Here's the (idealized version of the) agenda, etc. that we used for class #1 of "Enter the Intergalactic: Zapatismo in the US & the World." Word is that we set a record at the Brecht Forum with 30 participants in the class. Class #2 is set to start in just a few hours!
Also, keep an eye on what's going on with the zapatista communities. Now is a time when the elites are further militarizing Mexico and repressing the simple and humble people who struggle there, especially the zapatistas and the Other Campaign. The Europeans have a plan to put their energies into the defense of these struggles... what's our plan?
CLASS #1 of
ENTER THE INTERGALACTIC:
ZAPATISMO IN THE US & THE WORLD
SPACE: The Brecht Forum, main room... zapatista band "Dos Vientos de Voz y Fuego" music is playing. Zapatista-related books, CDs, films, stickers, posters, pamphlets, etc are displayed around the room on 3 tables.
A) Frame for the class:
We will explore the following questions:
I) What is the Fourth World War and what does it mean for how we struggle today?
II) What is the zapatistas' Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle?
- What has happened since its release in the summer of 2005?
- How do its initiatives for transnational (Other Campaign) and global (Zezta Internazional) coordination compare to other processes, such as the World Social Forum?
III) What are OUR analyses of the zapatistas' Fourth World War framework, their Sixth Declaration and the initiatives that have followed... and how do we relate to them?
B) Make sure folks are registered - just $45 to 65 total for 4 amazing class - all $ goes to support the Brecht Forum!
C) Facilitator intro and Agenda for the day
MOVIE: 60 Minutes shortly after 1994 uprising - Ed Bradley following around and interviewing Subcomandante Marcos... discuss questions, comments, reactions
TIMELINE (included below): A way to actively engage everyone in learning some basic history, inspired by the Project South timelines.
A big piece of butcher paper is presented to the class and divided into an upper and lower row. The Upper row is labeled "4th World War" and the Lower row is labeled "the Zapatistas." Each row has a line going through it that is subdivided into years and has marks on it where a significant event has taken place...
The class is divided into 2 groups (4WW and Zaps) and each group is given a set of little pieces of paper with an event described on each, but without dates. The goal for each group is to attach their events to their marks on the timeline with the most accuracy.
After both groups are finished ordering and attaching their set of events on their respective halves of the parallel timelines, they are given a "key" (see below) to the other team's timeline. So now the Fourth World War group goes through the Zapatista timeline to see if the events were ordered correctly and matched to the correct dates... and vice-versa. This way everyone gets to interact with all the material!
The winning team of this contest gets a zapatista-style reward for competency: they are given the "cargo" (responsibility) of organizing snacks for the following class... the losing team has to support them in their cargo by providing the financial means to make that possible :-)
Get to know you check-out: We form a big circle with everyone and do a full go-around where each person, in turn, says their name and responds to one or more of the following questions:
a) What's one thing people wouldn't be able to know about you just by looking at you?
b) What's one thing you hope to get out of this class?
c) What's one thing liked or disliked about today's class?
First read the Zapatistas' Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and respond to the following questions:
a) Why do you think the zapatistas wrote this declaration the way they did?
b) What do the zapatistas think is wrong with the world? What do you think of their assessment?
c) How do the zapatistas propose to change the world? What do you think of their proposal?
and then read "Learning, Surviving: Marcos after the Rupture," a relatively up-to-date and critical article and interview with Subcomandante Marcos on the national and international work of the zapatistas - reprinted in English by NACLA's Report on the Americas.
Fourth World War/Zapatista TIMELINE
(in the future I think I would cut the two parts of the timeline down to maybe just 10 dates and use the time saved to map a third part, which would be for participants to each chart and share an "Ah-Ha! moment" of when they realized something was wrong with the world AND that they could do something about it)
Fourth World War entries in white
Zapatista entries in yellow
Bretton Woods Agreement is reached at the close of World War II - Setting up a system of rules, institutions, and procedures to regulate the international monetary system. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) (now one of five institutions in the World Bank Group) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are founded.
October 2, 1968
Ten days before the Summer Olympics celebrations in Mexico City, police and military shoot student demonstrators. The death toll remains controversial: some estimates place the number of deaths in the thousands, but most sources report between 200 and 300 deaths.
November 17, 1983
With just six members, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) is formed somewhere in the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico.
