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Gender: Female
Current location: Earth
Member since: Tue Sep 23, 2003, 11:05 PM
Number of posts: 24,159

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I wonder if authoritarian organized religions could survive if they didn't create and use

institutionalized hatred for some harmless, innocent group of people.

Political leaders do the same thing. Like Francis, Putin is also currently using institutionalized hatred for LGBT and women as a vehicle for increasing his power, and the number of his followers, among the gullible ignorant. They are running out of groups they can successfully scapegoat for the cause of mass hate. Groups such as Jews (after all, after Hitler's insane failed adventure in exploiting mass sociopathy, using Jews as scapegoats will only get you so far these days; he used LGBT as well...there just weren't enough of us to mass murder in order to hold the crowd at the time), heretics, and black people, etc, whatever the flavor of the day. So now folks like Pope Francis are having to fall back on the two most hated innocent groups of human beings in the history of the world since the advent of the major patriarchal sky god religions to use as scapegoats in order to maintain their place, power, authority, and wealth:

Women, and LGBT. It is still A-OK with many to hate women and LGBT. The widespread hatred for women and LGBT that the patriarchal sky god religions have institutionalized in most existing societies is their ace in the hole.

The hate for LGBT and women that Francis is currently spreading at an alarming rate throughout the world is not just a random, fleeting phenomenon, it is right now being used enmasse (or is it in Mass?) around the world by various Right Wing religions and political leaders in order to once again rally the hateful faithful to the cause of legalized authoritarian oppression, destruction, misery, and death.

The phrase, "Never Again" is ever present; unless good people stop the current spread of RW hatred around the world, and I'm here to tell you, the fuckers will do it again, in some way of another, if they are not prevented from doing so. The "war to end all wars" never happens.

It doesn't matter that the women and LGBT are innocent, and harmless; using women and LGBT as scapegoats can always be relied on to maintain a substantial congregation of the hateful. It works the same in any country, or religion; all you have to do is tell the ignorant hateful that they are being threatened, and they will follow you to straight down the garden path to hell.

And when the destruction is finally over, there are always the same three words that the congregation of the hateful says to all the kind, incredulous people of the world, in order to justify the senseless carnage they helped inflict on the innocent...

"We didn't know."

Religion has harmed me, in some way, every day of my life, simply because

of the way I was born. It continues to harm me every day of my life.

I'm female, and LGBT. Yesterday, the highest court, in the greatest country empire the world has ever seen, agreed to decide if it was legal for me to marry the person I love. How utterly insulting. And it's basically all because many religious people believe in an old superstition that tells them that I am evil because of the way I was born, and that I should not have rights and respect that are equal to theirs. So they are allowed, and have been allowed, to vote on legislation designed that prevents me from being equal to them under the law.

How ignorant, and dehumanizing, and insulting, is that? I can't help but see many religions as a vehicle for mean, ignorant people to justify and manifest their hatred for others, and their need to control others who differ from them in some way.

Religion based cultural mores have institutionalized the dehumanization of women and LGBT in almost every society on the planet.

I don't care what anyone believes, as long as it does not lead them to cause harm to others in any way. I don't deny the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent entity. I don't deny that there is an essentially correct, ethical and moral way for human beings to conduct their lives in a way that will result in their greatest happiness and satisfaction.

I do deny the rights of demented religions and religious leaders and their followers to use the law as a weapon to cause innocent people to suffer.

Rational people develop contempt for religions and the followers of those religions, when they see them using superstition based falsehoods to deceive themselves and others into causing harm and destruction to innocent people and the planet itself.

(NSFW) Let's make a deal, all ye faithful. I promise not to insult your religion if

all y'all promise to recognize that I, and every other woman, have full sovereignty over my/our own bodies, and that you will never do anything, directly or indirectly, to prevent me or another woman from preventing or terminating an unwanted pregnancy if that is our choice.

You must also promise to recognize that women are fully equal to men, and that they have same full equal rights in all areas of existence, including the equal right within your faith based organization(s) to be ordained as priests, imams, bishops, popes, Grand Wazoos, whatever, etc.

You must also promise to recognize that women and/or LGBT persons are not "evil" or "sinful" because they are natural born women and/or LGBT, and that you will do nothing directly or indirectly to prevent women and/or LGBT from having equal rights to non-LGBT, non-female/other persons in all areas of existence.

