Letter to the IV Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples and Nations of Abya Yala

16.Abr.09    Análisis y Noticias

Letter to the IV Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples and Nations of Abya Yala

Brothers and Sisters, Participants of the IV Summit:

Greetings and best wishes for great sucess in this meeting which will doubtlessly have enormous importance, not only for your communities but also for all of us who inhabit this generous fertile territory.

Support is growing in the cities of Abya Yala for the just struggle for the rights of indigenous people and nationalities for plurinational states and Buen Vivir, for land and autonomy. This support is particularly growing in the outskirts and poor neighborhoods where there is a notable presence of people from original communities and where poverty and misery are growing progressively greater.

Your struggle today is a continental example which not only inspires autonomous organization of urban communities to take matters into their own hands in resolving their daily needs, but also contributes to the democratization of society and states. This is happening despite the reticence of bureaucrats who are entrenched in institutions defending their spaces of power and who are horrified by the emerging possibility of a general democratization of society from below. Some legislative bodies are starting to recognize the existence of and the rights of indigenous peoples on the municipal level as well as on a larger scale, even reaching the highest state structures. This is something that you have achieved based on sustained struggle on all levels, in the street and in the countryside, in the communities themselves and in the press, in social organizations and parliaments. You have had the wisdom to know how to take advantage of openings and learn from experiences, especially to preserve autonomy in order to break with the relations of power.

We have learned from you to recognize and respect our Mother Earth. We had lost our bearings, being carried away with the technology of a selfish and predatory society which was set up by the Europeans to dominate the peaceful inhabitants of our lands. Western states and courts are authoritarian and vertical, instruments of power and subjugation.

You have taught us to open our eyes and defend our natural resources; forests, rivers and mountains. Committees in defense of water or in resistance to the construction of dams, mines, large scale fisheries, and timber companies stand out and are growing.

You have taught us not to trust those who would rule from afar but to trust instead the traditional authorities and assemblies made up of all participants in daily life.

We have learned from you that knowledge does not come from the elites but from communal life, common needs and collective problem solving.

Your struggle teaches us that we are not birds with wings clipped by power. We are beginning to recuperate the freedom of action of our bodies and spirits with a more wholesome view towards the horizon, in a fraternal embrace with our brothers and sisters and immediate neighbors, with whom we are forging communitarian identities, regaining our human roots of being, and being together.

We are ceasing to be pawns for the benefit of those who would destroy our land and attack the original peoples.

In different countries and cities multiple forms of self organization of the population, women and young people are springing up with autonomy from parties, the state and the market.

Cultural centers, self managed productive undertakings, community gardens, traditional healthcare , neighborhood schools, popular libraries, social centers, committees of united consumers, permaculture and autonomous collectives little by little are joining together to exchange products and reflections in a chain of solidarity, cooperation and mutual support.

We ask your pardon for not realizing sooner that we had been enclosed in a bubble and life prison that did not permit us to see that we were accomplices of the states and predatory capital against nature and against you.

We ask pardon for having participated in military forces of all colors, which instead of respecting your autonomy and following your instructions, tried to and still try to have you join in some project of power.

We ask pardon for participating in elections and institutions which for 500 years have legitimized the persecution, confinement and death of many million of you.

Today we understand that it is only with you that we can recuperate our dignity and build together a new society from bottom up, a world which includes many worlds, a new democracy of rural and urban communities, a world of peace and justice, where rules and sanctions are created and applied by the communities themselves, and not from powers tied to business interests.

It would be outstanding, during this time of economic crisis and hopelessness for many, if these self managed initiatives and incipient networks of alternative economy could communicate and exchange directly with nearby original communities, weaving wider networks, bringing city and country closer in communitarian ways. That is to say, to relate to one another community to community, organizing mutually our subsistence through our own efforts, and practice in the cities communal forms of living learned from you and appropriately call Buen Vivir, or Living Well.

It would be an enormous incentive for the poor populations on the outskirts of the cities if the IV Summit included a point in their resolutions with respect to this, perhaps calling on urban, rural and original communities to strengthen autonomous neighborhood organizing experiences in the cities and countryside in order to create direct economic ties with original communities.

Perhaps a portion of produce from the countryside could be exchanged with neighborhood collectives at a lesser cost than the official market, which poisons products and makes them more expensive. Instead of four or five individual components in the production-consumption chain (production, transport, one or more merchants, consumer), this could be reduced to two (communitarian producer, collective consumer, with transportation a combined task).

This could be helpful to the communities, who must depend on unscrupulous and greedy intermediaries, who buy at low prices and raise the price exorbitantly. Fair and fraternal trade in the spirit of solidarity of this sort would help urban poor and even the middle sectors who get poorer every day.

Red de Economia Popular y Ecologia Social, Chile

Red Ecologica de Chile

Semanario El Mauco, Curacavi, Region Metropolitana, Chile
www.semanarioelmauco.cl semanarioelmauko@gmail.com

Colectivo Germina, Curacavi, Chile
colectivogermina.blogspot.com colectivogermina@gmail.com

Colectivo de educacion popular “La Escuela de la Vida”, Santiago, Chile
laescueladelavida@hotmail.es http://edukacionlibertaria.blogspot.com

Casa Cultural y de Permacultura AKI, Santiago, Chile
http://www.republika550.cl centrodeinvestigacionescenika@yahoo.es

Universidad Libre, Chile
http://ulibre.org unlibre@gmail.com

Nueva Escuela No. 1, San Antonio, Chile
http://www.nuevaescuela1.blogspot.com nuevaescuela1@gmail.com

Red informativa Clajadep
http://clajadep.lahaine.org clajadep@hotmail.es

Centro Cultural TallerSol, Santiago Chile

Centro de Ecodesarrollo Aldea Millawapi
http://millawapi.bligoo.com millawapi@gmail.com

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