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LAII Lecture Rethinks Post-Revolutionary Solidarity

The UNM Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII) is pleased to announce a book presentation and discussion with Clifton Ross, co-editor of Until the Rulers Obey: Voices from Latin American Social Movements, which was recently released by Oakland-based PM Press. The presentation will be held Friday, March 28, 2014, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the LAII Conference Room. Ross will discuss "Until the Rulers Obey: Rethinking Solidarity in a Post-Revolutionary Era." Please see the event flyerfor reference. The UNM Peace Studies program and the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice are co-sponsors of this event.

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According to the publisher: "Until the Rulers Obey brings together voices from the movements behind the wave of change that swept Latin America at the turn of the twenty-first century. These movements have galvanized long-silent--or silenced--sectors of society: indigenous people, campesinos, students, the LGBT community, the unemployed, and all those left out of the promised utopia of a globalized economy. They have deployed a wide range of strategies and actions, sometimes building schools or clinics, sometimes occupying factories or fields, sometimes building and occupying political parties to take the reins of the state, and sometimes resisting government policies in order to protect their newfound power in community."

"This unique collection of interviews features five dozen leaders and grassroots activists from fifteen countries presenting their work and debating pressing questions of power, organizational forms, and relations with the state. They have mobilized on a wide range of issues: fighting against mines and agribusiness and for living space, rural and urban; for social space won through recognition of language, culture, and equal participation; for community and environmental survival. The book is organized in chapters by country with each chapter introduced by a solidarity activist, writer, or academic with deep knowledge of the place. This indispensable compilation of primary source material gives participants, students, and observers of social movements a chance to learn from their experience. Contributors include ACOGUATE, Luis Ballesteros, Marc Becker, Margi Clarke, Benjamin Dangl, Mar Daza, Mickey Ellinger, Michael Fox, J. Heyward, Raphael Hoetmer, Hilary Klein, Diego Benegas Loyo, Courtney Martinez, Chuck Morse, Mario A. Murillo, Phil Neff, Fabíola Ortiz dos Santos, Hernán Ouviña, Margot Pepper, Adrienne Pine, Marcy Rein, Christy Rodgers, Clifton Ross, Susan Spronk, Marie Trigona, Jeffery R. Webber, and Raúl Zibechi."

Human rights activist and writer Margaret Randall described "Until the Rulers Obey" as "a profoundly necessary book. Little has been published about Latin America in the way of an overview from 1989 to the present, even less in the voices of the protagonists themselves. The great experiments of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s failed, but new and in many cases less dogmatic approaches to social justice have taken root in a number of countries south of the border. This book explores those efforts, often in the words of the change-makers themselves. Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein have done us a great service. Read this book for access to what the U.S. corporate media still doesn't want us to know."

Clifton Ross has been reporting on Latin American social and revolutionary movements since 1982. For the past decade he's been traveling to and fro in Latin America doing interviews for the book "Until the Rulers Obey." He worked as a translator for the Guatemalan news agency CERIGUA in Managua, Nicaragua, in 1986, and has continued working sporadically as a translator since. His books of translation include "Light and Truth: Manifestos and Interviews on Spirituality and Politics," by General Augusto Cesar Sandino (1984, CO-Press); "A Dream Made of Stars: A Bilingual Anthology of Nicaraguan Poetry" (1986, CO-Press); "Quetzalcóal" by Ernesto Cardenal (1990, New Earth Press; 1994 Stride Publications); and "Voice of Fire: Interviews and Comuniqués from the Zapatista National Liberation Army" (1994, New Earth Publications), co-edited with Ben Clarke. "Voice of Fire" was the first collection of EZLN material to appear in English. Clife's translations of poetry from Spanish have appeared in a number of publications and online sites including Americas Review, Sniper Logic, and The Underground Forest.

Image: Photograph of peaceful protest against presidential elections in Mexico, 2012, provided CC © Le Valentine.

--Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014.