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About the Network

UK Zapatista Solidarity Network

“Many words walk in the world. Many worlds are made. Many worlds make us. In the world of the powerful there is no space for anyone but themselves and their servants. In the world we want, everyone fits.” (Fourth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle) 

In 1994, after 500 Years of Struggle against colonial exploitation, the Zapatista Uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, began a new phase in the resistance to capitalism’s planetary war. The Zapatista example of building an alternative through peaceful resistance has inspired movements all over the world.

Building Autonomy: The Zapatistas have taken control of their own lives and their land. They have built autonomous health clinics, schools, and a judiciary system. 

Self-governance: Zapatista communities govern themselves through the Good Government Councils (Juntas de Buen Gobierno). They practice participatory democracy, through consultation and rotating membership. 

Respect for Mother Earth: The Zapatistas oppose the plunder of natural resources, and the destruction of nature in the name of ‘development’. Their farming practices are ecological. 

Respect for the Other and the Self: capitalism seeks to eliminate cultures and identities that oppose its economic model or question its conventions. In the world we want, everyone fits.

 

The Zapatistas do not have a solution for everyone. In our different parts of the world we need to take our lives into our hands, and build on the principles of dignity, peace, democracy, justice, and freedom. 

 

UK Zapatista Solidarity Network: What does our Solidarity look like? 

“The support we are demanding is for the building of a small part of that world where all worlds fit. It is, then, political support, not charity.” (Chiapas: The 13th Stele)

The UK Zapatista Solidarity Network consists of groups and individuals with relationships and links to communities and groups working for social and environmental justice in Mexico. Each group contributes in their own way to the building of “the world where all worlds fit, and where charity and pity for another are the stuff of science fiction novels or of a forgettable and expendable past” (Chiapas, 13th Stele).

  •  We raise awareness about the Zapatista ‘other’ politics, from below and from the Left
  • We maintain partnerships with Zapatista communities
  • We denounce the repression carried out by the Mexican government, and the complicity of corporations and companies
  • We translate and disseminate information
  • We educate through dialogue

… and do whatever else people come up with: our creativity is limitless

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Actions and Events: Slowly Moving Forward 

Raising Awareness about the ‘other’ politics

The Zapatistas have inspired filmmakers and writers all over the world. We spread the dissident imagination by organising local and UK wide tours of art and cultural productions about, and inspired by, the Zapatistas.

Partnerships with Zapatista Communities

Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group and Kiptik in Bristol maintain links with communities and support health clinics and ecological construction projects. Funds raised by other UK groups are often sent there, too. 

Denouncing Repression – Freedom for the Zapatista Prisoners!

The Zapatistas are subjected to a violent campaign of harassment and intimidation. We denounce government and paramilitary repression, and corporate encroachment on Zapatista territory. 

Translation

In co-operation with translation groups in the US & NZ, we translate and distribute news articles and independent publications on the Zapatistas. 

Education

We give workshops on autonomy, direct democracy, storytelling, and other themes, and we participate in Anarchist Bookfairs. Contact your local group for information on workshops.

 

 “What we want in the world is to tell all of those who are resisting and fighting in their own ways and in their own countries that you are not alone, that we, the Zapatistas, even though we are very small, are supporting you, and we are going to look at how to help you in your struggles and to speak to you in order to learn, because what we have in fact learned, is to learn.”

(Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, 2006)

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