Blog

posted June 4 2014 by stuart

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The Escuelita Zapatista is a bold and inspiring project: under the guidance of thousands of indigenous women and men who have become spokespeople for Zapatismo, it invites allies from all over the world (around 7,500 so far) to come to Chiapas to live with and learn from these spokepeople and indigenous families, and create the largest, most impactful school the world has ever seen for teaching autonomy.

This school of "Freedom according to the Zapatistas" uses a set of textbooks on autonomy. They're compiled from interviews with Zapatistas who have participated in autonomous education, health, production, and self-government, and they're an amazing primary source on one of the world's most inspiring projects in autonomy. Download them here.

posted April 8 2014 by stuart

Don't just study abroad, study in solidarity!

The Mexico Solidarity Network created this unique study abroad program in 2005 to introduce students to dynamic new experiments in autonomous, community-based organizing and to build solidarity with Mexico’s most important and dynamic social movements. The Chicago re-entry program was created in 2011 as an innovative tool that introduces students to social movements closer to home. The lessons you learn from organized communities in Mexico and Chicago will strengthen your social justice work back home. This program offers a truly unique opportunity to learn the theory and practice of living social movements directly from the people building those movements. You will develop lifelong, cross-cultural alliances, new analytical tools, and dynamic organizing skills that will change your life in important ways.

Apply today!

posted March 19 2014 by tony

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Most community organizers and popular educators learn their "trade" on the job, which generally leaves little time for developing coherent political analysis, comprehensive strategies, adequate cross-cultural communication, effective tactics and much more. Political formation is the single most important key to effective community work and education, and it doesn't happen spontaneously.


Learn the theory and practice of popular education and community organizing from teachers and mentors who have spent a lifetime at it. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee master's degree in community organizing - part of the Cultural Foundation of Education program - is a unique collaborative partnership with the Autonomous University of Social Movements (AUSM).

Click here to see AUSM graduate Roberto de la Riva explain the master's program.

posted February 21 2014 by stuart

*New job opening* (updated Feb 2014) for full-time community housing organizer. Women, people of color, LGBT persons, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Come join a hardworking team that is dedicated to fighting for justice by building community power, long-term autonomous political projects, and international solidarity.

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The Mexico Solidarity Network has one (1) job opening, for a community housing organizer. The successful candidate will demonstrate the following:

• extensive experience in community-based organizing, particularly in immigrant communities
• Spanish and English fluency
• flexibility, creativity and accountability working within a collective that currently consists of six full-time staff based in Chicago and Mexico
• a strong work ethic founded in a political orientation that is anti-capitalist

posted November 21 2013 by stuart

255 ¡Lea nuestro nuevo periódico: edición 23 (11/2013)!
1. El horario y los eventos del Centro Autónomo
2. La High School del Centro,
      por Omar Rivera Sánchez
3. Unas preguntas sobre la educación popular,
      por J. Valencia
4. La reforma de salud: Obamacare,
      por Carlas Martínez
5. Proyectos de salud en el Centro, por Yuri Carmona
6. Una convivencia y experiencia agradable en compañerismo,
       por Gabriela Ordoñez y Francisco Canuto
7. Arte para los niños, por Roberto Torres
8. La Historia de MSN: Red de Solidaridad Mexicana,
      por Yolanda M. Pereira e Isabel Valenzuela
9. Clases de inglés - en crisis, por Enrique Flores
10. El movimiento de vivienda, por Laura Sánchez Flores
11. La Cooperativa de Limpieza: Cleaning Power, por Víctor Velásquez Romero
12. Que pasa y que viene, por Tara García Mathewson
13. Clases de Zumba, por Cecilia Maya
14. Perspectiva de un estudiante, por Mauselio Estrada
15. Estudiando la Mestría, por Fernanda Mandujano

posted October 22 2013 by stuart

249 Casas del Pueblo Community Land Trust is excited to announce the release of a ground-breaking new report: The Housing Crisis and the Working Poor- Problems and Solutions from the Community Level

The paper is about the housing crisis, both the endemic crisis that makes decent affordable housing an unrealizable dream for one-third of all American households, and the housing bubble that burst in 2006 forcing millions of working poor homeowners into foreclosure.  It is written from the perspective of the working poor, a perspective that is sorely lacking in the national debate around housing.  We draw the following important conclusions:

• The working poor, especially people of color, suffered the greatest losses from the current housing crisis, while real estate speculators are the only winners.

• The foreclosure/eviction process sentences working poor families to lives of poverty and has negative impacts on entire neighborhoods.

