sábado, 25 de outubro de 2014
Aécio Neves Congrega a Escória Fascista (por Altamiro Borges) + Fascismo Inc. (Documentário Completo e Legendado em Português)
AÉCIO NEVES CONGREGA A ESCÓRIA FASCISTA
Por Altamiro Borges
"Diga-me com que andas e te direi quem és! Para quem tem dúvida sobre o que pode representar um eventual governo de Aécio Neves é só ver quem já anunciou apoio à sua cambaleante candidatura. O Clube Militar, que reúne os “milicos de pijama” saudosos das torturas e assassinatos do período da ditadura, soltou manifesto apoiando o presidenciável do PSDB para “enfrentar a sovietização do país”. Já o milionário “pastor” Silas Malafaia, famoso por suas posições de estímulo ao ódio e ao preconceito, postou no Twitter que é Aécio Neves “desde criancinha”. E o deputado carioca Jair Bolsonaro, conhecido por defender as torturas praticadas pelo regime militar, também aderiu à campanha tucana.
Além de representar os “modernos” neoliberais do PSDB, que afundaram o Brasil no reinado de FHC, e a velha oligarquia do DEM, Aécio Neves passa a expressar também as obsessões doentias dos fascistóides nativos. Sua eventual vitória no segundo turno não representaria apenas uma guinada conservadora no Brasil – com ataques à democracia, à soberania nacional e aos direitos sociais. Pior ainda. Ela expressaria uma ofensiva fascistóide no país. O neonazismo, que ganha terreno na Europa e nos EUA, passaria a ter mais força também no país.”
* * * *
Dirigido por Aris Chatzistefanou
(Grécia, 2014, 83 min)
Dos mesmos produtores de Dividocracia e Catastroika
por Cynara Menezes (Socialista Morena)
Quem fornecia o pesticida Zyklon-B (cianeto de hidrogênio) colocado nas chamadas “câmaras de gás” utilizadas pelos nazistas para exterminar milhões de judeus? A empresa alemã IG Farben, antecessora da mesma Bayer que continua a fornecer inseticidas mundo afora.
A ignorância em torno do socialismo não resiste a cinco minutos de pesquisa no Google. A mais recorrente mentira que a direita tenta espalhar e que encontra receptividade em jovens sem leitura, desconhecedores da história e que se contentam com meia dúzia de frases nas redes sociais, é que o sanguinário Adolf Hitler foi um socialista. Isto baseado na “genial” sacada de que o nome do partido dele era Partido Nacional Socialista. Certamente devem achar que a Coréia do Norte é democrática e popular, já que se chama República Democrática Popular da Coréia. Ou talvez o PSB brasileiro seja socialista, né?
Vários esquerdistas na rede perderam algum tempo desmentindo a idiotice. Os melhores links, em minha opinião, estão no artigo Detonando a Mentira de que os Nazistas eram de Esquerda (em inglês), onde o blogueiro e tuiteiro Shoq escancara o total nonsense desta história. Mas o cineasta independente grego Aris Chatzistefanou foi além e praticamente desenhou para quem se recusa a pesquisar ou pelo menos usar a lógica.
A ascensão do nazismo de Adolf Hitler na Alemanha e do fascismo de Benito Mussolini na Itália durante os anos 1920, 1930 e 1940 só foi possível com a colaboração e o suporte financeiro de grandes corporações ainda hoje poderosas: BMW, Fiat, IG Farben (Bayer), Volkswagen, Siemens, IBM, Chase Bank, Allianz… Sem contar, é claro, com os grupos de mídia.
O filme Fascismo Inc. é o terceiro feito por Chatzistefanou para mostrar as origens da crise econômica na Europa e na Grécia em particular. São imperdíveis também os primeiros da série: Dividocracia e Catastroika, que denunciam a bolha imobiliária e depois a “ajuda” do FMI (Fundo Monetário Internacional), fiel à sua velha cartilha de socorrer os ricos em detrimento dos pobres. Em Fascismo Inc., o cineasta esmiúça a estreita colaboração de industriais e banqueiros com os nazistas para perseguir e destruir o sindicalismo e os socialistas, a quem chamavam de “terroristas” (qualquer coincidência com o Brasil de hoje será mera semelhança). Detalhe: Hitler extinguiu o Partido Comunista alemão um dia depois de tomar posse.