You must also promise never to encourage, promote, fund, or engage in individual or organized group "faith based" imperialistic acts of violence, such as crusades, inquisitions, witch burnings, or supporting the efforts of malicious, authoritarian governments to dehumanize and repress, oppress, or persecute, women, LGBT, or any other group because of their gender, race, color, sexual orientation, creed, etc.

If you can't do these things, then it becomes clear that you don't have the slightest notion of what love is, and your religion is nothing but egocentric, power and control driven authoritarian smoke and hypocrisy, and I reserve the right, to freely insult your malicious, destructive organization and beliefs whenever and wherever I see fit, and consider it my obligation to prevent you from harming innocent people.

Expect it. If the thing that you consider your "faith" leads you to deny innocent others their equal humanity, and causes direct or collateral harm to innocent people, then your faith is nothing but an irrational lunatic and pathetic self-justification for your own hatreds and needs for security and false superiority to others.

But don't take my word for it; I'm just doing my best to consider this entire conundrum from the perspective of the dude you claim to follow ~

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."

Religious Ties

Anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

"Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar."

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Next up in our Tough Love™ series is Part One of "Saudi Arabia: "Institutionalized Hatred and Oppression of Women and LGBT Resulting From Authoritarian Religion Based Islamic Governments."

"Preventing people from deliberately harming innocent others because they believe their religion demands it is not religious persecution, it is simple common human decency, and hate is bad for children everywhere. So please, don't burn me, ok? It really hurts."

This is where the priest says "God works in mysterious ways,

my son."

And the Rabbi says

“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’” Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him: “Ask me of things to come; will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands? I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host."

And the Imam says

"O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith."

"The Holy Prophet himself forbade people to ask questions ...so do not try to probe into such things."

And the Paul quoting evangelical preacher says

"The evidence of God is all that has been made".

"But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?"

And Jesus might say

"Well, bro, I'm, like, the Creator of the Universe. I gave y'all life and free will. And y'all fucked everything up. So I became a human being, and tried to tell y'all how to live well, and be happy. I tried to make it as simple as possible, but y'all still didn't get it. So don't be laying this guilt trip on me....

I'm just wondering...what part of "Love Your Neighbor" did y'all not understand? Y'all really need to start taking care of your own shit."

Buddha might say

"Give up what is wrong and evil, undertake what is good, and abandon thoughts that have to do with bringing suffering to any conscious being; cultivate thoughts of loving kindness, that are based on caring about others' suffering, and sympathetic joy in others' happiness."

And a Marxist might say,

"Religion is the opium of the masses."

And a tribal medicine person or chief might say,

"If there is but one religion, why do you people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book?"

"Every person must learn for themselves the highest wisdom. It cannot be taught with words."
etc. ad infinitum
There's lots of interesting ideas to ponder out there.

As for me, I only believe and do what seems to me to be my best way, and never follow anyone, or any thing, except myself. That said, would you like a cookie? Fresh baked this morning.

This response will erroneously be seen by many as a validation of Islamophobia in the west.

In this respect, it will have a negative effect on the lives of the majority of Muslims living in the west, especially in Europe. A significant percentage of the European population already distrusts Muslims, and has contempt for Muslims and Islam.

This may also be used as another justification/excuse for western imperialism (war and exploitation) in primarily Islamic countries.

NAFTA at 20: One Million U.S. Jobs Lost, Higher Income Inequality

NAFTA at 20: One Million U.S. Jobs Lost, Higher Income Inequality
Posted: 01/06/2014 3:19 pm EST

For NAFTA's unhappy 20th anniversary, Public Citizen has published a report that details the wreckage. Not only did promises made by NAFTA's proponents not materialize, but many results are exactly the opposite.

Such outcomes include a staggering $181 billion U.S. trade deficit with NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada and the related loss of 1 million net U.S. jobs under NAFTA, growing income inequality, displacement of more than one million Mexican campesino farmers and a doubling of desperate immigration from Mexico, and more than $360 million paid to corporations after "investor-state" tribunal attacks on, and rollbacks of, domestic public interest policies.

The study makes for a blood-boiling read. For instance, we track the specific promises made by U.S. corporations like GE, Chrysler and Caterpillar to create specific numbers of American jobs if NAFTA was approved, and reveal government data showing that instead, they fired U.S. workers and moved operations to Mexico.

