New York, NY (March 31, 1998) -- New York Zapatistas joins the U.S. based National Commission for Democracy in Mexico in calling for mass actions on April 10 to protest the Mexican government's escalating low-intensity war against the Zapatistas and other indigenous peoples in Chiapas, Mexico. In Mexico, the National Indigenous Congress and other organizations are calling for mobilizations in Mexico City and elsewhere on this day, the anniversary of Emiliano Zapata's death.

In New York City, the New York Zapatistas are calling for a protest in front of the Mexican Consulate, at 8 E. 41st Street, at 5:00 p.m. on April 10. New York Zapatistas are also calling for an afternoon vigil to begin at Noon that will last until the 5:00 p.m. protest.

In addition to supporting demonstrations in the streets, the New York Zapatistas are urging people around the world to send a powerful message to the Mexican government by committing Electronic Civil Disobedience.

By Electronic Civil Disobedience we mean applying the principles and tactics of traditional civil disobedience - like trespass and blockade - to the electronic systems of communication upon which Mexican government officials and their supporters depend. In this sense, we support the NCDM's call for people to "phone, fax, and email" appropriate government officials to voice protest, but we also urge people to autonomously and independently go beyond merely voicing protest, and to use these means of communication to disrupt business as usual.

We therefore urge that the following tactics be used against governmental, financial, and corporate sites responsible for the ongoing genocide in Chiapas.

1) Phone Zaps: Repeated calling to disrupt normal operations.
2) Fax Jams: Repeated faxing to overload fax machines.
3) Email Jams: Massive emailing to overload email inboxes and servers.
4) Virtual Sit-Ins: Trespassing and blockading of web sites.
5) Other More Sophisticated Computer Tactics

Since the Acteal Massacre at the end of December, 1997, we have seen a new level of cyber-activism emerging within the global pro-Zapatista movement. At the end of January, web sites for five Mexico City financial institutions were subjected to virtual sit-ins. During a given time frame repeated reloading of these web sites effectively blockaded so-called legitimate use. At the beginning of February, cyber-activists hacked into a Mexican government web page and placed pro-Zapatista and anti-government messages on the site.

These new forms of Electronic Civil Disobedience and Direct Action need to be developed, popularized, and applied more globally by the pro-Zapatista movement. Recently, on March 22, a Panel on Electronic Civil Disobedience was featured at the Socialist Scholars Conference in New York City. Written presentations and an audio recording of this panel are now available on a web page. Please set your browsers to the following site, bookmark it, and link to your own sites:

Viva Zapata!

April 10
Electronic Civil Disobedience