ABOUT THE HOMAGE AND THE SEMINAR

By: Sup Galeano

Mexican Army patrolling La Realidad

Mexican Army patrolling La Realidad

ZAPATISTA NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY

March 2015

To the compas of the Sixth in Mexico and in the World:

Compas:

I have been asked to let you know that…

Despite the significant increase in military activity in the vicinity of the Zapatista Caracoles (aggressive patrols, intimidating checkpoints, threatening flyovers)—particularly in the caracoles of La Realidad and Oventik (the first has just opened a school-clinic, and the second will host the tribute to Don Luis Villoro Toranzo)…

Despite the growing belligerence of the paramilitary groups sponsored by the Chiapas government…

Despite the tired “new” lies in the paid media /no, there is not and there has not been any proposal for dialogue; no, not since 2001, that is to say that no federal official has approached the EZLN in the last 14 years for any reason other than in an attempt to assassinate the Zapatista leadership; no, the federal and state governments are not looking to improve the living conditions of indigenous people in Chiapas, rather, they are trying to divide communities; no, the only governmental approaches that Jaime Martinez Veloz claims for himself were not to Zapatistas but to the paramilitaries backed (before he took over) by Luis H. Alvarez, Juan Sabines Guerrero, Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, and now Manuel Velasco Coello, Rosario Robles Berlanga and Enrique Peña Nieto, one of whose groups (the CIOAC-H) is responsible for the murder of the compañero teacher Galeano; no, and so forth and so on/…

Despite the fact that truth and justice are still missing in Ayotzinapa…

Despite the fact that out there they’re busy with other things (more important things, right?) and that quickly changing trends in “mobilization” only prove that frivolousness is the overall strategy…

In spite of the fact that dignity reveals, time and again, reality / in the far north of Mexico it is discovered that there are still methods of exploitation from the time of President Porfirio Diaz. “In the North we work and have to support the lazy ones in South,” say the powerful; and while men, women, children and elderly indigenous Triqui and Maya cultivate the fields, the powerful say nothing and kneel before foreign power. In the Valle de San Quintín, Baja California, in what is known as Oaxacalifornia, the day laborers ask for fair wages and labor rights. They boil it down to few words: “we only want justice.” The government represses them “for going around like rowdy troublemakers”: 200 are detained. The governor, a PANista, meets with the commanders of the 67 infantry battalion of the federal army “to maintain social peace.” The top headline in the paid media is “007 in the Zócalo”. The hashtag #SanQuintinEnLucha isn’t trending / …

In spite of it all…

Or precisely because of it all…

the EZLN confirms the celebration of:

– The homage to the compañero Luis Villoro Toranzo and Zapatista teacher Galeano, on May 2, 2015, in the Caracol of Oventic, Chiapas, Mexico. In this homage, in addition to the Zapatista compañeras and compañeros bases of support, the following people have confirmed their participation: Juan Villoro Ruiz, Fernanda Navarro, Adolfo Gilly, Pablo Gonzalez Casanova, Don Mario Gonzalez Contreras, father of César Manuel Gonzalez Hernandez, one of the 46 missing from Ayotzinapa, and Doña Bertha Nava, mother of Julio Cesar Ramirez Nava, one of the 46 missing from Ayotzinapa; as well as family members of compañero teacher Galeano and Zapatista autonomous authorities of the 5 zones.

– The kick-off of the seminar “Critical Thought Versus the Capitalist Hydra,” convoked by CIDECI-Unitierra and the EZLN’s Sixth Commission on May 3-9, 2015, in the mountains of the Mexican southeast. I have been told that the following people have confirmed their participation in the Seminar:

Doña Bertha Nava, Don Mario González Contreras and Doña Hilda Hernández Rivera, (family members of Ayotzinapa’s missing 46). Pablo González Casanova. Adolfo Gilly. Juan Villoro Ruiz. Elena Álvarez-Buylla. Catherine Marielle. Álvaro Salgado. Alicia Castellanos. Óscar Olivera (Bolivia). Margarita Millán. Sylvia Marcos. Mariana Favela. Karla Quiñonez (USA). Xuno López. Jean Robert. Carlos González. María Eugenia Sánchez Díaz de Rivera. Eduardo Almeida Acosta. Vilma Almendra (Colombia). Philippe Corcuff (France). Luis Lozano Arredondo. Juan Wahrem (Argentina). Rosa Albina Garabito. Jerónimo Díaz. Rubén Trejo. Manuel Rosenthal (Colombia). Hugo Blanco (Perú). Juan Carlos Mijangos Noh. Greg Ruggeiro (USA). Ana Lydia Flores Marín. Javier Hernández Alpízar. Pablo Reyna. Christine Pellicane (France). Efraín Herrera. Domi. Antonio Ramírez. John Berger (Great Britain). Donovan Hernández. Sergio Rodríguez. Raúl Zibechi (Uruguay). Sergio Tischler Visquerra (Guatemala). Jorge Alonso. Jerome Baschet (France). Paulina Fernández C. Carlos Aguirre Rojas. Gilberto López y Rivas. Daniel Inclán. Enzo Traverso (Italy). Silvia Federici (Italy). Immanuel Wallerstein (USA). John Holloway (Ireland). Michael Lowy (Brazil-France). Marcos Roitman (Chile-Spanish State).

