… alle Verhältnisse umzuwerfen, in denen der Mensch ein erniedrigtes, ein geknechtetes, ein verlassenes, ein verächtliches Wesen ist … (Marx)

Archive for 11. September 2010

Ein Interview mit Adolfo Gilly zum Zapatismus in der mexikanischen Revolution

Posted by entdinglichung - 11. September 2010

Quelle: Against the Current:

Genealogies of the Uprisings

— an interview with Adolph Gilly

Adolfo Gilly is a longtime activist and prominent historian of the Mexican Revolution. This interview appeared in the Argentine magazine Sudestada (Buenos Aires, No. 88, May 1, 2010). According to the Larousse dictionary, a “sudestada” in Argentina is “wind with persistent rain that comes from the southeast and usually causes rivers to swell.” This was translated for Against the Current by Rene Rojas with the assistance of Micah Landau.

WHAT FEATURES OF peasant culture in Mexico gave force to the revolutionary movement led by Zapata?

Adolfo Gilly: During the last decades of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th, the expansion of capitalist relations throughout the Mexican territory led to a new wave of expropriation of lands from indigenous communities in the central and southern regions of the country, and of settler peasants’ lands in the North.

These land seizures were backed by Porfirio Diaz’s regime and were carried out by sugar haciendas in Morelos, livestock haciendas in the North, coffee haciendas in the South, and by others of all types throughout the country.

This happened as railroads, money circulation, modern mining and foreign trade expanded. As with the whole history of capital, up to now, the expropriation of communal goods was one of the factors that sustained this expansion.

The communities in the state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, organized their peasant war, under Emiliano Zapata’s leadership, on the basis of community relationships passed on from generation to generation from time immemorial.

The peasants from northern Mexico, especially from the states of Chihuahua and Durango, organized their resistance based on their own traditions and forms of struggle in conquering and defending their lands against indigenous groups, the longstanding occupants of these same lands in northern Mexico and the western United States, and later against the expansion of the haciendas and the expropriation of communities.

By various means and for different reasons the northern cultural heritage entailed municipal autonomy, armed defense and control of common goods — woods, pastures, rivers, water and mountains — by the communities.

When, at the beginning of the 20th century, the division and power disputes within the ruling class afforded the right opportunity, the renewed assault by the owners of capital on these goods was resisted and confronted by the communities in the north and south, which resorted to the organizational forms relayed from generation to generation through the history of each region.

This hereditary framework included the use of arms and horses. The southern peasants led by Emiliano Zapata and other local chiefs, and those from the North — very different in their customs — led by Francisco Villa and leaders from each community, created the two largest peasant armies, headed by peasants, in the history of the continent, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.

At the beginning of December 1914, at the highest point of mobilization and of the peasant war, those armies — the Division of the North (la División del Norte) and the Liberating Army of the South (el Ejército Libertador del Sur) — occupied Mexico City, while the liberal-bourgeois wing of the revolution, headed by Venustiano Carranza, a landlord and former governor, withdrew to the port of Veracruz.

This is one of the greatest feats by peasants and indigenous peoples in the entire continent, comparable — though in different times and under very different forms — to the insurrectionary occupation of La Paz, Bolivia in April 1952; and to the two occupations of La Paz in 2003 and 2005 by the native communities from the highlands (Altiplano) and by the urban settlers and workers from El Alto and the mines.

What is the place of agrarian Zapatismo in the revolutionary process with respect to other movements?

A.G.: Zapatismo was the movement that, in its Plan de Ayala drafted toward the end of 1911 and in subsequent documents, proposed the most advanced programs for radical redistribution of land and communal organization of government for communities and for the whole Republic, an anti-capitalist program in its content and dynamic. And between 1912 and 1918 it implemented the program and maintained its own government in the region which came to be known as the Morelos Commune.

The Division of the North, with tens of thousands of well-armed men and women, was the most powerful peasant army ever organized in Mexico and all of Latin America. In a series of large battles, it destroyed the Federal Army and was decisive in the conquest of the capital and in the Revolution’s victory, even if subsequent governments ended up headed by its enemies within the Revolution, Venustiano Carranza and Álvaro Obregón.

Yet this form of the masses in arms in the Revolution was decisive in determining the radical-democratic and agrarian character of the Constitution approved in February 1917, which became the basis for the radical reforms carried out by Cárdenas in the 1930s.

How can we explain the discontinuous form that the Revolution took and how did this influence the consciousness of the masses?

A.G.: It would take a book to answer this question, and even then…

All the great revolutions, from the French Revolution of 1789 to the Russian Revolution of 1917, as well as the colonial revolutions that spanned the entire 20th century, experienced such vicissitudes, because a revolution is a turbulent process and not a magical instant in time. The best explanation I’ve seen of these reasons is found in the prologue to Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution, a classic text on the internal dynamic of revolutions.

What factors allowed an “agrarian” revolution to acquire an “anti-capitalist” dimension?

A.G.: The Mexican Revolution, if we can give it a definition without being overly schematic, would be in my judgment a peasant, agrarian, and radical-democratic revolution, composed of diverse social forces and changing alliances, in successive political and class conflicts during its very course.

Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Anarchismus, BäuerInnenbewegung, Indigena-Bewegung, Kapitalismus, Klassenkampf, Linke Geschichte, Mexiko - Mexico, Revolution, Sozialismus | 1 Comment »

Solidarität mit den IWW-Baristas in Omaha

Posted by entdinglichung - 11. September 2010

Quelle des nachfolgend dokumentierten Aufrufes: Webseite der Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

Take Action to Defend IWW Baristas in Omaha!

Since Starbucks baristas at the 15th and Douglas store in Omaha announced their membership in the IWW one month ago, Starbucks has unleashed an aggressive union busting campaign on the workers with a particularly extreme effort to intimidate and threaten FW Tyler Swain.

In response to this, all members of the Omaha SWU have voted unanimously to send out an appeal for solidarity to the broader IWW and labor movement. Please show Starbucks that an injury to one is an injury to all by taking the following actions:

1. Call Partner Resources Representative Shari Rugi, (314)607-4180

Shari Rugi is coordinating a campaign of intimidation and harassment against union members at the 15th and Douglas Starbucks. This intimidation has included fabrication of sexual harassment allegations and interrogation of union members at the store over these accusations concocted by management. Furthermore, Shari Rugi as directed the store manager at 15th and Douglas, Missy Kemp, to tighten policy and increase disciplinary actions against workers, in particular against FW Tyler Swain. Rugi has forced Store Manager Missy Kemp to write up FW Tyler Swain twice since going public for alleged violations of policy, contriving allegations of insubordination, and illegally tightening the time and attendance policy. weeks after these alleged violations have occurred. Union members at the 15th and Douglas location have, on multiple occasions, overheard conversations taking place between the store manager, Missy Kemp, and the partner resource manager, Shari Rugi, in which she has insisted FW Swain be written up for these alleged infractions, regardless of the store managers opinion of the events.

It’s time to let Shari Rugi know that we as an organization will not tolerate the unfair and discriminatory treatment of public union members, and that we, as a global organization are well aware of her actions.

2. Call District Manager Jennifer Rojas, (402)319-2760

The District Manager has repeatedly disrespected workers in her area.

Based upon this level of disrespect, the final demand in the letter presented to management, including the 15th and Douglas store manager Missy Kemp, district manager Jennifer Rojas, and Regional Director of Operations Brett Battes, was a request that Jennifer Rojas resign from her position. A month after the delivery no mention of this demand has been made, despite targeted attempts to separate public union members from the company. It’s time to let Jennifer Rojas know that her disrespect to workers in her area does not go unnoticed, and that she needs to be working for noticeable improvements in the working environment she oversees or resign immediately. Specific demands are:

•the immediate back pay of wages owed to FW Samantha Cole which were promised to her the morning of August 6th in a phone conversation that took place between Jennifer Rojas and Samantha Cole,
•an open and cooperative dialogue between levels of management and the Starbucks Workers Union,
•an open environment for members of the union to organize without fear of retaliation,
•and an increased effort to put into place the district wide 20 percent wage increase that the union is fighting for.

3. Send Letters of Support to the 15th and Douglas Store

We humbly request all union members to send letters directly to the 15th and Douglas store (222 S. 15th St. Omaha Ne. 68102) addressed specifically to The Barista’s of the Starbucks Workers Union, as well as a separate letter, jointly addressed to both our Store Manager, Missy Kemp, and our District Manager, Jennifer Rojas. These letters should express support for the public campaign as well as public members in the store, as we fight for improved working conditions that include more reliable scheduling, a safer work environment and better compensation. It would also be appreciated if some attention would be given to our rights to organize as workers, and an immediate stop to all intimidation to public union members on the job.

Thank you for your support and solidarity. Together we will win!

in solidarity,
The Baristas of the Omaha SWU.

Posted in Gewerkschaft, Kaffee, Klassenkampf, Repression, USA | Leave a Comment »