O documentário relata inclusive como a perseguição aos judeus não foi apenas uma questão racial, mas também tinha interesses econômicos. Como os judeus integravam uma poderosa classe média na Alemanha de então, os nazis se utilizaram do racismo para fazê-los bode expiatório da crise, acusando-os de “roubar os empregos” dos alemães –não por acaso, o mesmo discurso que a direita utiliza atualmente em relação aos imigrantes na Europa. O fascismo de Benito Mussolini não foi, ao contrário do que os ditadores pregavam, um movimento de massas: o rei Emanuel III entregou o poder a Mussolini porque era o que queriam as indústrias do Norte da Itália. Para confrontar as massas de esquerda, era preciso criar um movimento de massas de direita. Que melhores líderes para isso do que o psico Adolf e o fanfarrão Benito?
O filme mostra ainda como, no tribunal de Nuremberg, as empresas envolvidas com o nazismo foram submetidas a uma pantomima de condenação. Enquanto os oficiais nazis foram enforcados, quem entrou com o dinheiro para financiar a empreitada foi solto anos depois –os diretores da IG Farben (Bayer), que fornecia os químicos para matar gente, foram condenados a no máximo 8 anos.
Mas o pior são os sinais que Chatzistefanou está vendo, na sociedade grega, de recrudescimento deste nazi-fascismo financiado pela grana: os partidos neonazis gregos são apoiados por parte da elite econômica e dos grupos de mídia (olha eles aí de novo) do país. E o cineasta está convencido de que é uma tendência que pode se espalhar como consequência da crise. “Nosso lema é: ‘o que acontece na Grécia nunca fica na Grécia. Temo que este crescimento da extrema-direita e movimentos neo-nazistas que estamos vendo nos últimos anos na Grécia apareçam em outros países da Europa onde a austeridade foi imposta do mesmo jeito” (leia mais aqui).
Muita gente usa a tirania do ditador soviético Josef Stalin para atacar a esquerda. Stalin (cujo exército, por sinal, derrotou os nazistas) é acusado da morte de milhões, mas o socialismo foi uma de suas vítimas. Hitler também matou milhões, mas o capitalismo não sofreu sob o nazismo ou o fascismo. Pelo contrário: foi seu financiador.
Assistam o filme, é muito bom. Legendas em português.
quinta-feira, 23 de outubro de 2014
- É nada. A culpa é das cagadas do Alckmin! - retruca a ONU.
- A culpa mesmo é todinha da Dilma! - opina o Aécio Neves.
- Candidato, não seja leviano: a culpa é da má gestão tucana! - responde a presidenta.
- O problema é o aquecimento global! - sugere o climatologista.
- O aquecimento global não existe! - sustentam altas autoridades corporativas.
- Ai que sede da porra! - o povo paulista em coro.
- Como é bom fazer negócios com a tucanada! - comemora a Bolsa de Valores em New York…
- CARTA CAPITAL: DO CANTAREIRA PARA A BOLSA DE NOVA YORK
- UOL: RACIONAMENTO DE ÁGUA NÃO É CULPA DE SÃO PEDRO, DIZ ONU
- GABRIEL KOGAN: 10 MITOS SOBRE A CRISE HÍDRICA
- GOTÔMETRO DA CANTAREIRA
- VIOMUNDO: ALCKMIN EMBOLSA 50% DOS LUCROS DA SABESP E AINDA REDUZ INVESTIMENTOS
- MUDA MAIS: PSDB DE AÉCIO DESMONTOU SABESP E PÕE CULPA NA POPULAÇÃO
quarta-feira, 11 de junho de 2014
Comover, viralizar, politizar! As vésperas da Copa do Mundo no Brasil, Mídia Ninja lança plataforma colaborativa e rede social voltada para o midiativismo e para o jornalismo cidadão. Fruto de uma parceria com a plataforma Oximity, radicalizamos nossa proposta, apostando na produção colaborativa, no financiamento coletivo e na livre distribuição de todos os nossos conteúdos.
Foi em junho de 2013, quando todo o país foi tomado por manifestações, que nos tornamos uma alternativa de mídia independente. A multidão, que para muito além dos 20 centavos, se manifestava por mais direitos e por mais democracia, ao chegar em casa das ruas e se ver na televisão filmada a partir de helicópteros e descrita por apresentadores que os chamavam de vândalos, buscou nas redes novas representações.
No meio de “tiro, porrada e bomba” e de toda a repressão e criminalização dos movimentos que se seguiu, os ninjas criaram uma rede de colaboração em todo o Brasil, pelo interior e capitais, transformando o streamming, a linguagem do fotojornalismo e a cobertura em tempo real das ruas em uma nova forma de mobilização. Desde então, seguimos ajudando a criar ondas de participação e viralização nas redes em sinergia com milhares de ativistas e movimentos.
