Pictures provided by Colectivo Zapatista. Reflections are by organizers of the 2012 Enero Zapatista.
What is the connection between Hip Hop and White Supremacy? Or between Congo and Ciudad Juarez? Computer music and Palestine? It was amazing to see how much and how many different struggles can connect to each other across time and space. And to see how many people connected to each other in all events. Enero Zapatista 2012 opened with the Red Warriors drummers and their impressive chants: the depth of their voices prepared us for a month of deep reflection and debate. Enero 2012 closed with Mujeres en Resistencia and their powerful choreography: the clanking of their knives resonated with the sharpness of Zapatista radical politics, throwing us straight into the future.
My favorite part of Enero Zapatista was seeing our compas Olmeca and Cihuatl-Ce perform at the Centro during the Closing Celebration. Although it has been a few years since the last time they performed together at Enero Zapatista, they conveyed a message that the struggle never stopped and that we have to continue adapting so that a new world can be built in the shell of the old, as the Wobblies would say. Olmeca commented that he is always energized by Enero Zapatista, because there are not many events in LA that are cultural celebrations of organizing from below and to the left. It made me proud that, in a city that sometimes feels like a little sister to the metropolis up north, we are able to come together every year, strengthen our connections and carry out events that have a true impact.
Sabado 28 de Enero del 2012, una tarde en la cual familias puedieran estar tomando su fin de semana descansando, y cenando junt@s, muchas personas acudieron al Centro Cultural de la Raza en el parke Balboa de San Diego para participar en algo que no sale de lo usual del año nuevo; una celebracion. Una celebracion con un mensaje diferente; el mensaje de los Zapatistas. Durante todo el mes varias organizaciones y personas individuales se juntaron para organizar eventos en homenaje al levantamiento Zapatista del 1ro de Enero de 1994, y el cierre de Enero Zapatista fue la culminacion. El ambiente era calido, la musica energetica, y los tacos bien chingones. La musica rebotaba de las paredes y penetraba los oidos de l@s estudiantes, padres, hij@s, herman@s, prim@s, sobrin@s, y asta un@ que otro abuelit@ y bebit@. Desde las 6 asta las 11, el centro estaba retacado asta las orillas de gente, todas las personas acudieron a este evento que fue organizado por y para la comunidad, no por y para la satisfacion de solo una(s) (cuantas) persona(s). El proposito era simple, toma tu propio destino, organizate y a tu comunidad, no dependas de l@s politicos que hacen campañas y prometen cosas que nunca cumple solo para ser elejid@s, toma tu futuro en tus manos y crea tu propio destino, y no olvides a tu comunidad.
The room was warm and full of life. Saturday of January 28, 2012, an evening during which families could be eating at home, watching tv, or resting at home decided to spend their night doing something typical of the new year, celebrating. Celebrating a different message; the message of the Zapatistas. This closing event for Enero Zapatista was a culmination of a monthlong series of events organized by different organizations and individuals to commemorate the uprising of the EZLN in January 1, 1994. This celebration at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park was full from 6pm to 11pm, the time the event ended. Through the night, performers and speakers shared a message of cultural identity, and resistance to discrimination, and to take your future into your own hands, to make your own decisions regardless of what politicians who run platforms in order to get votes promise you, to later “forget”. Never forget where you came from.
This was my first time organizing and taking part of an event. Thanks who made this experience the best. It was heart warming to see all of our companier@s as well as new people. Especially the last event where it was jam pack of our brothers and sisters of different nationality. VIVA LOS COMPANIIER@S EN LUCHA!