Friday March 9
Rachaelʼs Café (300 East 3rd St.)
Luz will speak about her 20 years of experience constructing autonomy, organizing outside the electoral system, and resisting free trade. She established CNUC (the National Urban and Peasant Council) in the late 1980s to coordinate resistance to the impending North American Free Trade Agreement, and today the organization includes thousands of peasant families across the Mexican state of Tlaxcala. As CNUC's lead organizer, Luz has worked tirelessly to demand government accountability, defend family farms, and build inspiring, community-based health, education, and infrastructure projects. Luz is an amazingly inspiring speaker with a wealth of experience and her talk will have important lessons for anyone interested in women's, peasant, and labor movements.
Here's a video of a talk by Luz given this past November.
The presentation will be in Spanish and English, with introductory remarks and translation provided by my co-organizer Tony Nelson. More information on the talk is included below.
The Mexico-US Solidarity Network presents
"Sowing Struggle: Urban and rural social movements in Tlaxcala, Mexico"
featuring Luz Rivera Martinez of the Consejo National Urbano Campesino (CNUC)
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Luz Rivera Martinez will speak about her 20 years of experience constructing autonomy, organizing outside the electoral system, and resisting free trade. Luz is an inspiring speaker and her talk will have important lessons for anyone interested in women's, peasant, and labor movements.
During the Mexican Revolution support for Emiliano Zapata was strong in Tlaxcala, and under the slogan of "the land belongs to those who work it" many peasants occupied the plantations their families had labored on as serfs for generations.
Today, the Revolution lives on through the work of the Consejo Nacional Urbano Campesino (CNUC). Luz established CNUC in the 1980s to coordinate resistance to the impending North American Free Trade Agreement, especially regarding its dismemberment of Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution, which enshrined peasants' right to communally own the ejido lands redistributed during the Revolution.
As CNUC's lead organizer, Luz has worked tirelessly to demand government accountability, defend family farms, and build inspiring, community-based autonomous projects. CNUC has a long history of disposing of corrupt leaders, democratizing the budget, coordinating community-driven infrastructure projects, including peoples' history in education, and expanding access to healthcare.
Luz and CNUC also work closely with the Apizaco merchants union, a bus-drivers' cooperative, and the National Assembly of Braceros. CNUC is also a member of the Zapatistas' Other Campaign, an international network of organizations struggling against neoliberalism and for autonomy from the grassroots.
*The Mexico Solidarity Network is an organization located in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood dedicated to popular education and autonomous community organizing. In addition to our community work and speaking tours bringing Mexican social movement actors to the US, MSN also administers a unique, social justice-oriented study abroad program that allows students to learn about grassroots movements in Mexico by living with the families that comprise them. This 13-week, 16-credit program is accredited by the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana and our school of record in the US is Hampshire College. For more information, visit www.mexicosolidarity.org/studyabroad