Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group
The Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group is one of many groups across the world which support the Zapatistas in their struggleand is part of the 'UK Zapatista Network'. Our main purpose is to raise awareness of the Zapatista struggle and to give practical help wherever possible.
We do this by organising talks, film showings, benefit gigs, street stalls and direct actions as well as publishing articles. We import Zapatista produce such as coffee, clothing and jewellery for sale with the money going directly back to the communities.
In Spring 2004 the Edinburgh-Chiapas Solidarity Group and the Glasgow Zapatista Solidarity Group twinned with the '16 de Febrero' Zapatista autonomous municipality. The municipality is in a poor, rural community which lacked access to basic medical care and education. We have raised funding that enabled the community to build a health clinic in their area and further help is now needed to purchase medical equipment and supplies.
Autonomous municipality Lucio Cabanas, Chiapas 6th March 2009
Mrs. Jacinta Francisco Marcial, an Otomí indigenous woman, was unjustly sentenced to 21 years of prison in Querétaro state penitentiary on December 19th, 2008. Together with Alberta Alcántara and Teresa Gonzalez, she is falsely accused of having kidnapped six agents of the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI for its initials in Spanish) on March 26, 2006 in the community of Santiago Mexquititlán, an indigenous community in the municipality of Amealco, Querétaro. The evidence presented does not support any finding of her involvement in such a crime; rather, her innocence is fully proven and should be recognized on appeal.
Rage (Against the Machine Tribute)
with support from Certain Death and Tickle
8pm Thursday 12th March 2009
Bannerman's (212 Cowgate, Edinburgh)
Playing in support of autonomous Zapatista health clinics and schools in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, including those in our twinned municipality '16 de Febrero'. Funds raised will also go to support the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh.
Rage feature four members of popular local ska band Bombskare
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada Tuesday, February 10, 2009
by Luis Hernández Navarro
In Chiapas, the harassment of Zapatista communities follows a precise route. As if they were in a relay race, campesino groups linked to the state government take turns in the different regions in trying to wear out the indigenous resistance. Throughout the length and breadth of the rebel territories, an army of initials, that speaks in the name of workers, regularly and systematically provokes the support bases who reject any dealings with the government.
There is no truce in this provocation. It is a case of not giving one moment of rest to those who have dared to construct autonomy without asking permission. One day they occupy their lands, another day they steal their coffee or their cattle, another day they break fences, the next they destroy the small fields on which they grow their coffee. They are waiting for the best moment to ambush the rebels, to brandish their machetes or shoot their slingshots.
Zapatistas in the autonomous municipality "16th February" have been subjected to death threats and detained by the authorities in the village of Las Maravillas. Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group, who are twinned with "16th February", state: "We are very concerned about the situation in Las Maravillas. The authorities, who support the political parties, have threatened to kill the zapatistas because they have stood up for their principles."
"Now we see and we feel not only the rebellious resistance that, as sister and compañera, stays at our side and encourages our steps.
Now there is something that wasn’t there before, or that we hadn’t been able to see.
There is a creative rage.
A rage that paints all of the colours of the paths down below and on the left on the five continents….
FOR THESE REASONS, AND AS PART OF THE ACTS COMMEMMORATING THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF THE ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION, THE 15 YEARS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR AGAINST OBLIVION, THE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE JUNTAS DE BUEN GOBIERNO (GOOD GOVERNMENT COUNCILS), AND THE THIRD YEAR OF THE OTHER CAMPAIGN AND THE ZEZTA INTERNAZIONAL, THE MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND ELDERLY OF THE EZLN CONVOKE ALL OF THE REBELLIOUS OF MEXICO AND THE WORLD TO THE:
FIRST GLOBAL “FESTIVAL DE LA DIGNA RABIA” "
The Zapatista communities in resistance, with their autonomous schools, clinics and decision-making structures, have been an inspiration to the anti-capitalist movement. Now Zapatista villages and lands are sustaining increasingly violent attacks by the Mexican state and paramilitaries.
Here we outline the forms the attack by the state is taking - from new military deployments, to paramilitaries, to so-called "eco-tourism". And we describe how the Zapatistas are resisting - from the Other Campaign to The Festival of Dignified Rage.
Today the situation in Chiapas is more serious than it has been for many years. The attacks on the Zapatista autonomous communities are growing, and many experienced commentators warn that worse may be to come.
The Chiapas-based human rights and investigative body CAPISE has published a new study detailing the extremely alarming growth in military patrols and operations in Chiapas, particularly in the Lacandona Jungle and Northern zone. 'SEDENA: Winds of War' (Spanish only) analyses the new military offensive against the EZLN, the civilian zapatista authorities and the grass-roots zapatista base, the zapatista peoples project of free self-determination, and against the Mexican-wide project of the Other Campaign.
As we write there are warnings of a possible attack on the Zapatistas at the ecological reserve of Huitepec, near San Cristobal, Chiapas.