Twenty years ago, in a place in the selva of Chiapas, a movement began which would go around the world with a message of hope and vindication. Rebellion was being woven in the dark of night, until, on the first of January of 1994, all of us came to know a predominately indigenous army, which flung the word at the powerful and disrupted the neoliberal party. Twenty years from the founding act, and 10 since its armed awakening, we are celebrating the heroic deed of the most small: the struggle and resistance of the men, women, children and old ones of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
Ever since the 1960s, the term "civil rights" has come to mean many things. It is now synonymous with campaigns both against police brutality and for affirmative action. After the successes of the civil rights movement in eradicating formal segregation in the mid-1960s, civil rights leaders have pushed for enforcement of laws against discrimination as well as advancement into the political and economic mainstream.
Believe it or not, the United States started out as a haven for the anti-corporate people of the world. Those who founded this country possessed a great distrust of corporations. So much so, in fact, that not one right was explicitly granted to corporations in the Constitution. The very word "corporation" does not appear in it, not once. It thus may seem a little incongruous that today corporations are granted nearly the same rights under this authoritative document as are individual United States citizens.
I dont quite remember who made the comparison, or what segment of the political spectrum the person occupied,1 but this individual once likened former United States President Bill Clinton to one of those excessively needy dogs that continues to jump-up on people, slobber, and frantically wag its tail no matter how often its big wet nose is smacked with a rolled newspaper by its brutish owner.
I didnt sleep very well, all night I heard the sound of tanks maneuvering through the streets of Jenin. Or were they the sounds of bulldozers? Why would a bulldozer be running at three in the morning? Getting up from the flat roof of an office building where I was camped for the night I look over the edge and down to the streets. Nothing.
Think war is glamorous? Then see Tawfik Salehs film The Dupes, it is the antidote to the John Wayne-ism of Hollywoods wars. Made in Syria in 1972, the film centers on three Palestinian refugees all desperately trying to get from the occupied territories locked-down ghettos and corrupt, broken economy to Kuwait where they hope to find safety, jobs, and money to send home.