Freedom School Class – Thursday, May 29 – The Zapatistas: Rebellion and Indigenous Resistance in Mexico



Join us for class this week as we discuss the Zapatista uprising in Mexico. A Filipino dinner will be served at 6:00pm and class will run from 6:30-8:00pm.

On January 1, 1994 an indigenous rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico took the world by storm. Indigenous Mayans chose the date as the rebellion because it coincided with the day that the trade agreement known as NAFTA was enacted into law in Mexico, the US, and Canada. NAFTA had a disastrous impact on indigenous people, the poor, and the working class in North America. The rebels called themselves Zapatistas after the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. The Zapatistas created a new political system that built grassroots power of indigenous people, peasants, women, and other oppressed people. Their influence on social movements and politics forever changed Chiapas and Mexico and also shaped the alter-globalization and global justice movements. Zapatismo is the set of politics and practice advocated by the Zapatistas which is a combination of Mayan indigenous beliefs, anarchism, and Marxism. It advocates decentralized politics, building grassroots power without seizing state power, participatory democracy, autonomy, liberty, mutual aid, cooperation and dignity. A common saying of the Zapatistas is, “Para todos todo, para nosotros nada” (everything for everyone, nothing for ourselves), which is reflective of their selflessness and vision for a very different world. We will discuss the history of the Zapatistas, social movements in Mexico, and how the Zapatistas have influenced alternative politics around the world. We will also look at the Zapatistas’ ideology, political structures, alternatives, and views on leadership.


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