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ZAPATISTA MOVEMENT <ul><li>Jeffrey Juris </li></ul><ul><li>Arizona State University </li></ul>
<ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>The Zapatista Support Network  </li></ul><ul><li>The Electronic Fabric of Struggle </...
The Zapatista Uprising <ul><li>On January 1, 1994, the first day NAFTA went into effect, 3,000 armed indigenous men and wo...
<ul><li>Several dozen died in the brief confrontation, and the EZLN quickly withdrew to the rainforest.  </li></ul><ul><li...
Struggle on Multiple Scales <ul><li>Local- impact of neoliberal reforms, exploitation </li></ul><ul><li>National- struggle...
<ul><li>The Zapatistas were defending local indigenous communities and ways life, while framing their actions in terms of ...
Post-Modern Movement  (Roger Burbach) <ul><li>Many trace the beginnings of the anti-corporation globalization movement and...
<ul><li>2) Use of new technologies and new/mass media </li></ul><ul><li>“ revolutionary “theatrics”  </li></ul><ul><li>Alt...
<ul><li>Aside from security considerations, the Zapatistas explain their use of masks and balaclavas as a way to symbolize...
<ul><li>3) Decentralized, network-based form of organization </li></ul><ul><li>Local indigenous networks </li></ul><ul><li...
History and Social Context <ul><li>Indigenous Base Communities </li></ul><ul><li>EZLN Command Structure </li></ul><ul><li>...
<ul><li>The Zapatista uprising is largely a rebellion against the neoliberal reforms the Mexican government sought to impo...
<ul><li>At the same time, Chiapas has the worst rates of poverty and marginalization in Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>Three fou...
<ul><li>Chiapas has become more integrated into the global capitalist economy over the past thirty years, providing resour...
<ul><li>The neoliberal policies of Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988 to 94) accelerated poverty and inequality due to increa...
Article 27 <ul><li>The most devastating measure was the reversal of Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution, involving the ...
<ul><li>The Zapatista rebellion resulted from 25 years of capitalist modernization and a growing resistance by peasant and...
Zapatista Demands  <ul><li>Political and cultural autonomy for indigenous communities </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of ...
Zapatista Support Network <ul><li>Frente Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional  (FZLN) </li></ul><ul><li>Created after the Nati...
<ul><li>2) Mexican Organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Enlace Civil ,  CIEPAC  (Centro de Investigaciones Economicas y Politic...
<ul><li>3) Non-Mexican organizations (informational, human rights, accompaniment, and capacity-building work) </li></ul><u...
<ul><li>4) Local Zapatista Solidarity Collectives around the World </li></ul>
Electronic Infrastructure <ul><li>The Association of Progressive Communications (APC) through the local organization Peace...
Physical Meetings <ul><li>The Zapatista support network has also emerged through a series of international meetings and ga...
The Electronic Fabric Struggle <ul><li>Zapatismo constituted an early example of a computer-supported social movement, whi...
<ul><li>Despite the myth of Subcomandante Marcos writing on a laptop computer powered by the lighter socket of a truck, th...
<ul><li>The ‘job’ of putting the EZLN on the Internet is thus carried out by Zapatista solidarity activists and Mexican ne...
<ul><li>On the other hand, the numerous Zapatista-related websites and listserves have provided myriad channels for peer-t...
Impact of the Internet on the Zapatista Struggle <ul><li>1) Enhanced Networking (ease and speed) </li></ul><ul><li>2) Inte...
<ul><li>4) Network-based organizational forms </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet has facilitated a distributed network structu...
Harry Cleaver <ul><li>The rhizomatic pattern of collaboration has emerged as a partial solution to the failure of old orga...
