It was 27 years ago today when a ragtag army of poorly-armed Mayan peasants — wearing their signature red masks and giving land to those who needed it — first shouted the famous Zapatista slogan of “YA BASTA – Enough is enough!”
Since that first New Year’s (Jan. 1, 1994) so long ago, the Zapatista have been teaching the world about dignity, democracy, and justice. On Jan. 1, 2021 they still face old the enemies of greed and hunger and ignorance, but now Zapatistas have 27 years of experience surviving continuous assaults from heavily-armed militias, ruthless media conglomerates, to say nothing of sleazebag politicians, bought-and-paid-for journalists, slimy intellectuals, and powerful forces of the pro-capitalist nonprofit-industrial complex.
Today the insightful indigenous corn farmers are still teaching the world about social justice and human dignity and collective action. Today the children and grandchildren of those brave women and men are still wearing their masks and are still shouting “YA BASTA”; but now have closed all the schools and hospitals they have built over these 27 years of struggle to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Today they are struggling to survive brutal climate changes that are drying up springs and paramilitarie groups who are terrorizing their communities, burning their buildings, and disrupting harvests and planting.
However rather than meet guns with guns, the Zapatistas are using science, autonomy, and collective resistance to survive the pandemic and save the planet. In Tzotzil, one of the principal Mayan languages of the Zapatistas, the two words that mean “Resistance” are literally translated to mean “putting up with suffering”. People of conscience everywhere are helping to lessen the suffering, support Zapatista survival, and promote popular education in this brave New Year.
Please join us. www.GiftsofChange.org