Category Archives: World

The Zapatistas’ first school opens for session

 

ast December, tens of thousands of indigenous Zapatistas mobilized, peacefully and in complete silence, to occupy five municipal government office buildings in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. That same day, which coincided with the end of one cycle on the Maya calendar, Zapatistas released a communiqué, asking, “Did you hear it?”

It appears that the answer was yes, because this week thousands of people from around the world are descending on Chiapas for the Zapatistas’ first organizing school, called la escuelita de libertad, which means the little school of liberty. Originally the group allotted for only 500 students. But so many people wished to enroll that they opened an additional 1,200 slots for the weeklong school, which begins on August 12.

Just as the Zapatistas have, for two decades, rejected hierarchical systems, the escuelita will also eschew traditional teaching models. Instead, it will be an open space for the community to learn together.

“There isn’t one teacher,” wrote Subcomandante Marcos, the spokesperson for the Zapatista movement. “Rather, it is the collective that teaches, that shows, that forms, and in it and through it the person learns, and also teaches.”

While attending the escuelita, students will live with a family in a rebel zapatista community and participate both in the school and in the daily life of the community. Participants will cut wood, work in the cornfields and cook and eat with their host families.

Subcomandante Marcos acknowledged that attending this type of school requires shifting one’s way of thinking about learning and indigenous communities. As he asked in a communiqué:

Would you attend a school taught by indigenous teachers, whose mother tongue is typified as “dialect”?

Could you overcome the temptation to study them as anthropological subjects, psychological subjects, subjects of law or esoterism, or history?

Would you overcome the urge to write a report, interview them, tell them your opinion, give them advice, orders?

Would you see them, that is to say, would you listen to them?

Leading up to the school, the Zapatistas published a series of seven communiqués entitled “Them and Us.” These essays illustrated the absurdities of “those from above” — those who hold coercive and repressive power — trampling the freedoms of “those from below.” The writings also spoke to the need to learn by observing and listening in order to build an alternative world. But more than abstractions, the seven publications were a collection of lessons about how everyday life in the Zapatista communities, including how people resolve problems and how they organize themselves into an autonomous networks in which the people rule and the government obeys.

The last installation of this manual, published on March 27, also announced the upcoming escuelita and outlined three requirements necessary for any applicant: “an indisposition to speaking and judging, a disposition to listening and seeing, and a well-placed heart.”

The Zapatistas are unique not only for challenging power or maintaining their resistance for nearly 20 years. What sets them apart is their ever-evolving definition of liberty, and this topic — liberty according to the Zapatistas — will be the central focus of the school. According to Subcomandante Marcos, liberty is “to govern and govern ourselves according to our ways, in our geography and in this calendar.” But the definition also shifts from generation to generation, and Marcos explains that new generations must find their own paths through rebellion and dignity.

The experience of living with Zapatistas and other indigenous families will be another central part of the school. Some students will stay with families living in autonomous rebel communities, while others will be with nearby non-Zapatistas, or even anti-Zapatistas families. These hundreds of families have all agreed on a votán, a person who, in the Zapatista movement, represents a guardian and the heart of the community. The votáns will translate for the families and the foreign students, although Marcos acknowledges that translation itself is an imperfect process.

“In legal cases, do cultures translate?” he questions. “In that sense, one understands that what they call ‘equality under the law’ is one of the greatest travesties of justice in our world.”

As for final evaluations, the school won’t, unsurprisingly, have an exam, a thesis, or a multiple-choice test. Rather, as Marcos explained, the school “will make its own reality,” and the results will be “a mirror.”

The school began after three days of festivals in rebel communities to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the councils of good governance, the Zapatistas’ autonomous governing system in which the community makes decisions and the government carries them out. During the celebrations, one could see empty buses and vans parked along the streets to Ocosingo and Palenque, waiting to transport the 1,700 students from San Cristobal de Las Casas into the rebel communities the following morning.

