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Fredericksburg Progressive Education Campaign 2003

Mexico's Zapatista Movement: October 22
Feminist Activism in DC: September 10th
Feminism in Islam: September 15
Anarchist Social Theory: September 25
Palestinian Struggle: October 1
Mexico's Zapatista Movement: October 22
Radical Economics & Living Holistically: October 27
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan: November 5
Queer Liberation: November 21st
Racism, Statehood, and Democracy in DC
Directions to workshops
7:00 pm Monroe Hall, Room 104

Presented by Dr Cervantes-Carson


The Zapatista revolution on January 1st 1994 took the whole world by suprise. This image of a new armed rebel movement in the period when such movements were meant to have recognised their own redundancy was startling and demonstrated that history was not yet over.

Since then most of the continued support the Zapatistas have received is strongly based on the idea that the Zapatistas are different. Different not just from the neoliberal world order they oppose but, more fundamentally, different from the armed revolutionary groups that exist and have existed elsewhere in the world.

The goal of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) is not to seize power from the ruling elite, but to empower themselves and create an autonomous space for collective and communal support. They seek democracy, social justice, and liberation of their society from foreign and governmental control. The EZLN considers this movement an example for people all over the world to follow.

Those involved internationally in Zapatista solidarity work are drawn to it not because they believe Mexico is uniquely repressive. There are many countries that are far worse, Columbia being one obvious example. They hope there is something in the Zapatista method that they can take home to their own city or region. Hence the popularity of the call from the EZLN to be a Zapatista wherever you are.

So although the Zapatistas remain isolated in the jungles and mountains of south eastern Mexico their ideas have influenced many activists across the globe. Not least in the round of global days of action against capitalism. One call for these protests actually arose at an international conference in La Realidad, Chiapas in 1996 and is part of the reason for the anti-capitalist or anti-globalization demonstrations that have taken the corporate world by storm.

Dr. Cervantes-Carson is a sociology professor at Mary Washington College

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