Aboriginal communities and strategy of liberation

24.Jun.03    Análisis y Noticias

In our continent, Abya Yala or Pacha Mama, inhabit millions of members of aboriginal peoples, some dispersed, others grouped and others in frank process of re-encounter with their roots.

It is already well-known that this important sector is mobilized for the rescue and the defence of the territory, as well as of the forests, mountains and waters, along with the process of reconstruction of their identity as communities and nations with their own cultural, economic and social forms.

The capitalist voracity penetrates in their territories even more so, stripping the forests and poisoning the waters. Mining , forestry, oil and hydroelectric companies have unfolded this last period a very accentuated penetration that has alarmed not only the communities that take care of and survive of that habitat, but also of international organisms.

Several facts recently show that the resistance has not remained behind, as the march by the life of yesterday in Central America, or the resolutions of the encounter of the communities that live supposedly in protected areas of Bolivia passed three days ago, the denunciations of the communities in Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and others. The combative declarations of communities in Colombia and Ecuador that access to oil companies will not be allowed. Declarations and actions of active defence of communities in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and other places. In Chile yesterday, Mapuche people occupied an official building and in Ecuador the Conaie gave a document to Gutiérrez of necessary rectifications. In Panama the process of self-organising of the Kuna people is strengthened and in Cusco young aboriginals are just closing a combative encounter. In Guatemala a community expelled from their town a candidate of the right and in Argentina another community was successful in the recovery of their ancestral territory. Also in Guatemala it is important to see the advance in the process of community self-organising in the region of Petén.

Observing these as a whole one can see the antagonism between capital and the communities, between the companies that penetrate destroying the territory and the rights of the aboriginal peoples. The oppression, exploitation, depredation and death on the one hand, and the resistance and life on the other.

The governments do nothing about these, on the very contrary, they side with the companies and take measures against the communities, where governments are seen as repressive instruments of capital, which for them makes no difference if it comes from outside or from inside of the conventional borders of the states, because national companies as much as those of international capital do the same or often are united in the depredation, demonstrating therefore the structural links of the badly called “national bourgeoisie” with the international market on which they depend.

In Chile the government of Lagos has triggered a ferocious persecution against Mapuche, be them from the communities or university students. In Brazil it was discovered that the PT (Worker’s Party) incorporated new militants of important chapters from right wing parties with the promise that the PT would not fulfill community territorial rights. Already there have been 4 community leaders assassinated this year alone and the government turns a blind eye. In Ecuador the Gutiérrez government is willing to enter aboriginal territories to break local justice and to impose the law of the state. In Colombia it is already a daily reality that the military enter the communities firing and spilling blood, and in Mexico the surrounding and militarizing in Chiapas as well as in other regions of the country as Oaxaca continues. In all the countries is the same. Governments and industrialists against communities.

New initiatives arise all over to raise awareness of the struggle and needs of the aboriginal communities, as is the new web that has just been launched by the list Tawantinsuyu-rights or as is the initiative of a zapatista support group in Europe to organize an international campaign. It is important to support and to expand on these and other types of initiatives.

Naomi Klein wrote a very interesting text about the Argentine labour movement where it affirms that the role of intellectuals must no longer be the creation of theory, but to defend what is being built, that theory is coming out of this organizing, giving as examples the struggles of the workers of Zanón and Brukman, as well as of the MTDs. It is worth reading that text, that is published in the page of Clajadep, because if that were really applied on the part of theoreticians and intellectuals, even the collective intellectuals, we would have to arrive at the recognition of diversity of forms of identity, struggle and organizing, and even of different theories and forms of thought, among others the aboriginal cosmovision, obviously. She says that it is not theory what moves those who struggle, but need, which seems to coincide totally with the relation established by Marx between need and freedom, as well as with the relation with the development of the identity of aboriginal peoples, or the afro-descendents, or the farming communities, or the urban poor.

That diversity is the multicolour rainbow of our continent, a fabric or a painting of many types of organizations and thoughts, that if we see this by making abstraction of the borders, it shows itself under different forms, communities crossing beyond borders or even different peoples within the limits established by those in power. As had always been said that workers do not have a mother country, in the continent we can say with absolute property that we do not have borders, because if we accepted the logic of Naomi of stop theorizing, but to follow the developments of those in struggle, we will have to do away with the limitations of the instrumental rationality, that is, of the dominance of the state as the organizing form for our understanding and our analyses (and of our actions and struggles, of course). Borders are not more than the continuation of private property of the means of production, the boundaries for control of territories: from here to there is yours, from there to here is mine, and bullets fly and wars break out for control over the use of the land and the use of the population to articulate them by way of the state (as “citizens“) based on the needs of profit and the market.

We can see this from a mental exercise, or in an atlas we can see the green, mountainous and fluvial shapes of the continent without borders, that same way we need to see the population, as a social reality and not only within the limits of the established policy and administration continued by those who have dominate us, be them from any background. The population, the communities, the peoples, the cities, constitute a weave that leaving the borders behind could seem as the image of the circulatory system where life flows or should flow freely from city to city, territory to territory, without more limitations than the rivers and mountains. Rivers without poison, mountains without cyanide.

That is why, emancipation is not only necessary, but also beautiful.

That is why the struggle, that is why the resistance, that is why the self-defence, that is why the barricades, that is why the highway blockades, that is why the guerrillas, that is why the shouts, that is why the weeping, that is why the outburst of laughter.

Ja, ja, ja, ja, ja…

Let us laugh, shout, sing, cry and struggle for our land, our people, us, for emancipation and beauty.

Professor J