The data also show how post-NAFTA trade and investment trends have contributed to middle-class pay cuts, which in turn contributed to growing income inequality; how since NAFTA, U.S. trade deficit growth with Mexico and Canada has been 45 percent higher than with countries not party to a U.S. Free Trade Agreement, and how U.S. manufacturing exports to Canada and Mexico have grown at less than half the pre-NAFTA rate.


Economic Policy Institute

NAFTA’s Impact on U.S. Workers

Posted December 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm by Jeff Faux

By establishing the principle that U.S. corporations could relocate production elsewhere and sell back into the United States, NAFTA undercut the bargaining power of American workers, which had driven the expansion of the middle class since the end of World War II. The result has been 20 years of stagnant wages and the upward redistribution of income, wealth and political power.

NAFTA affected U.S. workers in four principal ways. First, it caused the loss of some 700,000 jobs as production moved to Mexico. Most of these losses came in California, Texas, Michigan, and other states where manufacturing is concentrated. To be sure, there were some job gains along the border in service and retail sectors resulting from increased trucking activity, but these gains are small in relation to the loses, and are in lower paying occupations. The vast majority of workers who lost jobs from NAFTA suffered a permanent loss of income.

Second, NAFTA strengthened the ability of U.S. employers to force workers to accept lower wages and benefits. As soon as NAFTA became law, corporate managers began telling their workers that their companies intended to move to Mexico unless the workers lowered the cost of their labor. In the midst of collective bargaining negotiations with unions, some companies would even start loading machinery into trucks that they said were bound for Mexico. The same threats were used to fight union organizing efforts. The message was: “If you vote in a union, we will move south of the border.” With NAFTA, corporations also could more easily blackmail local governments into giving them tax reductions and other subsidies.
In terms of U.S. politics, the passage of NAFTA signaled that the Democratic Party—the “progressive” side of the U.S. two-party system—had accepted the reactionary economic ideology of Ronald Reagan.


According to the Economic Policy Institute's study, 61% of the net job losses due to trade with Mexico under NAFTA, or 415,000 jobs, were relatively high paying manufacturing jobs. Certain states with heavy emphasis on manufacturing industries like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and California were significantly affected by these job losses. For example, in Ohio, Trade Adjustment Assistance and NAFTA-TAA identified 14,653 jobs directly lost due to NAFTA-related reasons like relocation of U.S. firms to Mexico. Similarly, in Pennsylvania, Keystone Research Center attributed 150,000 job losses in the state to the rising U.S. trade deficit. Since 1993, 38,325 of those job losses are directly related to trade with Mexico and Canada. Although many of these workers laid off due to NAFTA were reallocated to other sectors, the majority of workers were relocated to the service industry, where average wages are 4/5 to that of the manufacturing sector.

Opponents also argue that the ability for firms to increase capital mobility and flexibility has undermined the bargaining power of U.S. workers. In addition to enjoying lower tariffs for shipping goods from Mexico to the United States, multinational corporations also benefited from NAFTA's unprecedented section giving multinational corporations the right to sue governments for infringement of "investment rights". According to the Economic Policy Institute, these investor protections facilitated the movement of manufacturing plants to Mexico. Fifteen percent of employers in manufacturing, communication, and wholesale/distribution shut down or relocated plants due to union organizing drives since NAFTA's implementation. The weakening of rights for the American labor force is one example of the "race to the bottom" theory advocated by most opponents that will result from these trade policies. Ultimately, workers are faced with the dilemma of settling for fewer worker's rights because the firm will always have the ability to relocate to another country, notably Mexico, where they can attain cheaper labor and will face less resistance from workers. However, it is now common that these incentives are enough to cost American laborers their jobs regardless of the status of the labor unions.


Under Nafta, Mexico Suffered, and the United States Felt Its Pain
(Laura Carlsen is the director of the Americas program at the Center for International Policy)

Nafta is limping toward its 20th anniversary with a beat-up image and a bad track record. Recent polls show that the majority of the U.S. people favors “leaving” or “renegotiating” the model trade agreement.

While much has been said about its impact on U.S. job loss and eroding labor conditions, some of the most severe impacts of Nafta have been felt south of the border.

