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Al Giordano: Then Came the Humans

The Zapatistas Refine the Revolutionary Art of Listening


September 6, 2005
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Al Giordano today files his third report on the series of meetings taking place in Chiapas, Mexico between the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and civil society. Unlike previous meetings, to which various types of groups, organizations, and collectives were invited, last weekend's was specifically for those without an organization to speak for them. This, writes Giordano, represents a major change in the way the Zapatistas interact with the rest of Mexico and a key step of they are to break out of Chiapas and take their "Other Campaign" to a national level.

Giordano writes:

"In activist circles (and among journalists, too, of course) it is in fashion to complain about how political parties deform their participants and turn them into something less than human. And yet few seem to see how most forms of organization - including 'progressive' activist organization - also take their toll on the humanity of the participants. The organization of humans is a technology, and like any other it is inherently vulnerable to abuse at the hands of those who seek power over others. How many times have each of us encountered some activist or committee that became a gate-keeper between us and our sacred right to participate, to not be mere spectators of our own histories?

"This is the experience of so many who came to Zapatista lands this weekend to exercise, at long last, her and his desire to speak directly to the rebels and their Subcomandante Marcos without middlemen filtering their word. More than a few tears were shed from the microphone. Indeed, at moments, the proceedings seemed to resemble a kind of gestalt therapy session: twelve (and more) years of silence exploded from the hearts and tongues of human beings. Anyone who was there to listen - not everybody, but a greater percentage than those who attended last week, for sure - could not help but to be deeply moved and inspired."

Read Giordano's full report and analysis, on what exactly happened at this historic meeting and on the new "revolutionary art of listening" at the core of what is happening in Mexico, today in The Narco News Bulletin:

http://www.narconews.com/Issue39/article1423.html

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder Managing Editor
The Narco News Bulletin
http://www.narconews.com

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