Earlier this summer, the Zapatistas announced that future escuelitas in the Zapatista communities will be held this coming winter.

reposted from : http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/the-zapatistas-first-escuelita-for-freedom-begins-today/

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“Australia’s Sarah Palin” The New Face Of Right-Wing Idiocy

 

If you thought right-wing racist stupidity was confined to the EDL you would be wrong. Not only does the world have to deal with the absurdity of America’s Tea Party, there is also the grandaddy of them all, Australia’s One Nation party. An extreme right-wing party formed in 1997 that spouts the same Islamaphobic, anti multicultural, populist shite we are seeing all over the western world these days.

In an attempt to kickstart their flagging support they have announced a new candidate, Stephanie Banister.  who some are calling Australia’s Sarah Palin,. She is a 27 yr old mother of two who ……. you know what? I think its best you just listen to what she has to say because words really  cannot do her massive factual inaccuracies justice 😛

 

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Tomorrow: Will Uruguay Be First Country To Legalize Marijuana?

 

As soon as tomorrow afternoon votes are expected in the Uruguayan House of Representatives which will cast the country into the lead to become the first country to official end cannabis prohibition.

The country’s president, José Mujica, and the ruling party in the Uruguayan Senate, Frente Ampli, are also public supporters of replacing cannabis prohibition with a state monopoly on cannabis commerce.

Since President Mujica’s public support for legalization was made public in Uruguay last year, a concerted effort to reform the country’s cannabis laws has been underway featuring national TV ad campaigns: with well produced ads featuring mothers, doctors and lawyers.

For more info about efforts to legalize cannabis in Uruguay, contact the Drug Policy Alliance coordinator for South American, Hannah Hetzer: +59891855163 hhetzer@drugpolicy.org

 

Full respect to the president of Uruguay Jose Mujica. Not only does he see sense about the disastrous effects on both his country and the world from the so-called war on drugs but he is also a damn decent kind of chap who drives around in an old Volkswagen and gives most of his salary away to the poor.

Uruguay president

I would suggest the politicians of our corrupt western societies take note, this is the future.

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Protest Today Against G4S And Its Involvement In The Torture And False Prosecution Of 5 Palestinian Children

protest--g4s--apartheid-prison -violating-human-rights-

A protest is today being held outside the headquarters of mega security corporation G4S in support of 5 children from the village of Hares who have been falsely arrested, tortured, kept in solitary confinement and forced to give false confessions, all of which has been facilitated by G4S.

G4S has long had close ties with many aspects of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. It has provided security for a large number of businesses illegally located in the occupied west bank. It has provided equipment for the many checkpoints that surround that area. It also has a close relationship with the police including providing them with much equipment and even building then running the police training centre.

Most controversial though is its providing of  services to Israels prison service including its “security” prisons where all the political Palestinian prisoners are kept and abused.

Todays protest is in support of the Hares Boys. An explanation of why is at their Facebook page :

DEMAND JUSTICE FOR THE HARES BOYS – PROTEST G4S COMPLICITY IN THEIR TORTURE

On 14th March 2013 in what appears to have been a car accident when a illegal settler car crashed in to the back of an Israeli truck which had stopped due to a flat tire resulting in four people being hurt, was later at the behest of angry settlers presented as an attack by Palestinian stone throwing youth.

Over the next few days over 50 masked Israeli soldiers stormed the local village of Hares in the early hours of the morning and in waves of violent arrests kidnapped the children of the village. In total 19 children were taken to the infamous G4S secured children’s dungeon at Al Jalame where they were violently tortured and locked up in solitary confinement for up to 2 weeks in windowless 1m by 2m cells with no mattress. To coerce confessions from the boys, sexual threats were made against the female members of their families.

After extracting confessions under torture, five of the Hares boys were charged with 25 counts of attempted murder even though there were only four people in the car. Apparently the military court had decided that 25 stones were thrown, each with an “intent to kill”. The five boys – Ali Shamlawi, Mohammed Kleib, Mohammed Suleiman, Tamer Souf, and Ammar Souf are currently locked up in another G4S secured facility – Megiddo prison where G4S provides the entire central command room.

