Radical sociologist and anti-capitalist writer John Holloway's latest work Crack Capitalism (Pluto Press 2010) continues to explore the fundamental themes of how best to combat capitalism and change the world anew. Following on from his widely read and contentiously debated book Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today (Pluto Press 2002), Crack Capitalism explores the key question - what now is to be done?
On January 1, 1994, the now-infamous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect. That same day, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), rose up and launched a military offensive that occupied towns throughout the state of Chiapas, in Mexico. The EZLN, or “Zapatistas” had been covertly organizing for many years, but they specifically chose the day of NAFTA’s implementation for their public rebellion.
Many components of NAFTA favored US corporate interests at the expense of Mexico’s general population, but the Zapatistas were particularly opposed to NAFTA’s rewriting of the Mexican Constitution, in order to eliminate the population’s biggest victory won during the Mexican Revolution fought 90 years before, at the time of World War One. “The Mexican Revolution wrote into the national constitution the opportunity for a village to hold its land communally, in an ejido, so that no individual could alienate any portion of it,” writes Staughton Lynd, co-author of the new book Wobblies and Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism and Radical History.
Communiqué from the of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command, of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation
Sixth Commission-Intergalactic Commission of the EZLN
September 15 and 16 of 2008
To the adherents of the Sixth Declaration and the Other Campaign:
To the adherents of the Zezta Interazional:
To the People of Mexico:
To the Peoples of the World:
Compañeras and Compañeros:
Brother and Sisters:
Once again we send you our words.
On Sunday April 6th, Movement for Justice in El Barrio took the struggle against gentrification in NYC to an international level. Through the new International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio, Movement for Justice in El Barrio is organizing on a transnational level to combat displacement in El Barrio (East Harlem) by building a multi-national network to go after one of their main targets, the multi-national corporation Dawnay, Day Group at their central headquarters in London and on multiple continents where they hold property. Movement for Justice in El Barrio and their supporters from around the city and nation gathered on the steps of city hall to launch their “International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio.”
Written by Cory Fisher-Hoffman, Tessa Landreau-Grasmuck, Kaya Weidman, and Mandy Skinner collectively
Just after midnight on January 1st, was the 14th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising, and the caracol of La Garrucha was alive with celebration. From the top of a refurbished school bus we watched a mass of bodies dance to norteños below a vast sky littered with stars, and the occasional covering of fog that characterizes the mountains of the Mexican southeast.
This night marked the end of the third Encuentro [Gathering] of the Zapatistas with the People of the World, and the first Encuentro of Zapatista Women and the Women of the world. Why a women’s encounter? “Because it was time,” repeated the voices of the masked women speaking before a seated audience of women from Zapatista support bases across Chiapas, as well as from social movements in Mexico and the world.
by tessa landreau-grasmuck
“Those of us who have waged war know how to recognize the paths in which it nears and prepares itself. The signs of war on the horizon are clear. War, like fear, has a scent. And now you can begin to breathe its fetid odor in our lands.”
-Subcomandante Marcos on his last public appearance, December 2007.
Just 2 months after Marcos warned the world of the intensifying violence in Chiapas, the International Civil Commission for Human Rights Observation (CCIODH, Comisión Civil Internacional de Observación por los Derechos Humanos) announced their findings from their week in the southeast Mexican state. Chiapas remains in a state of profound inequality and exclusion, affecting a majority of the population, most gravely women and indigenous peoples, the Commission reported. Most communities have limited to no access to shelter, food, education or health care. Instead of responding to the basic needs of the state, the Commission said, the politics of Chiapas continues to implement programs which promote division and conflict in communities in Chiapas. Autonomous organizing, the only viable solution to the lack of basic necessities, continues to face severe military and paramilitary repression, while legal impunity for counter-insurgent violence remains the norm of the Chiapas justice system.