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The Zapatista Movement

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Leanne Phillips

on 7 March 2013

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Transcript of The Zapatista Movement

The Zapatista Movement E Z L N The Zapatista Army of National Liberation - a revolutionary left-wing organization located in the Mexican state of Chiapas - inspired by agrarian reformer Emiliano Zapata from the anti-autocratic Mexican Revolution (1910's) - group fights for the basic rights of indigenous Mayans. History of the Zapatistas - formed in 1983 in response to neoliberal policies like the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) which reduced trade barriers between Canada, the United States and Mexico but counter intuitively allowed for the economic exploitation of Chiapas' native peasants and natural resources The law passed on New Year's Day in 1994. the guerilla movement announced itself to the world and declared war on the Mexican government. This uprising lasted for 12 days until a ceasefire was met. In 1 9 9 6 the San Andres Accords were signed by the two parties, allowing for the creation of the Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities. (these are anarchist communes designed to grant the aboriginal peoples more power over their land) The Zapatistas continue to exist nonviolently to ensure the clauses of the treaty are enforced; on increasing occasions the Mexican authorities violate them. ( This includes the 1997 Acteal massacre, where paramilitary soldiers allied with the state killed 45 Zapatista pacifists in a Roman Catholic church. ) The Zapatistas started their campaign with an invasion of government occupied space. but their main tool was the internet. - wanted to inform people about what changes they wanted, using the internet allowed them to bypass government controlled media Some of these changes were to increase the role of the local population of Chiapas in State politics. They wanted people to know who they were and for everyone to see what they were trying to do. The Zapatista's also called for the introduction of antipoverty campaigns in the area, and for repayment to the people for the profits made from natural resources from the State. They chose strong visual iconography so that they were easily recognized on the television, and in pictures that were promoting their media push. The leader Marcos still wears a costume of military garb, a black balaclava and a corncob pipe. The Zapatista's have employed a broad spectrum of techniques to get their messages out to the public.. - e-mail lists - Usenet groups - websites Spread Messages written by Marcos through... to raise money for their cause. This network grew in size - pushing the message to more people - strengthening it from destruction If dozens of Zapatista author's are no longer able to do their job, there are hundreds more that will take their place. Trying to silence the whole group is impossible (also known as the 'swarm strategy'.) - as the network strenthened they improved their negotiating power with the Mexican government - included the English language in all their online activity, getting their word out to as many people as possible Use of online tools : - strengthened their cause and network of supporters - allowed them to use a new measure of "hactivism" Hactivism: Described as a 'virtual sit-in' that will reach more people and in today's internet world, that can have huge power in activism. The Zapatista movement supported a group known as the Electronic Disturbance Theater which clogged servers and websites. - including the Mexican president's by using a software called FloodNet These virtual sit-ins have proved to be effective means of getting mainstream media attention and gaining visability for causes that would most likely have been overlooked. - news reports - art - literature - cartoons - music - posters - t-shirts - stickers - condoms The pro-Zapatista mobilization reached across more than five continents. In the beginning, the internet served as a rapid disseminator of information and interest grew quickly. Soon, there were news reports on both the news and radio concerning the information being spread on the internet. It was then that things such as conferneces, specialized lists, and web pages dedicated to the struggle for democracy in Mexico began to appear rapidly. EZLN is thought to have played a large role in the use of the internet, but these efforts were put forth by others. Everything that was released to the mass media were written works that were handed off to reporters. Now the Zapatista's have really began to understand the importance of using the internet... - they have been working towards new,strong alliances with people in places such as Amsterdam, Venice, and New York The internet was also responsible for joining the Zapatista's up with other continental and intercontinental social movements. Zapatista legacy Emiliano Zapata is considered a national hero in Mexico. - various towns and villiages are named after him - many statues made of him Zapata has become synonymous with the struggles of peasants and indigenous people. Zapatismo = Zapatistas = his ideas around agrarian land reform, freedom and direct action people who follow his philosophy The Movement - inspired people and movements around the world (e.x. Estacion Libre) Influence on Electronic Civil Disobedience - computer based communication has become central - has become more sophisticated throughout the years transfer of information via E-mail network of hypertext linked websites Struggle has raised awareness about inequality, effects of NAFTA, and the desire for indegenous people to have a say in how they live Helped put a new focus on the debate of neo liberalism and globalization. Challenged others to incorporate ideals of the movement into their own struggles. Zapatista's
use new media to... - list demands on the internet - keep the movement alive - generate worldwide support and sympathy Rafael Guillen Vicente, recognized as Subcomandante (Subcommander) Marcos by the Mexican government and also known as "Delegate Zero" or "the post-modern Che", is the mysterious leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in the Mexican state Chiapas. In 1994, the army began a rebellion in Chiapas and soon operated as a "political movement defending the rights of Mexico's indigenous peoples". Due to Marco's management of the EZLN, he was introduced to the world as a famous rebel. - several instances where Subcommander Marcos has claimed not to be the leader, but a supported of the army that is mostly made up of indigenous Mayans (wiseGEEK). "The Other Campaign" new approach in 2006 - established by Marcos - who then introduced himself as "Delegate Zero" - Marcos guided the Zapatistas on a tour around the country for six months where he critisized the candidates of the main political parties (told his supporters not to vote) Many people reported that "The Other Campaign" was unsuccessful and did not stir up a people's national movement . Ever since the 2006 approach, Marcos has been touring around Mexico in order to gather supporters while speaking out about "poverty and oppression.
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