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Against Oblivion: On the Eighth Anniversary of the Zapatista Uprising

January 01, 2002

On January 1, 1994 ­ 8 years ago ­ the Zapatistas staged an uprising in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. Therebellion happened as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect. The uprising provided atremendous boost and inspiration to the then burgeoning movement against corporate globalization. Early last year,the Zapatisas caravanned from the jungles of Chiapas to the heart of Mexico City retracing the steps of EmilianoZapata. Today, in the post-September 11 world, the Zapatistas, like many groups and people across the globe, face anew reality.

As we enter this new year, people around the world are feeling the impact of the Bush administration’s so-called waron terror. As we have said often on this program, a man who was not elected president has declared war on the world.In addition to the carnage in Afghanistan that has seen thousands of civilians killed by cluster-bombs and thePentagon’s ill-titled 15,000 pound daisy cutter bombs, this war has given governments around the world virtual blankchecks to smash dissent, restrict individual freedoms and in some areas of the globe to occupy countries andterritories-all in the name of fighting terror. Here in the US, the government has pushed through repressive laws anddecrees aimed at quashing dissent; the line between the government and corporate media is at its most invisiblestate, perhaps ever.

But still, movements and peoples around the world remained determined to struggle for freedom. One such movement isthe Zapatista movement.

We turn now to a talk by author and journalist John Ross. He has appeared frequently on this program, reporting fromMexico on the Zapatista movement, globalization, the so-called free trade agreements and their effects on poor andworking people in Mexico. He has written several books about Mexico. Among them: ??The War Against Oblivion: TheZapatista Chronicles, and ??Rebellion From the Roots.


  • John Ross, author and journalist.

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