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Mexico and WtO: La Bella y La Fea

by Almond Thursday, Sep. 18, 2003 at 7:55 PM

Everywhere today, every aspect of our lives is being violently reorganized. Everywhere the system is at work dissolving us, our labor, our land, our culture into flows of capital.”

LA BELLA Y LA FEA: Mexico and WTO Puntuación actual: 3

by ALMOND

Correo-e: ABOVEWTO (at) YAHOO.COM (no verificado!) 17 sep 2003

Modificado: 11:07:40

Despite the timidity of the security forces in Cancun our actions were weak and uncoordinated. Our unity and the fighting spirit in our hearts carried the day as we were all deeply affected by the strength of the campesinos and the death of Lee.

La Bella y La Fea: Mexico and the WTO (OMC)

by Almond with contributions from I.Hansberg and Le Grace Jaguars

contact: natureofchange (at) hotmail.com

deafwords (at) hotmail.com

USA 520.620.6900

Mexico: 044 998 8703741

Or message 998.107.6919

MANY SPECTACULAR FOTOS AVAILABLE

1760 main text words



LA Bella y La Fea: Mexico and the WTO (OMC)

“The Fourth World War is a total war, economic, social, political, cultural and military. Everywhere today, every aspect of our lives is being violently reorganized. Everywhere the system is at work dissolving us, our labor, our land, our culture into flows of capital.” http://www.bignoisefilms.com/



How ugly Mexico, how beautiful the people.! How ugly the signs for McDonalds, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Carta Blanca, VW, Pemex and the Hard Rock Cafe en Cancun!!!

The beauty of Mexico springs from the indian, the farmer and the pace of life that flows strong, yet oozes slowly from the humid flesh of markets and creeping traffic. With the World Trade Organization (WTO) or even just a continuation of neoliberalism there won’t be any real indians or traditional farmers soon. And then the vibrant public markets will fade away. Mexicos beauty will be disfigured. All we will have is the culture of the commercial market and the USA. Mexico will be dead. La muerta de la Mexicana.

The zocalos and centros still remind one of the Mexico of 20 years ago, but there are so many cars everywhere, so many rich people and spoiled kids and yet still just as many poor and beggars. Poverty of the pocket and poverty of the spirit grows daily. Nowhere is this more evident than in Cancun. This impoverished city of 750,000 sits precariously next to the glitziest example of globalized decadence there is. Almost every hotel chain in the world is represented along with numerous vulgarized nightclubs and whorehouses.

A Journey Deep Inside Mexico

Our route to the WTO crossed the US border near Piedras Negras, Mexico without being stopped and travelled all the way to Cancun near the border with Belize. We had no insurance and only crudely forged papers. We paid one bribe to a local cop to keep him off our paper trail of deception and we also had to pay a bribe to get out of a ticket for driving the wrong way on a oneway street near Mexico City - would have only had to pay but we had only 20 dollar bills - smart we were but too rushed. Our friends with perfect papers, a new car and 20 computers had their car and belongings seized at the Laredo border and never made it down here at all.

Cancun: A Very Busy Place

If you judge an area's prosperity by its taxicabs and diversity of businesses one would think that Cancun had a million wealthy and middle class people. In reality, more than half of the residents are poor. There are many taxis because so few people can afford cars. Businesses thrive from tourist related spin-offs that give some neighborhoods a middle class appearance. Over a hundred thousand people in Cancun live in very poor colonias many lack electricity and water. Some the police never enter. Cancun is hot and horribly humid. Malaria and Dengue Fever are common. Conjunctivitis is epidemic. This is the Third World that is locked in mortal combat with capitalism and the US-EU empire. Mexicans is spoke with didn´t consider the hotel district a part of Mexico, though some may envy the empire fans that populate and copulate in the luxuriating comforts of this other Cancun.

SEPTEMBER 9, The Protests-La Lucha Sigue

Thousands of students, internationalists and campesinos stormed the steel gate that barred our way to expressing opposition to the profound and secret dealings of the WTO. Students and anarchists charged the gate and hurled rocks at the police. Some complained about the black block and those who were being aggressive. The internationalists were busy making plans for how to infiltrate the hotel zone and shut down traffic to create chaos and prevent business as usual.

