The main goal of the collective, that is active in Athens-Greece, is the construction and installation of a small hydroelectric unit in a Zapatista community that will satisfy the needs of the local people and a local medical clinic. Part of the activities of the group amongst others, include the technical assessments and raising the needed amount of money for the materials and equipment. At the same time, workshops of small (DIY do it yourself) wind generators take place in social centers in Greece, in order to share the acquired knowledge with the Zapatista communities and other autonomous spaces in the world. Installations of such DIY wind generators have been done in Prapopoulou squat in Athens (that now has been removed) and in FREEons Accelerator squat inside the technical university of Athens.
Who are the Zapatistas?
In the first of January 1994 the native Maya communities in the state of Chiapas in North East Mexico revolted against centuries of oppression, racism and violence caused by the Mexican state. In the following years the Zapatistas resisted the pressure of the local authorities and tried to organize and build their everyday life according to their values. These values stand for the respect of nature and humans, communalism, direct democracy and collective work. After the uprising, their decision to stand on their own feet resisting indifference, racism and repression has led the Zapatistas to organize their own system of production, cultivation and supply of their products, their own health system, their own education system, without expecting the charity of a state that remembered them only in order to buy their dignity. Resisting and self-organizing are their weapons.
The communities and electricity
One of the basic problems that the Zapatistas encounter every day is the absence of electric energy in one of the richest areas in natural resources of Mexico. Electricity for the communities is not a luxury but a means that defines directly their living conditions. This absence does not allow the communities to fulfill basic needs like hospital treatments (fridge for medicines, oven in clinic etc), preserving food and lights in houses, schools and public spaces. The fact that they deny every relationship with the Mexican state makes the supply of electricity very difficult. So a way to cover their needs in electricity is to use small units of renewable sources of energy that give the potential of decentralized production of electricity in an ecological way.
Ecology and Zapatismo
The manner of social organization of the Zapatistas, based on the rejection of power relationships, leads the communities to live in harmony with their natural environment. By creating an everyday life where there is no exploitation from one human to another, comes the desire that they frequently express, to preserve a relationship of respect with nature. They organize their life and satisfy their needs, like the production of goods and cultivation of land focusing on the balance between their needs and the environment. They produce organic coffee and deny the use of pesticides and genetically modified seeds.
Renewable sources of Energy
A way to produce electric energy that can be friendly to the environment, under certain circumstances, is the use of renewable sources of energy. This means, that by using the wind, running water, sunlight we can produce electricity without producing harmful emissions that pollute the atmosphere and destroy local ecosystems, as happens with most methods of energy production (such as thermoelectric factories that burn coal and petrol, big hydroelectric dams and artificial lakes, nuclear factories).
One of the most important characteristics of renewable sources is the potential of decentralized production based on local energy needs and the natural resources of each region. That is a way to achieve self-sufficiency of energy on local level and to abolish dependence from economical and political centers of power.
Goals of the group
– Planning and installing a small hydroelectric unit in a Zapatista village in Chiapas and the gathering of the needed funds. The amount of money needed is raised through events of solidarity like concerts, partying, bazaars, conversations and not from state and capitalist organisations.
– Creation of autonomous groups and cooperation with already existing groups who are active in subjects such as political solidarity to the Zapatistas, ecology and renewable sources of energy.
– Organizing workshops of small wind generators constructed from simple materials (do it yourself, DIY), techno activism (against patents and centers that control knowledge) we seek collaboration with other groups that are already active in these subjects such as the Linux community, group Alternative Interpretation System-ALIS etc.
– Organizing events and conversations which aim to inform about the issues that were described above.
Call for participation
The collective wants to involve as many people as possible in a self-organized process that does not set limits and does not accept leaders. You are invited to participate and enrich this effort. Any type of knowledge and experience is welcome and strengthens our actions. There are also ideas for the function of autonomous groups that can work together for the same goals such as F.A.R.M.A. having continuous contact with each other.