Is Subcomandante Marcos the next Gandhi?

An article from narconews by Al Giordano covering the upcoming tour of Mexico by Marcos compares his motives and actions to Gandhi returning to India back in the early 1900's.

"Like Gandhi in his loin cloth, Marcos and the Zapatistas who in September 2006 will follow him and fan out across the land have already pronounced that they will refuse gifts (even symbolic ones) of any kind during this upcoming marathon tour, they will not open any bank accounts, they will not be riding first-class… their vanguard, or scout, the masked Marcos, will, in a sense, live off the land… that is to say, strictly and only on the support of the simple and humble people who struggle."

The planned tour of the country will run from January 9th (2006) to June 25th, and will hit each of the Mexican states along with Mexico City. It just so happens that July 2nd is the date of the presidential elections. Could this be seen as a campaign tour?

After Marcos returns to Chiapas, unfortunately probably not as the president of the country, a second wave of Zapatistas will leave the southern state to join forces with other like minded people around the country.

"In other words, indigenous Maya – primarily of the Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Tojolabal and Chol ethnic groups – with 22 years of experience as Zapatistas and a heritage of 514 years of experience resisting impositions from above and outside will go to the places and people throughout Mexico that their vanguard, or scout, Marcos recommends. Some of them will be going to live, work and organize for six month tours of duty, implanting themselves in communities, in the homes of real people, near workplaces, factories, farms, organizations and collectives, where thousands upon thousands of other Mexicans will be able to observe and collaborate, up close, with Zapatista organizing techniques and other ways of being."

The next year or so in Mexico should get very interesting. With the leftist, Lopez Obrador in the running for president, and now Marcos and the Zapatistas making a concerted effort to reach out to the rest of the country, changes may very well be afoot.

Good News from South America...

While my time is limited, I don't have much of a comment on this article, but I felt it should be posted. Finally some rational thinking is going on concerning the forgotten war - the War on Drugs. Let's hope that the talk is transformed into action and some real change occurs down in South America. Maybe it could then spread north...

Hunger Strike...

One of the many unfortunate side effects of Hurrican Katrina is that the disaster in the U.S. south has taken attention away from the rest of the bumbling fuck-ups of the current administration in Washington. For instance, a short piece from the Cuban website, Adelante On Line:
Thursday, September 15th, 2005
Hunger Strike Grows at Guantánamo Prison

Washington, Sep 15 (Prensa Latina) Dozens of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, a Cuban territory illegally occupied by the US, have joined a hunger strike, bringing the number refusing food to 128.
Eighteen prisoners have been hospitalized, including 13 who are being tube-fed.
According to their lawyers, in the latest of a series of hunger strikes since 2002 by detainees, as many as 200 prisoners were involved in the protest, demanding release or immediate trial.
Many of the inmates have been held without charge for more than three years. The Guantanamo prison holds about 500 prisoners from nearly 40 countries.
The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which has provided lawyers for many detainees, says some prisoners have threatened to starve to death unless they are put on trial or released.
The CCR has also claimed that at least three detainees were abused by the military's Extreme Reaction Force.

"rebuilding" = lining big corporate pockets

Thanks to an insightful article from Alternet, we can get a feel for what may really be happening in New Orleans. As if there is not enough money to be made on the disaster of the Iraq war, now companies like Halliburton, Fluor, and Bechtel are getting the contracts to rebuild here in our very own disaster down in the Big Easy. We live in ugly times, and it seems like they keep getting worse. I wonder, has the world always been like this?
The corporate elite of America and the West are really making a push to make their version of reality the prevailing one around the world. It looks like New Orleans is headed towards gentrified bliss while the poor will get to move into beautiful new public trailer parks. You gotta love it.

Kill 'em All...

Here are some of the quotes that I referred to in my last post. They are from an Allen Breed AP article posted on Yahoo news.

"Lt. Gen. Steven Blum of the National Guard said 7,000 National Guardsmen arriving in Louisiana on Friday would be dedicated to restoring order in New Orleans. He said half of them had just returned from assignments overseas and are "highly proficient in the use of lethal force." He pledged to "put down" the violence "in a quick and efficient manner.'"

"Gov. Kathleen Blanco called the looters "hoodlums" and issued a warning to lawbreakers: Hundreds of National Guardsmen hardened on the battlefield in Iraq have landed in New Orleans.

"They have M-16s and they're locked and loaded," she said. "These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will.""

Like I mentioned in my previous post, it's nice to see such concern for the poor, sick, and elderly of New Orleans. Treat them like criminals for not succeeding in the corrupt capitalist American Consumer Culture.

New Orleans...

The headlines say it all I think. Anarchy, chaos, lawlessness, despair, explosions, gunfire, desperation, rage, hell, looting, fear, fights, rape, and even SOS have all appeared in top headlines describing the situation in the great City of Jazz. With the U.S. overextended in so many ways by the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been a very slow response time to the crisis. Plus, there is very little to respond with. Troops, money, and other resources are flowing out of the country so fast that there is not enough to help an entire city in need. This whole situation exposes what is so wrong with the current state of affairs in the United States. First of all, when New Orleans was ordered to be evacuated, nearly everyone with any wealth or resources was able to get out of the city. Largely left behind were the people most in need of help: the elderly, the sick, and the poor - the three segments of society that compose the ugly underside of American Culture. With the ability to react stretched thin by our "wars" in the Middle East, these people continue to suffer and die even 5 days after the fact. This inability to react shows just how vulnerable the country is. Another disaster (or attack) of any major consequence would cripple the whole country. Already gas prices have soared to over $3 per gallon in most places, and shortages are being reported throughout the country. Back in New Orleans, the battle tested soldiers home from Iraq are being sent into the city to try and regain control with the threat that they have experience shooting people, and they will probably do so in the city. I guess the governor of Louisiana thinks that if the hurricane couldn't kill the poor, sick, and elderly, the military should get in there and do it. It has taken just one challenge to expose the fact that the country and its resources are being spread dangerously thin, leaving the people exposed to the threat of the quick and very drastic end to their way of life. I would like to congratulate the government in Washington and the corporate elite that control them on a job well done. Assholes.