That night I spoke to a large encampment of the Mexico City student leadership and their members. The student organization CGH grew out of the UNAM occupations of the Mexico City University from mid 1999 to early 2000. Following the violent expulsion of the remaining students the organization went to Cancun in 2001 to protest the Latin American World Economic Forum. There the police were especially brutal and the students came back this year hoping to have protection through the solidarity of international activists and the media. It worked

Arduous years of organizing and continual police repression had taken their toll on the Mexican students and many factions and internal disputes threatened to destroy the group. Groups that I am close to hoped that through working together the students and the internationalists would grow beyond their differences and with successes at Cancun would come a new outlook and a reason to move forward. This is what the Mexicans call a simulacrum / a test that makes going back to debate unnecessary.

I spoke out in support of the black block saying that I understood their frustration and that if the whole movement was not strong and effective how can we blame the youth for turning to violence. Then I told the youth to respect the campesino farmers who had planned a large march for the next day. It worked.

Campesino Strength: The Power of Human Sacrifice

I arrived at the rally point for the Via Campesina march with low expectations. Instantly, I was transformed, the hairs stood up prickling against my neck. I knew that a primal force of many thousands of farmers from Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Brazil and Korea was forming up around me and surrounding me with destiny - and respect was inherent. Every pore of everything and even the air was charged and expectant. With machetes raised the peasant farmers marched toward the steel wall at the point we came to call the Kilometer Zero, meaning the first kilometer toward the Convention Center and the WTO meeting.

I left to go shopping for more rope and lock-down devices. Shopping was a task which consumed most of my time after seeking money and trying to get unlost from finding my way home each night at 2 AM through a crazy patch quilt neighborhood where the Comida No Bombas (Food not Bombs) house hid among Cancun’s many barrios.

The steel wall at the Zero Kilometer had been heavily reinforced by the military, but the campesinos with bolt cutters, tools and raw strength quickly tore a 50-foot hole in the wall and turned to face the thousands of well armed and shielded troops arrayed in several rows before them. Water cannons stood ready but were rarely used. The momentum belonged to the campesinos, but as they surged forward thugs hidden in the crowd threw rocks striking the backs of several leaders heads, tear gas followed and suddenly the crowd stalled. The police began throwing stones and injured many people and a surge of Black Blockers failed to recapture the crowd’s power.

Just as I arrived, a Korean activist farmer, president of a large farmers group, rose up above the fence and stabbed himself in protest of the WTO and his frustration at the police tactics. Lee Kyung-hae died a few hours later and his action helped slow and eventually derail the talks.

Quiet settled over the crowd and amid the tears of many activists present I entered the dead zone - the no/man's land in front of the troops where the fence had been torn down. Standing in this gap between the opposing sides I could feel the energy that had exhausted itself there. I have never seen or felt anything like it, it was an ugly bruise, a wound and had an eerie sense like a hole in the world, a sense of death and evil intentions. I lectured the soldiers calling them animals, non/Mexicans and begging them to tell me how they could fight on the side of the rich, the narco/cartels and the greedy white asshole pendejos . Most of the soldiers were young, poor and indian. I left and rejoined my affinity group that was preparing to hang a giant banner above the convention center the next day.

“The 20th Century was a graveyard, and over a decade after the end of the Third World War, The Cold War, the world is still in flames fighting a new kind of war, the Fourth World War,” from La Quatro Guerra, http://www.bignoisefilms.com/

Score One for the Good Gringos

Our banner drop from a 300 foot high crane went well despite screw/ups and loosing half our gear in a scuffle 80 feet up between two large Mexican soldiers and a young Hawaiian/American woman who refused to be dragged back down. We embarrassed the Fox government and stuck our message Que Se Vayan Todos / You Should ALL Leave / right in the face and the windows of the nearby WTO Convention center. Our corn symbol recognized the importance of farmers and the need to ban genetic engineering. The banner’s red fist represented dignity for indigenous people, campesinos and workers.

Over the next several days numerous affinity groups snuck into the Hotel District and shut down roads and caused chaos for the police and delegates. The police refused to arrest anyone and when they would load us on to buses to get us out of the area, we made the best of it by climbing up through the roof vents and chanting and singing our slogans as we toured the often-blockaded city streets. Almost every one we encountered waved and whistled their support.

