[COMM-ORG] 1,000 OWS participants support the Zapatistas

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sat Jan 7 16:47:03 CST 2012

From: Movementforjusticeinelbarrio <movementforjusticeinelbarrio at yahoo.com>

The following was announced on December 31 at the international
gathering "Planet Earth: Anti-Sistemic Movements" held in Chiapas, Mexico.

On Wednesday, October 19, before a crowd of hundreds of Occupy Wall St.
protestors, the immigrant members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio
presented an urgent declaration denouncing the recent brutal attacks on
the indigenous Zapatista communities of San Marco Avilés, San Patricio,
and Rancho La Paz (Che
Guevara). After the declaration was read, the crowd was asked to
sign the document and stand in solidarity with the Zapatistas and
their struggle for dignity, justice, autonomy, and democracy.

Hundreds of protestors at Liberty Plaza, enraged by the violence
and injustice currently besieging the Zapatista communities, have
subsequently signed our declaration. Today, 1000 protestors have added
their names to demand an immediate end to the repression in
Chiapas, MX.

Declaration of Support from Liberty Plaza, New York to the Zapatistas in

For over 17 years, with the public uprising of the EZLN on January 1,
1994, the Zapatistas have made enormous contributions to the social,
cultural, and political struggles of those from below for another world.
In doing so, they have touched the hearts of countless people of good
conscience from every corner of the planet; and have proven that
justice, dignity, and democracy are not simply ideas to be imagined or
discussed, but realities to be lived and created.

They have successfully created spaces of true autonomy and practice
genuine democracy. In their communities, they exercise
self-determination and develop self-sustained community institutions,
such as schools, health clinics, and cooperative farms, that reflect and
embrace indigenous worldviews and cultures.

They are living proof that it is possible to create this other world
that we want.

As history teaches us, for the powerful and privileged few who control
our lives and plunder our world, a struggle such as this must be
rejected, distorted, silenced, beaten, imprisoned, assaulted, ignored.

The Zapatista autonomy infuriates the servants of the capitalist system
who make up the bad governments. In Mexico, these bad federal, state,
and municipal governments – which are headed by the brutal repressor,
President Felipe Calderon, and controlled by the reigning PAN, PRI, and
PRD parties – systematically use their army, police forces, and
paramilitary groups to attempt to destroy their autonomy and exterminate
the dignified, indigenous Zapatista communities.

Over the past year, the autonomous indigenous communities of San Marcos
Avilés, San Patricio, and Rancho La Paz have endured numerous acts of
violence, harassment, and displacement. In recent months, these grave
acts have intensified at alarming rates. In San Marcos Avilés, since
September 2010, the population has suffered from death threats,
harassment, dispossession, sexual assault (including attempted rape),
forced displacement, and malnourishment, which has resulted in the
deaths of at least two children. These horrific crimes have been and
continue to be committed by members of the PRI, PRD, and PVEM political

Similarly, last September 7, inhabitants of the San Patricio community
have received constant threats of displacement and even death by a
paramilitary group called, “Peace and Justice,” which desires to seize
their territory. Alongside these heinous acts, the paramilitaries
continue to destroy and plunder the San Patricio community’s crops,
animals, and possessions – in essence, their livelihoods. Women and
children have been experiencing this violence acutely, as the
paramilitary group has consciously sought them out and threatened them

Beginning this past October 6, community members of Rancho La Paz have
suffered equally heinous attacks, such as repeated death threats
involving firearms, theft and the destruction of foodstuffs, and
beatings, including the physical attack of group of women with machetes.
The perpetrators are government-protected residents of nearby communities.

These horrific crimes are part of a deliberate strategy to retaliate
against the Zapatistas for exercising their rights to be autonomous and
not allowing the bad government and its lackeys to seize what rightfully
belongs to them: their ancestral territories, resources, and labor. The
bad government with its corrupt political parties does this with the
goal of displacing them from their land so that they can take possession
of it and later construct lucrative tourist zones for the benefit of
those from above.

In light of the abovementioned forms of violence targeting the Zapatista
indigenous communities of San Marcos Avilés, San Patricio, and Rancho La
Paz in Chiapas, Mexico:

We, the undersigned, participating in Occupy Wall St. in New York City,
gathered at Liberty Plaza and part of the civil society of the United
States, declare the following:

1. The Zapatistas are not alone in their struggle for a world of
dignity, justice, and democracy. We echo and repeat their honorable “¡Ya
Basta!” here in New York City.

2. We strongly condemn the violations taking place in Chiapas, Mexico,
and will remain on alert for further aggression.

3. We will not let Mexico’s bad government achieve its objective of
annihilating the Zapatista communities.

4. We hold the three levels of government (federal, state, and
municipal) in Mexico responsible for all of the repressive acts against
the Zapatista indigenous communities, who are targeted for exercising
their undeniable right to autonomy and self-determination as indigenous

We demand:

1. Respect for the autonomy and self-determination of the Zapatista
indigenous people.

2. An end to the violent repression towards the Zapatistas, and their
support communities, such as San Marcos Avilés, San Patricio, and Rancho
La Paz.

More information about the Colist mailing list