August 8, 2009 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Join us for a presentation from local activists who traveled to spend time in Chiapas learning about Democracy from those who were willing to grab it out of the hands of politicians!

The event will be a multimedia presentation from the International Caravan for Observation and Solidarity with Zapatista Communities, Brigade to La Realidad, focusing on the history of the Zapatista movement, autonomous government, health and education.

On January 1st 1994, a rebel army called the Emiliano Zapata Liberation Front (EZLN) rose against the Mexican government in Chiapas, Mexico. The Zapatista movement has been organizing indigenous communities in the state of Chiapas in Mexico’s southeast for over 25 years, building local autonomy and improving daily-life conditions (for women, in health and education) in a “war against oblivion” as free trade threatens the livelihood of rural indigenous communities.

The Zapatista zone has around 32 rebel municipalities that refuse to recognise the Mexican or local state government. These municipalities send delegates to the council that organises the rebellion, the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee (CCRI). The Zapatistas are involved with a Peace Process. But in this process not even the CCRI can make decisions, instead each document produced by the talks, or any proposed change in tactics, must first be decided by all the communities. Right now some tens of thousands of people are making decisions in this way.

“The indigenous movement in which zapatismo is inscribed is not trying to return to the past, nor to maintain the unfair pyramid of society, just changing the skin color of the one who mandates and rules from above. The struggle of the Indian peoples of Mexico is not pointing backwards. In a linear world, where above is considered eternal and below inevitable, the Indian peoples of Mexico are breaking with that line and pointing towards something which is yet to be deciphered, but which is already new and better.”