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Zapatistas Internet

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Zapatistas Internet

  1. 1. ZAPATISTA MOVEMENT <ul><li>Jeffrey Juris </li></ul><ul><li>Arizona State University </li></ul>
  2. 2. <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>The Zapatista Support Network </li></ul><ul><li>The Electronic Fabric of Struggle </li></ul><ul><li>Film and Discussion </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Zapatista Uprising <ul><li>On January 1, 1994, the first day NAFTA went into effect, 3,000 armed indigenous men and women from the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) rose up against the government of Mexico, taking control of the main municipalities adjacent to the Lacandon Forest in Chiapas. </li></ul><ul><li>Most were Mayan Indians with their faces hidden behind ski masks, but there were also Mestizos, including Subcomandante Marcos. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Several dozen died in the brief confrontation, and the EZLN quickly withdrew to the rainforest. </li></ul><ul><li>The widespread sympathy the EZLN generated, largely due to the global circulation of news, images, and information, convinced President Salinas de Gortari to negotiate. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Struggle on Multiple Scales <ul><li>Local- impact of neoliberal reforms, exploitation </li></ul><ul><li>National- struggle for true democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Global- protest against the advance of neoliberal capitalism (January 1, 1 st day of NAFTA) </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>The Zapatistas were defending local indigenous communities and ways life, while framing their actions in terms of Mexican nationalism, and reaching out to an international audience. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Post-Modern Movement (Roger Burbach) <ul><li>Many trace the beginnings of the anti-corporation globalization movement and the rise of a “new politics” to the Zapatista uprising. </li></ul><ul><li>1) New Model of Revolution </li></ul><ul><li>“ change the world without taking power” (John Holloway) </li></ul><ul><li>“ govern while obeying” </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>2) Use of new technologies and new/mass media </li></ul><ul><li>“ revolutionary “theatrics” </li></ul><ul><li>Although they had guns and incited violence and confrontation, the ski masks and machine guns created a compelling media event. </li></ul><ul><li>Manuel Castells calls the Zapatistas the “first informational guerrilla movement.” </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Aside from security considerations, the Zapatistas explain their use of masks and balaclavas as a way to symbolize polar opposite worlds: </li></ul><ul><li>The faceless global majority who are excluded from decision making </li></ul><ul><li>An increasingly small global ruling class </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>3) Decentralized, network-based form of organization </li></ul><ul><li>Local indigenous networks </li></ul><ul><li>Grassroots more important than leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Transnational network of support groups, used the Internet to communicate and coordinate </li></ul><ul><li>Global Zapatista networks prefigured the rise of transnational global justice networks </li></ul>
  11. 11. History and Social Context <ul><li>Indigenous Base Communities </li></ul><ul><li>EZLN Command Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Global Network of Supporters </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>The Zapatista uprising is largely a rebellion against the neoliberal reforms the Mexican government sought to impose in Chiapas. </li></ul><ul><li>Chiapas is a resource rich state. It occupies 3.8% of Mexico’s land and has 3.5 million inhabitants out of a total of 90 million. However, Chiapas produces half of Mexico’s hydro-electric power, is the second largest petroleum producing state and the largest coffee exporter. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>At the same time, Chiapas has the worst rates of poverty and marginalization in Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>Three fourths of its people are malnourished, half live in dwellings with dirt floors. </li></ul><ul><li>Meanwhile, 19% of the active population have no cash income, while another 39% earn less then the minimum wage of $3/day. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Chiapas has become more integrated into the global capitalist economy over the past thirty years, providing resources (water, oil, primary crop exports.), but receiving little in return. </li></ul><ul><li>This has led to increasing poverty and inequality between rich and poor. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>The neoliberal policies of Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988 to 94) accelerated poverty and inequality due to increasing production for export and the unraveling of the corporatist system, which ultimately undermined the PRI’s hold on power. These policies involved the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Reform of Article 27 </li></ul><ul><li>End of government redistribution </li></ul><ul><li>Opening of Mexico’s markets to global trade via NAFTA </li></ul>
