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Alumni Newsletter

Here is the first ever Witzenhausen newsletter in English for alumnis of the international master programmes.

Included is a review of the Witzenhausen Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences activities in 2011.

-The Deanery changed: Prof. Dr. Ute Knierim is our new Dean, Prof. Dr. Eva Schlecht Vice Dean and Prof. Dr. WernerTrossbach Study Dean.

-There were three summer schools and various events and exciting excursions for students.

-The University of Kassel had its 40th Anniversary and the Faculty celebrated 30 years of Organic Agriculture in Witzenhausen.
Online Newsletter-1.pdf


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Witzenhausen Shows Support for the Zapatistas

The following declaration in support of the Zapatistas was presented at

Liberty Plaza in October and is now being passed around in Witzenhausen.

The indigenous Zapatistas and their support base communities are currently

facing SEVERE GOVERNMENT-BACKED REPRESSION – including sexual assault,

attempted rape, forced displacement, death threats, and physical attacks.

PLEASE SIGN AND CIRCULATE AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE. DO NOT LET THE 1% IN MEXICO

VIOLENTLY REPRESS OUR ZAPATISTA SISTERS AND BROTHERS WHO, LIKE US, ARE

FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY, JUSTICE, AND FREEDOM!!! LET’S STAND IN SOLIDARITY

AND DEMAND AN END TO THIS BRUTAL REPRESSION!!

TO SIGN: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/movementforjusticeinelbarrio/

For over 17 years, with the public uprising of the EZLN on January 1,

1994, the Zapatistas have made enormous contributions to the social,

cultural, and political struggles of those from below for another world.

In doing so, they have touched the hearts of countless people of good

conscience from every corner of the planet; and have proven that justice,

dignity, and democracy are not simply ideas to be imagined or discussed,

but realities to be lived and created.

They have successfully created spaces of true autonomy and practice genuine

democracy. In their communities, they exercise self-determination and

develop self-sustained community institutions, such as schools, health

clinics, and cooperative farms, that reflect and embrace indigenous

worldviews and cultures.

They are living proof that it is possible to create this other world that

we want.

Over the past year, the autonomous indigenous communities of San Marcos

Avilés, San Patricio, and Rancho La Paz have endured numerous acts of

violence, harassment, and displacement. In recent months, these grave acts

have intensified at alarming rates.

In San Marcos Avilés, since September 2010, the population has suffered

from death threats, harassment, dispossession, sexual assault (including

attempted rape), forced displacement, and malnourishment, which has

resulted in the deaths of at least two children. These horrific crimes

have been and continue to be committed by members of the PRI, PRD, and

PVEM political parties.

Similarly, last September 7, inhabitants of the San Patricio community

have received constant threats of displacement and even death by a

paramilitary group called, “Peace and Justice,” which desires to seize

their territory. Beginning this past October 6, community members of

Rancho La Paz have suffered equally heinous attacks.

These horrific crimes are part of a deliberate strategy to retaliate

against the Zapatistas for exercising their rights to be autonomous and

not allowing the bad government and its lackeys to seize what rightfully

belongs to them: their ancestral territories, resources, and labor. The

bad government with its corrupt political parties does this with the goal

of displacing them from their land so that they can take possession of it

and later construct lucrative tourist zones for the benefit of those from

above.

In light of the abovementioned forms of violence targeting the Zapatista

indigenous communities of San Marcos Avilés, San Patricio, and Rancho La

Paz in Chiapas, Mexico:

We, the undersigned, participating in Occupy Wall St. in New York City,

gathered at Liberty Plaza and part of the civil society of the United

States, declare the following:

1. The Zapatistas are not alone in their struggle for a world of dignity,

justice, and democracy. We echo and repeat their honorable “¡Ya Basta!”

here in New York City.

2. We strongly condemn the violations taking place in Chiapas, Mexico, and

will remain on alert for further aggression.

3. We will not let Mexico’s bad government achieve its objective of

annihilating the Zapatista communities.

4. We hold the three levels of government (federal, state, and municipal)

in Mexico responsible for all of the repressive acts against the Zapatista

indigenous communities, who are targeted for exercising their undeniable

right to autonomy and self-determination as indigenous peoples.

We demand:

1. Respect for the autonomy and self-determination of the Zapatista

indigenous people.

2. An end to the violent repression towards the Zapatistas, and their

support communities, such as San Marcos Avilés, San Patricio, and Rancho

La Paz.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/movementforjusticeinelbarrio