In the Seminar of Reflection, Agreement Predominates in Condemning the System
** University students, indigenous and ocupas share experiences with spokespersons for Resistencia
** Unanimous rejection of capitalism and domination by participants in San Cristóbal
By: Hermann Bellinghausen, Envoy
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, January 3, 2012
The presence of anti-systemic movements and organizations very involved in the current continental process of resistance, throughout the sessions of the International Seminar of Reflection and Analysis celebrated here, permitted understanding, as Víctor Hugo López, Director of Frayba and moderator of one of the tables of discussion, would summarize: “the problem that confronts us all is systemic,” and therefore all the movements must be against that system.
University students from Chile and Cuba, indigenous leaders from Bolivia and Ecuador, representatives from Occupy Wall Street, shared experiences together with spokespersons of Purépecha resistance in Cherán and the Wirrárika defense of the Wirikuta Desert, in San Luis Potosí. The cultural expression of Zapotecs, Peninsula Mayas, Tzeltals and Tzotzils, and the debate between different currents of feminism came to meet each other here, in a predominance of coincidences, the clarity of anti-systemic demands and the condemnation of the parties as monopolizers of the political and government decisions.
“The struggle is long-winded,” warned Daniela Carrasco, from the Revolutionary Student Tendency collective of Chile, upon relating how the student movement of 2011 “displaced the right and the parties” in student representation. “We are not an apolitical movement but [we are] non-partisan,” because “we no longer believe in individualisms or in the parties; therefore one speaks of a crisis of Chilean representative democracy,” he maintained.
“What did not advance in 20 years, turned into one of fervent struggle,” he celebrated. Also, the vindication of the street struggle, the population’s support, the making of collective and horizontal decisions, the national organization through new communication technologies, to get beyond centralism in a country of great geographic and mental distances. And he accepted as pending the deepening of unity with the Mapuche and Rapa Nui, the campesinos and the workers of Chile. “The youth are not asleep, they are there, learning, and with all desire to continue the struggle.”
That [occurs] in a country as unequal as Mexico is, pointed out Paulo Olivares, of the Central University of Chile. “Ours was not a spontaneous movement,” he added, but one largely dug by “the mole” of popular action.
In the workshops where Luis Alberto Andrango also participated, director of the polemical National Confederation of Campesino, Indigenous and Black Organizations (Fenocin) of Ecuador, and the indigenous leader Julieta Paredes Carvajal, of Bolivia, confronting the contradictions of their governments that are considered progressive, but still anchored in practices of the old partisan democracy functional with the global system of domination, the participation of Cuban students was of particular interest. They said: “we have inherited a 53-year old revolution and we have the challenge re-founding it and re-making it, above all in these times,” as Danay Quintana expressed, of the Martin Luther King Center, based in Marianao, Havana.
According to what the university student Boris Nerey recognized, “the idea of ‘re-founding’ the State in Cuba can be too much pretension,” but socialism “is a permanent construction,” and moreover, a true “civilizing process.” Recognizing himself as in the island’s revolutionary tradition, Nerey pointed to the existence “of a process of the historic reconstitution of the Cuban resistance” against the big enemy that has not ceased its aggressions. And, citing Fidel Castro, he pointed out that the revolutionary process “has produced two forces, one for the continuity of the socialist system,” and inside currents that could be able to make it fall.
The frontal rejection of the capitalist system of domination was unanimous in the participations of Marlina, from the New York Occupy Wall Street; from Carlos Marentes, an activist with agricultural workers in Texas and New Mexico, and members of Via Campesina; of Santos de la Cruz Carrillo, Wirrárika representative, who recognized that indigenous and non-indigenous resistance has up to now impeded that mining exploitation is initiated in the Wirikuta desert, sacred for his people, in San Luis Potosí. Or even Salvador Campanur, from Cherán, where one day the population decided to put a ¡ya basta¡ to the criminal destruction of their forests, as well as to the manipulative and divisive role of the political parties in the meseta Michoacán Meseta.
For his part, the Bolivian Paredes described the experience of communitarian feminism in her country, without denying the importance that the Zapatista struggle has had for Bolivian women, and she denounced that the destruction of culture and nature “is also constructed on the oppression of women.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Wednesday, January 4, 2012