Mexican Protesters Raid Supermarkets As One-Month Anniversary Of Student Disappearances Nears

Yesterday when I spoke and posted about the Mexican G20 in 2012 the current situation in Mexico was in my mind.

The G20 Culturecide.. I mean Cultural Celebrations in Brisbane include a Day of the Dead Festival which is a traditional Mexican celebration.

Yet while Brisbane is encouraged to celebrate the G20 and it’s associated colonial and neoliberal agenda people in Mexico are struggling daily because of it.

Because the struggle they face is so much more urgent than those in Brisbane (except for Australian indigenous struggles) the action they are taking is much more militant.

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Republished from the IBTimes

Students in Mexico’s southern Guerrero state took over a radio station and raided supermarkets in the state capital Saturday, a day before the one-month anniversary of the disappearances of 43 students who have sparked mass anger against local and state authorities.

Dozens of protesters reportedly looted four department stores in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero, Saturday morning, taking clothing, food items and appliances outside to the street for passersby to take. At one store, Comercial Mexicana, the students erected a banner reading “Everything Is Free.” Witnesses said the students’ faces were covered, and while they were armed with sticks, they didn’t attack any of the shoppers or workers.

Another group of four students occupied a local radio station Saturday morning, inviting listeners to take on the “capitalist stores.”

“We invite the population to take action and participate in our protests. Everything that we have taken out [of the stores] will be completely free,” they said. Department stores across the capital closed after reports of the raids surfaced.

Mass protests have raged across Guerrero state since 43 students from a teachers’ college disappeared Sept. 26. While most marches and vigils remained peaceful, some demonstrations have been chaotic. Protesters occupied the state Capitol last week and set parts of it on fire while another group of demonstrators set fire to the Town Hall at Iguala, the town where the students were last seen. Saturday’s protesters were reportedly from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Normal school, the same college that the missing students attended.

The missing students case has come to exemplify Mexico’s deeply rooted problems with corruption, insecurity, and linkages between security forces and organized crime. Protesters have been calling on authorities to determine the whereabouts of the students and seek justice for those responsible for the disappearances. Gov. Angel Aguirre stepped down Thursday under pressure from the growing protest movement.

Federal officials have accused the mayor of Iguala of ordering police to attack the students and hand them over to a local drug gang over fears the students would disrupt a speech being given by his wife. Authorities have ordered arrest warrants for both the mayor and his wife although they have not been seen since the day after the students first vanished.

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G20 Looking Back – Mexico 2012

With the G20 coming up in Brisbane Autonomous Action Radio has been looking back at what happened on the side of the resistance in previous years. g20 mexico Today I looked at Mexico and read this article.The Mexican people certainly were not treated to G20 culture events like Brisbane is.

Today Mexican President Felipe Calderon, speaking in a press conference to conclude the G20 summit in Cabo, Mexico, reinforced why so many people oppose the G20’s neoliberalism, austerity, and corporate elitism.

Austerity measures, he said, are like “bullets” that need to be “reloaded” again and again. His metaphor was appropriate. G20 policies promote systems that lead to suffering, destruction of communities, and destruction of the environment.

These policies are like bullets, killing the people of the world.

Here in La Paz, Mexico, a two-hour drive north along the coastline from Cabo, Mexico, the people held their own summit, as the G20 leaders and rich corporate elite met inside a militarized security barrier, in posh hotel rooms with shimmering seaside vistas.

It was impossible for protesters to get closer to the official summit, though some tried to find a bus driver willing to brave the checkpoints and the security guards with automatic guns slung over their shoulders.

Locals were told that no one could enter Cabo unless they were a documented resident. Activists with the Peoples Summit, Cumbre de los Pueblos, went on a colorful march down the main tourist strip in La Paz on the evening before the official G20 summit was slated to begin.

Several hundred strong, the march poured into the main plaza of the town, La Kioska, and held a rally and a rock concert.

The Peoples Summit also contained two and a half days of energetic panel discussions and workshops on topics like capital flows, offshore tax havens, and climate change and adaptation.

