Grassroots Change
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The Zapatista Rebellion and Grassroots Organizing in Los Angeles

May 4, 2015

May 2, 2015


By Jeanette Charles

What lessons does Zapatista solidarity organizing provide for communities across the United States, from Ferguson, Missouri, to Baltimore, Maryland, that are fighting to ensure that Black Lives Matter?

On January 1, 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), after a decade of military training and political organizing across Southern Mexico, launched its rebellion against historic state-sanctioned violence in Mexico and the signing of the neoliberal North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Zapatista movement inspired an unforeseeable outpour of international solidarity. This solidarity also gave rise to countless other collectives, organizations and movements across the globe inspired by zapatismo, including the Chiapas Support Committee based in Los Angeles, California, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

The world watched in awe as the EZLN took over the streets, towns and municipalities across Chiapas the first days of 1994. Immediately, delegations of Mexican nationals and citizens from around the world began to arrive in Chiapas to document the news of this 20th century Mayan indigenous uprising and to physically stand in solidarity with this emerging movement.

Read the article here.