Tudo isso é apenas o começo! Estamos juntos! Afinal, Junho é o aniversário de Junho! Hora de fortalecer as lutas globais e o movimento midialivrista no Brasil.
Somos Todos Ninjas!
Brazilians streets screaming out their discontent!
“Throw FIFA Out of the Game”,
The New York Times article by Dave Zirin,
author of “Brazil’s Dance With The Devil”
"Most people associate FIFA, the organization that oversees international soccer, with the quadrennial joy of the World Cup. But as the 2014 tournament begins next week in Brazil, FIFA is plagued by levels of corruption, graft and excess that would shame Silvio Berlusconi. (…) In Brazil, site of the 2014 World Cup, the FIFA-driven push to build new stadiums at a breakneck pace has led to the deaths of nine construction workers. FIFA’s demands for security and infrastructure may end up displacing as many as 250,000 poor people, who live in the favelas surrounding Brazil’s urban centers. The cost of the games continues to tick upward, the latest figures climbing as high as $15 billion. (…) Finally, the world is seeing FIFA for what it is: a stateless conglomerate that takes bribes while acting as a battering ram for world leaders who want to use the majesty of the World Cup to push through their development agendas at great human cost.” - David ZirinREAD FULL ARTICLE
REBLOG ON TUMBLR Tweet
sexta-feira, 9 de maio de 2014
"O Enigma de Junho" - Série de artigos de Idelber Avelar explora legado da ditadura, crise da representatividade, Passe Livre, dentre outros ingredientes...
"Há que se virar pelo avesso, então, as perguntas que ocuparam os analistas: como é possível que as massas saiam assim às ruas num país de quase pleno emprego, como o Brasil, que está longe das obscenas taxas de desemprego da Espanha? Como é possível que isso aconteça num país em que não há ressentimento ante uma tirania, como foi o caso no Egito da Primavera Árabe? Como isso é possível, perguntavam-se, num país em que recentemente 30 milhões de pessoas ascenderam à classe media e um pacto de classes bem-sucedido, o lulismo, ancorado na figura de um notável estadista, parecia ter domesticado todo conflito? Essas perguntas acerca de como é possível que isso esteja acontecendo cumpriram o papel de mascarar o fato de que a pergunta que importa de verdade é a oposta, ou seja: como é possível que isso não tenha ocorrido antes? Como é possível que isso não tenha acontecido durante duas décadas? Muito especialmente, como é possível que isso não tenha ocorrido na última década, a do lulismo?
O pacto lulista se ancora na incorporação de uma ampla parcela dos mais pobres ao consumo - ao consumo, não à cidadania, ou em boa parte dos casos à cidadania entendida como consumo - sem que nenhum privilégio dos mais ricos seja tocado. Isso se torna possível, claro, somente num contexto em que o bolo esteja continuamente crescendo, o que ocorreu na década passada graças ao boom das commodities que o Brasil exporta em grande quantidade. Muitas das políticas de ascensão social do lulismo foram instrumentos de uma proletarização de formas de vida e de convivência com a floresta ou com o semi-árido, por exemplo, que tanto o neoliberalismo de Fernando Henrique como o desenvolvimentismo petista não podiam senão ver como pré-capitalistas ou pré-modernos, predestinados a morrer, em suma. No caso da Amazônia, essa troca (a passagem de um modo de vida com certa conversa com o entorno selvático a outro modo de vida no qual esse entorno serve como matéria-prima e substrato sacrificial de uma modernização movida a hidrelétricas, pecuária extensiva e soja) se produz intensamente durante os anos Lula e chega neste momento, não é exagerado propô-lo, ao seu esgotamento como pacto." - Idelber Avelar
Um novo Junho vem aí e nada mais oportuno do que relembrar as jornadas de Junho do ano passado - um mês histórico para os movimentos sociais e mobilizações populares no Brasil. Confira a série de 4 artigos de Idelber Avelar - um trabalho jornalístico primoroso - sobre “O Mistério de Junho”:
I: Os protestos de 2013 e a Amazônia
II: Os protestos de 2013 e o legado da ditadura
III: Os protestos de 2013 e a quebra do pacto lulista
IV: Os protestos de 2013 e a crise de representatividade
* * * * *
segunda-feira, 7 de abril de 2014
“Raízes e Frutos da Rebelião” – Comentários sobre a luta dos Zapatistas mexicanos contra o Capitalismo Neoliberal (por Eduardo Carli de Moraes)
“To kill oblivion with a little memory,
we cover our chests with lead and hope.”
Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN).
