Dear friends & supporters of the Chiapas Support Committee:
Indigenous communities, with the Zapatistas leading the charge, hit Mexico with dramatic and powerful changes in 2017.
And we are asking you to match that Zapatista verve by making a generous donation to send to the Zapatista communities.
Your donations will be a powerful message of solidarity with their initiatives and work building Indigenous self-determination and autonomous communities. You can click here to make your donation on-line or see address below to send it in the mail!
Indigenous Council of Government & Marichuy
The National Indigenous Congress and the EZLN, the Zapatista National Liberation Army, implemented their historic decision to create the Consejo Indígena de Gobierno (CIG, Indigenous Council of Government) with the task of uniting Indigenous people everywhere in Mexico in an anti-capitalist movement and recovering indigenous power and autonomy. The CIG also selected María de Jesús Patricio Martínez, lovingly dubbed Marichuy, to be their spokesperson and candidate to run in Mexico’s 2018 presidential elections.
Marichuy began her campaign in Chiapas visiting and speaking with thousands of people in Zapatista territory and other places to unfold her campaign and to discuss and dialogue about the dreams and struggles indigenous people are undertaking to stop political violence and repression in Mexico.
According to Mara Kaufman in “Mexico’s Indigenous Governing Council: Actually Existing Anti-Capitalism for the 21st Century,” Marichuy’s candidacy is not about getting votes or winning elections. The Indigenous Council of Government is using the electoral process as a critical space to denounce Mexico’s capitalist system, which it holds responsible for the devastating violence, crumbling institutions, environmental destruction and the complicity with the drug warlords that dominate Mexico. The campaign is promoting the expansion of assembly-based community self-organization and provides the Mexican people entirely different forms of government.
Building the Art of Solidarity & Justice
In 2017, the Chiapas Support Committee organized several activities and built new initiatives to deepen awareness of the critical role and work of the Zapatistas, the crisis in Mexico and building community here in the U.S. to create the relationships and shared vision of the challenges facing us in the U.S.
In 2017, the Chiapas Support Committee:
- Started “Waffles & Zapatismo,” an educational and activist training forum held once a month on Saturday mornings. Participants learned and discussed the roots of the Zapatista rebellion, the EZLN’s history of organizing, the work their communities have done to build autonomy and the global work the EZLN has carried out since 1994 building a world movement against neoliberalism and for humanity. The last session of “Waffles & Zapatismo” ended in December with two Mayan indigenous organizers from Oaxaca who shared their insights on the Indigenous struggles for autonomy, self-determination and the impact of the CIG and Marichuy campaign on Mexico. Dozens of activists and community members participated in “Waffles & Zapatismo.”
- On August 12 at the Omni Commons in Oakland the CSC held the second annual daylong “CompArte: The Emiliano Zapata Community Festival,” a parallel event to the CompArte being held in Mexico by the Zapatistas. Calpulli Huey Papalotl opened CompArte with a danza ceremony invoking the four directions. Rounding out CompArte, the CSC brought together four bands playing son jarocho, African/African American percussion, blues/jazz and Latin American music and offered workshops on Zapatismo, Danza Azteca, Son Jarocho and the work to create a new language of solidarity organizing rooted in the tradition of the freedom underground railroad; six poets presented their work and five painters had their work displayed during the festival. Some 200 people came through the CompArte gathering to enjoy the culture and art of community in resistance against capitalism.
- Co-sponsored with the Eastside Arts Alliance the exhibition of the CompArte paintings at Oakland’s Asian Resource Center; and
- Exhibited the 2016 CompArte paintings and artwork from the Zapatista communities at the Omni Commons and sold the coffee by the pound that the Zapatista communities had explicitly sent to the U.S. to raise money to be donated to community organizations defending migrant rights and justice. The CSC raised over $1200 that will be donated to an immigrant rights organization in Oakland on behalf of the Zapatista communities.
- The Chiapas Support Committee also distributed hundreds of articles with English translation from the Zapatistas, from indigenous and anti-capitalist organizers in Mexico and Latin America on our blog and in both Spanish and English on our Facebook page, providing key perspectives and analyses on political developments. The CSC also published two print newsletters, including a special edition for the CompArte: The Emiliano Zapata Community Festival.
- To celebrate the 34th anniversary of the EZLN, the CSC premiered the feature documentary, “Zapatista Moon,” on November 18. Over 200 attended the film screening that was followed by a roundtable discussion by an all-women panel with Indigenous, African and Latina women voices that critiqued and provided fresh perspectives on the role and power of women and the fight for gender equity and justice.
- Raised funds for Mexico earthquake victims and sent 2 large donations to the Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center in Tonalá, Chiapas.
Your Donation is Solidarity with the Zapatista Struggle for Justice
Your donation will help the Chiapas Support Committee continue building relationships and activities that will be critical in the New Year to tear down the walls of capitalism and create kind and caring relationships in community.
Our activities and political struggles to break the capitalist walls in 2018 will intensify. Getting information and organizing into our communities, into the hands of activists and organizers in Oakland and throughout the U.S. will be key to mobilizing support for the Indigenous communities in Mexico and expressing solidarity with the Zapatistas.
Please visit this link to make an online donation via PayPal:
Or mail your donation to:
Chiapas Support Committee
P.O. Box 3421
Oakland, CA 94609
NOTE: Make your checks or money orders payable to Chiapas Support Committee
The Chiapas Support Committee will continue to provide education and training opportunities rooted in Zapatismo for community organizers and activists, convene educational forums and discussions and bring culture and leadership from the Zapatista communities to Oakland and beyond. Together we can make a powerful difference to push back against the capitalist war of plunder and destruction of people and communities.
Your generosity will create new bonds and relationships so that together we can imagine how to topple the walls of capitalism surrounding our communities here and in Mexico and extend our hands to each other in sisterhood, brotherhood and transhood.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!
For Peace, Justice & Solidarity,
Jose Plascencia, Chair, for the
Chiapas Support Committee
Mary Ann Tenuto Sánchez