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20 years of NAFTA, 20 years of resistance

The Council of Canadians is supporting a march in Vancouver on January 1 to mark ’20 years of NAFTA, 20 years of resistance‘.

As narrated in the film ‘A Place Called Chiapas’, “In Mexico City, members of the ruling party were celebrating the new year. …The ruling party was celebrating its free trade agreement with Canada and the United States. It was to begin the following morning. …To make way for free trade and large farms growing export crops, the ruling party stopped distributing land to campesinos… Now campesinos had nothing left to lose. As Mexico City celebrated, 1300 kilometres to the south in Chiapas, squads of indigenous guerilla soldiers moved out of the mountains. The tourist city of San Cristóbal de las Casas woke up to find an indigenous army in its streets. …They had seized 650 ranches and now controlled a quarter of the state of Chiapas.”

Several years later, Subcomandante Marcos of the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (the Zapatista Army of National Liberation) stated, “Take care and do not forget ideas are also weapons.” He has also noted, “In previous armies, soldiers used their time to clean their weapons and stock up on ammunition. Our weapons are words, and we may need our arsenal at any moment.”

Most recently, in a Zapatista communique issued on December 24, 2013, he commented, “The modern liquid gold — water, not petroleum — has been robbed without attracting the attention of the large-scale media.”

To see the 1998 documentary ‘A Place Called Chiapas’ by Nettie Wild, please watch on YouTube. For more on the January 1, 2014 march in Vancouver, see the Facebook Event.