In: 'Our Word is Our Weapon: Selected Writings',
Foreword: José Saramago (Nobel Prize In Literature)
Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN).
In: 'Our Word is Our Weapon: Selected Writings',
Foreword: José Saramago (Nobel Prize In Literature)
Published by Seven Stories Press (New York, 2003, Pg. 100.)
PART I - THE BIG-BELLIED BEASTAGAINST THE GRASS-ROOTS RESISTANCE
CHAPTER I - CHIAPAS LOSES BLOOD THROUGH MANY VEINS
“We are a product of 500 years of struggle: first, led by insurgents against slavery during the War of Independence with Spain; then to avoid being absorbed by North American imperialism; then to proclaim our constitution and expel the French empire from our soil; later when the people rebelled against Porfirio Diaz's dictatorship, which denied us the just application of the reform laws, and leaders like Villa and Zapata emerged...” - First Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, January 2, 1994
In the mountains and jungles of the Mexican southeast, an insurrection explodes in January 1st, 1994. Several municipalities in the province of Chiapas are taken over by the armed rebels that call themselves Zapatistas, followers of the legacy of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919).
Led by the campesinos and the indigenous populations of Chiapas, this neo-zapatist movement blossoms into the spotlight of the world's arena in exactly the same day of the implementation of NAFTA, the Free Trade Agreement of the North American countries.
From day one, it was made quite clear by the rebels that one of the objectives of EZLN's uprising was to be an obstacle to the implementation of Free Trade policies in Mexico. The economical set-up of Neoliberalism (based on privatization, free competition, consumerism etc.), argues the Zapatistas, is nothing but an authoritarian imposition of rules made-up by “the world of money”:
“The world of money, their world, governs from the stock exchanges. Today, speculation is the principal source of enrichment, and at the same time the best demonstration of the atrophy of our capacity to work. Work is no longer necessary in order to produce wealth; now all that is needed is speculation. Crimes and wars are carried out so that the global stock exchanges may be pillaged by one or the other. Meanwhile, millions of women, millions of youths, millions of indigenous, millions of homosexuals, millions of human beings of all races and colors, participate in the financial markets only as a devalued currency, always worth less and less, the currency of their blood turning a profit. The globalization of markets erases borders for speculation and crime and multiplies borders for human beings. Countries are obliged to erase their national border for money too circulate, but to multiply their internal borders.” - (Marcos, Unveiling Mexico, p. 117)
Wall Street and Washington join hands and try to persuade Mexicans that "Free Trade" will be a marvel for Mexico, but Mexicans have every reason to be suspicious of their neighbor who stole from it a big slice of territory in bygone years. Today, at the frontier that separates the countries, the yankees have built up a huge Wall of Segregation, and soldiers with license to kill can deal with illegal immigrants in very unbrotherly ways. The same country responsible for La Migra (and Guantánamo Bay, and Abu Ghraib detention facility...) preaches the Free Trade gospel as if it was salvation.
The men and women who have arisen to speak out their discontent in Chiapas are yet to be fully heard by the world-at-large. Artists and writers have helped spread their voices, from Manu Chao and Rage Against the Machine, to José Saramago and Eduardo Galeano. 20 years later, the Zapatistas are still struggling against the powers that want to crush human dignity in the bloody altars of profit. And if the Zapatistas' scream has the potentiality to be heard and comprehended all around the world, it's because they accuse the established capitalist system of committing crimes that are visible worldwide, in many different countries: ecological devastation; ethnical genocide of indigenous populations and destruction of their cultures; concentration of capital in the hands of a few multinational corporations etc.
Zapatismo has been called the first revolutionary movement of the Internet-era, the avant-garde guerrilla that's pioneering the ways to be followed by the guerrillas of tomorrow. But reactionary political powers have been violently trying to silence their voices – and the “money world”, also referred to by Marcos as "The Beast", doesn't refrain from methods such as military agression, police repression, institutionalized murder, and para-military militias. All in order to maintain the Order imposed by The World of Money and to bury the voices of these “indians”, covered in masks and carrying guns, that insist in demanding social justice, autonomy and real democracy.
Marcos describes Chiapas's tragedies very vividly in his poetry-filled words: “This land continues to pay tribute to the imperialists”, writes the insurgent Zapatista, “and there's a thousand teeth sunk into the throat of the Mexican Southeast” (Unveiling Mexico, 1992, pg. 22-23). Would the indigenous populations of southeast Mexico have risen in rebellion if the suffering they endured hadn't become unbearable?
