SEPTEMBER 15-21, 2008

1. ZAPATISTAS ANNOUNCE FESTIVAL OF DIGNIFIED RAGE
2. INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES CHALLENGE TOLL ROAD CONSTRUCTION
3. PRD HOLDS NATIONAL CONGRESS
4. UNEMPLOYMENT REACHES 4.15% IN AUGUST
5. SUSPECTED CARTELS MOUNT BRAZEN ATTACK IN MORELIA
6. MSN PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS (Contact MSN [at] MexicoSolidarity [dot] org)


1. ZAPATISTAS ANNOUNCE FESTIVAL OF DIGNIFIED RAGE
(Translated by El Kilombo Intergaláctico)

Communiqué from the of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command, of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation
Sixth Commission—Intergalactic Commission of the EZLN

Mexico, September 15 and 16 of 2008

To the adherents of the Sixth Declaration and the Other Campaign:
To the adherents of the Zezta Interazional:
To the People of Mexico:
To the Peoples of the World:

Compañeras and Compañeros:

Once again we send you our words. This is what we see, what we are looking at. This is what has come to our ears, to our brown heart.

I. Above they intend to repeat history. They want to impose on us once again their calendar of death, their geography of destruction. When they are not trying to strip us of our roots, they are destroying them. They steal our work, our strength. They leave our world, our land, our water, and our treasures without people, without life. The cities pursue and expel us. The countryside both kills us and dies on us. Lies become governments and dispossession is the weapon of their armies and police.

We are the illegal, the undocumented, the undesired of the world. We are pursued. Women, young people, children, the elderly die in death and die in life. And there above they preach to us resignation, defeat, surrender, and abandonment. Here below we are left with nothing. Except rage. And dignity.

There is no ear for our pain, that is not like what we are. We are no one. We are alone, alone with our dignity and our rage. Rage and dignity are our bridges, our languages. We must listen to each other then, learn to know each other. So that our courage and rage grows and becomes hope. So that our dignity takes root again and births another world.

We have seen and heard. Our voice is small to be the echo of that word, our gaze small for so much dignified rage. The process of seeing each other, looking at each other, speaking to each other, listening to each other, is still lacking.

We are others, the other. If this world does not have a place for us, then another world must be made. With no tool other than our rage, no material other than our dignity. We still must encounter each other more, know each other better. What is missing is yet to come...

II. Now, three years after the Sixth Declaration of the Lacondon Jungle, the EZLN has undertaken a collective reflection, nourished by the broad horizon that our compañeros of the Other Campaign in Mexico and in the Zezta Internazional across the world have given to us. It is not little that we have seen and heard, sometimes directly, sometimes through the words and the gaze of others. The rage that we felt and the dignity that we found was so great that we think now that we are smaller then we thought before. In Mexico and on the five continents we have found what we intuited when we began our sixth step: there is another world, there is another path. If the catastrophe that is coming can be avoided and humanity is to have another opportunity, it will because these others, below and to the left, not only resist, but are already drawing the profile of something else. Something different than what is occurring above.

In the impossible geometry of political power, the fundamentalists are distributed evenly: the right becomes ultra-right and the institutional left becomes the impossible cultured right. Those who make up the progressive media complain that the fanatics of the mainstream press censure them, twist their words and slander their cause, but they at the same time censure, twist the words, slander, and silence any movement that hasn't bowed down to the dictates of their ringleaders. And without shame they condemn and acquit to the rhythm of a senseless media rating. Fanatics on all sides fight over lies dressed as truths and crimes are measured by the media time that they occupy. But this is nothing other than a pale reflection of what is happening in politics.

Weariness of the cynicism and incompetence of the traditional political classes has been converted into rage. Sometimes this rage is oriented toward hoping for change in the same paths and places as always, and it is there immobilized by disillusionment or trampled by an arbitrary force. The unsettled and brutal north goes back to its old ways. When it is not sponsoring electoral fraud (like in Mexico), it is promoting, encouraging, and financing state coups (as attempted now in Bolivia and Venezuela). War continues to be its primary and favored form of international diplomacy. Iraq and Afghanistan burn but, to the despair of those above, are not consumed.

The impositions of hegemony and homogeneity on a global scale find in nations, in regions, and in small locales, their witches' apprentices that try for that impossible historic return to a past where fanaticism was law and dogma, science. Meanwhile, the governing political classes have found in the world of bright lights an adequate disguise to hide their full participation in organized crime.

