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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

1 January: emblematic date for social struggles

From the war against oblivion to the struggle for life

Photograph by Francisco Lion.

January 1st is a date of great importance for Latin America and the Greater Caribbean. It is not only the beginning of a new year, it is also an emblematic date for the struggles of our peoples.

On January 1, 1804, after 12 years of war, the people of Haiti won their independence. It was the first anti-colonial revolution to triumph on the continent. Almost a century and a half later, on January 1, 1959, also in the Greater Caribbean, the Cuban revolution triumphed, a movement that was born anti-imperialist and soon became socialist as well.

Later, on January 1, 1994, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation declared war against the Mexican State. Zapatismo's bet soon took a clearer direction: without laying down their arms, they bet on building schools, clinics, hospitals, on the distribution of recovered lands, on self-management, self-government, and territorial self-determination. Autonomy is what they call the way in which they resist and at the same time create something new.

Photograph by Francisco Lion.

Throughout these 28 years, Zapatismo has built an alternative in which the knowledge of the people and the knowledge of other resistances are combined. Articulating from the local to the global, today the Zapatista resistance is recognized around the world for being an experience of government from below, of a to command by obeying that also embraces the banners of anti-capitalism, anti-patriarchy, anti-racism and that fights and alerts the world, as Fidel Castro did before, of the risks that the socio-environmental collapse means for humanity.

As in the past, the lords of war and money do not tolerate anyone who dares to set an example that another world is possible. That is why, with paramilitaries and criminal groups, but also with the omission and guarantee of impunity offered by the three levels of government, today the Zapatista peoples continue to suffer the war.

Twenty-eight years have passed since the Zapatista Ya Basta resounded throughout the world. Today the same Mayan Zapatista peoples are inviting us to fight a battle that is crucial: the struggle in defense of Life. The Cat-Dog wrote it down in his notebook: "Either you are with the system or with nature. Or with death, or with life?

Which side do you choose?

To know more: https://bit.ly/EZLNyCNI

*Raul Rosemary is a Sociologist, academic technician at UNAM.



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