  16. 16. Article 27 <ul><li>The most devastating measure was the reversal of Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution, involving the roll back of Agrarian Reform. </li></ul><ul><li>This ended guaranteed access to ejido lands, which radicalized migrants in the Lacandon who had not yet received promised land. </li></ul><ul><li>The PRI could no longer hold out the carrot of more land to ensure political loyalty, and many poor and landless peasants were ready to revolt, particularly in the Lacandon. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>The Zapatista rebellion resulted from 25 years of capitalist modernization and a growing resistance by peasant and indigenous organizations, particularly among recent migrants to the Lacandon rainforest. </li></ul><ul><li>The EZLN had been organizing in the Lacandon since 1983, and built on this growing wave of discontent to organize a rebellion a decade later. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Zapatista Demands <ul><li>Political and cultural autonomy for indigenous communities </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of true democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Land reform </li></ul><ul><li>Support for housing, health, education, recreation, and communication </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of the rights of women </li></ul>
  19. 19. Zapatista Support Network <ul><li>Frente Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (FZLN) </li></ul><ul><li>Created after the National Consultation for Peace and Democracy in 1995. One of the important functions has been the distribution of daily e-mail messages regarding Chiapas and the EZLN. The FZLN also distributes action alert messages and maintains web-pages in several languages. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>2) Mexican Organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Enlace Civil , CIEPAC (Centro de Investigaciones Economicas y Politicas de Accion Comunitaria), Melel Xojobal , and most recently Indymedia-Chiapas , all based in San Cristobal de las Casas. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>3) Non-Mexican organizations (informational, human rights, accompaniment, and capacity-building work) </li></ul><ul><li>Global Exchange (in close cooperation with the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center ), Mexico Solidarity Network , and SIPAZ (International Service for Peace). </li></ul><ul><li>Information about what is happening in Chiapas is generated by organizations with a physical presence in Chiapas that circulate information through transnational Internet networks. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>4) Local Zapatista Solidarity Collectives around the World </li></ul>
  23. 23. Electronic Infrastructure <ul><li>The Association of Progressive Communications (APC) through the local organization PeaceNet </li></ul><ul><li>The Chiapas95 listserve, founded by University of Texas economist Harry Cleaver </li></ul><ul><li>The independent website, Ya Basta!, run by Justin Paulson </li></ul><ul><li>La Jornada in Mexico City </li></ul>
  24. 24. Physical Meetings <ul><li>The Zapatista support network has also emerged through a series of international meetings and gatherings, involving a reciprocal relationship between online and physical networks. </li></ul><ul><li>Among the most important of these meetings were two Intergalactic gatherings, one in Chiapas in 1996 and a second in Spain in 1997, leading to the formation of Peoples' Global Action. </li></ul>
  25. 25. The Electronic Fabric Struggle <ul><li>Zapatismo constituted an early example of a computer-supported social movement, which had a profound influence on subsequent anti-corporate globalization struggles. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Despite the myth of Subcomandante Marcos writing on a laptop computer powered by the lighter socket of a truck, there is no evidence the EZLN had direct access to the Internet. </li></ul><ul><li>Rather, they relied on the sprawling network of solidarity groups and activists to circulate their message, involving e-mail lists, websites, and the reporting efforts of La Jornada. </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>The ‘job’ of putting the EZLN on the Internet is thus carried out by Zapatista solidarity activists and Mexican newspapers and magazines, weaving what Harry Cleaver calls “ an electronic fabric of struggle .” </li></ul><ul><li>The original sender is often the EZLN or the FZLN, while the receivers are the multiplicity of groups and organizations outside of Mexico who have responded to the situation in Chiapas. </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>On the other hand, the numerous Zapatista-related websites and listserves have provided myriad channels for peer-to-peer communication, helping to reinforce the decentralized global structure of the network itself. </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet has emerged as an important “ social space ,&quot; where actors can meet regardless of their physical location in particular places. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Impact of the Internet on the Zapatista Struggle <ul><li>1) Enhanced Networking (ease and speed) </li></ul><ul><li>2) Internationalization </li></ul><ul><li>3) Increased visibility and information flow </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>4) Network-based organizational forms </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet has facilitated a distributed network structure, providing a flexible, adaptable, and efficient mode of organization that challenges traditional hierarchies. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Harry Cleaver <ul><li>The rhizomatic pattern of collaboration has emerged as a partial solution to the failure of old organizational forms; it has-- by definition-- no single formula to guide the kinds of elaboration required. The power of the Net in the Zapatista struggle has lain in connection and circulation, in the way widely dispersed nodes of antagonism set themselves in motion in response to the uprising in Chiapas. </li></ul>

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