From the concierge of the Little School, stacking boxes and more boxes marked “FLUNKEES.”

El SupGaleano

Mexico, March 2015

Section entitled “From the Diaries of the Cat-Dog”

On options:

Imagine you are having a nightmare. You find yourself in the midst of a desolated landscape. Not like after a war, but rather as if in the midst of its horror. On the right side of the road dividing the landscape is a modern building complex. At the entrance, a sign gives notice or warning: “Visions of Reality Mall.” Two modern imposing buildings stand out. The marquee for one of them reads, “Course in Ethical Journalism and Objective Reporting. Taught by: Ciro Gómez Leyva, Ricardo Alemán, Joaquín López Dóriga, Javier Alatorre and Laura Bozzo.” The building by its side announces: “Course in Ethical Journalism and Objective Reporting. Taught by: Jacobo Zabludovski and 4 others from the only remaining free and independent spaces.”

You, a discerning person, of course, tolerant, of course, inclusive, of course, civilized, of course, reasonable, of course, with reasoned arguments, of course, educated, of course, with an actual e-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n, of course. Even in your nightmares you maintain your composure, obviously.

That’s why you understand why there are long lines to get into one place or the other.

You are feeling self-congratulatory due to the fact that there are informational options for every preference when you hear, in a corner to the left, a little girl trying to play the tune of “the long and winding road” by the Beatles on her school flute.

You, unable to hide your irritation at the child’s off-key notes, realize that on the left side of this long and torturous road there is a group of beings (incomprehensible, of course), constructing little huts (miserable little things, of course), and their signs do not offer courses or discounts, of course, but rather manage only to stammer “free, autonomous, alternative, or whatever you call them media.”

You are faced then with a dilemma: either you—generously of course—widen your criteria, your tolerance, your inclusiveness, your civility toward this side of the road; or you feel grateful that there are things that never go out of style (like the bulldozer, the nightstick, the police, the antiriot squads). You are paralyzed in the face of this complex dilemma. Since you don’t know what to do, your smartphone—thanks to a modern application that gives you a zap whenever the hard drive is reconfigured (yours, of course)—activates in order to awaken you. You come to attention, but everything looks the same: the war landscape, the fancy buildings on the right side, poor ones on the left. Ah, but instead of the out-of-tune flute playing “the long and winding road” you hear a disconcerting rhythm, a mix of ballad-cumbia-corrido-ranchera-tropical-hiphop-ska-heavy-metal that, played on the marimba, launches into “Ya se mira el horizonte…” [the Zapatista anthem].

In that terrible situation you know that you have to take drastic measures. But you can’t decide, should I get a new cell phone, or just update the operating system? That, my friend, is a real dilemma. But to vote or not to vote, what is that??

On the paid media:

– They say that those wise men and women, of grand studies and knowledge, realized that what the ignorant, illiterate, and pre-modern indigenous said was true: “in capitalism, the one who pays rules.”

– On the “five free and independent spaces” and Molotov: uh oh, it seems that Jacobo did make someone stupid. [1]

On postmodernity:

– Note to divers: the pool doesn’t have water, just shit. Proceed with caut…. Splash!

– Break-up conversation of a postmodern couple: It’s not you, it’s the context.”

On the seminar:

– The following message came from Italy: “So-and-so said he would only attend (the seminar) if he could personally talk to subcomandante insurgente marcos.” When the deceased heard that, thinking the message was from Monica Bellucci, he began to stir in his grave. Later they told him who the message was from and, disappointed, the deceased settled back down. SupMoy said to just send a message back that “il supmarcos e morto, se volete, potete cercare in inferno” [Italian in original] along with a calendar. Questioned on the subject by Los Tercios Compas S.A. (without) C. (nor) V. of (i)R. (i) L.[2] (note: use of this brand prohibited without the express written consent of those who (can’t) pay for it), SupMoy declared “the thing is that there are people who don’t realize that we are in 2015.”

– Pst. Pst. The organization of the seminar is a mess. But pretend you didn’t hear that. Place yourself in harmony with the universe. Now repeat with me “ommmm, the seminar is already organized, ommmm.”

I testify: meow-woof (and vice versa).

Cat-Dog

Cat-Dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

[1]”Que no te haga bobo Jacobo” (Don’t Let Jacobo make you stupid) is a song by Molotov referring to media giant Televisa’s ex-anchor Jacobo Zabludovsky.

[2] S.A. de C.V. de R.L. in Spanish stands for Sociedad Anonima de Capital Variable de Responsibilidad Limitada, or Anonymous Society of Variable Capital, Limited Liability. The formulation here, S.A. (sin) C (ni) V de (i) R (i) L, would mean Anonymous Society (without) Capital (nor) variable capital of (un)limited (ir)responsibility.

—————

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2015/03/19/sobre-homenaje-y-seminario-el-supgaleano/

 

 

 

MEXICANS CONNECT ANTI-CAPITALIST RESISTANCES

Delegation from Ayotzinapa speak at the Festival of Resistances & Rebellions against capitalism in Amilcingo. Photo: Arturo Vazquez

Ayotzinapa presentation at the Festival of Resistances & Rebellions against Capitalism in Amilcingo. Photo: Arturo Vazquez

A surge of grassroots organizing for fundamental change is underway in Mexico. The September 26-27, 2014 police attack on students from the Ayotzinapa rural teachers college, which took place in Iguala, Guerrero, and the subsequent disappearance of 43 of those students, exposed the complicity and corruption between government officials, political parties, police and organized crime; it shocked Mexico’s conscience and left a deep wound in the nation’s heart. A few examples of the growing momentum for radical change are described below.

After the police attack and enforced disappearance of 43 students, the State Coordinator of Education Workers of Guerrero (Ceteg), the state affiliate of the National Coordinator of Education Workers, a lefty labor union, wasted no time in calling a meeting in Ayotzinapa. Participants in the October 15 meeting, held a mere 18 days after the attack, vowed to engage in various kinds of social protest and to organize in order to accumulate forces and grow the movement. The participants also formed the National Popular Assembly (ANP, its initials in Spanish), composed of 53 social and student organizations in the country. (Students also have a national organization.) Afterwards, parents, relatives, student survivors, teachers and friends of the 43 disappeared students attended meetings within Guerrero and in different parts of the country to gather momentum and support for their on-going search for the students and for truth and justice. The parents and student survivors split up in small groups and visited communities and social organizations around the country; it seemed like they were everywhere, and it still seems that way after five months.

One of their visits was to Chiapas, where they met with civil society in San Cristóbal and with the statewide teachers’ union in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the state’s capital. On November 15, 2014 they met with the Zapatistas in Oventik, a Zapatista Caracol, the autonomous regional government center. The Zapatistas had also been busy organizing since their re-emergence on December 21, 2012. The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) initiated a new organizing phase with the Escuelitas Zapatistas (Little Zapatista Schools) in 2013, where folks were invited into Zapatista homes and communities to learn first-hand about autonomy. Escuelitas were held twice in 2013 (August and December) and the first week of January 2014. They also held a Seminar in honor of Juan Chávez Alonso, a very well known and highly respected indigenous leader that died. This was a step in renewing the relationship between the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the EZLN.

From August 4-8, 2014, the EZLN held a “sharing,” or exchange of struggles, thoughts and ideas, with the National Indigenous Congress in La Realidad. On August 9, they presented a joint report that, in addition to a long list of government plans to facilitate corporate takeovers of indigenous lands (dispossession), included plans to sponsor a joint global festival of resistances and rebellions against capitalism in several different locations between December 22, 2014 and January 3, 2015.

Following the November 15 meeting with the Ayotzinapa parents in Oventik, the EZLN issued a December 12 comunicado [1] in which it invited the parents to send a 20-person delegation to the Festival of Resistances and Rebellions Against Capitalism (R&R Festival) as honored guests. The EZLN stated that it would cede its spaces to speak to the parents. The parents accepted and were thus able to tell their story to indigenous representatives of many anti-capitalist struggles around the country, as well as to adherents of the Sixth Declaration that attended the Festival. The Zapatistas gave the parents their full support and urged members of the CNI to welcome the families of the 43 disappeared students into their communities and to listen to what they had to say. Besides urging everyone to struggle against capitalism and its destruction of Mother Earth, the EZLN also urged CNI members and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle to support the struggle of the Ayotzinapa families and students for truth and justice. Subcomandante Moisés stated:

“We understand that right now, truth and justice for Ayotzinapa is the most urgent demand.” [2]

 After the Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism

Congress of Morelos Towns forms and joins the Ayotzinapa struggle for truth and justice.

Congress of Morelos Towns forms and joins the Ayotzinapa struggle for truth and justice.

On February 1, representatives from 60 towns in the state of Morelos met to form the Congress of Morelos Towns in order to unite opposition to the Morelos Integral Project; a collection of energy and infrastructure projects intended to facilitate industrialization and mining. Some of the towns had sent representatives to the R&R Festival and one of the towns, Amilcingo, hosted the Festival. Representatives from Ayotzinapa spoke at the February 1 meeting, and the Congress of Morelos Towns voted to join their struggle.