The most enthusiastic discussions, though, were less reform-oriented – feminism, the financialization of nature, mining, workers’ struggles, corporate tourism development – discussions on creating our own solutions outside the security barrier in Cabo.

Many summit participants felt that the hopes of the people cannot be expressed through the dry and corrupted policies of the G20. Much of this spirit of change is expressed in the Statement of the Peoples Summit Against G20, a document that was put out by the summit participants.

It was also felt through the words of the participants. “We need system change, not reform,” said Romulo Torres, Peru, with the network LATINDADD.

“If a new system doesn’t begin, none of the other changes will be important.” “We do not recognize the people who govern for us,” said one local activist who spoke with a mask on, in the Zapatista tradition. “Solutions come from the streets.

They come from what we do in our homes. That’s where solutions come from… We are the 99 percent and we will not obey.”

“Capitalism is alienation,” said one feminist speaker from La Paz. “If we want to take down capitalism, we have to take down alienation.” “The only way to oppose capitalism is through direct action,” said Imelda Garibay, La Paz, a local student activist. “We do not recognize the G20. The G20 is responsible for depleting the resources of the earth.”

A passionate and valuable part the conference were Las Mujeres, the women. Feminists at the conference were loud, visionary, and full of life. A “Feminist Views on the G20” conference had been held the week before in Mexico City, and the energy from that conference was carried into the Peoples Summit.

Many women shared their bold visions for “un buen via,” a good life that blends community with respect, tradition, and connection with the earth.

“I want to make a proposal. The proposal is community,” said Julieta Paredes, a feminist@ from Bolivia. “We’re telling to the world that individualism and collective individualism… is destroying us.”

“We are in love with life. We are in love with the future,” said Paredes, speaking – and singing – at the rally at the end of Sunday’s march.

A lively discussion took place about the position of women in the movement for a better world. “We must have equal representation of women and men, otherwise we are not being progressive” said one feminist@ from Oaxaca.

“It’s very important that we contribute our part from different perspectives,” said feminist@ Marta. “We must use all forms of struggle, We must be creative.

Governments are using all possible means to exploit us, so we must use all possible means.” The discussion concluded with summit participants working to amplify female-identified voices at the conference and taking steps toward equal representation in panelists and speakers.

Last week, I had marched with thousands in Mexico City against the G20.

There was something beautiful about the moment we marched into the Zocolo, carrying a banner that read “G20 –> G7billion” with friends from Occupy London, the M15 movement in Spain, the “Yo Soy 132” movement in Mexico, the Our World is Not for Sale network, and many more.

The resistance here in the region of Cabo would be an incredible force, except that these are tourist towns, and the people are too poor to take a vacation.

But everywhere in Mexico, resistance was visible. Summit participants included activists who had been offered the opportunity to meet with the Mexican government to discuss G20 issues with Mexican government officials.

Global justice activists such as Hector de la Cueva of the Mexican Action Network Against Free Trade had been invited to participate, but had turned down offers to participate in the government’s photo op.

The proposed meetings were a “farce,” said la Cuerva. “They were done by an authoritarian, anti-democratic, violent government.”

Everyone in Cabo had been told they had to have identification on them at all times.

They were told that the schools would be closed, and the hospitals were only for G20 dignitaries and related personnel.

I spoke with one woman who had a pregnant family member in Cabo.

They were told that the hospital would not be available, even if she were giving birth.

They were lucky: The baby was born last week.

The communities in the region of Cabo work in seafood processing plants and mining operations.

They work in the hotels and the restaurants that serve tourists.

If the G20’s policies are bullets, like Calderon said, the people of La Paz have been hit hard.

They have felt the wrath of “foreign investment” development strategies in the mega-hotel projects that are surrounded by devastated shanties in which poverty and drug addiction are rampant.

The workers who sometimes work 15 hours per day processing seafood eaten by Koreans and Americans, with the profits going to a Korean company, understand “lowering barriers to trade” better than anyone.

The fishing and farming communities that are under threat of being poisoned by a foreign-owned cyanide-leaching gold mine may know the pain of “competitive” and “business friendly” environments.