Flowers and Women; The Strength of a People United

As many as 10,000 people attended the final march to the fence at Kilometer Zero. We demanded the end of the WTO and commemorated the death of Lee Kyung-hae, who died in protest of the WTO's agricultural policies. When the march came to the police barricade another heavily constructed mega-fence was largely dismantled by an all female activist crew with an anarchist security cordon Finally, the steel fence was tumbled by a Korean-led contingent of hundreds of other activists who attached a giant hemp rope to the fence and yanked it down completely.

The action ended with the crowd holding long-stemmed flowers high above their heads as we sang sad songs and lamented the terrible powers before us. A big effigy of the WTO and a huge US flag were burned as everyone cheered and celebrated.

The next day as we occupied the beaches in the hotel district, the Kenyans, Koreans and Indians walked out of the WTO and the farce was ended at least for now.

The Carnival of Our Hearts Beat Their Guns and Hate,

But Where do We Lead Ourselves?

Despite the timidity of the security forces in Cancun our actions were weak and uncoordinated. Our unity and the fighting spirit in our hearts carried the day as we were all deeply affected by the strength of the campesinos and the death of Lee.

The poor countries who stood up to the US/EU Empire, especially Kenya, Korea and India, were our heroes. Now we can hope to press the advantage and scuttle any talk of continued efforts toward the FTAA/ALCA. We can speak as one against all forms of capitalism and join efforts to isolate the US in its lies and fanatic militarism.

“Whenever the system encounters obstacles to their process, whenever the people resist, it responds with a war that pulverizes, liquefies, terrorizes. A war without a battlefield, a war without identifiable sides. A war that is everywhere, a 1000 civil wars, a war without end, the 4th World War. … |On one side is a system of terrifying violence and on the other side are all of us… all of us who will stop this war.” La Quatro Guerra http://www.bignoisefilms.com/

“The Fourth World War is a total war, economic, social, political, cultural and military. Everywhere today, every aspect of our lives is being violently reorganized. Everywhere the system is at work dissolving us, our labor, our land, our culture into flows of capital.” http://www.bignoisefilms.com/

NOTES ¡! To see the press release for the Crane Banner Hang: Que Se Vayan Todos see: for Spanish: http://cancun.mediosindependientes.org/newswire/display/592/index.php

For English see: http://cancun.mediosindependientes.org/newswire/display/571/index.php

One comment read: Re: by eneron

eneron (at) zapopan .com (no verificado) Puntuaciףn actual: 0 12 sep 2003 en cancun seguimos,protestando,ylucharemos por descarrilar a la omc , bamos a bloquear los dos accesos a la zona hotelera, imvitamos a todas las personas que quieran terminar con el rreparto del planeta, con todo y humanos, entre unos cuantos ricos,

que ya son dueסos de una parte, y ahora quieren todo el planeta.

cada que respiras un ser humano esta muriendo de

miseria, por culpa del sitema economico mundial OMC, ellos son los asesinos y tu eres su complise si lo sigues permitiendo por que eres testigo de lo que pasa.

"CITIEMOS LA ZONA HOTELERA, CITIEMOS EL CENTRO DE CONVENCIONES, CITIEMOS A LA OMC."

Description of 4WW - La Quatro Guerra Film

From the front-lines of conflicts in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Palestine, Korea, 'the North' from Seattle to Genova, and the 'War on Terror' in New York, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

It is the story of men and women around the world who resist being annihilated in this war.

While our airwaves are crowded with talk of a new world war, narrated by generals and filmed from the noses of bombs, the human story of this global conflict remains untold. "The Fourth World War" brings together the images and voices of the war on the ground. It is a story of a war without end and of those who resist.

The product of over two years of filming on the inside of movements on five continents, "The Fourth World War" is a film that would have been unimaginable at any other moment in history. Directed by the makers of "This Is What Democracy Looks Like" and "Zapatista", produced through a global network of independent media and activist groups, it is a truly global film from our global movement.

The Fourth World War will be launched this Fall and begin touring worldwide. Check our calendar for updates and screening times. Contact us at: 4ww (at) bignoisetactical.org to help organize screenings.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Featuring

Music from Manu Chao, Moosaka, Cypher AD, DJ C

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Watch the trailer

Download Realplayer for free

Mira también:

http://www.rebelion.org



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