Sunday, 14 October 2012

Zapatista Solidarity Essex talks at Occupy London

With a short talk on the Zapatista movement, Petar Stanchev from the University of Essex patricipated in the Global Noise Day in London. The event was on the first birthday of the Occupy London Stock Exchange and focused on the ongoing global austerity pillage and its effects on different parts of the world. Speakers from Greece, Portugal, Spain, Quebec and other places talked about the devastating effects of neo-liberal policies in their countries and the resistance against them.

The Zapatista struggle couldn't be but one of the examples for the attrocities of neo-liberalism and the struggle for another world. In his speech the activist from Essex emphasized on the ideological and practical similarities between Occupy and the Zapatistas. The "story of dignity and rebellion", as he defined the movement in Chiapas is a lesson for all the activists around the world of how people themselves can make a difference through self-organization, direct democracy and rejection of any concessions by a corrupt and criminal system:

"We are not here to fight for concessions from the government. Not even for free education, healthcare or social benefits, because even if we get a proper welfare state in the margins of the Capitalists system, that would just mean exploitation in another corner of the planet. We are here to fight for a complete overthrow of the Capitalist system!"

The Global Noise Day challenged the surrent system with various events around the world. Thousands of people, carrying pots and pans, gathered in London, Madrid, Lisbon, Mexico City and many other cities to protest on the austerity measures and the bailouts of the banks. Photos from the events here.

A place called Chiapas - screening

20 people attended the first screening for this year and introduction to the Zapatista Solidarity Group at the University of Essex. The group presented the documentary "A place called Chiapas" by the Canadian journalist Nettie Wild. The movie was accompanied by a short talk on several issues related to the struggle of the Zapatista communities and especially on the paramilitary attacks and threats carried out in the recent months.

For those who couldn't attend the screening on Friday, the full movie can be found online: