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The Zapatistas’ first school opens for session – Waging Nonviolence

The Zapatistas’ first school opens for session

escuelita1

Yesterday, 1,700 students from around the world enrolled in the first Zapatistas school, held at the University of the People’s Land of Chiapas. (WNV/Moysés Zúñiga Santiago)

Last December, tens of thousands ofindigenous Zapatistas mobilized,peacefully and in complete silence, to occupy five municipal government office buildings in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. That same day, which coincided with the end of one cycle on the Maya calendar,Zapatistas released a communiqué, asking, “Did you hear it?”

It appears that the answer was yes, because this week thousands of people from around the world are descending on Chiapas for the Zapatistas’ first organizing school, called la escuelita de libertad, which means the little school of liberty. Originally the group allotted for only 500 students. But so many people wished to enroll that they opened an additional 1,200 slots for the weeklong school, which begins on August 12.

Just as the Zapatistas have, for two decades, rejected hierarchical systems, theescuelita will also eschew traditional teaching models. Instead, it will be an open space for the community to learn together.

“There isn’t one teacher,” wrote Subcomandante Marcos, the spokesperson for the Zapatista movement. “Rather, it is the collective that teaches, that shows, that forms, and in it and through it the person learns, and also teaches.”

While attending the escuelita, students will live with a family in a rebel zapatista community and participate both in the school and in the daily life of the community. Participants will cut wood, work in the cornfields and cook and eat with their host families.

Subcomandante Marcos acknowledged that attending this type of school requires shifting one’s way of thinking about learning and indigenous communities. As he asked in a communiqué:

Would you attend a school taught by indigenous teachers, whose mother tongue is typified as “dialect”?

Could you overcome the temptation to study them as anthropological subjects, psychological subjects, subjects of law or esoterism, or history?

Would you overcome the urge to write a report, interview them, tell them your opinion, give them advice, orders?

Would you see them, that is to say, would you listen to them?

Leading up to the school, the Zapatistas published a series of seven communiqués entitled “Them and Us.” These essays illustrated the absurdities of “those from above” — those who hold coercive and repressive power — trampling the freedoms of “those from below.” The writings also spoke to the need to learn by observing and listening in order to build an alternative world. But more than abstractions, the seven publications were a collection of lessons about how everyday life in the Zapatista communities, including how people resolve problems and how they organize themselves into an autonomous networks in which the people rule and the government obeys.

The last installation of this manual, published on March 27, also announced the upcoming escuelita and outlined three requirements necessary for any applicant: “an indisposition to speaking and judging, a disposition to listening and seeing, and a well-placed heart.”

The Zapatistas are unique not only for challenging power or maintaining their resistance for nearly 20 years. What sets them apart is their ever-evolving definition of liberty, and this topic — liberty according to the Zapatistas — will be the central focus of the school. According to Subcomandante Marcos, liberty is “to govern and govern ourselves according to our ways, in our geography and in this calendar.” But the definition also shifts from generation to generation, and Marcos explains that new generations must find their own paths through rebellion and dignity.

The experience of living with Zapatistas and other indigenous families will be another central part of the school. Some students will stay with families living in autonomous rebel communities, while others will be with nearby non-Zapatistas, or even anti-Zapatistas families. These hundreds of families have all agreed on avotán, a person who, in the Zapatista movement, represents a guardian and the heart of the community. The votáns will translate for the families and the foreign students, although Marcos acknowledges that translation itself is an imperfect process.

“In legal cases, do cultures translate?” he questions. “In that sense, one understands that what they call ‘equality under the law’ is one of the greatest travesties of justice in our world.”

As for final evaluations, the school won’t, unsurprisingly, have an exam, a thesis, or a multiple-choice test. Rather, as Marcos explained, the school “will make its own reality,” and the results will be “a mirror.”

The school began after three days of festivals in rebel communities to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the councils of good governance, the Zapatistas’ autonomous governing system in which the community makes decisions and the government carries them out. During the celebrations, one could see empty buses and vans parked along the streets to Ocosingo and Palenque, waiting to transport the 1,700 students from San Cristobal de Las Casas into the rebel communities the following morning.

Earlier this summer, the Zapatistas announced that future escuelitas in the Zapatista communities will be held this coming winter.

This story was made possible by our members. Become one today.

Marta Molina is an independent journalist from Barcelona, Catalunya. She has written about cultural resistance in Brazil and nonviolent resistance in Palestine. Now she is based in Mexico following the steps of the Movement for Peace, Justice and Dignity (MPJD) against the war on drugs, and the movement Yosoy132 for the democratization of media and an authentic democracy in the country. She also reports about movements on defense of the land and struggles for autonomy in the South of México and Guatemala. You can follow Marta on Twitter at @martamoli_RR

http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/the-zapatistas-first-escuelita-for-freedom-begins-today/

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Top 10 Reasons Not to Wear Wool | 2012 The Awakening

I apologize for so much reposting rather than reblogging, but this 2400 baud thing would otherwise prevent me from sharing these great articles I get from the blogs I subscribe to;-/

I am glad to see more awareness of the horrors of factory farming in all its guises, and the idea that cruelty is NOT necessary for human societies to function. Respect for ALL living beings is the root of a just and functional society, imho.

I would add tho that with work it is possible to find cruelty free wool garments from organic small family farms where they raise and love sheep and alpacas, hand card the wool and either make things themselves or sell the wool to other small craft producers. Obviously this cruelty free and fair trade stuff is going to be more expensive, but if you live where it is cold enough to make things like wool clothing important, careful care can make such items last a lifetime so it is worth it.

Alpacas raised here in Florida do not suffer from cold after being shorn at least!;-) (All of the lamas and alpacas I have personally encountered here are kept as pets and the wool is a secondary “bonus” to the love and companionship (and comedy!;-)

Top 10 Reasons Not to Wear Wool

by AscendingStarseed

You probably wouldnt have thought that the woolly jumper youre wearing or those Ugg boots you love so much could be the cause of so much cruelty and suffering.

The truth is, there is a much darker side to the wool industry than you may have ever imagined, and no amount of fluff can hide the abhorrently cruel and bloody practices that millions of sheep have to endure every day.

Here are the top ten reasons why you should boycott wool and opt for a cruelty free alternative instead:

1. Sheep dont need to be shorn. Through no fault of our own, we are mistakenly led to believe that sheep need to be shorn. The reality is much more complicated. Sheep naturally produce only the amount of wool they need to protect themselves from extreme weather conditions. It is due to genetic engineering and the manipulation of the sheeps wool production that we have left these defenseless animals dependent on human interference.

2. Mulesing. Half of the worlds Merino wool comes from Australia, where sheep are specifically bred to have wrinkled skin in order to increase wool production. This wrinkled skin is prone to flystrike due to the accumulation of excess moisture and urine. Flystrike is a painful condition in which flies lay eggs in the folds of the skin and the hatched maggots eat the sheep alive. The wool industrys solution? Cutting off huge pieces of skin from the area around the tail and back of the legs, producing smoother, scarred skin that doesnt harbor fly eggs. This barbaric practice is usually performed without anesthesia and causes a great deal of distress to the animal, and in many cases the bloody, untreated wounds often get flystrike before they have healed.

3. The wool industry is riddled with death and disease. To give you a better idea, ten million lambs die every year before they are more than a few days old in Australia alone. Why? Flocks usually consist of thousands, making it impossible to give proper care and attention to individual sheep. Rather than reduce the number of sheep in an effort to better maintain them, sheep are bred to bear more lambs to offset the deaths.

4. An estimated 1 million sheep die from exposure. Sheep have to be sheared in the spring before they naturally shed their winter coats. Shearing too late means a loss of wool, so subsequently they are sheared while it is still too cold, leaving them vulnerable and at risk of death from exposure due to premature shearing.

5. Sheep shearers are paid by the volume. The majority of sheep shearers are paid by the volume, as opposed to by the hour, encouraging fast work without regard for the welfare of the sheep. This results in rough handling and injury during the process.

6. Lambs have to endure castration, tail docking and dehorning without anesthesia. Using a knife to cut out their testicles or a rubber ring to cut off the blood supply, a knife to cut off the tail, and a scraper blade or dehorning shears to remove the horn bud without any painkillers doesnt sound very humane, does it? All of these procedures are common practice in the wool industry, and cause fear, pain and distress.

7. Sheep are highly intelligent animals. They have incredible memories and can remember up to 50 individual faces (sheep and humans) for years! This is because they use a similar part of the brain and neural process as humans use to remember.

8. Sheep are gentle, loving and feeling individuals who are capable of a range of emotions. Extensive studies have been carried out proving that sheep have much richer emotional lives than we give them credit for.

9. Five million kangaroos are killed every year as a result of the wool industry. Excessive numbers of sheep have eaten the native flora upon which the kangaroo feeds, causing the yellow footed rock wallaby to become an endangered species. These native animals are now viewed as damaging pests and the Australian government permits the slaughter of an estimated 5 million kangaroos each year.

10. Every sheep shorn will eventually be sent to slaughter. When a sheeps wool production declines, they are sold for slaughter. This terrifying and frightening ordeal requires the sheep to travel long distances in extremely cramped and crowded conditions. Many sheep die during the journey from exhaustion, dehydration, stress and injury, and lambs born during the trip are often trampled to death.

Sheep are not the only animals exploited for their wool. Goats, rabbits and alpacas are also commonly used to manufacture angora, cashmere and alpaca wool. You dont have to contribute to this abusive industry. Check labels before you buy and use alternatives such as cotton, cotton flannel, soft acrylic, polyester fleece and synthetic shearling.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/top-10-reasons-not-to-wear-wool.html#ixzz2VTzdKNkg

AscendingStarseed | June 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Tags: australia, boycott wool, News and politics, Sheep, Sheep shearer, Sheep shearing, Wool | Categories: Activism, News and Politics, Wildlife | URL: http://wp.me/p17PKt-67u
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Apply Fourth Geneva Convention, “General Protection of Populations Against Certain Consequences of War,” to Palestinians

http://wh.gov/XPhF

We petition the Obama administration to:
Apply Fourth Geneva Convention, “General Protection of Populations Against Certain Consequences of War,” to Palestinians

President Obama has the power to pressure Israel to stop Israeli bombings and “collective punishment” of 1.7 million residents of Gaza, Palestine. He has endorsed Israel’s military attacks in Gaza. International law mandates that the residents of Gaza be granted safe leave from the war zone in Gaza. The borders of besieged Gaza must be opened and an exit corridor must be established and protected for residents of Gaza.

The US and Israel are co-signatories of the Fourth Geneva Convention with 192 other nations and are legally bound to its guarantees established for populations in war zones.

As Gaza is besieged by Israel for over 6 years, the residents of Gaza are forced to remain in the confines of the Gaza Strip to sustain Israel military strikes, a gross violation of international law
Created: Nov 18, 2012

http://wh.gov/XPhF


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Introduction/Part 1 Drake, Militias, MLK and Ascension

I generally post things I find interesting or useful from friends and other blogs, but I’ve had a conversation recently in a chat group that I feel addresses something the wider community needs to be aware of.

I do not channel, am not even sure I completely understand channeling. Nor am I privy to insiders, spies, collaborators or other fascinating beings of the inner workings of our power and control based world domination systems.

I’m just a scholar confined primarily to a bed with a head full of stuff and time to think about it, and read more stuff; and a spiritual seeker who has spent a lifetime of work to discover and understand “reality”. (Robert Anton Wilson once said that word should ALWAYS be in quotes and I do believe I agree;-)

What I write comes from a combination of my own connection to my “higher self”, to the awen, Universe, Creator and whatever your favorite label is for spiritual and gut instinct understanding and my own extensive schooling, research, reading and and perception.

I have spent many years working on the ideas presented in Robert Anton Wilson’s Prometheus Rising in order to escape the box society builds us into as we grow up. Like fish and water, most never even become aware that they are in a box.

Worldview creates reality so giving someone else the right to create your reality seems a bit lazy doesn’t it? and dangerous really.

What if someone creates your reality, programs you with the reality as per your society that killing people in another country while in the military is helpful and good. It “protects” those you love.