“In times past, wood, fruits, animals, and men went to the metropolis through the veins of exploitation, just as they do today. Like the banana republics, but at the peak of neoliberalism and 'libertarian revolutions', the Southeast of Mexico continues to export raw materials, just as it did 500 years ago. It continues to import capitalism's principal product: death and misery.
The health conditions of the people of Chiapas are a clear example of the capitalist imprint: 1.5 million people have no medical services at their disposal. There are 0,2 clinics for every 1.000 inhabitants, 1/5 of the national average. There are 0,3 hospital beds for every 1.000 Chiapanecos, 1/3 the amount in the rest of Mexico... Health and nutrition go hand in hand with poverty. 54% of the population of Chiapas suffers from malnutrition, and in the highlands and forest this percentage increases to 80%.... This is what capitalism leaves as payment for everything that it takes away. (...) Chiapa's experience of exploitation goes back for centuries. ” - Sub Marcos, Unveiling Mexico
In Subcomandante Marcos' political tought, which seems to be deeply rooted in an understanding of Latin America's reality similar to Eduardo Galeano's, Imperialism is the name of the beast which has it's thousands of teeths sunk into Chiapas neck – and so many numberless others places on this Earth where 85 flesh-and-blood earthlings retain the same amount of wealth as half of the world's population (according to Oxfam). Welcome to the established economical and political orden in 3rd planet from the Sun, a place of extreme inequality in which the criminal status quo is defended by armies and warmongers, for the profit of speculators, gangsters and banksters.
“A handful of businesses - one of which is the Mexican state - take all the wealth out of Chiapas and in exchange leave behind their mortal and pestilent mark..(...) Pemex has 86 teeth sunk into the townships of Estación Juárez, Reforma, Ostuacán, Pichucalco, and Ocosingo. Every day they suck out 92.000 barrels of oil and 517.000.000.000 cubic feet of gas. They take away the petroleum”, states Marcos, “and in exchange leave behind the mark of capitalism: ecological destruction, agricultural plunder, hyperinflation, alcoholism, prostitution, and poverty.”
It's easy to delineate the image of the Enemy in the Zapatistas' hearts: the face of the big-bellied beast of Greed. Imperialism is dirty business, greediness in action, devastating egotism that turns nations into vampires that suck the life-blood of others. Besides the petroleum that gets sucked out of Chiapas by greedy oil companies, another similar process affects the production of coffee: 35% of Mexico's coffee is produced in Chiapas, but more than 50% of Chiapas' coffee production is exported. The campesinos that work in the fields to produce it have terribly inadequate life-conditions of nourishment, health, education etc. The true producers are dying of hunger and disease while foreign powers ride on golden streets of robbed privilege.
The list can be enriched with many other “commodities” that are sucked-out of Chiapas to feed, elsewhere, the belly of the beast. There are 3.000.000 animals waiting to be slaughtered for beef in Chiapas: “the cattle are sold for 400 pesos per kilo by the poor farmers and resold by the middlemen and businessmen for up to 10 times the price they paid for them.” (Unveiling Mexico, p. 23) Chiapas' forests are also among the culinary preferences of the greedy hungry beast: whole woods are cut down by capitalism's chainsaws, and this precious wood is then shipped out of Chiapas to be sold elsewhere for huge profits. Similar histories could be told about honey, corn or hydrelectric energy - goods that Chiapas produces in large quantities, but get eaten away by this beastly creature which Marcos denounces and summons to answer: “what does the beast leave behind in exchange for all it takes away?” (pg. 24)
* * * * *
CHAPTER II - THE TIME TO HARVEST REBELLION INSTEAD OF DEATH
John Lennon asked us in his era-defining song to “imagine a brotherhood of man”, but Chiapas isn't the place to look for it. It ain't brotherly treatment to exploit, repress and steal fellow humans – and that's what businessmen and fancy capitalists have been doing against the Chiapanecos. “1.000.000 indigenous people live in these lands and share a disorienting nightmare with mestizos and ladinos: their only option, 500 years after the “Meeting of Two Worlds”, is to die of poverty or repression.” (Marcos: p. 26)
There are 300.000 Tzotziles, 120.000 Choles, 90.000 Zoques, and 70.000 Tojoales, among other indigenous populations, that inhabit the land of the poorest state in Mexico. Chiapas could be rich, but it's wealth is sucked away and taken abroad, to bank accounts of greedy capitalists, and if you join the Zapatista up-rising against this reality you might end up killed by the repression. How many people has the Mexican Army killed in order to silence the voices that question the undoubtable goodness of the so-called “Free Market”? I leave the question unanswered, for now, and move on, from exploitation to rebellion.
