[IWAR] The Chiapas Information War

Date: Mon Feb 16 1998 - 05:36:02 PST

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    The interests here seem more European and Asian, but I find this 
    information war being waged by the Zapatistas in Mexico to be quite 
    interesting.  Subcomandante Marcos is not one of the indigenous 
    tribal revolutionaries.  He is masked when appearing in public and is 
    rumoured to be one of the educationally elite and of European 
    photo by ANGRY PLANET 
                               Statement of Subcomandante Marcos to the
                               Freeing the Media Teach-In
                               organized by the Learning Alliance, Paper
    Tiger TV, and FAIR in
                               cooperation with the Media & Democracy
    Congress, Jan.31/Feb.1
                               1997,NYC. web site at:
                               We're in the mountains of Southeast Mexico
    the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas
                               and we want to use this medium with the
    of the National Commission for
                               Democracy in Mexico, to send a greeting to
    Free the Media Conference that
                               is taking place in New York, where there
    brothers and sisters of independent
                               communication media from the US and Canada.
    At the Intercontinental Encounter for Humanity and Against
    Neoliberalism we said: 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 and what clothes they take off-- these major
    movie stars and big politicians. But common people only appear for a
    moment-- when they kill someone, or when they die. For the
    communication giants and the neoliberal powers, the others, the
    excluded, only exist when they are dead, or when they are in jail or
    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 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, of how they think the world should look. 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
    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. 
    The work of 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 also is part of human history. 
    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. We hope your meeting is a success and that it results in
    concrete plans for this network, these exchanges, this mutual support
    that should exist between cultural workers and independent media
    makers. We hope that one day we can personally attend your meeting, or
    perhaps that one day you can have your conference in our territory, so
    we can listen to your words and you can hear ours in person. For now,
    well, we take advantage of the help of the National Commission for
    Democracy in Mexico (NCDMUSA) to use this video to send a greeting.
    This section in English: I don't know if my English is OK but good
    luck and so long. Cut. 
    - Forwarded by Paper Tiger TV

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