After weeks of civil unrest, East Germany announces that it will permit movement across the Berlin Wall – this marks for many the end of the Cold War (or 3rd World War).
The Sandinista Front for National Liberation in Nicaragua loses the presidential elections after 11 years in power.
The United Nations imposes sanctions on Iraq at the urging of the United States to remove Saddam Hussein from power.
The United States, with an enormous vested interest in the oil supplies of Western Asia leads an international coalition into Kuwait and Iraq.
January 3, 1992
The Mexican government amends Article 27 of the Constitution, abolishing the protections to communal land rights established during the Mexican Revolution and paving the way for NAFTA.
The Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation in El Salvador sign peace accords with the government and convert themselves into a political party.
Zapatista women succeed in the “first uprising of the Zapatistas” by achieving passage of the Zapatista Revolutionary Law for Women.
January 1, 1994
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes into effect creating the largest trade bloc in terms of GDP in the world.
January 1, 1994
The EZLN rises up in arms declaring NAFTA a “death sentence” for Mexico’s indigenous. The EZLN’s First Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle states their desire to depose the corrupt Mexican government and open up a space for legitimate elections. Thousands of combatants take over at least 5 cities in Chiapas. Over a million acres of land are liberated from plantation owners following the uprising.
January 2, 1994
Battles begin between the Mexican Federal Army and the EZLN. It continues for many days with hundreds wounded and dead, along with the displacement of entire rural communities.
January 12, 1994
Thousands of Mexicans take to the streets nationwide to demand an “End to the Massacre” against the indigenous of Chiapas.
January 12, 1994
The Zapatistas announce that they want to listen to the peoples’ call for a peaceful transition and decide to seek a political solution.
January 12, 1994
Mexican president Salinas de Gortari, in the face of growing mobilizations, a nervous market, the decomposition of the state, and the coming elections, announces a unilateral ceasefire to the fighting in Chiapas.
Peace talks initiate between the EZLN and the government. At the end of the talks, the Zapatistas announce that they will be returning to their communities to consult with their base on the government’s proposal.
The Zapatistas iniciate the National Democratic Convention with over 7,000 delegates from around the country. An agreement is taken to vote against the ruling PRI party who has been in power for nearly 70 years.
Talks begin for the establishment of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) at the Summit of the Americas held in Miami. The FTAA would extend NAFTA to the entire Western Hemisphere with the exception of Cuba.
January 1, 1995
WTO is established as an international organization designed to supervise and liberalize international trade. Its operation has a systematic bias toward rich countries and multinational corporations, harming smaller countries which have less negotiation power.
February 9, 1995
Mexican President Ernest Zedillo launches a military and police offensive against the EZLN, issuing arrest orders for its leadership. Along with an intensification of arrests, torture, murders, and rape against the indigenous of Chiapas, over 30,000 people are displaced.
Mobilizations against the new invasion continue. National and international pressure forces the Mexican government to sign a Law for Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace in Chiapas.
The Dialogues of San Andres begin between the EZLN and the Mexican government.
The Zapatistas call for a National and International Consulta for Peace and Democracy is, which asks people their opinions on the demands of the Mexican people, forming an oppositional front to the government, profound reform of the Mexican government, and the future of the EZLN.
With over 50 thousand promoters setting up nearly 10 thousand collection tables, 1 million and 88 thousand Mexicans and 100 thousand foreigners from 50 countries respond to the Zapatistas questions in the National and International Consulta for Peace and Democracy. Later, over 200 thousand youth between the ages of 12 and 18 participate in a similar Youth Consulta.
The EZLN proposes constructing a great national dialogue without the government, and also calls for an international encuentro known as the “intergalactic.”
After a broad consultation of their support bases and indigenous groups around the country, the EZLN reaches an agreement with the federal government on the San Andres Accords in which indigenous autonomy is affirmed as the beginning of profound reforms of the Mexican state.
The Intercontinental Encuentro for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism –also known as the intergalactic- is in held in the 5 Zapatista meeting places in Chiapas. Over 5,000 delegates from 42 countries attend.
The Mexican government fails to adhere to the agreements reached earlier that year with the EZLN on the San Andres Accords.
The Second Intergalactic, or Intercontinental Encounter for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism, is hosted in the Spanish State with over 4,000 in attendance.