An ambitious project called the Constituyente Ciudadana, which organizers had been working on for eleven months, made an important announcement on February 5. In Mexico City, human rights activist Bishop Raúl Vera López, [3] other activists, clergy, members of campesino, union and social organizations, as well as survivors of the violence that envelops Mexico presented the initiative of a Popular Citizens Convention, which will convoke a series of sessions throughout the country, and a March 21 meeting for discussing the political reality and to formulate a new Constitution. Reasoning that the current Constitution is “dead,” proponents of this project want citizens to agree on a new constitution that will provide economic, social and political justice to all citizens. This work takes place without political parties. [4]

Among the project’s proponents present at the Mexico City announcement, in addition to Vera López, were: the painter Francisco Toledo, Javier Sicilia, Father Alejandro Solalinde, the priest Miguel Concha, Gilberto López y Rivas, migrant defender Leticia Gutiérrez, as well as union representatives, among them Martín Esparza (Electricians Union) and members of different churches. At the start of the February 5 event, they remembered the events that occurred in Iguala, Guerrero, which resulted in 43 students from the rural teachers college at Ayotzinapa being forcibly disappeared.

Resistance to Federal and Military Police in Guerrero.

Resistance to Federal and Military Police in Guerrero.

The ANP held a National Popular Convention (CNP) over the weekend of February 6-8. Two thousand (2,000) delegates from 244 social organizations coming from the interior of the country attended. A central purpose of the convention is to generate ‘‘a reflection within all the organizations that envisions the possibility of giving direction to the movement and grouping together and unifying all of the country’s political forces, respecting their diversity and natural dynamic, but giving it direction through a political program. [5]

The ANP held another meeting on February 22 with 153 delegates from 55 social organizations. Again headed by the Ayotzinapa parents, they agreed to make it their priority to enter military barracks to search for their missing sons and to hold a second National Popular Convention (CNP) on April 10 and 11. According to Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer with the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of La Montaña, “they are accumulating forces with the political movement, and will invite other actors like the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), and the Constituyente Ciudadana (Citizens Constitutional Convention) that the Bishop of Saltillo, Raúl Vera, impels, so as to be assembled in one single force that permits us to arrive at the convention with more strength.” [6]

The fact that the project for a constitutional convention had been worked on for eleven months demonstrates that the Ayotzinapa case is not what motivated that project. One possible motivation was the package of constitutional “reforms” the Congress passed last year. That package included an energy reform that now gives energy companies the right to “use” anyone’s land, whether private, ejido or communal land, for oil and gas exploration and exploitation; in other words, the right to poison indigenous and campesino land and thereby render it useless for producing crops. The package also included an education reform that takes union rights away from teachers and implements a system similar to the “no child left behind” policy in the United States. A “tax reform” requires small cooperatives and others previously not taxed to keep books and pay taxes. Collectively, these “reforms” were known as the Pact for Mexico, sponsored by the PRI.

Another major motivation was very likely the out-of-control violence and resulting insecurity caused by Drug War militarization and the actions of organized crime. At the February 1 Congress in Morelos described above, Javier Sicilia announced that organized crime has provoked the following number of victims in Mexico: “(…) more than 160,000 murders were committed in the eight most recent years and more than 30,000 disappeared and 500,000 displaced exist.” [7]

In addition to victims of organized crime, all the campesinos affected by the energy “reform” and teachers affected by the education “reform,” Ayotzinapa has added momentum for the citizens’ constitutional convention, grassroots anti-capitalist organizing and fundamental change in Mexico. What provides a hopeful sign is that so many diverse social organizations, unions and churches are coming together with a common goal: a citizens’ constitutional convention.

——————————————————————————-

By: Mary Ann Tenuto-Sánchez

[1] https://compamanuel.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/ezln-on-ayotzinapa-the-festival-and-hysteria/

[2] https://compamanuel.wordpress.com/category/1st-worldwide-festival-of-resistances-and-rebellions-against-capitalism/

[3] Raúl Vera López is the Catholic Bishop of Saltillo and the president of the Board of Directors of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) in Chiapas. He also served as Assistant Bishop of the San Cristóbal de las Casas Diocese in Chiapas, under the late Bishop, Don Samuel Ruiz, the founder of Frayba.

[4] http://constituyenteciudadana.org/

[5] http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/02/06/politica/005n2pol

[6] http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/02/22/politica/007n1pol

[7] http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/02/01/estados/019n1est

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mexican Army convoy with trucks, hummers, jeeps and a motorized team harasses Zapatista Good Government Junta

Mexican Army patrols La Realidad

Mexican Army patrols La Realidad

Chiapas México. March 12, 2015. “The growing harassment that the Mexican Army is carrying out in Zapatista territory causes concern,” the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba warns, after having observed the repeated presence of the Mexican Army, in territory of the Good Government Junta in La Realidad, in the Border Jungle Zone.