Nafta has cut a path of destruction through Mexico. Since the agreement went into force in 1994, the country’s annual per capita growth flat-lined to an average of just 1.2 percent -- one of the lowest in the hemisphere. Its real wage has declined and unemployment is up.

As heavily subsidized U.S. corn and other staples poured into Mexico, producer prices dropped and small farmers found themselves unable to make a living. Some two million have been forced to leave their farms since Nafta. At the same time, consumer food prices rose, notably the cost of the omnipresent tortilla.


NAFTA: 20 years of regret for Mexico
Mark Weisbrot

It was 20 years ago that the North American Free Trade Agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico was implemented. In Washington, the date coincided with an outbreak of the bacteria cryptosporidium in the city's water supply, with residents having to boil their water before drinking it. The joke in town was, "See what happens, NAFTA takes effect and you can't drink the water here."

Our neglected infrastructure aside, it is easy to see that NAFTA was a bad deal for most Americans. The promised trade surpluses with Mexico turned out to be deficits, some hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost, and there was downward pressure on US wages – which was, after all, the purpose of the agreement. This was not like the European Union's (pre-Eurozone) economic integration, which allocated hundreds of billions of dollars of development aid to the poorer countries of Europe so as to pull their living standards up toward the average. The idea was to push US wages downward, toward Mexico's, and to create new rights for corporations within the trade area: these lucky multinational enterprises could now sue governments directly before a corporate-friendly international tribunal, unaccountable to any national judicial system, for regulations (eg environmental) that infringed upon their profit-making potential.

But what about Mexico? Didn't Mexico at least benefit from the agreement? Well if we look at the past 20 years, it's not a pretty picture. The most basic measure of economic progress, especially for a developing country like Mexico, is the growth of income (or GDP) per person. Out of 20 Latin American countries (South and Central America plus Mexico), Mexico ranks 18, with growth of less than 1% annually since 1994. It is, of course, possible to argue that Mexico would have done even worse without NAFTA, but then the question would be, why?
It's tough to imagine Mexico doing worse without NAFTA. Perhaps this is part of the reason why Washington's proposed "Free Trade Area of the Americas" was roundly rejected by the region in 2005 and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership is running into trouble. Interestingly, when economists who have promoted NAFTA from the beginning are called upon to defend the agreement, the best that they can offer is that it increased trade. But trade is not, to most humans, an end in itself. And neither are the blatantly mis-named "free trade agreements".


Well, neither Obama nor Bernie are LBJ, and times have changed; and many Democratic legislators

are corporate property. Most people recognize when someone does the right thing, even if it is largely symbolic.

So over the past six years, even with large Democratic majorities, it has been impossible to pass any necessary progressive legislation that goes against the wishes of the financial centers.

During the first two years of the Obama administration, Democratic legislators could be accused of not fighting hard enough for constructive, effective progressive legislation if it was clear they were not supporting it and promoting it in earnest, at least making a sincere effort.

The ineffectiveness of the Obama administration and large Democratic majorities in getting critical progressive legislation passed led to the awful situation we are in now, with fascists having large majorities in both the House and Senate.

Through their ineffectiveness during the first two years of the Obama administration, Democrats either deliberately or foolishly lost all the political capital they had gained in the 2008 elections. water under the bridge, yes, but it happened and many people lost faith in the Democratic party and we will continue to pay for Democrat's squandering our capital for generations if, not forever.

Now, unfortunately the Democratic Party is basically done. Stick a fork in it. It created a hopeless situation for America during those first two years of the Obama administration, and the best that real Democrats can hope for now is a few necessary changes in the social aspects of life in America, clever Executive Orders, and a busy and effective veto pen in the Oval Office.

For anything else, mass non-violent revolution is the only way to regain any semblance of democracy in America.

I support Bernie Sanders for President. But I know that the 1% will never allow him to be nominated for POTUS, let alone become President, even if elected. I know they already have their candidate groomed and ready to go for the election. They don't really care who wins, as long as they don't try to go against their global financial affairs

They wouldn't even allow Al Gore become POTUS, even after he was elected, so obviously, they're not going to let a real Democrat (I know, he's an independent) like Bernie near the White House.

It's all bullshit; the only reason I'm even here supporting the Democratic party is because Democrats are generally much better than republicans. So, as part of my microscopic capacity to try to bring about constructive change, I am making a sincere effort to do promote Democrats doing the right thing, even if it has become largely a symbolic gesture.