Inspired by the Zapatista Intergalactics, Peoples Global Action Against Free Trade and the WTO is launched by organizations ranging from peasant movements in Brazil and India to labor unions in Argentina and Canada, indigenous peoples, farmers, fisherfolk, immigrants, squatters, environmentalists, anarchists, autonomists, and rebels from every continent, united by a set of shared principles.
1,111 zapatistas –one delegate from each community- begin the mobilization from Chiapas to Mexico City seeking to force the government to adhere to the San Andres Accords and to participate in the founding of the Zapatista Front for National Liberation (FZLN).
45 adult and children Christian pacifists are massacred at Acteal in Chiapas by paramilitaries. The Zapatistas respond building national and international pressure.
Following on the heels of similar demonstrations around the world, the meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle are brought to a stand still by tens of thousands of protestors.
After over 70 years of one party rule, an opposition candidate is elected president of Mexico… there is much talk of change. Vicente Fox, the new president, says he will resolve the conflict in Chiapas in 15 minutes.
The Institute of Governmental Studies releases a report announcing that the income gap between the richest and poorest of the world has never been as large as it is today.
Zapatistas launch the March of the Color of the Earth –the largest mobilization in the history of Mexico- crossing through 13 Mexican states in 37 days on their way to Mexico City to demand a constitutional reform recognizing indigenous rights and culture along the lines of the San Andres Accords.
20,000 protestors from throughout the Americas descended upon the meeting of the FTAA in Quebec City.
April 2001 to September 2002
The 3 branches of Mexican government –executive, legislative, and judicial- pass a constitutional reform for indigenous rights and culture in spite of enormous protests and legal challenges declaring the changes “neoliberal and racist.”
Massive protests erupt in Genoa, Italy against the G8. Continuing a hot summer of resistance and repression in Europe around the meetings of the global elite, Italian protestor Carlo Giuliani is murdered by Italian security forces.
February 15, 2003
The largest global mobilization in the history of the world is seen across the globe as people take to the streets demanding that the USA not invade Iraq. Heidi Giuliani, mother of slain anti-G8 protestor Carlo Giuliani, reads an anti-war communiqué from Subcomandante Marcos of the EZLN at the massive demonstrations in Rome.
Drawing on the fallout of the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaida attacks in the USA, the Bush administration leads a small coalition of forces into an invasion of Iraq.
The Zapatistas announce the creation of the Caracoles and Councils of Good Government, institutionalizing de-facto autonomy within their territories and calling on indigenous groups from around the country to do the same.
Facing fierce protests from outside and opposition from within, the WTO is dealt what will turn out to perhaps be a death blow as talks collapse. Amongst the outsider protestors is an especially militant contingent from Korea.
Following a consulta with the over 200,000 members of the Zapatista communities, the Zapatistas release their Sixth Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle – seeking to actively build a national movement to liberate Mexico “from below and to the left” and to build more relationships of mutual support and respect with people and movements around the world “fighting against neoliberalism and for humankind.”
The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America is established in Waco, Texas by the NAFTA heads of state as a “region-level dialogue with the stated purpose of providing greater cooperation on security and economic issues.” It is dubbed by opposition groups as NAFTA plus the War on Terror.
Following six gatherings of hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals from throughout Mexico inspired by the Zapatistas’ Sixth Declaration, the Other Campaign is announced with the stated goals of creating an “other way of doing politics, a national program of struggle, and a new constitution in Mexico.”
Meetings to negotiate the Free Trade Area of the Americas are held in Argentina – the last such meeting of its kind as the agreement again falters under both external protests and internal disagreements.
January 1, 2006
EZLN Subcomandante Marcos, taking on the civilian title “Delegate Zero”, begins a scheduled six-month listening and speaking tour of Mexico to build the Other Campaign.
May 1, 2006
Having passed through Mexico’s seventeen southern states, Delegate Zero gives an emboldened speech in front of the US embassy in Mexico City announcing that a national movement is building that will “expel from this country… the great capitalists, including—of course—the American capitalists.”
May 3, 2006
The Peoples Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT), adherents to the Other Campaign from the autonomous municipality of San Salvador Atenco on the outskirts of Mexico City, come to the aid of their members who are being attacked by police for attempting to sell their flowers in nearby Texcoco. The conflict expands as hundreds of federal police arrive to attack and arrest the FPDT. Delegate Zero announces the suspension of his tour and calls for civil and peaceful solidarity actions with the people of Atenco. Solidarity actions spread throughout Mexico and to at least fifty countries around the world.
