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|[Nettime-bold] [Fwd: En;IMC,Zapatista Women March & Take over Radio, Mar 11]|
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- Subject: En;IMC,Zapatista Women March & Take over Radio, Mar 11
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Chiapas95)
- Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 12:53:47 -0600 (CST)
- Reply-To: email@example.comThis message is forwarded to you by the editors of the Chiapas95 newslists. To contact the editors write to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. To submit material for posting send to: <email@example.com>. Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 23:51:54 -0800 (PST) From: paz libertad <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Movement 2000, independent media collective, reports: ZAPATISTA WOMEN MARCH FOR AN END TO MILITARIZATION -military and paramilitary activity against indigenous communities increases Despite intensified military mobilization and hostility in recent weeks, thousands of Zapatista women celebrated International Women's Day by marching into the city of San Cristo'bal de las Casas and taking over a government radio station in order to broadcast their call for an end to the militarization of their communities. The women, who traveled from the Lacandon Jungle, the highlands, the north of Chiapas and the border with Guatemala, braved long journeys through zones which are heavily patrolled by military and paramilitary groups in order to participate in the march. The women marched carrying their young children, as well as banners of protest with drawings of the military airplanes, tanks, and helicopters that constantly harass their communities. A group of 200 of the marchers peacefully occupied the government radio station Radio Uno and broadcast for one hour during the march. Maria Angelica, a tzeltal woman from the Lacandon jungle explained to listeners throughout the state, "Many of us do not know how to read or write, and for this reason we come so you all can listen to us. We want you all to know that we will not get accustomed to the militarization." The broadcast, conducted in both Spanish and indigenous languages, denounced military and paramilitary violence against indigenous communities and called for respect for the rights of women and fulfillment of the Accords of San Andre's. The Zapatista support bases declared, "The militarization and paramilitarization of our communities is now one of the principal causes of the misery, poverty, sickness and the death of many indigenous people. The military blockade, the daily harassment, by land and by air, and the persecution of us by the bad government, has been a grave obstacle for the completion of our daily work, which is the only way we indigenous people can survive." In the last two weeks, as the women prepared to leave their communities to march, military presence in all three regions of resistance, the jungle, the highlands, and the north, has increased drastically in number and intensity. Community authorities have declared extreme alert and have advised the population to prepare for military attack. The bold military advance into the communities in resistance in all the indigenous territory of the state is marked by an increase in army patrols, checkpoints, troop mobilization and the reinitiation of paramilitary group activities. As the military occupies more and more communal lands, they arrive with heavy machinery to build highways and army bases, thus destroying acres of forest and jungle and contaminating rivers and lakes. A representative of the tzotzil highlands warns "the situation is grave. When there is military movement like there is now, it means that at any moment something could happen." Airplanes and helicopters have been flying over the communities so low that they scrape the roofs of the houses. A teacher reports that in La Realidad, a helicopter hovered so low that is seemed like it were going to land in the patio of the elementary school. From within the helicopter, a soldier videotaped inside the classroom. Similar actions have occurred in other communities in recent days. In Oventic, soldiers shoot into the air in the afternoon and the paramilitary groups surround the communities in the night. A community authority explains, "This means that want to provoke us, threaten us for wanting to struggle peacefully. What the government wants is an armed confrontation. We will make sure that there is no response to the government provocation. But nor will we accept being humiliated by them, because the cause of our struggle is fair and true." The marchers held a meeting in the public plaza of San Cristo'bal de las Casas in which they declared, "We have not given up in our protest against the dirty war of [President] Zedillo and [Governor] Albores. The government continues to promote, protect and finance paramilitary groups…with the clear objective of dividing the communities, provoking confrontation, persecuting Zapatista support bases and assassinating the leaders of the people. The militarization and the paramilitarization has promoted and increased the violence, the division, the murder, prostitution, drug addiction, and alcoholism. All this has gravely damaged our towns and communities." The women also called for the liberation of the political prisoners of the UNAM, echoing the voices of the jailed UNAM students who once marched the streets of San Cristo'bal with the Zapatistas. Meanwhile, in Mexico City, the women of the UNAM declared that they could not celebrate Di'a de la Mujer when 44 women students are incarcerated for the crime of defending the university. Parents of the 180 students still in jail continue to protest in front of the Rector' s Office, symbolically crucifying themselves, sustaining a hunger strike and extracting blood to paint the words "Freedom for Political Prisoners," on the doors of the administration building. The parents demand that the Rector withdraw charges against the students, explaining "we are here, peacefully protesting with the only weapons we have, with all that we have left: our blood, our sacrifice and our hunger." They are learning the lesson that the Zapatista woman announced during the pirate broadcast: "The more they persecute and jail us, the stronger we become." There is a great need for videocameras, cameras, tape recorders, and other equipment that can be used for human rights documentation in indigenous communities throughout Mexico. If you or someone you know would like to donate equipment, please contact Movement_2000@yahoo.com __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? 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