So what am I going to do? Obviously, I need to do everything in my power politically to ensure that Jeb Bush does not become President. So I'll eventually have to support Democratic Corporate Candidate "X" in order to do what I can to prevent another deadly fascist from becoming the Commander in Chief of the US.

I really don't like not ever having any real options in my choices for who I permit to govern me. I have no doubt whatsoever that the only way can institute democracy and bring about change for the 99% is mass non-violent revolution.

And there ain't much hope of that happening either, so long as people continue to sit, hypnotized and homogenized to the point of insipid, in front of their much beloved television.

^This^ is truth set in stone. This is why we need to start organizing for non-violent

revolution right now.

Mass economic resistance by the 99% is a the only form of protest and direct action that can effectively strip the plutocrats of their position and power over us. We are their milk cows, and if we don't allow them to them milk us, we starve them.

A massive general strike, boycott, moratorium on paying bills, etc, and simply staying home and doing nothing, is the only plausible method I can think of that can remove the plutocrats from power. The cops cannot brutalize us with impunity if we are simply staying in our houses not working or buying anything, These types of actions on a mass scale would either lead to an opportunity for negotiation, or we will cause the markets to permanently collapse. Billionaires will lose billions in a matter of days or weeks. They can't imprison us if we refuse to work, buy things, or pay bills.


If we do nothing, or rely on this political system that they totally own to make the changes necessary for our comfortable survival, we will lose everything, and end up living in a box by river until they decide it is time to euthanize those of us they haven't starved to death.

The current system will inevitably lead to "Elysium" on earth. This is the logical progression of the current political and economic processes, unless we kick the 1% to the curb, take over the factors and means of production, and begin to govern ourselves in a way that supports life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for everyone.

Cuba managed to defeat the most powerful empire the world had ever known

in a revolution.

And then, Cuba managed to keep the most powerful Empire the world has ever known from controlling their affairs for 52 years.

I believe that they will find a workable balance from which they will maintain full autonomy while at the same time make improvements to their systems which will be of benefit to all of the people of Cuba.

"I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime. I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear."

— U.S. President John F. Kennedy

Washington, D.C. – On October 9th, 1967, Ernesto "Che" Guevara was put to death by Bolivian soldiers, trained, equipped and guided by U.S. Green Beret and CIA operatives. His execution remains a historic and controversial event; and thirty years later, the circumstances of his guerrilla foray into Bolivia, his capture, killing, and burial are still the subject of intense public interest and discussion around the world.

The Death of Che Guevara: Declassified

Primarily working outside the system appears to me to be our only option.

Things really are far worse than they were in 1968.

Our primary direct action power, at this time, lies in not giving the shitheads our power. They need to control us in order to control us, they need us to run their unequal, unjust profit system in order for them to maintain and increase their power.

The way for us to manifest our power is to simply not participate in their game. I see organizing and engaging in a massive general strike and boycott, and flash protests as our only real option for bringing about change at this point. If we are simply staying home, not buying anything, not driving, not buying anything, not paying any bills, not participating in the system at all, we can collapse it. The billionaires will rapidly lose billions of dollars. The system will collapse, and there will have to be a plan in place that will enable the 99% to survive tolerably until our demands and goals are met.

When I was participating in Occupy actions, it occurred to me that the major flaw in sustaining our action was exposing ourselves to police brutality, and that eventually this brutality would force us out of the parks and off the streets. And naturally, it did. it's not rocket science, there simply are not enough people in the US who are willing to risk getting beaten up and imprisoned to support and sustain a non-violent movement that is countered by authorities who can commit acts of violence against protesters with impunity.

We tried to shut down the ports on the west coast, but by that time the media had perfected its propaganda attack brainwashing of the general public, and they successfully turned public opinion against us at this time. Here at DU, the mouthpieces for the status quo were busy denouncing us, in every way possible, day after day. This is something we will have to deal with if we organize, and act.

However, if we are simply staying home and shut down the talking heads, taking some extended family holiday time as a form of protest and non-violent resistance, it would be quite a while before the 1% owned government mandated that the police could legally force us out of our homes and go back to work. By the time they got to that point, terminal damage would already be done to the system.

