In 1994, on January 1st, the world was introduced to two new movements. The first being that of globalization, a neo-liberal idea of free market economy that rivals that of their conterparts (not counter points, rather those who work in collusion from the other side of the face) on the right. Massive corporate take-overs of public land, the commons, and private agricultural land and resources were taking place the world over, one land of which was Mexico. With the Bush senior written/Clinton endorsed NAFTA, Mexico was being treated as a new frontier for business, an undiscovered land, despite the millions of people who have lived there since before white men came and destroyed all they could. Agriculture means more than the production of food for these indigenous people, it is their life base, the birth place of their stories, of their culture. It was up for sale to the highest of the low bidders with american business licenses.
The second, and much more notable movement to be born, was that of the EZLN, Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, or The Zapatistas. I was 15 years old, living in southern arizona, going to school and punk shows. I remember clearly the feeling we all had when reports came through underground zines and touring bands about this anarchist band of farmers, armed with guns, pitchforks and ski masks, taking back their lives and demanding true democratic action. It was both invigorating and harrowing. It was exciting to know that somewhere, somehow, the people are standing up and fighting for their lives, in the name of love of the land, not of the country, and it was dually disheartening to go to school each day and to a show every weekend, being surrounded by fascist cops and greed driven school administrators, and to take it all sitting down. The next year, I left school, and learned something about life. The zapatistas have been instrumental in my growth and understanding of necessity over ideology. This is their song, we are merely the tellers of their tale, but one day will be true comrades in the battle against those who wish to control us.
Ya se mira el horizonte
el cambio marcará
a los que vienen atrás
Vamos Vamos Vamos Vamos Adelante
Para que salgamos en la Lucha Avante
Porque Nuestra Patria grita y necesita
De todo el Esfuerzo de los Zapatistas
Hombres, niños y mujeres
el esfuerzo siempre haremos
campesinos y obreros
todos juntos con el pueblo
(Se repite el coro/repeat chorus)
Nuestro pueblo exige ya
acabar la explotacion
nuestra historia dice ya
lucha de liberación
(Se termina con el coro/finish with chorus)
Now we can see the horizon
- Zapatista combatant -
The change will mark
Those who come after us.
Forward, forward, forward we go
To take part in the struggle ahead
Because our country cries out for
All of the efforts of the Zapatistas
Men, children and women
We will always make the effort
Peasants and workers
All together with the people.
Our people demand an end
To exploitation, now!
Our history says... now!
To the struggle for freedom.