrete community with a territory – voices of the territory which are like water, forests and the languages like th ones we listened to from this table. The people get together with their same smoke and remembering the art of listening.
His talk was deconstructed – which has happened before, but never so dramatically.
The first time was in Realidad, Chiapis.
Weaving together what we’ve learned in the course of the days… trying to bring together all of these thoughts.
What happens after the Baktun? I will try to give justice to each speaker after tomorrow. Each hias his own interesting lines of thoughts.
While I was having tea, who are we who come together each year? A group of anomalous. We would be anomalous without the example of Zapatistas. They are taking the floor of normality out from under our feet.
Deconstruction the system we call capitalism. Maybe we should talk about a mode of destruction. The current century is not dominated any more by classical capitalism. Pablo talked about a recolonization of the world, a destruction of the territories. Estan talked about an expropriation of the excess of capitalization.
Traditional patriarchy which he defines as not a surplus from work but territory transformed into desert by the new extractive colonolization. The queen is a benign grandmother. The system of relations, capitalism deserves another word t transmit the horror of this capitalism, that the word capitalism doesn’t communicate The subjection of things, yes, but the subjection of ??
This show must self-criticize… 15,000 people came together in 1994, called walkers, nationalists, internationalists, came from far away, 10 hours to reality, we are walkers out of normality – the floor of normality is fragile. Once this floor is broken we must look for it in soil. In 1994, it was mud. To walk in realidad was to walk in mud – that’s what I learned from the zaps.
To conclude, from the memories of the ancient one, the earthquake of 1985 – the following days I was in the ruins of the hospital with rescue workers from france, swiss, ….
What can we say on our return to reality, when the reality is falling apart?
Gustavo also said, we shouldn’t be promoters of development projects, we should be movers. People that move with the people. What happened after 1985 earthquake in mex city was a tremendous wave of solidarity. Buses and taxis did not charge. Tremendous solidary from those who lived through this experience.
I’m going to start reading commentaries, grapes that I took off of the vine in this seminar. I’m gong to start reading and I’m not going to finish… I need an authority to tell mek all right, that’s enough.
Questions and comments:
For Sevilion – he said that the organizations can’t wait and they need to include a section of military organization – how is he thinking? What is the objective of the military political sector? For taking over the power of the state? Or to take over the
Suggestion and apology and greeting – yesterday people told us that we should not get up and get out when there is translation, but there are translations into French and English, so why there is only a summary and I think it is important for these languages we also have simultaneous translation. I want to ask for apologies because in these 4 days I realize that there are many honest struggles and I have not been part of them. Before I was part of some small struggles, but I got disillusioned because some people got personal gains and now I realize that there are people that are fighting for their culture, their beliefs and there are many people here and I want to apologize for not participating and I am amazed about the struggle to defend mother earth because this very honest struggle is good for all of us and we have a lot of possibilities for victory since it’s for the good of all of us.
How is it that the Machupichu reconstruct their lives?
I want to thank it that we are all present here and give you some information from our community – gracias, to all of you who came to Chiapis – we cannot go to your town, your countries and that’s why we thank you for sharing the experiences of struggle from our land in Chiapas and your experiences. Our experiences are from our autonomic experience and have different colors – we have given steps as autonomous people and we started electing our own authorities, making our own parties, our own schools, just some time ago we recovered a school – we took it over from the official educational system. Last year we recovered that school and now it is our autonomous school and we are taking more steps into our autonomy.
We are also strengthening our autonomy in our community by creating our own registry our own civil registry like birth records. And our licenses for driving and we want to let you know that we are doing this because we have been enslaved by the state with so many taxes – now we are not paying taxes – our car taxes are now for ourselves, not for the state. We have an autonomous organization and we want to make public that we as all of you have been here, we don’t have not much information, not more experiences, but we need communication teams so other people from other countries know about us because we need to inform and want to be in solidarity with people of other countries. From now on we would like to keep this solidarity because we are always receiving strikes by the state. That’s why we want to be always in contact with you and if you want to visit us we are in San Isidro. We have open arms to anyone who can visit us and anyone who can not come to our community, you can use email –
We realize that your desire to change this world, thank you for giving us strength and hope to continue. Suggest following the proposal that we should make a communiqué to the EZLN, put on the EXZLN website a greeting from our countries, our organizations and.. how can we stay in communication? I would like to keep our network.
There are different terms for good living – there are several ways to say it and it evokes the relationship between nature and men, the transformation – we are pushing into it. Although we are using different terms – many–
An invitation from the voice of AMATI jail, 7 december jail cell #5? We invite people to Jan 6, 2013 to come to celebrate the 7th anniv of the birth of the voice of the amati organization at 10 am. This organization is part of The Other Campaign.
The strong speaker – youth - we should have plan B to confront the power – this is not the moment to rehearse – we are talking about the life of humanity – we need to recover our territory, we must take this into account, that’s what we are stating. Zapatista, Colombian, Cuba demonstrate this. Is there an example that does not have this strategy? There is a saying that nobody can save anybody each of us have to save ourselves we must have revolution in many ways we are doing our part in Ecuador. We need to coordinate so we can strike at the same time. What we need to do is have a strategy as to how to coordinate.
About communication, between the indigenous people and the orgs and social movements, I think that the indigenous people from Ecuador when we have this encounter in 1990 I believe this encounter is very important for the communication of our people, and then there are multiple ways to communicate – it’s wrong to think there is no communication – among different regions and at the global level. We think this communication - this concept of good living is being used in many languages and indigenous peoples. For example Mapuche people very small and very heated, we have a term conden that means good living. We already have advances in the thought and in a collective healing about it. With respect to our territorial autonomy, we are experiencing autonomic experiences from March 1982 we started with all lands council and through this we started recovering all Mapuche lands in Chile and in this process we are also recovering autonomy in our own forms of struggle and to organize and to confront the state. The 17 years of Pinochet that were terrible and made genocides and disappeared so many people – the whole Chilean population – so much distrust of the state, and that brings about this reappearance of the Mapuchi people in the 1990s to recover our lands and languages. Not the whole population because the state has been able to co-opt some of us through new neoliberal capitalism has confused our people. And we have Mapuchi people within the state apparatus. And we Mapuchi as a people want to incorporate the autonomy in the way we act, think, organize and get a consciousness of a people in all this repression of the state and we have had people murdered by police in land struggles in both cities and land areas.
From Severino we need to coordinate our struggles but each peoples have different stages and processes and we are a very small people military and political. That’s why this collective we are only one, but there are many – we don’t want to call ourselves map intellectuals – we are only map we are part of the struggle. We think education is important. But from our culture, we strengthen the collaboration and the concepts of production of our own vision and I think all the activity we are doing are part of process that hopefully will take us to our free land.