From the Civilian Observation Brigades (BriCO), the Frayba has documented since July 2014, “systematic incursions of the Mexican Army, which is harassing the Bases of Support of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (BAEZLN, their initials in Spanish).”

The human rights defense organization denounces low-flying airplanes and helicopters photographing and filming BriCO members, BAEZLN and the installations of the Junta. “These actions have been in increasing since last July, as much in the number of troops as in the frequency with which they happen,” they observe.

The military acts within the Junta’s territory, also consist of incursions in a convoy with trucks, hummers, jeeps and a motorized team; with members of the Mexican Army that range from four to 30 persons, indicates the Frayba and demands: “that the free determination and autonomy of the Zapatista peoples be respected; and that the harassment perpetrated by the federal government through the Mexican Army cease.”

As background to the gravity of the harassment of the BAEZLN, the non-governmental organism no points out that on May 2, 2014, members of the Independent Central of Farm Workers and Campesinos Historic (CIOAC-H), ambushed BAEZLN within the La Realidad Junta’s territory; during the attack the armed group extra-judicially executed José Luis Solís López, “Maestro Galeano,” and also destroyed the Autonomous Clinic and School.

The human rights center created by Bishop Samuel Ruiz, exposes that: “the CIOAC-H, is part of the Las Margaritas municipal government, with proven protection from the (state) government of Governor Manuel Velasco Coello, who has permitted them to carry out attacks, forced displacements and murders in the region.”

—————————————————–

Originally Published in Spanish by: POZOL COLECTIVO March 12, 2015 in Chiapas

English translation: Chiapas Support Committee

 

THANK YOU PART III:

The Most Expensive Building in the World

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés. Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

The Baile (Dance) is part of the celebration for the inauguration of the school/clinic**

The Baile (Dance) is part of the celebration for the inauguration of the school/clinic**

February-March, 2015

It is the eve of the big day… in the wee hours of the morning. The cold bites under the cover of shadow. On the solitary table that furnishes this small hut (which has no sign but is known to now be the headquarters of the Zapatista Command), there is a handwritten, wrinkled sheet of paper detailing the accounts for the construction of the clinic-school in the Zapatista community of La Realidad. A voice summarizes the gazes, silences, smoke, rage:

The accounts don’t balance. The life of any Zapatista is worth more than Peña Nieto’s white house and the houses of all of the rich in the whole world combined. The entirety of the funds required to construct the huge buildings where the powerful hide in order to organize their thievery and crimes would not be enough to pay for a even a single drop of Indigenous Zapatista blood. That is why we feel that this is the most expensive building in the world.

So must state clearly that what doesn’t appear in the accounts is the blood of our compañero Galeano. All of the papers in the history of the world would not be enough to balance that account. 

And so that is how it should appear in those lists that come out in the press where they name the richest people, and where the poorest live. The rich have first names, last names, lineage, and pedigree. But the poor only have a geography and a calendar. So they should say that the most expensive building on the whole planet is in Zapatista La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico. And that the Indigenous Zapatista girls and boys attend the most expensive school in the world. And that the men, women, boys, girls, elderly, indigenous, Zapatistas, Mexicans, when they get sick in La Realidad, will be treated in the most expensive clinic on earth.

But the only way to balance these accounts is to struggle to destroy the capitalist system. Not to change it. Not to improve it. Not to make it more human, less cruel, less murderous. No. To destroy it completely. To annihilate each and every one of the heads of the Hydra.

Even then there would be more to do, as what we want here is to construct something better: another system, one without masters, without patrons, without bosses, without injustice, without exploitation, without disrespect, without repression, without dispossession. One without violence against women, children, anyone who is different. One where work is paid justly. One where ignorance does not rule. One where hunger and violent death are just bad memories. One where no one can be above on the backs of others below. One that is reasonable, one that is better. 

Then and only then, the Zapatistas can say that the accounts are even. 

_*_

Thank you to the others, [1] men, women, children, elderly, groups, collectives, organizations, and whatever you call them inside and outside the Sixth in Mexico and around the world for the support you have given us. This clinic and school are also yours.

Now you know that there is an Autonomous Health Clinic and Autonomous School in the Zapatista La Realidad available to you.

We know that it’s a little far, but who knows, the world is round and keeps turning, and so maybe, who knows, could be… perhaps one day on some dark early morning you realize that, this thing about entering the struggle to balance the accounts is part of your own balance sheet.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

La Realidad Zapatista, Chiapas, Mexico

March 2015


Section “From the Diaries of the Cat-Dog”

Notes on gender:

-(…) That is why as women of this country we need to organize ourselves, because there are many disappearances. Many of us are mothers, and we are suffering the pain and sadness of having our sons disappeared, our daughters killed. Now in this system, in addition to being humiliated, disrespected, exploited, in addition to all of that, they come to kill and disappear our children. This is what happened in the ABC case and now with the 43 disappeared from Ayotzinapa, the disappeared women in Ciudad Juárez, and the case of Aguas Blancas—all of this is the system’s doing. 

