On a warm Friday night in June 2014, a diverse group of New Yorkers gathered together at the Ya-ya Network to demonstrate their solidarity with indigenous land defense. Peace Poet Luke spit his fierce rhymes; Poets House fellow Lara recited verses that plumb the depths of the activist heart; and Brooklyn soul-pop duo Madam West played a set centered on the themes of home and loss.
The goal: to raise funds for the Caravana Mesoamericana para elBuenvivir de los Pueblos en Resistencia—a long-term project to develop workshops on alternative technologies and independent media, in conjunction with communities defending their land from corporate megaprojects. From pedal-powered machines to collective mapping to community radio, the tools generated aim to support communities in their search for sustainable solutions to local problems; to reinforce autonomy and mutual aid; and to strengthen interconnection between anticapitalist movements.
The project is being realized by Collectives in Action for the Welfare of Mesoamerican Communities in Resistance, a network of autonomous collectives which includes C.A.C.I.T.A. Oaxaca and members of the Ya-Basta Network in Germany such Transgalaxia. The funds generated will go towards the purchase of a vehicle—to be converted to biodiesel and used as a media laboratory and mobile toolshop—which is needed to advance work that is already underway with communities in resistance from Mexico to Panama.
Those in attendance at the event were excited to contribute to a project that is connecting radical social movements across borders.
For the German collectives that form part of Collectives in Action, the Caravan for the Well-being of Mesoamerican Peoples in Resistance is an inspiring project in which we have just begun to participate. The project takes up the concrete problems of the present moment and seeks practical approaches to oppose them collectively. In the future, we are additionally going to try to support the Caravan with donations and publication work. The problems that people have to confront in Central America concern us all!
Germany: tour with talks in solidarity with the Caravan
3rd of September Rostock
At 6 p.m. Interview with Radio Lohro (communal radio) www.lohro.de/programm/sendungen/globall…
At 7:30 p.m. JAZ 19.30 Uhr
Communal meal and conversation about the Caravan www.jaz-rostock.de
The communal meal collective has donated 50 euros to the Caravan
4th of September Rostock
At 8 p.m. Peter Weiss Haus
Communal meal and conversation within the POLDO (Political Thursday)
12th of September Mainz
At 6 p.m. Infocafe Cronopios, Zanggasse 21
Talk about the Caravan
17th September Munich
At 7 p.m. Kafe Marat
Talk about the Caravan, communal meal, and a concert. Organized by OASE and the Oficina Ecuménica por la Paz y la Justicia – Ecumenical Office for Peace and Justice.
20th of September Leipzig
All day Similde-Hausfest
Raffle for the Caravan. Organized by the D.I.Y bike workshop Schwarze Pumpe
1st of October Leipzig
At 8 p.m. Meuter
Talk. Organized by Transgalxia e.V.
7th of October Wuppertal
At 7.30 p.m. Mirker Bahnhof
Talk and guitar concert. Organized by the Informationsbüro Nicaragua.
On Monday, August 11, members of Collectives in Action for the Well-being of Peoples in Resistance presented the Caravan at La Jicara in the city of Oaxaca.
They opened the evening with a brief history of the project. Through their participation in caravans that brought appropriated technologies to communities in resistance in Oaxaca, local collectives realized the need to share these tools throughout Mesoamerica, where indigenous peoples are facing similar struggles against territorial dispossession at the hands of transnational megaprojects. The dream of the caravan was pushed closer to reality when members of C.A.C.I.T.A. Oaxaca and the Transgalaxia Collective in Germany collaborated on a series of workshops in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The interest of autonomous European collectives in the new wave of colonialism ravaging Latin America, along with their commitment to building long-term relationships of solidarity, set the stage for the project’s growth to date.
Costa Rica has the appearance of a rich country that takes great pains to safeguard its natural environment. However, in reality it is the site of many conflicts over natural resources. Many people are defending their territory against monoculture, dam construction, and other threats to community self-determination.
Our contacts in Nicaragua state that their “leftist” government renders their struggles different from those in other parts of Mesoamerica. For this reason, they view the exchange of experiences of resistance through the Caravan as very important. In addition, they are eager to participate in workshops on appropriated technologies.
Our contacts in Honduras state that the Caravan would be particularly important with regard to the diffusion of human rights violations and resistance movements. They say that the situation in Honduras, while very grave, is not at all well-known.