Cafe Para La Vida Digna

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Cafe Para La Vida Digna

 

The Brigada

A Brigada is a volunteer work group of at least 5 people who are committed to operating the coffee project in their area and educating themselves about the Zapatista Struggle as defined in the 6th Declaration as well as others.

The must also commit themselves in this project to The 7 Tasks and the 4 Questions. ANYONE who adheres to these ideas may form a Brigada. There can be more than one Brigada in any one area, and though they may collaborate, each is responsible for its own work.

 

Particpating in Cafe Para La Vida Digna - A Meaningful Experience

In doing this work we understand that many people will want to participate and support this project at different interest levels, ability, and time availability. Given this we offer three levels of participation that has been defined by this project.

THE THREE LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION

COLLABORATOR/CLIENT - These are individual people and/or businesses, cooperatives, coffee collectives that purchase and/or sale coffee while being fully aware of its political/economic goals and objectives.

BRIGADISTAS - These are individuals who volunteer their time and energy to operating this project in their area of the country, taking on the tasks associated with the promotion, distribution, education, and general operation of this coffee project.

RESPONSABLE - This individual is a Brigadista that has the additional responsibility of directing the work of other members of the Brigada, organizing communication between members and collaborators/clients, and answering for the work of the Brigada to the Principal Speaker of the project. However this is not the person on top, but rather a person that has responsibility.

Through these levels of participation it is our intention to enter the coffee market in the United States using our collective politics to outreach to individual consumers and social networks of conscience consumers who have an emerging political awareness about the situation facing small communities like Municipio Ricardo Flores Magon. Through a vigorous campaign of education together with a high-grade, quality coffee grown by autonomous producers, we will set up accounts of demand-sized portions of coffee throughout the areas where Brigadas have chosen to work. We will strive to use grass-roots organizing skills to build a solid base of people committed to sustaining this market, and therefore, communities in struggle.

The Four Questions

These questions must be asked to each Brigada in order to better understand why we are doing this work, what we are going to do, and how we are going to do this. Below are answers of the Brigada that is responsible for organizing the project.

THE FOUR QUESTIONS

WHO ARE WE?
We are people from many walks of life who have come together to support the Zapatista struggle through our volunteer, collective effort. We are teachers, students, women, men, artists, and many others that the system sees as “other” because we oppose exploitation. We are people who are conscience of the growing gap between the Neo-liberals who hold power to make themselves rich, and those good people whose honest labor has the greater power to serve everyone.  We are people who have a duty to serve the smaller worlds the Global system marginalizes in order to protect their own selfish interests.

WHAT ARE WE STRUGGLING AGAINST?
We are struggling in partnership with the people of Municipio Ricardo Flores Magon against a global economy that excludes anybody who will not play by the rules of Neo-liberal exchange. These rules rob good people of the value of their labor and the products their hands can create. These rules are enforced by bad governments with bad policies, who do not work to satisfy the needs of their people but to satisfy the appetite of global corporations who are accountable to no one. We struggle against those who think that the needs of a few investors are more important than the needs of everyone else in the world.

WHAT DO WE WANT?
We want to share in the creation of an autonomous economy that does not ask permission of global corporations or corrupt governments to work towards dignified treatment and compensation for those who complete honest labor. We want the Indigenous communities in rebellion against Neo-liberalism to realize their goal of creating accountable exchange with good people everywhere. We want this exchange to be a model of Zapatista principles in resistance to the current political, social, economic reality of the world.  Beginning with this coffee, we want to be a bridge to accountable relationships of exchange between free people everywhere.  In sum, as the Zapatistas have said themselves, we want a world where many other worlds also fit.

 HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET IT?
We will form volunteer brigades that will open doors everywhere for creating a market of autonomous economic projects, in this case coffee, that support communities in resistance like Municipio Ricardo Flores Magon who are struggling to create dignified education and healthcare for their children. We will uphold the 7 tasks as guides to struggle. We will structure relationships of exchange that are collective, accountable, and dignified – a model for partnerships of economic and political exchange between communities in resistance everywhere. We will do this without compensation, without personal profit, returning every unused dime back to the people whose labor created it.

We will form a network of volunteers and collaborators whose actions will speak together to the powerful to say “TODO PARA TODOS-NADA PARA NOSOTROS” - “Everything for everyone-Nothing for ourselves.”

The 7 Tasks

THE SEVEN TASKS

When doing this work we have learned that we must have some principles to which we will base our work. These 7 Tasks put forth a healthy foundation for persons and groups to use as a guide to understanding expectations and accountability within this work, between people, and among all the relationships around this work.. We believe that if everyone follows these tasks we will see quality work that endures our obstacles in life.

Mandar-Obediciendo - Lead by Obeying

  • Leadership requires listening to everyone and proposing ideas that respond to all no matter who they are
  • Leadership requires having the discipline to      follow the direction of the group
  • Leadership is struggling in the best spirit to carry out decisions of the group
  • Leadership is NOT power: it’s responsibility

Servir y no Servirse - Serve and don’t serve yourself

  • Serious people must strive to serve others and not themselves through this work
  • A person must separate their personal wants and needs from those of the people they are struggling to serve
  • Give totally and completely for others

Convencer y no Vencer - Convince and do not Conquer

  • No one can truly accept ideas under pressure
  • No one can be made to believe by force or just because they are told to believe
  •  Dialogue and Reflection, although may take a long time, is the process for convincing
  • If not D and R, then you are expecting people to believe without being a critical thinker
  • Everyone must decide for themselves