This system will not resolve our problems; it will not provide us with any answer. That is why, brothers and sisters, we need to organize ourselves because it is the we who will decide, who will set out the path that we want as peoples. As communities of men and women, not only indigenous communities in the countryside but also you sisters in the city, we must learn to govern ourselves, alongside our men, together between men and women. This is how we will build a new system where we as women are taken into account and perhaps there, compañeras, sisters, we will find relief from the pain inside us and this collective rage that now unites us. 

(…) Now, in the 21st century, there are just a few women who enjoy wealth—the wives of the rich, the wives of the presidents and governors, and the women who are congressional representatives and senators. But in our situation as indigenous women we continue to suffer pain, sadness, grief, rape, exploitation, humiliation, discrimination, imprisonment, disrespect, marginalization, torture, and much more, because for us there is no government. This is why the situation for the rest of the women in the country is still the same; they are living just as women lived before in previous eras [the time of the ejidos, the time of the colonies]. Our grandfathers adopted this bad culture from their colonial bosses and drug it along with them into the house, thinking that they were in charge, as if they were the little bosses of the house, insisting that “I rule”—and this from the father in the family. And the person he ruled over was his wife, and that is how the most horrible thing arose, that the women, that is, the daughters, the compañeras, were obligated to marry whoever the fathers chose according to whom the father wanted as a son-in-law. And they chose whoever offered more liquor or more money. That’s how things worked in the time of the ejidos, the woman was never taken into account. When the men organized themselves to work, women were left out.

(…) So many women have been disappeared, killed, raped, exploited, and nobody says anything about them. And a few rich women enjoy the wealth created by other exploited women. Those rich women do not suffer; they do not feel the pain and humiliation of being exploited because one is poor. But that is no reason for us to stop organizing and fighting as women, because for most of us women, this system only means pain, sadness, imprisonment, humiliation, and rape. This is the situation of the mothers of the 43 disappeared students, the ABC Daycare, the mine in Pasta de Conchos. It is the same thing in Acteal. But this does not mean we will stop organizing and fighting in the countryside and the city. This is why we are sharing with you for the first time in history.

(…) In this system, there are men who do work that is usually considered woman’s work, but this is not for the good of a new society like what we Zapatista are trying to create. Here is an example: in some places there are fancy restaurants where very elegantly dressed men do the work that usually women do, but they are exploited. Meanwhile, the women who previously held these jobs are taken elsewhere for other purposes, like commodities, where their photos are taken for magazines, movie covers, and Internet publications. So we see that life in this system in which we live is harder than it was 520 years ago, because it is the same bad government: the grandchildren are the same as the sons of the landowners of before, and they are the ones who continue exploiting us today in this country. So we see that there is never any change in the system and it is always the sisters and brothers suffering this same pain that the bad government causes us today. (Notes from the sharing/exchange of the Zapatistas in the First World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion Against Capitalism. Complete version found in “Zapatista Rebellion n.4,” next issue).

In this system, to be born, grow up, live and die as a woman can be like being dragged through a thicket of barbed wire. But this pain is just one of many stains on history. What brings relief is that women, more and more of them, decide to stand up and walk with their heads held high. Not as if the barbs were simply flowers, but as if the scratches, including the lethal ones, made them stronger, urging them to forge new paths. Not paths to change which gender is dominant, but to end domination. Not to have a place in the history from above, but so that history below ceases to be a wound that never heals or scars over. Neither dominator nor dominated. Neither queen nor plebian. Neither Khaleesi nor Jhiqui. Neither boss nor employee. Neither slave nor master. Neither owner nor servant. But the terrible part of this is not that every being born a woman must fight this racket on every page of the calendar in whatever political geography to come. What is terrifying is that those who strive for a better world often weave these injurious traps with their own hands. But every so often reality, which is feminine, lands a blow on the calendar of above from every geography below. I have faith.

[1] The text uses “otroas” meaning “other,” to give a range of possible gendered pronouns including male, female, transgender and others.

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2015/03/08/gracias-iii-la-construccion-mas-cara-del-mundo-subcomandante-insurgente-moises-subcomandante-insurgente-galeano/

** The Spanish version of this series of comunicados has beautiful photos of the school/clinic construction, both in process and completed. I chose this photo because of its connection to International Women’s Day and also because it depicts how Zapatista boys meet Zapatista girls. The young women start dancing with each other and eventually the boys start asking them to dance. Lots of rejection happening at first, but then…

 

 

GRACIAS II: CAPITALISM DESTROYS, THE PEOPLE CONSTRUCT

By: Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Inauguration of the autonomous Zapatista school and clinic.