So you do it.

Then you find out, they were innocent and you were killing them to help some corporations make more money, to help some corrupt folks stay in power, or some other equally ridiculous “reason”.

So how would you feel about that? Perhaps you could ask one of the many many soldiers stuck in mental institutions, or the private hell of ptsd at home after honorably serving their countries in imperialist wars of aggression against the innocent.

I’ve known and loved quite a few of them, and from my observations they did not feel really good about it at all. Most felt so bad about it that they are no longer alive.

As you might guess this influenced my opinion.

With weapons, killing is fairly easy to do-as many Americans are quite happy to tell you. My own grandma sent me an email the other day mocking me and others who believe in nonviolence, and attempting to crow in a humorous fashion about how cool people who carry guns out of fear and shoot people in the street are.

As you can likely tell, I don’t agree. Killing is easy indeed, too easy. But it leaves a scar on the soul of the killer. The blood that won’t wash off, from Macbeth; the beating of the tell tale heart, are not just metaphors for criminal guilt.

They are literary devices to show that scar, that energy and spirit weeping wound in the soul, that no amount of cultural conditioning or bravado can hide or heal.

What has that got to with Drake, you are asking? Quite a bit, but I speak and write like an asperger druid, in lengthy spirals, that if you can follow, may lead you a new understanding, not just a new piece of information. Many can’t or have no interest in following, and that is why this blog is primarily reprints;-)

The location of the conversation about Drake’s post is a chat group based on spiritual growth, co-creating “a world that works for everyone”/fixing what is wrong with our planet, and the theory/process of “ascension”.

Obviously since worldview creates reality, many of us live in quite different worlds from each other even tho we appear to live in the same world.

This conversation as I see it, is about what kind of world you want to live in.

Ascension is a process, said to be related to our crossing the Galactic equator per the Mayan prophecies at the end of this year. It is said to be a physical and spiritual process, but beyond that opinions differ pretty wildly.

Before I started reading some blogs several years ago, I had never heard the word ascension except in the bible, and so had no opinion at all. Now I find it, if nothing else, a handy tool for looking at the changes we need to make as a society, as a planet and as individuals in order to improve our world, fix the things that are wildly wrong, and manage to survive as species.

I don’t like to create a new box to replace the one I escaped and cling tightly to its walls for protection. I am usually pretty comfortable accepting uncertainty. I don’t know for sure what will happen, how it will happen or how long it will take.

I don’t need someone to predict, or reassure me. What I believe is that everything is alive, awake and aware. EVERYTHING.

From the muons that last milliseconds at fermilab, to the Universe itself and everything in between. Humans are no smarter, or better or more special than anything else.

What humans are tho, are creatures that think, speak, write and analyze as well as act. Because those things are part of what humans do and are, many of us feel that we can use these things to improve humanity, ourselves, our lives and our planet instead of destroying it, one another and every living thing we get near.

The trick comes in that there appear to be as many opinions of how to do that as there are humans.

And this, finally, brings us to Drake. Drake, if you haven’t heard of him, is a man who has been making announcements about a formerly secret (but now splattered all over the internet) plan to take out the folks otherwise known as the cabal, the illuminati, the new world order or just the bad guys who have been running our planet thru subterfuge, wealth, corruption and general nastiness. (and shape shifting lizards in some worldviews but I’m not going there;-)

In the world view this plan is part of, the world is a real dog eat dog place. Violence is just a necessary part of life. If bad guys are running the place you have to use their methods(tear down the master’s house using the master’s tools ala Audre Lourde) and bring parts of the military, federal marshals and some militias with guns and arrest them.

Before I get into how my worldview differs I would like to point out that even in the worldview where violence is necessary, announcing your military intentions toward people with superior firepower and control of governing structures is generally NOT considered a great battle tactic.

I assume that the endless rambling in public forums and internet radio shows must be some sort of feint or diversion, unless it is plain old disinformation.

I am treating it as genuine and sincere since I am a big fan of NVC(non violent communication).

Now that you know where I am coming from, and what I am writing about you can decide if you want to move on and read part 2. 😉