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7 Lessons for Social Justice Activists from the Zapatistas

Posted 1 year ago on Jan. 27, 2014, 11:30 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: Mexico, Activism, Zapatistas

Written by: Justin Wedes (Zuccotti)

I found myself on the eve of 2014 in San Cristobal de las Casas in the southernmost Chiapas state of Mexico, just above the border with Guatemala. The colonial city’s name itself betrays a kind of solidarity with the native peoples of this land: Bartolomé de las Casas was Christopher Columbus’s lesser-known companion, the first Bishop of Chiapas, and a fierce defender of indigenous peoples against enslavement and killing by the colonizers. When indigenous activists seized this city on January 1st, 1994 - the day the NAFTA treaty went into effect – they found the town cheering on their arrival including the Bishop Samuel Ruiz, a modern-day de las Casas.

The Tzeltal and Tzotzil peoples call this place Jovel, the place in the clouds.

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5 Comments


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[-] 3 points by Sergey (3) 1 year ago

Hi there! Thnx for very interesting text We`ve made russian version of it https://avtonom.info/2014/01/zapatista_lessons/

from russia with love, comrades=)

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Justin Wedes is a true warrior for The 99% and I remember him from OWS LiveStream in Sept./Oct. 2011 & he was / is a ball of compassionate and revolutionary energy. This is an excellent OP forum-post & in compliment :

''Change is coming anyway. We cannot abide an ever-greater share of the nation's income and wealth going to the top while median household incomes continue too drop, one out of five of our children living in dire poverty, and big money taking over our democracy.

''At some point, working people, students, and the broad public will have had enough. They will reclaim our economy and our democracy. This has been the central lesson of American history. - Reform is less risky than revolution, but the longer we wait the more likely it will be the latter.''

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 3 points by PetadeAztlan (113) from Sacramento, CA 1 year ago

Good article. Appreciate it. It would be nice to have a delegation go down there and network with the Zapatistas and the gente alli.

[-] 1 points by RadicalsUnite (94) 1 year ago

experience from other countries is priceless in a money ridden slum of capitol hill