Inauguration of the autonomous Zapatista school and clinic. On the left is a painting of Subcomandante Pedro, who died in the January 1994 Uprising

The words of the EZLN’s General Command in the voice of Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés in the Zapatista community La Realidad at the presentation of the “Compañero Galeano” Zapatista Autonomous School and the October 26thSubcomandante Insurgente Pedro” Autonomous Clinic to the Zapatista support bases on March 1, 2015.

Good morning to everyone, compañeros and compañeras of this zone, in this Caracol of La Realidad, Border Jungle Zone.

We are here with you today, compañeros, compañeras of this zone, to officially turn over these buildings to the compañero and compañera bases of support of this Zapatista community, La Realidad, Nueva Victoria, as we call it in our struggle as the Zapatista National Liberation Army.

Compañeros and compañeras, what we must make clear and understand is that the pain carried by each Zapatista continues, not only the Zapatistas in Mexico, but across the world, because we do not have with us the compañero whose name this new construction carries: compañero Galeano.

This construction was the fruit and the work, the efforts and the organization of the compañeros and compañeras of the National and International Sixth. Here we are demonstrating what we Zapatistas are, in Mexico and in the world.

What we are, what we think, and what we want, is life. We want them not to kill us.

The work of the capitalist system is to destroy what the poor people build. But the poor people will not stop building, because it is their life. The system destroys what the people build because it knows that one day the system itself will be destroyed, because it is based on exploitation and humiliation. Capitalism does not build life, and it leaves us, the poor, with nothing. All we have is what we build ourselves, we men and women who struggle, not anyone else.

That is why we are stating what we are, here at the construction site, here in the community of compañero Galeano, teacher of the Zapatista Little School, sergeant in the struggle, miliciano [1] in his organization, authority in his own life, an example for all of us.

Capitalism wants to put an end to this example and we will not allow it.

We want to say clearly here in this community, for those who are not on our side: we are not against them. We want respect; they know that. And we have said: if they respect us, we will respect them; we are not here to kill poor people. But if they let themselves be used by the system, they know that they are on the side of the criminal, the exploiter, the murderer; that is, capitalism.

We want to say clearly here, for the people who do not agree with us: we are not bothered if they are not in agreement with us, because one day this will be for them. Maybe not those who are mothers and fathers now because many of them are already fifty or sixty years old, but their children will see the fruits of what we are building.

We tell you from our hearts and in all truth: we are struggling for the people of Mexico, and maybe we will even be an example for the world. We want to make that clear, because what we want is life. We have said clearly that we are also struggling for the soldiers, for the police officers, because we know that they are also poor and that it is because of their poverty that they sell their bodies, their lives, their souls, their blood, their bones, their flesh; they sell out because capitalism buys them off so that they will defend it. We will never see a rich person, or the children of the rich, among the soldiers that come here to confront us. The children of the rich may be there, but as the generals who exploit their own soldiers.

We know this is how it works, the rich people’s trick they buy us off – the poor people of Mexico – by giving us little gifts so that we believe that the government is good. But the bad government of the capitalist system will never be good, and never ever will the rich be good. Take a simple example: if sometimes we fight among ourselves, as relatives, brothers, sisters, or uncles and aunts, even though we are family, from the same father and mother, how is it possible that we could believe what the rich say? How is it possible for us to believe that they are good when we don’t know even know them? For example, now that election time is coming, which of the candidates do we actually know?

We want to say clearly and make absolutely clear: we don’t have anything against our brothers, those who want to be brothers to those of us who are in struggle. Whether they want to [struggle] or not, it’s no problem either way. But just like we say there is no problem, we don’t want them to give us any problems. The person that goes looking for problems finds them. And when we say this – that those looking for problems find them – it is also true for us as Zapatistas. It is true for anyone who provokes conflict. That is why we are saying clearly here: we are not going to cause problems, because we don’t have anything against those who don’t want to struggle with us.

It is a shame and it makes us sad to see them fooled, exploited, and humiliated. They don’t have anything to teach their children for the future. For the Zapatistas, our children matter to us, and we want to show them a path to a future where there is no more exploitation or humiliation, where we can govern ourselves.

And so, compañeros, compañeras, this building that we are inaugurating is the fruit, the result of how our compañeros and compañeras of the Sixth understand us, but also of other brothers and sisters of Mexico and the world who still haven’t become part of the struggle of the Sixth, of the struggle convoked by our Sixth Declaration, but who support us in their hearts.

Perhaps here, on this long journey, they will realize what is happening and join us in struggle. But here we see part of the efforts, struggle, and organization of these brothers and sisters, of Mexico and the world who are not part of the Sixth.

But the greatest part comes from the efforts, the sacrifice, and the organization of the compañeros of the National and International Sixth.

Here we are demonstrating how when poor people organize themselves, the capitalist system is unnecessary. A system that dominates and humiliates is not necessary. Here, in practice, is an example of this fact. Capitalism, the bad government of this country, ordered the destruction of the autonomous school belonging to the Zapatista support bases. And they did destroy it – as destroying things is easy – just like they destroyed the community’s health clinic, as it is (inaudible).