The next court hearing is on 25th July. A study conducted by the Israeli NGO ‘No Legal Frontiers’ over a 12 month period concluded that 100% of Palestinian children brought before the Military court are convicted. If the five boys are convicted they will be locked up for 25+ years – five young lives ruined with no evidence of a crime let alone their guilt.

Please join us on Monday 22nd July (3 days before their next hearing) to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all the children and to hold G4S to account for its complicity in Israel’s crimes, particularly in the torture of Palestinian children.

Monday 22nd July 2013
5-6:30pm @ G4S HQ
Southside Building,
105 Victoria Street,
London SW1E 6QT
Closest tube station : Victoria

Free The Hares 5

 

You can also read up about this incident at http://haresboys.wordpress.com/ 

So lets hold this company to account. Not just for the Hares Boys. Not just for all the Palestinians suffering under the aegis of G4S.  Not just for their deceptions  in their dealings with the UK state in many many forms.

No this monstrosity of a firm is a worldwide menace, it makes its profit of the suffering of others. Its whole raison d’être is to support authoritarian regimes no matter what, as long as it makes them money.  There is not a compassionate bone in any one of its directors.
Truly if ever there was a company that represents all that is bad about capitalism and imperialism then G4S are your guys.

Today lets chip away at this behemoth of belligerence and start with getting those poor innocent children free from a life in prison.  Give them a chance at a full and free life. Support the Hares Boys and denounce G4S

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Excessive Force : Spanish Police Beating Up Anonymous Backed Anti-Government Protestors

 

“Out with the Mafia”  Was the cry across over 30 cities in Spain earlier as people took to the streets to voice their opposition to corruption in the government.

The Spanish police reacted to this genuine outpouring of the people’s frustration by doing what they always do. Which is to say  attacking unarmed and peaceful protestors without restraint.

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Zionists Claim EU Ban On Aid To Settlements Is Going To Hurt …… Wait For It ……. Palestinians

On Tuesday the EU imposed a ban on giving aid to Israeli companies and institutions that are operating in the occupied territories of the Golan Heights, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

As you can expect many Israeli Zionists voiced their outrage that other nations would find their illegal settlement building to be, well…. illegal, and so wanted nothing to do with it. All the usual accusations were thrown around – including,  interfering in the peace process ( what peace process? )  and the standard claim of anti-Semitism.  Amusingly one  pro Zionist voice claimed this EU ban was a bad idea because it would make the Palestinians suffer.

PA officials approach EU, saying that Palestinian laborers are going to lose their livelihoods as a result of the decision to exclude settlement enterprises from future cooperative agreements • Leading manufacturer calls move illegitimate and harmful.

This is quite a new tactic from apologists of the settlement program. They are trying to argue that by hurting them, anyone who refuses to deal with Israeli occupiers are actually hurting the Palestinians more by depriving them of much-needed menial jobs working for their Israeli masters.

“It must be understood that the Arab side is also going to be harmed by this directive. Indeed, a generous portion of the labor in Judea and Samaria is Palestinian,

and lead to widespread layoffs of Palestinians laborers working in Judea and Samaria industrial zones

Of course this is where the argument breaks down. Because what the Israelis are really saying is that they like being able to use the Palestinian people like landless serfs for cheap labour.  An effective EU ban would mean a massive lose in profits with the aim of forcing the companies back into Israels pre 1967 borders where they maybe will not have such an easy access to cheap labour ( though I doubt that ) Their cries of care for their Palestinian neighbours rings so hollow, they are just pissed that they will be losing “commodities”

Now ask any Palestinian whether they would prefer the “security” that goes with a seriously low paid menial job working for their occupiers  OR the chance of working on that very same land but as the rightful inheritors of land that has been in their people’s possession for generations before the occupation.

I think we all know what the answer to that would be.

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