Sickened by so much greed, the planet begins to pay the unpayable bill of its destruction. But "natural" disasters are also class issues and their devastation is felt most by those who have nothing and are no one. Faced with this, the stupidity of Power has no limits: millions and millions of dollars are dedicated to manufacturing new weapons and installing more military bases. The Power of capital does not worry about training teachers, doctors, engineers, but rather soldiers. It doesn't prepare constructors, but rather destructors.

And those who opposed this are the pursued, incarcerated, murdered. In Mexico, farmers who have defended their land are in prison (San Salvador Atenco); in Italy those who opposed the installation of military bases are pursued and treated as terrorists; in the France of "liberty, equality, and fraternity," humans are only free, equal, and brothers if their papers say so; in Greece being young is a vice that must be eradicated; again in Mexico, but now in that city of the same name, young people are criminalized and murdered and nothing is done because it is not on the agenda that those above dictate. Meanwhile, a legitimate referendum is converted into a shameful way for an assassin-governor to wash his hands of a situation. In the Spain of the modern European Union, publications are closed and a language, Euskera, is criminalized—they think that by killing the word they can kill those who speak it; in that Asia that is so close, the peasant demands are answered with armored injustices; in that arrogant American Union, born in the blood of migrants, the "other colors" that work there are pursued and killed; in the long wound that is Latin America, the brown blood that sustains it is despised and humiliated; in the rebellious Caribbean, a people, the Cuban people, are forced to live under an imperial embargo that is nothing other than a punishment without crime. And in all of the corners of the world's geography, and in all of the days of its calendars, those that work, those that make things run, are plundered, despised, exploited, and repressed.

But sometimes, many times, as many times as a smile sets it off again, rage looks for its own paths, new paths, other paths. And the "no" that these multiple rages raise now not only resists, but begins to propose, to become.

Since our appearance in public, now almost 15 years ago, it has been our goal to be a bridge on which the many rebellions in the world can walk back and forth. Sometimes we have achieved this, sometimes we haven't. Now we see and we feel not only the rebellious resistance that, as sister and comrade, stays at our side and encourages our steps. Now there is something that before wasn't there, or that we weren't able to see before. There is a creative rage. A rage that paints all of the colors of the paths of below and to the left on the five continents....

III. FOR THESE REASONS, AND AS PART OF THE ACTS COMMEMORATING THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF THE ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION, THE 15 YEARS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR AGAINST OBLIVION, THE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GOOD GOVERNMENT COUNCILS, AND THE THIRD YEAR OF THE OTHER CAMPAIGN AND THE ZEZTA INTERNAZIONAL, THE MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND ELDERLY OF THE EZLN CONVOKE ALL OF THE REBELLIOUS OF MEXICO AND THE WORLD TO THE:

FIRST GLOBAL FESTIVAL OF DIGNIFIED RAGE

WITH THE THEME OF: ANOTHER WORLD, ANOTHER PATH: BELOW AND TO THE LEFT

TO BE CELEBRATED ON THE FOLLOWING PLACES AND DATES

THE OTHER MEXICO CITY, FEDERAL DISTRICT, December 26, 27, 28, and 29, 2008. IN LIENZO CHARRO OF THE ASSOCIATION LOS CHARROS REYES DE IZTAPALAPA, Frente Popular Francisco Villa Independiente-UNOPII, Avenue Guelatao # 50, Colonia Álvaro Obregón, Delegación Iztapalapa, close to the metro station Guelatao, where an exposition will be presented. AND IN THE HEADQUARTERS OF UNÍOS, Dr. Carmona y Valle street #32, colonia Doctores, close to the metro station Cuauhtemoc, where other activities will be held.

THE CITY OF SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, CHIAPAS, IN CIDECI, located on the Camino Real de San Juan Chamula s/n, Colonia Nueva Maravilla.

SOME OF THE SUBTHEMES OF THE FESTIVAL WILL BE:

AN OTHER COUNTRYSIDE , AN OTHER POLITICS
AN OTHER CITY, AN OTHER SOCIAL MOVEMENT
AN OTHER COMMUNICATION, AN OTHER HISTORY
AN OTHER ART AND AN OTHER CULTURE, AN OTHER SEXUALITY

THE FESTIVAL "ANOTHER WORLD, ANOTHER PATH: BELOW AND TO THE LEFT" WILL HAVE THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS:

1. In Mexico City, a national and international exposition will be installed where every struggle, every experience, every rage, will have a space where it can set up and show its struggle and its courage. This way we can all see, hear, and know each other.

2. In Zapatista territory, dignity and rage will become art and culture, music and song, because rebellion also dances. And with words, pain will become hope.