At the dawn of the New Year, in January 1st 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army descended from the Lacandon Jungle to take over the power in several cities of Chiapas, including San Cristobal de Las Casas and Ocosingo. They believed to be “professionals of hope”, “transgressors of injustice”, “History's dispossessed”, finally raising their voices to demand liberty, justice, democracy, dignity. This is the moment when they became visible, when they stepped out of the shadows, when they shouted for the whole World to hear.
“Death does not hurt; what hurts is to be forgotten. We discovered then that we longer existed, that those who govern had forgotten about us in their euphoria of statistics and growth rates. A country that forgets itself is a sad country. A country that forgets its past cannot have a future. And so we took up arms and went into the cities, where we were considered animals. We went and told the powerful: “We are here!” And to the whole country we shouted: “We are here!” And to all the world we yelled, “We are here!”...”
This movement is deeply rooted in History: far from being immediatist and pragmatic, the Zapatista movement demands respect for the rights of human populations who descend from the occupants of this land prior to the European's invasion. This scream of rebellion raises from an ocean of blood: the genocide of the Indians and the destruction of their civilizations is still an open wound in the Zapatistas hearts, and they won't allow the world to forget these past misdeeds. In January 1994, Subcomandante Insurgent Marcos reminded us than in Mexico
“during these past ten years (1984-1994), more than 150.000 indigenous have died of curable diseases. The federal, state, and municipal governments and their economic and social programs do not take into account any real solution to our problems; they limit themselves to giving us charity every time elections roll around. Charity resolves nothing but for the moment, and again death visits our homes. That is why we think no, no more; enough dying this useless death; it is better to fight for change. If we die now, it will not be with shame but with dignity, like our ancestors. We are ready to die, 150.000 more if necessary, so that our people awaken from this dream of deceit that holds us hostage.” (pg. 17)
Seen from the capitalists' perspective, there's a dispensable strata of the population labeled as “Indians” (so called because Columbus thought, more than 500 years ago, that the land where he had arrived was India...). “Check out the text of the Free Trade Agreement, and you will find that, for this government, the indigenous do not exist.” (p. 66) Social inequality and marginalized people go hand in hand in Mexico: “on a national level there are 2,403 municipalities. Of these, 1.153 have a level of marginalization considered high or very high. States with high indigenous population have the majority of their municipalities with high and very high levels of marginalization: 94 out of 111 in Chiapas; 59 out of 75 in Guerrero; 431 of 570 in Oaxaca...” (p. 67)
For 10 years the Zapatista uprising had been fermenting in the woods, since 1984, and at the beginning of 1994 time had arrived for their voice to be heard, not only in Mexico, but throughout the world, amplified by the Internet, sending its shout throughout the Global Village. One of the easiest ways to understand the emergence of Neo-Zapatism is to look at the consequences of the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) agreement becoming active: free market had kicked out the barriers and products from abroad were about to flood into Mexico, like a tsunami, drowning out Mexican campesinos with the devastating power of a Dust Bowl Storm. The Zapatistas knew very well that NAFTA would certainly enrich some big corporations, mainly american and canadian, but would wreck the equilibrium of the local economies – especially in southeast Mexico. NAFTA was inforced with “dictatorial” fashion: it's a fact that neither civil society nor the indigenous populations of Mexico were consulted on the matter, even tough they would be tremendously affected by the transformations in the National Constitution.
“The preparations for NAFTA included cancellation of Article 27 of Mexico's constitution, the cornerstone of Emiliano Zapata's revolution of 1910–1919. Under the historic Article 27, Indian communal landholdings were protected from sale or privatization. However, this barrier to investment was incompatible with NAFTA. With the removal of Article 27, Indian farmers feared the loss of their remaining lands, and also feared cheap imports (substitutes) from the US. Thus, the Zapatistas labeled NAFTA as a "death sentence" to Indian communities all over Mexico. Then EZLN declared war on the Mexican state on January 1, 1994, the day NAFTA came into force.” - Wikipédia
According to Marcos, NAFTA “only means freedom for the powerful to rob, and freedom for the dispossessed to live in misery.” (p. 73) We've heard this real-life story many times: everytime a Wal-Mart opens in a city, lots of smaller stores go bankrupt because they can't compete with Wal-Mart's prices. That's why it's possible to considerer EZLN as a movement demanding national sovereignty; from the Zapatistas perspective – which arises from the experience of thousands of Mexicans – what is called “neoliberalism” is just a fancy name for imperialist capitalism, for foreign domination, for the sad reality known for centuries in Latin America of wealth being robbed from a country and getting transformed in capital that enriches some big-shot abroad.