May 4, 2006
Municipal, state, and federal police widen their attack on Atenco and those who mobilized to defend them. The police arrest 207 people (including the leadership of the FPDT), kill two, and rape and abuse sexually 23 women. Delegate Zero places the blame on all three of the major political parties and the commercial media and begins a campaign to break the media distortion of the events and to liberate the prisoners.
July 2, 2006
Amidst widespread allegations of fraud, electoral officials fail to declare either the populist candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the PRD, or US government supported Felipe Calderón of the PAN, as winner in the presidential elections.
July 30, 2006
Obrador calls for a protest camp to occupy the main Zócalo of Mexico City and several major avenues, including Paseo de la Reforma. Unlike their repressive treatment of other recent civil disobedience actions, the city’s PRD government financially and materially supports the massive tent city that emerges. Obrador’s main demand is for a full, vote-by-vote recount.
September 5, 2006
The Federal Electoral Tribunal certifies Calderón as the victor in Mexico’s presidential elections. Obrador refuses to recognize the Tribunal’s decision and declares that he will establish a parallel government representing the "true, authentic republic."
September 30, 2006
Seven indigenous leaders of the EZLN, taking on the civilian titles of “Delegate One” through “Delegate Seven,” arrive in Mexico City to attend gatherings in support of Atenco’s remaining 30 political prisoners and to discuss the national political context with adherents to the Other Campaign. Delegates One through Three remain in Mexico City while Four through Seven return to Chiapas to report back to their communities.
October 9, 2006
With Delegate’s One through Three remaining in Mexico City to agitate for the freedom of the prisoners of Atenco, Delegate Zero resumes his listening and speaking tour, now traveling through Northern Mexico to finish this first leg of the Zapatistas’ participation in building the Other Campaign.
October 19, 2006
In a historic gathering, Delegate Zero holds his first meetings in Tijuana at the US/Mexico border with Other Campaign adherents not just in Mexico, but on “the other side” as well.
December 2006-January 2007
The First Encounter between the Zapatista Peoples and the Peoples of the World brings thousands from throughout Mexico and around 50 other countries. Members of the Councils of Good Government presented Zapatista experiences in autonomy and other forms of government; the other education; the other health; women; communication, art, culture and the other commerce; and land and territory.
The Second Stage of Zapatista participation in the Other Campaign is launched with 16 members of the EZLN leadership spreading out throughout the Northern states of Mexico to work with members of the Other Campaign through June.
The Second Encounter between the Zapatista Peoples and the Peoples of the World again brings thousands to Chiapas – this time to hear from zapatista promoters and other community activists from each zapatista municipality speak to the themes of autonomy, collective work, health, education, and women. A very impressive delegation of Via Campesina representatives from major peasant organizations worldwide participated in this Encuentro, from: Brazil, Bolivia, Honduras, Dominican Republic, USA, Canada, Quebec, Basque Country, India, Thailand, Korea, and Indonesia. Unfortunately the one African representative, from Madagascar, was denied a visa. One day was devoted to speeches from most of the Via Campesina delegates.
The Zapatistas halt their second stage of participation in the Other Campaign due to growing military, police, and paramilitary attacks and threats against their communities.
The Zapatistas, along with 7 other indigenous organizations, convene the Encounter of the Indigenous of the Americas in Sonora, Mexico. 570 delegates from 67 indigenous peoples, coming from 12 american nations participated.
At a conference in memory of long-time zapatista supporter, Andrés Aubry, Subcomandante Marcos announces that it will be his last public appearance for some time due to the heightening of repression in zapatista territories.
December 2007-January 2008
The Third Encounter between the Zapatista Peoples and the Peoples of the World – AKA the “Womyn’s Encuentro” – brings together thousands of women to meet while the men cook and provide childcare, including a delegation from members of Via Campesina groups from around the world.
Mexican President Calderón seeks to open up PEMEX, Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company, to private sector investment. PEMEX is is the 10th largest oil company in the world in terms of Revenue and 34th place out of the Fortune 500 companies.
27 delegations from organizations in 10 European countries, along with dozens of individuals as well as representatives from Mexico’s National Indigenous Congress and East Harlem’s Movement for Justice in El Barrio attend the European Encuentro in Defense of and in Struggle with the Zapatista Communities and Mexico’s Other Campaign.