>> January 1 >> During the first hours of 1996, the EZLN announced the formation of the Zapatista National Liberation Front (FZLN), “a civic and nonviolent, independent and democratic, Mexican and national organization… A political force that not trying to take political domination but for a democracy where those who rule, rule obediently … We say, our song and our cry, is that the agreement is no longer dead. that they live you sing.”
>> February >> In England for 5,000 people lined up against building a road through the city of Newbury.
>> March 28 >> Thousands of people took to the streets in La Paz, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz, Bolivia, demanding an escalation of wages and berating the privatization of Bolivia’s oil fields. In Cochabamba, 250 people, many of them elderly, were detained during a hunger strike, protesting for the same argument. On the same day Paraguay started a general strike demanding a 31 percent salary escalation and calling for a referendum on the rapid privatization of their country’s wealth and resources. Meanwhile, in São Paulo, Brazil, more than 5,000 students were assaulted and propped up by police while protesting against rising school fees and other neoliberal policies in education.
>> April 17 >> About 1,500 families of landless farmers from the blockade of the Movimento Sem Tierra highway near the town of El Dorado dos Carajas in the state Paraná, Brazil, demanding land reform and resisting pressure by authorities that the occupation of the agricultural rich belong land nearby. Military police, and IDs removed, opened fire on all demonstrators. Nineteen of the dead were left beside the hifhway, although survivors said of an uncovered grave containing women and children hidden nearby. 69 injured. MST is still digging for justice. In memory of today April 17th to hereafter be designated as International Farmers Day.
>> 30 May >> Driven to despair by food shortages fostered by the devaluation of the peso, drought, and the aftermath of NAFTA and GATT trade rules on peasant farmers, 400 women and children stopped and looted trains around Monterrey, Mexico, carrying 40 tons of yellow corn in buckets and plastic bags.
>> June 19 >> Most of South Korea’s auto industry is blocked as all workers at Kia Motors Corp., the country’s second-largest automaker, went on strike over a wage dispute.
>> 27 July-3 August >> In Chiapas, Mexico, the Zapatistas organize the first Intercontinental Encuentro for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism. Thousands of people representing social movements from five continents attended seminars in the autonomous city of La Realidad, where they identified common struggles and developed and strengthened networks of resistance.
>> August >> Angry mothers organized an August march of more than 150,000 campesinos in the provinces of Guavire, Putumayo, and Caqueta, Colombia after spraying the pesticide Ultra Glyphosate from the air on 45,000 hectares resulted in vomiting, convulsions and hair loss of one child- child. The Colombian federal quelled the protests with a false compromise, then killed the marchers. The US then insisted that Colombia allow it to switch to the much more toxic sugarteuron.
>> September >> In the ongoing campaign to secure ancient redwood, 8,000 people gather across the Pacific Timber mill in northern California, USA, to protect the Upper Forest. More than a thousand of them were arrested for trespassing before the police ran out of plastic handcuffs.
>> October 1 >> Longest strike in US steel industry opens against WCI Steel Inc. for reduced security of work and massive cuts to pensions. Eight communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia experienced a collective loss of $5 million in weekly wage format. Steelwork families in the Ohio and Mon valleys go to the food bank rather than the grocery store. Strikers target banks and financial institutions associated with companies.
>> November 8-17 >> World Food Summit held in Rome. The Hunger Gathering, a counter summit, brings together various groups from Bangladeshi farmers to Brazilian MST. Their work laid the groundwork for protests against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Europe.
>> December 26-29 >> The largest series of strikes and strikes in South Korean history, involving hundreds of thousands of workers, took place to protest a new labor law that would allow companies to more easily relieve and fire workers and avoid paying overtime in a more flexible work system.