Sunday, December 23, 2012

A tribute to the Mayans

Mayans gathered at many archeological sites, including Teotihuacan, Mexico, Iximche in Tecpan, Guatemala, & here Tikal in Petén, Guatemala to celebrate the end of a 5,125 year cycle in the Mayan calendar. Some interpreted this prophetic moment as the final apocalypse & the end of the world. Western media treated it as a circus moment to ridicule the beliefs of indigenous peoples--indigenous peoples whose political struggles against environmental destruction & neoliberal predation are leading those of us who don’t know our ass from our elbows about what is truly at stake for the entire planet in these assaults on indigenous peoples, their rights, & their lands.

But these ceremonies celebrating the end of what Mayans call the 13th Oxlajuj B'aktun, mark for them a new period & the birth of a better age. After centuries of the most violent predation, these extraordinary human beings continue to perform ritual dances as the sun rises on a new Mayan era. Their resilience & courage & determination should give pause to the cynics among us & inspiration to those of us who continue to believe--against all of human history & against the weight of US military might--that a new day truly is dawning. And that it begins with human solidarity, with contempt for xenophobia & racism, & with the elementary determinations that “an injury to one is an injury to all,” & that “no human being is illegal.”

The media calls the predatory nations, “developed countries” because of the arsenals of Drones, tanks, armies, torturers, prisons. The so-called “developing countries” are really serf nations. But the Mayan peoples struggles--so intransigent, so courageous against all odds--show us there is nothing mightier than numbers, nothing stronger than commitment to justice & unity among those of us who do the work of creating profit. We build it up; we can bring it to a halt & we can change this world. And that is the message of the new Mayan era. And this is a tribute to the Mayans & a commitment to join with them in fighting to create a new era of peace, justice, & a world suitable for human beings to live & love in. (Photo by Johan Ordonez/AFP)


  1. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the largest mass execution in U.S. history. On Dec. 26, 1862, on the direct orders of President Abraham Lincoln, 38 eastern Dakota (Sioux) men were sent to the gallows in Mankato, Minn., the penultimate act in the six-week-long Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising. The final act was the expulsion of the Dakota from Minnesota and the termination of their reservations in the state.

    1. Thank you for that information, Maracatu. Many think Abraham Lincoln an American hero but I also am unable to get past his wars of extermination particularly against the Plains Indians. The genocide was led by former US Union generals under Lincoln's direction and is horrific and wrenching to even read about.

      I am from Minnesota and raised when they were forced on to reservations and treated like monkies in the zoo. I'm grateful you brought this up because the comparison to the genocide against the Mayans is apt.