'Mexico Week In Review,' a service of the Committee of Indigenous Solidarity, reports that the Zapatistas are still resisting oppression.
The Commitee published a special report: ANOTHER WAY OF SEEING THE WORLD – ZAPATISTAS: 18 YEARS OF
REBELLION AND RESISTANCE
Hundreds of activists and academics from around the world gathered at the International Seminar "Planet Earth: Anti-Systemic Movements" to discuss the importance of the 1994 Zapatista uprising on its 18th anniversary. In the context of the popular insurrections that have emerged this year across the globe, the seminar held from Dec. 30 to Jan. 2 in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, concluded, with Portuguese sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos, that seen in retrospect Zapatista influence has been so strong that "one cannot view the left or the struggle against capitalism without this point of reference."
De Sousa Santos stated that the explosion of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) on the scene January 1, 1994 was the first major moment of global resistance to neoliberalism. The uprising gave visibility to indigenous struggles that had been growing since the eighties in Latin America and soon became the precursor to other movements.
"They taught us another way of seeing the world. They broke with Marxist orthodoxy by developing a new discourse, a new semantics and new ideas. They taught us a new organizational logic that had a fundamental influence on the whole world," De Sousa Santos said in an interview.
Javier Sicilia, poet and leader of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, said in an interview that "the last 18 years have been fundamental since the Zapatistas-by revealing the negation of the indigenous world that had been going on for centuries-also revealed the dysfunction of the State and the neoliberal system, and gave new content and new possibilities not only to the nation but to the entire world."
Many participants linked the Zapatista movement to the new movements in Spain, Greece, the United States, Tunis, Egypt, Yemen and others. French historian Jerome Baschet stated that, "The logic of capitalism is causing us to lose control of our lives and it is time to recuperate that control. The world movement has arisen as a crossroads of all struggles: the struggle against the looting of material goods, of land, of ways of life, of the capacity to decide. It is a movement that calls on everyone who feels dispossessed."
In the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States that has spread to cities throughout that country and the rest of the world "there are many people who have been strongly influenced by the Zapatista struggle", says Marlina of the Movimiento por la Justicia en el Barrio (Movement for Justice in the Barrio), a Latino collective that forms part of the Other Campaign in New York City and the Occupy Wall Street movement.
She recounted that "women from the movement came one night to Liberty Plaza and instead of talking about economic policies and political struggles, they talked about what it means to be a woman, a mother and a mestiza in the United States. discourse that cannot necessarily be understood in capitalist terms."