The Mexican Zapatistas are an inspiration to indigenous revolutionaries the world over, from New Zealand Maori to the natives of Great Turtle Island (North America).
From the Narco news Bulletin
October 23, 2007
TUCSON, Arizona: Mohawk Warriors joined in solidarity with Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatistas at the Gathering of Indigenous Peoples of América. They quickly learned that one factor is the same for indigenous peoples all over the world: corporations intent on seizing the land, minerals and water have no regard for their lives or rights.
Rarahkwisere, Mohawk Warrior, said the Zapatistas’ encuentro, or gathering, made it clear to him that the same thing is happening to indigenous peoples all over Turtle Island.
“All of our stories were the same, how we are being mistreated to this day,” said Rarahkwisere, among the Mohawks from the United States and Canada attending the encuentro. Mohawks and other members of the Iroquois Confederacy (Six Nations) were among the 570 delegates from 67 Indigenous Peoples, coming from 12 american nations at the encuentro hosted by Yaquis in Vicam Pueblo, Sonora, Mexico, Oct. 11–14, 2007.
“It is all about the natural resources and the big money people,” Rarahkwisere said. In northern Quebec, the invaders go hunting for diamonds and pollute the water. What follows is sickness and displacement, as Indian people have to leave their homelands and search for places to live.
Remembering the encuentro, he said, “There is a revolution, at least on Turtle Island!”
Rarahkwisere said he had no problem crossing the border to attend the encuentro using his Haudenosaunee passport. However, his trip to Mexico revealed the dangers for Indians in the south, including the heavily-armed soldiers at military checkpoints. He said it was scary at first, until he realized that many of these young soldiers’ also had Indian ancestry, and supported Indian efforts.
Rarahkwisere said the attacks on Indian people are formulated in the urban minds with corporations; together urban minds and corporations want to exploit the peoples’ land and resources. In Mexico, and elsewhere in the South, he realized how often Indian people face death for the risk of speaking out.
“You will get killed. The corporations hire paramilitary groups.”
Reflecting on the struggles for indigenous peoples, he said, “It’s hard being Indian, but we are not going to ever, ever give up. We are just getting started.”
Rarahkwiswere said that indigenous peoples in South America face far greater dangers than the people in the North. He said a Colombian attorney told how two groups were called to play football. Instead of a football, the chief’s head was presented. The people were told if they did not play the game, the same thing would happen to them.
Rarahkwiswere, who spoke on the Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace and Wampum Belts, said it was good to meet with Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatistas.
“I want to thank them for hooking up with us. We all have to get together to fight colonialism. I hope to meet them again soon.”
When the Europeans came to Turtle Island, they emptied the prisons and insane asylums in Europe to populate this country. “That is why there are serial killers, it is genetic, hereditary.”
“A lot of people from Europe didn’t really want to come here. They needed people, so they got all of this riff-raff and sent them here. They just brought them here and turned them loose. In the west, the women were either domestics or prostitutes.”
They emptied the orphanages and brought one million children to work the farms in this country.
“They couldn’t force the natives to be slaves. A native had rather die than be a slave to the white man. Native people were not used to being treated like that. Native people would starve themselves to death or run away.” The people of Africa were kidnapped, sold, enslaved and sent to this country. Their own people helped sell them into slavery, he said.
One hundred million indigenous people were killed by Columbus and the Spaniards in what is now North and South America.
“When the treaties were written, they knew they were not going to honor them. If they are not going to keep the treaties and honor them, then they should get rid of them.”
Nowhere has there been more atrocities than in the north and south of Turtle Island, known as the Americas. Still, the truth is not taught in schools.
“If you don’t know your history, then you don’t have a future,” he said.
Europeans came here for exploitation and that is what continues today. “It is all for exploitation. They even exploit their own people. My dad always said, ‘There’s going to be a worldwide revolution one of these days.’”
“The revolution is coming. It begins with this awakening.”