An appeal for solidarity
A call for tenderness across borders
La solidaridad es la ternura de los pueblos. | Solidarity is the tenderness of the peoples.
Dear Friends & Supporters of the Chiapas Support Committee:
Please join us in giving a generous year-end donation to support the Zapatista community’s projects of building autonomy.
Over the last twelve months, the Chiapas Support Committee (CSC, the Comité) has worked hard to build support and solidarity with the Zapatista communities’ vision and struggle for justice, democracy and equality.
The Comité has also worked to deepen awareness about the brutal consequences of neoliberalism and the drug war in Mexico and their devastating impacts on Indigenous communities and working people.
In 2013, the Chiapas Support Committee:
- Mobilized and organized support for CSC members and allies to participate in the Zapatistas’ Las escuelitas. Click here to see the Comité’s video-report on Las escuelitas.
- Thousands of community leaders, world-class intellectuals and political figures from across the world went to Chiapas to learn directly from the Zapatistas how they organized their revolution and are building autonomy.
- Organized a series of educational forums and activities to dialogue and learn more about the Zapatista struggles and express solidarity including:
- A report-back with Emory Douglas, former Black Panther Party Minister of Culture, and international artist Rigo 23, who had been invited by Zapatista artists to collaborate on a mural project and traditional weavings of Mr. Douglas’ iconic posters by Zapatista artists.
- Screenings of documentaries and movies about the Zapatista struggles and daily life in Oakland’s Eastside Cultural Arts Center and a local community restaurant;
- Published print and on-line newsletters and updates featuring reports and analysis on the key issues facing the U.S. and Mexico, neoliberalism, the drug wars and the Zapatista-led indigenous movement. And,
- Organized an October event to share Comité members’ experiences at Las escuelitas with the community and raise funds to directly support autonomous Zapatistas education projects.
On the Eve of Twenty Years of Zapatista Resistance
One year ago, to mark the beginning of a new time of struggle for peace and justice, thousands of community base members of the EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Army) marched with fists raised to the sky in the main cities and towns of Chiapas to remind Mexico and the world that they had been organizing and building their vision of self-determination and autonomy.
The Zapatista communities erupted on December 21, 2012, to mark the end of the Mayan long-calendar and announce the start of a new stage in the Zapatista movement for deep community and justice.
Now we are on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the Zapatista uprising. In November 1993, the U.S. with Canada and Mexico were poised to begin a new era of capitalism, announcing that NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, would be implemented on January 1, 1994.
Unbeknownst to the world, Mayan indigenous communities in Mexico’s southeastern state of Chiapas had been organizing silently and diligently for years a national liberation movement and army.
On that January 1, the EZLN declared that NAFTA represented a death sentence for Indigenous people and rose up to say no to NAFTA and yes to humanity. NAFTA represented an imperial land grab of energy and natural resources, workers, violent displacement of Indigenous communities, and the start of a deepening neoliberal crisis that has spiraled out of control.
Since 1994, a drug war has swept Mexico, where the armed conflict between drug cartels, the police and military have resulted in over 100,000 casualties and thousands more displaced or organizing to defend themselves from the government and the cartels. Over 25,000 Mexican and international migrants have disappeared, as the drug-traffickers diversified their offerings to include human trafficking.
Indigenous people, migrants and workers in the U.S. and Mexico have borne the brunt of twenty years of “free” trade, including gentrification and the militarization of social and economic development.
Solidarity is the tenderness of the peoples.
Every year since 1994, the Zapatista communities and the EZLN have taken bold actions and shared clear words of their struggles, inspiring and building a community-based global justice movement against the disasters of neoliberal wars and plunder and for humanity.
The Chiapas Support Committee is asking you for a generous donation to mark this historic turning point to support the Zapatistas communities build their schools and education system for autonomy.
And we are asking you to pitch in to help us send a big message to the world that U.S.-based communities are expressing solidarity and tenderness for the Zapatista communities in Chiapas.
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising, your donation will ensure that we send a powerful message of tenderness and solidarity supporting the Zapatista labor of love creating autonomy and community. Just go to our website and click on the donate button.
For peace & solidarity,
Board of Directors of the Chiapas Support Committee
Mary Ann Tenuto-Sánchez