Construir y no Destruir - Build and do not Destroy

  • In the process of struggle, no one should operate by simply destroying the work and proposals of others
  • Instead, one should build new proposals and propose alternate ideas
  • One must struggle to build unity, not break it
  • One must offer more than critiques; one must offer solutions

Representar y no Suplantar - Represent and don’t replace ideas with your own

  • When given the PALABRA one is taking on a serious responsibility
  • Having PALABRA is to speak, work and report on behalf of others
  • One must represent the ideas asked to uphold and pass on to others without substituting ones own ideas in any way
  • Everyone must be held accountable for their words and how they represent the word given to them by the group

Bajar y no Subir - Go Down and don’t go Up

  • When dealing with issues, go to the root of the problem  -  go beyond just looking at what’s happening here and now
  • Find out from those who are directly affected by an issue what they want before making plans or placing demands on those who are “above”
  • Do not look for a solution from “above” when those who are “below” can solve it themselves                                                                       

Todo para Todos; nada para nosotros - Everything for everyone; nothing for ourselves.

  • All of your struggle must be for the benefit of others and you must never expect anything back
  • The struggle isn’t about you as in individual, so do not expect individual rewards.
  • The only sure reward you’ll get for good work is more work

 

Autonomo Comercio - DRAFT

7 Principles of AUTONOMO COMERCIO – a path for a new model of exchange

  1. Promote autonomous structures with collective accountability as the best legitimate mediators of dignified exchange between producers and consumersbecause they are based on dialogue about needs rather than the accumulation of capital.
  2. Develop and implement rules of exchange that immediately account for the unique needs of indigenous people, their customs, traditions, methods of self – sustainability, etc. because of their perilous situation in the world economy.
  3. Develop relationships of exchange that provide partners on both ends of all exchange the human right to maintain appropriate and dignified  shelter, clothing, nutritious food, education, healthcare, as well as access to clean water and air, as these elements more than any others are fundamental necessities of human survival.
  4. Develop relationships of mutual accountability and mutual responsibility between all partners in exchange at every level, as well as structures that value dialogue and collective decision-making by all partners in the process to ensure that everyone’s needs are met by consensus without dishonest or negligent treatment.
  5. Oppose the rules of exchange that inhibits dignified treatment and compensation to collective producers and laborers everywhere because they have a fundamental power to meet human needs.
  6. Oppose all individuals, organizations, structures, and institutions that endeavor to accumulate capital at the expense of the well being of individual people, collectives, or autonomous entities because this unnecessarily inhibits not only their ability to exchange but their ability to survive ,which are one and the same.
  7. Oppose all individuals, organizations, structures, and institutions that endeavor to accumulate capital at the expense of the well being of the earth’s biosphere or non-renewable resources because the survivability of all humans is fundamentally tied to the health of the planet.

Because all human beings have the right to live with basic dignity, just exchange is a fundamental human right.

No legitimate exchange exists in the world that does not have as its basis an agreement based on collective, accountable representation to meet all the needs of both consumer and producer equally, committed perpetually to  the preservation of all human rights and the preservation of the Earth’s enduring biosphere.

Human beings, therefore, have the right to oppose and replace any exchange that does not live up to these standards.

In order to do this work effectivly we must realize and acknowlege that there are many reasons why we have not been able to sustaing our work over time and between groups. The 7 tasks set a foundation for all those working together to make an agreement on what is expected from everyone.

Zapatista 101 (under contruction)

A Couple YouTube Videos

1994 *-60 Minutes- SUBCOMANDANTE MARCOS* part#1of2

1994 *-60 Minutes- SUBCOMANDANTE MARCOS* part#2of2

Interview with Marco

- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3

Subcomandante Marcos on Neoliberalism and the Media

Speaking about the fight and rights of Indigenous People:

Marcos Speech, 10/21/2006 Part 1 of 2 , Part 2 of 2

Declarations of the Lacondon Rainforest

Premera Declaración de la Selva Lacandona
First Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle

Segunda Declaración de la Selva Lacandona
Second Declaration from the Lacandona Jungle

Tercera Declaración de la Selva Lacandona
The Third Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle

Cuarta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona
Fourth Declaration of Lacondon Jungle

V Declaración de la Selva Lacandona

**** 6th Declaracion *** CURRENT DECLARATION - Read this to understand current work - in 3 parts


Consulta approves 6th declaration
SEXTA Declaración de la Selva Lacandona I
SEXTA Declaración de la Selva Lacandona II
SEXTA Declaración de la Selva Lacandona III
Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona, part 1
Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona, part 2
Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona, Part 3

Declarations of La Realidad

Primera Declaración de La Realidad
First Declaration of La Realidad for Humanity and against Neoliberalism
Segunda Declaración de La Realidad
2nd Declaration of La Realidad

Contact Us

National Coordinator and Minnesota Responsable is Jerry Lopez and he can be reaced at 612-388-0552. memberships@cafeparalavidadigna.com

Southern California Responsable is Chris Silvas and he can be reached at 626-862-7276.

Arizona Responsable contacts are Balti Garcia at 520-604-0995 & Rebekha Lizalde at 323-304-8707.

Cafe Para La Vida Digna is a recognized cooperative and project of the Autonomous Municipality in Rebellions, Ricardo Flores Magon.

How You Can Support or Get Involved

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Brigadas hold education trainings and facilitate community processes to discuss local struggles and how they connect to global stuggles like the Zapatistas. They also sell coffee and promote the Zapatista movmement.

 

Buy Your Zapatisa Coffee Today

Thank you for your time and support!

Cafe Para La Vida Digna | Post Office Box 7326 | Minneapolis, MN 55407 | 612-388-0552 | memberships@cafeparalavidadigna.com | ©2005-2010 Cafe Para La Vida Digna