They feel these “bullets,” and they know them well. But they are survivors. The people of La Paz have dreams, and they have poetry.

Many of them are acutely aware that they are being exploited.

I was inspired by how open their eyes were, and their hearts also. The words of the La Paz Zapatista: “We will not obey.” Source – http://www.commondreams.org/views/2012/06/20/message-street-mexico-g20-illegitimate http://lacymacauley.wordpress.com/

Zapatistas, Shack Dwellers and Action Against Coal

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This week Autonomous Action Radio is jam packed with … well autonomous action.

Listen here

Or download from radio4all

First up after Resident Anti-hero – The Weapons of Sound … Franklin Lopez’s interview with anarchist counterfeiter Lucio Urtubia.

Then we jump right in to talk about the Zapatistas with Morgan Rogers Gibson who wrote an honors thesis on the Zapatistas and anarchism. We also talk about another anti- state movement from Africa called the Abahlali baseMjondolo.

Morgan tells us about a movie about the Shack Dwellers called  Dear Mandela 

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Also Wave talked to Rob who is involved in the Frontline Action Against Coal campaign centered around proposed a proposed coal mine in the Leard State Forest in New South Wales.

Jonathon Moylan wrote a hoax press release which stated that ANZ were pulling funding from the Whitehaven coal project due to environmental risks the mine will pose.

When media reported this without checking share prices for ANZ fell dramatically but generally recovered when the hoax was revealed.

'This is the end result of ANZs funding of Maules Creek Coal Mine. Destruction of Koala habitat means overpopulation of what habitat remains. It means disease caused by stress and high risk of being hit by cars or attacked by dogs, having to spend longer on the ground looking for new range. This image is shocking but it's the reality. ANZ is completely out of order and this is what we're fighting to stop.'

Wave also spoke to Katso who organised an action in support of Jonathon Moylan which involved 100s of Out of Order signs being out on ANZ ATMs around the country.

Music is this episode:

Combat Wombat – White Australia

Steve Towson and the Kunkala Station Band – Jim Jones at Botany Bay

Dylan Quent – We’re not going to take it

Zach De La Rouda – Got Love

The End of the Road – John Sheehy

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) Mexico

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“For everyone, everything, for us, nothing” (Para todos todo, para nosotros nada)

This is the slogan of the  Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) a revolutionary movement hailing from Chiapas Mexico.

Otherwise known as the Zapatistas the EZLN are working towards better world for themselves and all creatures on this planet.

They are an example of some anarchist and libertarian  principles in action and proof that a more participatory model of organising is possible.

The Zapatistas went public on January 1 1994 after spending years building allies within the indigenous and rural peasant communities of Chiapas.

This day marked the beginning of the North American Free Trade Agreement which like most neo-liberal policies would affect the poor/farmers of the region negatively.

3000 armed Zapatistas occupied towns and ranches in the region, the Mexican army responded by bombing indigenous communities and killing hundreds of indigenous people.

After a cease fire was called on January 12 and peace talks began the Zapatistas set about organising a National Democratic Convention and by years end had declared 38 autonomous municipalities.

Timeline of the Zapatista Movement.

The Zapatista movement and political organising has been fluid able to change with experience  and necessity.

And almost 30 years after forming the Zapatistas are still a strong force in Mexico and have achieved much through their dictum of self determination.

They boycott the electoral process and government entirely even refusing to receive government aid.

In order to meet the needs of their communities the Zapatistas have developed their own textile-weaving and boot-making cooperatives, locally controlled schools, health promotion networks and collective garden patches conducted through self-sufficient production and exchange methods.

On December 21 the much hyped date of the end of the Mayan calender 40 000 Zapaistas marched the streets of 5 cities in Chiapas in total silence to remind the world they are still present.

Below is the latest communique from Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee – General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army.

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The EZLN Announces Next Steps: Communiqué of December 30, 2012

Mexico

December 30 2012.

To the People of Mexico:

To the People and Governments of the World:

Brothers and Sisters:

Compañeros and Compañeras:

In the early morning hours of December 21, 2012, tens of thousands of indigenous Zapatistas mobilized and took, peacefully and silently, five municipal seats in the southeast Mexican state of Chiapas.

