bypasses

David Graeber: Major Direct Actions (1994-2003)

The following timeline appears in David Graeber – Direct Action: An Ethnography, AK Press (2009).

January 1, 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement goes into effect. Uprising by the EZLN (or Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, or Zapatistas) in Chiapas begins with a surprise military offensive that leads, briefly, to the seizure of Chiapas’ capital, San Christobal de las Casas.  The Zapatistas, however, quickly transform from an offensive force to a defensive one, creating a series of self-governing autonomous communities, seeking international allies, and promulgating a politics of direct action, democratic experimentation, and a new approach to revolution that converges with the anarchist tradition in its refusal of traditional attempts to transform through the seizure of state power.

August, 1997 Second Zapatista “International Encuentro For Humanity and Against Neoliberalism” in Spain ends with a call to create an international network, that ultimately comes to be known (in English) as Peoples’ Global Action. Aside from the Zapatistas themselves, the core of PGA, at first, consists of the Brazilian Landless Farmers’ Movement (MST), the Indian Karnataka State Farmers’ Association (KRRS, a mass-based Gandhian direct action movement), anarchist or anarchist-inspired groups including Ya Basta! in Italy and Reclaim the Streets in the UK, and various indigenous and agrarian movements and radical labor unions.
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