• In one-third to one-half of foreclosure cases in low income neighborhoods, banks lose more by proceeding with foreclosure than by simply donating the properties to community groups.

posted June 16 2013 by tony

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¡Lea nuestro nuevo periódico: edición 22 (6/2013)!
1. El horario y los eventos del Centro Autónomo
2. Gira de autobuses:Justicia para la vivienda!
3. Qué pasa y qué viene
4. Despedida al compañero Roberto de la Riva

Gira de autobuses
El Sábado, 8 de junio entre las 9am -10pm, las organizaciones del Centro Autónomo, Comunidades Unidas Contra el Desalojo y Campana Anti-Eviction se organizaron una gira de autobuses por todo Chicago para ver y vivir la crisis de vivienda. El movimiento de vivienda del Centro Autónomo salió con fuerza con más de 50 personas afectadas por la crisis de vivienda.  Aunque muchos creen que los mercados de vivienda están estabilizándose en todo el país, muchos trabajadores siguen perdiendo sus casas y la prensa no está hablando sobre ellos. Ahora hay muchas casa vacías que estaban en condición adaptada para vivir antes de que Fannie Mae y Freddie Mac (bancos del estado) hizo miles de embargos “foreclosures,” dejando una invitación a personas a robar cobre y unidades de calefacción.

posted March 8 2013 by tony

¡Lea nuestro nuevo periódico: edición 20 (marzo 2013)!234
1. El horario y los eventos del Centro Autónomo
2. La Prepa Autónoma por Víctor Carmona
3. Qué pasa y qué viene

La Prepa Autónoma por Víctor Carmona

Mi nombre es Víctor Carmona hoy quisiera hablarles un poco de lo que es la escuela alternativa del Centro Autónomo. Yo, al igual que muchas personas,quise terminar mi preparatoria, y aquí en el Centro Autónomo tuve la oportunidad de hacerlo. Es una escuela donde no solo vienes a aprender sino también a enseñar,compartiendo tus anécdotas con los demás. Yo soy parte de la primera generación y quiero mencionar que en mi grupo hubo de todo, ya que aprendíamos a veces jugando, riendo, llorando, divirtiéndonos pero aprendiendo que esa era la finalidad. En este curso de un año entendí y aprendí más de lo que me hubiera imaginado, ya que no solo lo teórico es lo que se aprende sino también lo práctico y más cuando en verdad quieres aprender, es decir, todos sabemos que el fuego quema, por lo tanto no metemos las manos al fuego. Pues bien, aquí también decimos que el fuego quema pero no para que no metas las manos, sino para que estés preparado y listo para meterlas. Ya que no es lo mismo lo práctico y lo teórico y por lo tanto no tienes el mismo resultado ni pensamiento. Es decir,ves las cosas de diferente manera cuando tienes lo teórico y lo práctico (praxis).Así como en muchas otras escuelas puedes ir a aprender, aquí vienes a mejorar más que solo el aprendizaje, vienes a luchar a conocer, vienes a darte cuenta que la vida no es tan difícil como la has visto hasta el día de hoy ya que para eso estas estudiando, para saber lo que antes ignorabas…

posted March 4 2013 by tony

1 - GORDILLO IN PRISON, EDUCATION REFORM APPROVED
2 - EZLN NAMES NEW SUBCOMANDANTE
3 - SOBERING LABOR STATISTICS   

1 - GORDILLO IN PRISON, EDUCATION REFORM APPROVED

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Newly elected President Enrique Pena Nieto of the PRI is on a political roll, passing a groundbreaking education reform bill on Monday and arresting Elba Esther Gordillo, “president for life” of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), the following day. The powerful leader of 1.5 million teachers is charged with stealing US$200 million from the union, which may be the tip of the iceberg. Gordillo reportedly spent US$1 million on a house on an island near San Diego, US$3 million at a single Neiman Marcus store, and US$17,000 on plastic surgery (of which the unflattering result is often referenced in the Mexican press). Her declared earnings on tax returns from 2009 to 2012 were US$88,000 per year. Every Mexican knows she is a criminal, especially the teachers, despite her recent deluded claim, “There is no one more loved by their people than I. I care about the teachers.” She should have been prosecuted years ago. Call it legal cover for a political decision.

posted February 10 2013 by stuart

228 1 - SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST SME WORKERS
2 - PEMEX EXPLOSION MAY LEAD TO PRIVATIZATION
3 - LAST MINUTE AGREEMENT REACHED ON TOMATO TRADE
4 - MARCOS ANNOUNCES AUGUST GATHERING IN CHIAPAS
5 - OBAMA ADMINISTRATION VETOED PREFERRED DEFENSE SECRETARY
6 - UNPRECEDENTED WEALTH CONCENTRATION 

On January 30, Mexico’s Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision against the Electrical Workers Union (SME), ending all legal avenues for SME workers to recover their jobs.  About 16,000 SME workers, from a total workforce of 44,000 plus 15,000 retirees, maintained a struggle to recover their jobs after former President Felipe Calderon orchestrated the closing of Central Light and Power (LFC) three years ago in an effort to destroy one of Mexico’s most active unions.  The judges ruled Calderon was not responsible for the closure of the state-owned company, despite the fact he ordered the federal army to occupy LFC installations and expel all SME workers.  The Justices' ruling overturns a lower court decision.  The judicial debacle follows closely on the heels of another defeat for labor with the passage late last year of a regressive labor reform law.