In Ana Carrigan's excellent article “Chiapas: The First Postmodern Revolution”, she reminds us that years before NAFTA forced itself into North America there was already a lot of rebellion by campesinos in Mexico: in April 10, 1992, for example, 4.000 indigenous campesinos marched to the country's capital and read a letter adressed to President Carlos Salinas, in which “they accuse him of having brought all gains of the agrarian reform made under Zapata to an end, of selling the country with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and of bringing Mexico back to the times of Porfirio Díaz.” (pg. 36)
“The Zapatistas made their first, spectacular public appearance in San Cristobal de Las Casas. On October 12, 1992, amid demonstrations marking 'The Year of The Indian, 500 Years of Resistance', 4.000 young men and women armed with bows and arrows suddenly appeared out of the crowd. Marching in military formation, they advanced to the central plaza where they attacked the monument to the founder of San Cristobal, the 16th century Spanish encomendador, Diego de Mazariegos. As the symbol of 500 years of opression crashed from its pedestal, the Indians hacked it to pieces and pocketed the fragments before disappearing. In the annals of indigenous resistance, the toppling of Mazariego's statue had a symbolic resonance equivalent to the destruction of the Berlin Walls.” (ANA CARRIGAN)
The communities in Chiapas who have embraced the EZLN program were bound to clash with Mexican establishment. The powers that be, unbrotherly as usual, sent Army soldiers in great numbers in a bloody attempt to silence the rebels. As Juana Ponce de León states,
“for the government, the issue is simple. There are vast oil reserves, exotic wood, and uranium on the autonomous indigenous lands of Chiapas; the Mexican government wants them, but the indigenous communities, who have no currency in the world's markets, are in the way. While projecting through the national and international press an image of concern for the human rights issues and the intention to resolve them, the government orchestrates the privatization of the Mayan lands and a low-intensity war to weaken and divide the communities.” (Traveling Back for Tomorrow, XXV).
- A graffiti at City Lights Books, Lawrence Ferlinghetti's bookstore in San Francisco
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CHAPTER III - THE CLASH BETWEEN OBLIVION AND MEMORY
“...there once was a man named Zapata who rose up with his people and sang out: 'Land and Freedom!' The campesinos say that Zapata didn't die, that he must return... They say that hope is also planted and harvested. They also say that the wind and the rain and the sun are now saying something different: that with so much poverty, the time has come to harvest rebellion instead of death.” - Sub Marcos, Our Word is Our Weapon: Selected Writings, pg. 33, Seven Stories Press. All following quotes are from this source.
The Zapatistas know their task is Herculean: the Mexican federal Army, certainly backed-up by Washington and Wall Street, greatly outnumbers the army of the Zapatista rebels. The power of destruction of the Establish Capitalist Powers is crushing: they own the police and the prisons, and they pay the soldiers and militias to persecute the Mexicans who join EZLN. The defeat of this insurrectional movement is something that has been aimed at by established powers for the last 20 years - according to Marcos, the enemy would like to see “democracy washed with the detergent of imports and water from antidemonstration cannons.” (pg. 54)
In 1994 Mexico's president Carlos Salinas de Gortari is considered by EZLN as “the sales manager of a gigantic business: Mexico, Inc.” (pg. 63) Free Trade, for the Zapatistas, is nothing but capitalism's “law of the jungle”, and it generates a couple of millionaires while throwing millions into hunger, sickness and death. To use Occuppy Movement's imagery, the top of the social pyramid, the richest 1% of the country, don't give a fig about defending the rights of the Mexican people as a whole (the 99%): “the only country mentioned with sincerity on that increasingly narrow top floor is the country called money.” (pg. 63) “On every street corner misery knocks on the windows of the car.” (pg. 64)
Even tough they see peace and social justice as an ideal to accomplish, the Zapatistas feel they would remain powerless if they were Gandhian pacifists. Thus they take arms, just like the guerrillas led by Fidel and Che in Sierra Maestra in late 1950's Cuba. EZLN, as the name itself sufficiently states, is an armed rebellion and doesn't comply with what Marcos called, in Aguascalientes, august 1994, “pacifist complicity with injustice” (p. 56) and “fraudulent unconditional pacifism” (p. 58)
EZLN is quite aware that military victory is rather unlikely against such a powerful army as that of Mexico's established powers, backed-up by Washington and Wall Street. So Marcos tends to underline the symbolical importance of the Zapatista's up-rising, its capacity to inspire similar movements throughout Latin America. The 4th Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, January 1996, states: “Brothers and sisters of other races and languages, of other colors, but with the same heart, now protect our light, and in it they drink of the same fire.” (p. 87)
