Subcommandante Marcos: An Independent Media: ‘standing for the free flow proliferation of information’

A global decomposition is taking place, we call it the Fourth World War– neoliberalism: the global economic process to eliminate that multitude of people who are not useful to the powerful– the groups called “minorities” in the mathematics of power, but who happen to be the majority population in the world. We find ourselves in a world system of globalization willing to sacrifice millions of human beings. The giant communication media: the great monsters of the television industry, the communication satellites, magazines, and newspapers seem determined to present a virtual world, created in the image of what the globalization process requires.

A global decomposition is taking place, we call it the Fourth World War– neoliberalism: the global economic process to eliminate that multitude of people who are not useful to the powerful– the groups called “minorities” in the mathematics of power, but who happen to be the majority population in the world. We find ourselves in a world system of globalization willing to sacrifice millions of human beings. The giant communication media: the great monsters of the television industry, the communication satellites, magazines, and newspapers seem determined to present a virtual world, created in the image of what the globalization process requires.

In this sense, the world of contemporary news is a world that exists for the VIP’s– the very important people. Their everyday lives are what is important: if they get married, if they divorce, if they eat, what clothes they wear, or what clothes they take off– the spectacle of society, of major movie stars and big politicians.

But common people only appear for a moment– when they kill someone, or when they die [brutally, as in a car accident or fire]. For the communication giants and the neoliberal powers, the others, the excluded ones, only exist when they are dead, or when they are in jail or in court. This can’t go on. Sooner or later this virtual world clashes with the real world. And that is actually happening: this clash produces results of rebellion and war throughout the entire world, or what is left remaining of the world to even have war.

We have a choice

We can have a cynical attitude in the face of the media, to say that nothing can be done about the dollar power that creates itself in images, words, digital communication, and computer systems that invades not just with an invasion of power, but with a way of seeing that world [with extreme prejudice], and of how they think the world should be manifested.

We could say, well, “that’s the way it is” and do nothing. Or we can simply assume incredulity: we can say that any communication by the media monopolies is a total lie. We can ignore it and go about our lives.

But there is a third option that is neither conformity, nor skepticism, nor distrust: that is to construct a different way– to show the world what is really happening– to have a critical world view and to become interested in the truth of what happens to the people who inhabit every corner of this world.

An Independent Media

The work of an independent media is to tell the history of social struggle in the world, and here in North America– the US, Canada and Mexico, independent media has, on occasion, been able to open spaces even within the mass media monopolies: to force them to acknowledge news of other social movements.

The problem is not only to know what is occurring in the world, but to understand it and to derive lessons from it– just as if we were studying history– a history not of the past, but a history of what is happening at any given moment in whatever part of the world. This is the way to learn who we are, what it is we want, who we can be and what we can do or not do.

By not having to answer to the monster media monopolies, the independent media has a life work, a political project and purpose: to let the truth be known. This is more and more important in the globalization process. This truth becomes a knot of resistance against the lie. It is our only possibility to save the truth, to maintain it, and distribute it, little by little, just as the books were saved in Fahrenheit 451–in which a group of people dedicated themselves to memorize books, to save them from being destroyed, so that the ideas would not be lost.

This same way, independent media tries to save history: the present history– saving it and trying to share it, so it will not disappear, moreover to distribute it to other places, so that this history is not limited to one country, to one region, to one city or social group. It is necessary not only for independent voices to exchange information and to broaden the channels, but to resist the spreading lies of the monopolies. The truth that we build in our groups, our cities, our regions, our countries, will reach full potential if we join with other truths and realize that what is occurring in other parts of the world is also a part of the human history.

A Network of Free Flow Information

In August 1996, we called for the creation of a network of independent media, a network of information. We mean a network to resist the power of the lie that sells us this war that we call the Fourth World War. We need this network not only as a tool for our social movements, but for our lives: this is a project of life, of humanity, humanity which has a right to critical and truthful information.

We greet all of you, recognizing the work you have done so that the struggle of indigenous people is known, and that other struggles are known, so that the great events of this world are seen in a critical form.

– Subcommandante Marcos

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Zapatistas: A Brief Bio

Chiapas, Mexico’s poorest and southernmost state, is a region in rebellion against oppression. For almost 500 years, its indigenous Mayan people have been systematically abused, degraded and dispossessed. On January 1, 1994, an army of Mayans from the highlands around San Cristobal revolted, reclaimed their lands, and demanded democracy and justice for all Mexicans. They called themselves Zapatistas after Emiliano Zapata, the Mexican revolutionary leader assassinated in 1919.

Unlike other revolutionaries, the Zapatistas didn’t demand political power. They only asked to be allowed to live in peace together, to own some land, to have something to eat and a place to sleep.

In the original declaration of war and in subsequent communiqués, the Zapatistas have explained that their struggle is for the following eleven points: work, land, housing, food, health care, education, independence, liberty, democracy, justice, and peace. (Subsequently, in the unprecedented national and international plebiscite called by the EZLN last summer that drew approximately 1.2 million voters, five new items were also added: culture, information, security, combating corruption, and protection of the environment.) The Zapatistas have insisted throughout the peace talks and other forums they have sponsored that only a complete transformation of the political system, allowing for an authentic democratic space and for local autonomy, will achieve these demands.

Like all indigenous struggles, the Zapatistas are fighting to preserve their heritage. But rather than throwing up blockades and locking out the world, they are inventing a new way to protect their land: opening the doors and inviting the world inside.

Further Reading

The international circulation through the Net of the struggles of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico has become one of the most successful examples of the use of computer communications by grassroots social movements. Click the link below to learn more and to perhaps participate in this new enriching and empowering process.

– Zapatistas In Cyberspace, A Guide To Analyses and Resources

Author: Subcommandante Marcos

News Service: TheExperiment Network

URL: http://www.theexperiment.com/articles.php?news_id=517