In the cities of Palenque, Altamirano, Las Margaritas, Ocosingo, and San Cristóbal de las Casas, we looked at you and at ourselves in silence.

Ours is not a message of resignation.

It is not one of war, death, or destruction.

Our message is one of struggle and resistance.

After the media coup d’état that catapulted a poorly concealed and even more poorly costumed ignorance into the federal executive branch, we made ourselves present to let them know that if they had never left, neither had we.

Six years ago, a segment of the political and intellectual class went looking for someone to hold responsible for their defeat. At that time we were, in cities and in communities, struggling for justice for an Atenco that was not yet fashionable.

In that yesterday, they slandered us first and wanted to silence us later.

Dishonest and incapable of seeing that it was within themselves that there was and still is the seed of their own destruction, they tried to make us disappear with lies and complicit silence.

Six years later, two things are clear:

They don’t need us in order to fail.

We don’t need them in order to survive.

We, who never went away, despite what media across the spectrum have been determined to make you believe, re-emerge as the indigenous Zapatistas that we are and will be.

In these years, we have significantly strengthened and improved our living conditions. Our standard of living is higher than those of the indigenous communities that support the governments in office, who receive handouts that are squandered on alcohol and useless items.

Our homes have improved without damaging nature by imposing on it roads alien to it.

In our communities, the earth that was used to fatten the cattle of ranchers and landlords is now used to produce the maize, beans, and the vegetables that brighten our tables.

Our work has the double satisfaction of providing us with what we need to live honorably and contributing to the collective growth of our communities.

Our sons and daughters go to a school that teaches them their own history, that of their country and that of the world, as well as the sciences and techniques necessary for them to grow without ceasing to be indigenous.

Indigenous Zapatista women are not sold as commodities.

The indigenous members of the PRI attend our hospitals, clinics, and laboratories because in those of the government, there is no medicine, nor medical devices, nor doctors, nor qualified personnel.

Our culture flourishes, not isolated, but enriched through contact with the cultures of other peoples of Mexico and of the world.

We govern and govern ourselves, always looking first for agreement before confrontation.

We have achieved all of this without the government, the political class, and the media that accompanies them, while simultaneously resisting their attacks of all kinds.

We have shown, once again, that we are who we are.

With our silence, we have made ourselves present.

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Now with our word, we announce that:

First – We will reaffirm and consolidate our participation in the National Indigenous Congress, the space of encounter with the original peoples of our country.

Second – We will re initiate contact with our compañeros and compañeras adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle in Mexico and the world.

Third – We will try to construct the necessary bridges toward the social movements that have arisen and will arise, not to direct or supplant them, but to learn from them, from their history, from their paths and destinies.

For this we have consolidated the support of individuals and groups in different parts of Mexico, formed as support teams for the Sixth and International Commissions of the EZLN, to become avenues of communication between the Zapatista bases of support and the individuals, groups, and collectives that are adherents to the Sixth Declaration, in Mexico and in the World, who still maintain their conviction and commitment to the construction of a non-institutional left alternative.

Fourth – We will continue to maintain our critical distance with respect to the entirety of the Mexican political class, which has thrived at the expense of the needs and desires of humble and simple people.

Fifth – With respect to the bad governments – federal, state, and municipal, executive, legislative, and judicial, and the media that accompanies them, we say the following:

The bad governments, which belong to the entirety of the political spectrum without a single exception, have done everything possible to destroy us, to buy us off, to make us surrender. PRI, PAN, PRD, PVEM, PT, CC and the future political party RN have attacked us militarily, politically, socially, and ideologically. [i]

The mainstream media tried to disappear us first with opportunist and servile lies followed by a complicit and deceptive silence. Those they served, those on whose money they nursed are no longer around and those who have succeeded them will not last any longer than their predecessors.