“To confront an army superior to ours in weapons and personnel, although not in morality, nullifies the possibilities of sucess. But to surrender has been expressly forbidden; any Zapatista leaders who opt to surrender will be decommissioned. No matter the outcome of this war, sooner or later this sacrifice – which today appears useless and sterile to many – will be compensated by the lightning that will illuminate other lands. For sure, the light will reach deep into the South, shimmer in the Mar de Plata, in the Andes, in Paraguay, and the entirety of this inverted and absurd pyramid that is Latin America...” (74)
The future of Latin America lies not only in its ability to build international solidarity, planting the seeds of a future of social justice and true democracy, but also in its struggle against oblivion. The Zapatistas claim that memory has been progressively wipe-out by the forces of a capitalist production, distribution and consumption system that runs on shallow foresight and narrow hindsight. In other worlds: the system wants us to buy like crazy, and think only of immediate enjoyment of products sold in the markets, thus imposing to our minds oblivion of future and past generations. This is one of the most important ideas to understand if we want to grasp what these more than 20 years of the Neo Zapatista movement in Mexico means:
“On the side of oblivion are the multiple forces of the market. On the side of memory is history.” This thesis of the markets' attempted murder against memory is illustrated by the treatment conferred upon indigenous populations by capitalists and their accomplices among politicians. The Zapatistas are saying: the past is not to be forgotten, consumed down to ash, thrown in the garbage can, in order for us to “enjoy” the here-and-now of mass society, mass production, mass consumption, and mass ecological catastrophes. The Zapatistas see the past as “a guide to be learned from and upon which to grow”. The problem is:
“the past doesn't exist for technocrats, under whose rule our nation suffers. The future can be nothing more than a lengthening of the present for these professional amnesiacs. (...) What better example of this phobia of history is there than the attitude of the Mexican government toward the indigenous peoples? Are not the indigenous demands a worrisome stain on history, dimming the splendor of globalization? Is not the very existence of indigenous people an affront to the global dictatorship of the market?” (MARCOS, pg. 147)
The sad thing is: instead of learning from the past in order to build a better future, the authorities in charge of markets and governments complicit to them are basically waging war against those who are labeled by the repression forces and portrayed by the plutocratic media as "The Terrorists". The inner enemy. The war against the Zapatistas waged by the Mexican Federal Army, with the aid of the Yankees, is simply an attempt to silence by massmurder those who are demanding freedom, dignity, and social justice. In March, 1995, EZLN writes “to the people of Mexico and to the peoples of the world”:
“Our voice was silenced all at once by the noise of the machines of war. Terror was unleashed again in the Mexican lands by the one who, from arrogance and power, looks at us with contempt, denies our name, and gives us death in answer to our thought. (...) With the complicity of big money and a foreign vacation, he wanted to force us with bayonets to deny our history. (...) For that reason, our past went to the mountains. We went into the caves of those who came before us. Death cornered us... Death came to wield its knife-edged oblivion. It came to kill memory. Again, our hand filled with the fire to avenge our own pain, again being animals eating dirt, dying persecuted and forgotten.” (pg. 81)
The name Zapatistas then gains the meaning of a very powerful symbolical weapon: a “collective name”, that any individual can claim for himself, and by adhering to it he goes away from the forgetfullness that his individual self lies buried in. A campesino who haves always felt as nobody, as one of the many who History will forget, now can call himself a Zapatista and thus believe he's part of a collective entity that won't be so easily brushed away to oblivion. Every zapatista will die, but zapatismo will live, beyond the duration of individual lives. When an individual leaps from being an unrelated isolated atom and joins his forces with the supra-individual movement, it's as if his heart has been connected to a vaster entity and now pulsates with a collective heart.
“No longer are we the unmentionables. We the forgotten have a name. (...) Having now a collective name, we discovered that death shrinks and becomes small before us. The worst death, that of oblivion, flees so that the memory of our dead will never be buried together with their bones.(...) “They, our ancestors, taught us to be proud of the color of our skin, of our language, of our culture. More than 500 years of exploitation and persecution have not been able to exterminate us. (...) If they destroy us, the entire country will plummet and begin to wander without direction or roots... Mexico would negate its tomorrow by denying its yesterday.” (October 12, 1995, pg. 82-83)
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Copyleft material. Re-share and re-blog as much as you wish,
but please acknowledge Eduardo Carli de Moraes @ Awestruck Wanderer.
but please acknowledge Eduardo Carli de Moraes @ Awestruck Wanderer.