If we could sustain the strike/boycott long enough, the PTB would be forced into negotiation long before things got to the point where the police would be forcibly taking people from their homes, and forcing them to go back to work.

Two weeks of a focused, dedicated, truly massive general strike and boycott would collapse the markets. The overall effect on the economy would be devastating; we would have to have some type of hopefully workable plan in place in order to ensure continuity of supply lines after transition. If necessary, the 99% might have to assume control of the factors and means of production. etc. Drastic, necessary, critical change will require pain and sacrifice at first; there's no way around this.

A non-violent revolution of this nature would take long term careful planning,critical mass support, massive numbers of participants, and dedicated organizers.

I believe you are correct, starting to organize now is what will make non-violent revolution successful when circumstances deteriorate to the point where enough people realize, and are done with, putting up with having no other options for ending the corruption, injustice, inequality, and oppression that is imposed upon them by the PTB with impunity.

This is a simple idea for developing complex plan. If anyone has a better idea, I'd love to hear it. Whatever the case, it is crystal clear that things must change, because our government is publicly supporting torture with impunity, and the torturers are practically bragging about their accomplishments in the torture arena on public television nationwide.

And not only have our leaders not taken any action whatsoever to punish the ghouls who sanction and commit acts of torture, they make excuses for them similar to justifications such as "they were just doing their job".


From Fire to Autonomy: Zapatistas, 20 Years of Walking Slowly

On January 1, 1994, the NAFTA free trade agreement entered Mexico with vigor, promising foreign investment and economic prosperity at the expense of the plunder of natural resources. NAFTA is largely credited for flooding the Mexican market with subsidized corn from the United States, which decimated farmers' livelihoods and provoked massive migration to the United States. Two years prior to NAFTA's implementation, former President Carlos Salinas opened the floodgates to land privatization by reforming Article 27, which had protected communally owned land known as ejidos, created during the Mexican revolution. Thus, the introduction of NAFTA provided the perfect context for the uprising of the indigenous guerillas who formed the EZLN.

However, the 1994 uprising was not a spontaneous endeavor. Twenty years before, Marxist-inspired guerillas arrived in the Lacandon jungle in Chiapas to unite with members of marginalized indigenous communities. In 1983, they formally created the EZLN. They drew inspiration from Emiliano Zapata, who fought in the Mexican revolution in the early 20th century, declaring that the land belonged to those who worked it. Continuing his revolutionary tradition, the EZLN rebelled to demand work, land, shelter, food, health, education, independence, democracy, freedom, justice and peace for all the Mexican people. Their ideas rapidly gained traction as a confluence of indigenous cosmo-vision, Marxist philosophy and progressive theological thought to counter dispossession and poverty. The EZLN germinated the seed of "Ya Basta - Enough Already!"

Chiapas, is rich in flora and fauna, containing between 50 and 80 percent of Mexico's biodiversity, water reserves and mineral resources. However, the richness of natural resources has never translated into prosperity for the population, especially the indigenous people who often live in extreme poverty in marginalized communities. It is estimated that 40 percent of the state's population speak an indigenous language, and the EZLN is composed of Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Chol and Tojolabal communities. The Zapatistas denounced their marginalization in the first declaration of the Lacandon Jungle: "We have been denied the most elemental preparation so they can use us as cannon fodder and pillage the wealth of our country. They don't care that we have nothing, absolutely nothing, not even a roof over our heads, no land, no work, no health care, no food nor education."

In the communiqué released by the Zapatistas to celebrate the 20th anniversary, Subcomandante Marcos described the motivations that prompted their rebellion: "It was not the struggle to survive, but a sense of duty that put us here, for better or for worse. It was the necessity to do something in the face of millennial injustice, the indignation we felt was the most overwhelming characteristic of humanity."


"The global power of the financial centers is so great, that they can afford not to worry about the political tendency of those who hold power in a nation, if the economic program (in other words, the role that nation has in the global economic megaprogram) remains unaltered. The financial disciplines impose themselves upon the different colors of the world political spectrum in regards to the government of any nation. The great world power can tolerate a leftist government in any part of the world, as long as the government does not take measures that go against the needs of the world financial centers. But in no way will it tolerate that an alternative economic, political and social organization consolidate. For the megapolitics, the national politics are dwarfed and submit to the dictates of the financial centers. It will be this way until the dwarfs rebel . . " ~ Marcos

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