As was made evident on December 21, 2012, all of them failed. So, it’s up to the federal, executive, legislative and judicial governments to decide if they are going to continue the politics of counterinsurgency that have only resulted in a flimsy simulation clumsily built through the media, or if they are going to recognize and fulfill their commitments by elevating Indigenous Rights and Culture to the level of the Constitution as established in the “San Andrés Accords” signed by the Federal Government in 1996, which was at the time led by the very same political party that today occupies the executive office.

It will be up to the state government to decide if it will continue the dishonest and despicable strategy of its predecessor, that in addition to corruption and lies, used the money of the people of Chiapas to enrich itself and its accomplices and dedicated itself to the shameless buying off of the voices and pens of the communications media, sinking the people of Chiapas into poverty while using police and paramilitaries to try to brake the organizational advance of the Zapatista communities; or, if instead, with truth and justice, it will accept and respect our existence and come around to the idea that a new form of social life is blooming in Zapatista territory, Chiapas, Mexico.

This is a flowering that attracts the attention of honest people all over the planet.

It will be up to the municipal governments if they decide to keep swallowing the tall tales with which anti-Zapatista or supposedly “Zapatista” organizations extort them in order to attack and harass our communities; or if instead they use that money to improve the living conditions of those they govern.

It will be up to the people of Mexico who organize in electoral struggles and resist, to decide if they will continue to see us as enemies or rivals upon which to take out their frustration over the frauds and aggressions that, in the end, affect all of us, and if in their struggle for power they continue to ally themselves with our persecutors; or if they finally recognize in us another form of doing politics.

Sixth – In the next few days, the EZLN, through its Sixth and International Commissions, will announce a series of initiatives, civil and peaceful, to continue walking together with other original peoples of Mexico and of the continent, and together with those in Mexico and the world who struggle and resist below and to the left.

Brothers and Sisters:

Compañeros and Compañeras:

Before we had the good fortune of the honest and noble attention of various communications media. We expressed our appreciation then. But this has been completely erased by their later attitude.

Those who wagered that we only existed in the communications media and that, with the siege of lies and silence they created we would disappear, were mistaken.

When there were no cameras, microphones, pens, ears, or gazes, we continued to exist.

When they slandered us, we continued to exist.

When they silenced us, we continued to exist.

And here we are, existing.

Our path, as has been demonstrated, does not depend on media impact, but rather on comprehending the world and all of its parts, on indigenous wisdom that guides our steps, on the unswerving decision that is the dignity of below and to the left.

From now on, our word will be selective in its destination and, except on limited occasions, will only be able to be understood by those who have walked with us and who continue to walk without surrendering to current or media trends.

Here, not without many mistakes and many difficulties, another form of doing politics is already a reality.

Few, very few, will have the privilege of knowing it and learning from it directly.

19 years ago we surprised them taking with fire and blood their cities. Now we have done it once again, without arms, without death, without destruction.

In this way we have distinguished ourselves from those who, during their governments, distributed and continue to distribute death among those they govern.

We are those, the same, of 500 years ago, of 44 years ago, of 30 years ago, of 20 years ago, of just a few days ago.

We are the Zapatistas, the very smallest, those that live, struggle, and die in the last corner of the country, those that do not give up, do not sell out, those that do not surrender.

Brothers and Sisters:

Compañeros and Compañeras:

We are the Zapatistas, receive our embrace.

DEMOCRACY!

LIBERTY!

JUSTICE!

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Mexico. December 2012 – January 2013.

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[i] PRI (the party of the 70 year dictatorship and home of former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari); PAN (the right-wing party of recent president Felipe Calderón which oversaw the total devastation and the deaths of tens of thousands of Mexicans due to its “war on drugs” during the last twelve years); PRD (the institutional “left” party which joined the PAN and the PRI in blocking constitutional reforms on Indigenous Rights and Culture and which until recently was the party of Andrés Manuel López Obrador); the PVEM (Partido Verde Ecologista de México), PT (Partido del Trabajo), CC (Convergencia Ciudadana) and RN (Regeneración Nacional, the political party that is now being built by Andrés Manuel López Obrador after his friendly exit from the PRD).

Translation by El Kilombo Intergalactic. Re published from Compañero Manuel

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