3. In San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, the word will go back and forth in order to give birth to new words and give strength and reason to rage.

4. The national and international groups, collectives, and organizations that participate in the festival will be only those who are invited to do so. To this end, the Sixth Commission of the EZLN has initiated consultations with political and social organizations, as well as with groups and collectives of anarchists, libertarians, alternative communication workers, human rights defenders, sexworkers, intellectuals, social activists, ex political prisoners, all adherents of the Sixth Declaration; and with groups, collectives, and organizations of other countries, all part of the Zezta Internazional. The criteria for invitations and participations will be made after these consultations.

5. For the roundtables, the EZLN will invite social organizers, thinkers, and leaders of anti-capitalist projects from Mexico and around the world. The list of invitees will be released later.

6. More details about what we are thinking the festival of dignified rage could be will be made known at earliest convenience (that is, when we have an approximate idea of the problem we have gotten ourselves into).

That's all for now.

LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ATENCO!

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, September of 2008.


2. INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES CHALLENGE TOLL ROAD CONSTRUCTION
Dozens of indigenous communities located between San Cristobal de las Casas and Palenque are challenging construction of a toll highway that would connect the two tourist centers.  The proposed 100 mile highway, which would impact hundreds of indigenous communities, is supported by hotel owners and tourist agencies in both cities.  Mexico charges the highest toll rates in the world, and it could easily cost more than a day’s minimum wage to travel from San Cristobal to Palenque on the proposed highway.  By law, non-toll roads must travel parallel to toll roads so that drivers have an option, but typically the non-toll roads quickly deteriorate after the toll road is in operation.  Indigenous communities are opposed to giving up land for the benefit of tourist operations.


3. PRD HOLDS NATIONAL CONGRESS
Unable to conduct a fraud-free election for party leaders, the PRD held its eleventh national conference this weekend in Mexico City with temporary appointed officials at the helm.  Party President Guadalupe Acosta, who took office as a replacement after national party elections in March were declared invalid, was met with calls to step resign from the Izquierda Unida faction, aligned with former presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.  The so-called “Chuchos,” the faction led by conservative party hack Jesus Ortega, dominated the Congress with 63% of the delegates, while Izquierda Unida controlled about 30%.  The Chuchos, also known as Nueva Izquierda, and their allies control most of the formal party apparatus.  The party congress hopes to establish unity in anticipation of a round of federal and state elections in 2009.


4. UNEMPLOYMENT REACHES 4.15% IN AUGUST
Unemployment soured to 4.15% in August, a dramatic increase over the 3.92% rate registered the previous month.  Workers are considered employed if they work at least one hour per month.  Mexico does not have unemployment insurance.  Women registered an unemployment rate of 4.59%, while 4.01% of men were without work.  In the formal sector, which accounts for only about half of all workers, 40.9% are employed in services, 19.6% in the commercial sector and 15.8% in industry.

In related news, the maquiladora sector in Chihuahua State, one of the most important growth centers over most of the past two decades, lost 26,000 jobs so far this year, with 80% in the relatively high paid automotive industry.  Many businesses, including the giant Lear Corporation plant in Ciudad Juarez with 10,000 employees, have been paying workers 50% of their salaries in response to decreasing demand from parent companies in the US.  The powerful Association of Maquiladoras in Ciudad Juarez is demanding government “incentives,” including reduced taxes and subsidies.  Sandra Montijo, President of the Association, threatened that many maquiladoras would move to other parts of Mexico or other countries that were offering more attractive financial enticements.


5. SUSPECTED CARTELS MOUNT BRAZEN ATTACK IN MORELIA
Suspected drug cartel members threw fragmentation grenades into a crowd of civilians gathered for Independence Day celebrations in Morelia, capitol of Michoacan, which is the home state of President Felipe Calderon.  As of this writing, nine people are dead and many are still hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.  More than 100 revelers were injured in the attack, apparently the work of drug cartels challenging Calderon’s war on drugs, though to date no one has publicly claimed responsibility.  Since taking office in December 2006, Calderon has dispatched more than 25,000 soldiers to at least nine states in a virtual militarization of the country.  Michoacan was the first state to receive a military detachment dedicated to the drug war.  Calderon’s strategy, focused on interrupting drug transport routes rather than targeting cartel finances, has come under increasing criticism as violence spreads without any sign that the government is winning the battle.

In related news, Italy and the US reported 175 members of the powerful Gulf Cartel were arrested on Wednesday, part of an ongoing investigation that has netted 507 arrests over the past fifteen months.