July 1st, 2005

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Complete Zapatista Declaration

At long last you can read the complete Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona from the EZLN.

Part I was discussed at length in my previous post talks about the past.

Part II talks about the present.

Part III talks about the future and contains the specific concrete proposals which the Zapatistas have agreed to pursue as a result of their recent week long consultation with all the rebel communities of Chiapas.

This three part declaration is an amazing and inspiring read and I really suggest taking the time to read through all of it. The long and short of the final part is that the "new thing" is that the Zapatistas will be launching a very active and very immediate non-electoral campaign of leftist unification within Mexico and throughout the world. This will involve holding a third Global Encuentro (the first two happened in the 90s and are often cited as the genesis of the Seattle WTO protest and the Indymedia movement) so that all the anti-capitalist movements of the world can get together and figure out what we might want to do together and how we might want to do it. It will also involve a campaign for a new Mexican constitution. They also plan on a number of specific symbolic political actions defying capitalist trade norms and trade sanctions. It is clear from this declaration and the statements that preceded it that they fully believe that many of them will be jailed (or killed?) as they attempt what should be such simple actions as deliverying some corn and a few barrels of oil to Cuba and organizing a global meeting of anti-capitalist activists.

This whole thing is really rejuvenating my spirit when it comes to activism. I look forward to seeing local communities organizing themselves in preparation for the global encuentro and then taking unified action as a result of it. The last global encuentros fundamentally changed the face of anti-neo-liberal anti-capitalist activism in the world, imagine what we can do 7 years later now that the movement has built the indymedia network and really developed a huge vocabulary of new tactics.