And here is the result, the result of the strength and the organization of our compañeros and compañeras of the national and international Sixth. What the poor people of Mexico and the world re-built came out even better than it had been before.

So let this be clear: this is a demonstration that what matters for our compañeros and compañeras of the National and International Sixth is the struggle for life.

What pains us the most is that this construction cost us dearly, because this house is not worth the life of our compañero, teacher of the Little School, compañero Galeano. His life has no price. But unfortunately the bad government, the three levels of bad government and the people who sell out, who don’t consider their own children, did what they did to our compañero Galeano.

What we want to say here, because what we say here goes out to the world, is to tell our compañeras and compañeros of the International and National Sixth what we must realize: let’s not organize or do something just when a compañero or compañera is dead.

The truth is that we need to organize ourselves without waiting for something like this to happen. If we organize, we can demonstrate that the capitalist system and the bad government aren’t worth a thing.

We must build what has to be built even when we aren’t suffering deaths because we don’t want these kinds of things to happen. It is the fucking capitalist system that wants this.

We want to make it very clear once and for all that we do not hate poor people. What we want is an end to exploitation.

We want to make this clear, that we have to support other compañeros and compañeras, not only those who live in the Zapatista zones, but other compañeros who are missing.

This is how we demonstrate that we aren’t just saying that we are organized; our organization is demonstrated by doing what we say, carrying it out in practice.

There are many things that we want to say compañeros, which is why, for the next few days we will work here with you. Right now we are here to turn over to the compañero support bases of the Zapatista Army the building that our compañeros and compañeras of the Sixth have given us.

This building belongs to the people. The people have to think about and plan for how it will be used, because what they do with it will serve as an example for other compañeros and compañeras.

The hard part, the part that is hardest to wrap my head around, is that our compañero Galeano should be here with us.

But he isn’t here and we know who is responsible, and the question that we put to those responsible (for what was done to compañero Galeano) is how many millions of pesos did the people who you killed owe to you? What did compañero Galeano steal from you to make you do what you did? The people who did this can’t answer these questions because the truth is that he didn’t steal anything from them. He never stole anything from them or owed anything to them. In fact, they owe us.

That is why we want to make clear here that we are not against anyone. We ask them to respect us, but we aren’t only asking this of them; we Zapatistas also have to show respect, and so we’ll see who starts the problems.

Because we Zapatistas have to think of the little boys and girls, and so we also want to tell them to at the very least think of their own children. They know what happened in 1994. When the bad government decides to act this way, we know that the army won’t respect anyone; those citizen ID cards they talk about aren’t worth anything. The truth is that nothing will protect them. They [the bad government] will name and blame everyone as Zapatista; the people know this and we want to remind them of it.

That is why we are here asking them to listen, to open their hearts, to use their heads and think about this. There isn’t anywhere to go. Even if they flee this place, they will encounter the same death wherever they go. It makes more sense to be here, to live here and respect each other here as people, as Christians, as they say. This is something that even our animals understand, and they are just animals. We are not animals; we are men and women, boys and girls, with brains.

Everything that the indigenous receive now in Chiapas – those who take that little bit that the bad government gives out – is because the bad government doesn’t want us, the men and women, to organize. They give them these little handouts so that the people never think about organizing and struggling. This is the biggest problem that we have here because by accepting this, the people leave their children exploited, humiliated, and trampled.

This is exactly what we Zapatistas don’t want, and that is why we don’t take anything from the bad government, because we don’t want this system. The capitalist system will not be able to get rid of us. We are talking about capitalism, with its thousands of armies, and even so it won’t be able to destroy us. That is why out there they say that there aren’t very many Zapatistas left, but this is just part of the bad governments’ lies. But instead of talking the talk, as they say, we will demonstrate what we say in practice.

In the days to come, we will continue to think of, to remember, our compañero Galeano.

And so, compañeros and compañeras of this caracol of La Realidad, in the name of the compañeros and compañeras of the national and international Sixth, I turn this building over to you, for the good of our compañeros and compañeras of this community, La Realidad, so that the compañero and compañera health and education promoters can begin to do their work.

We just want to make clear that this building belongs to all of us, and so those above should think about whether they want to try to destroy it again. But we also want to say to the people from this village, let the bad government come destroy it if that’s what they want. Don’t allow yourselves, señores and señoras, to be used; don’t let the bad government use you to destroy this because you are poor people just like us, you know that.

Don’t let them use you, don’t sell out, because life cannot be bought and sold. Let the bad government come and do it. What about those verses in your church or temple, the ones that tell you to love others? How does that fit in? Think about it, señores and señoras, don’t be like the bad government that says one thing and does another. Don’t be like that, señores and señoras. What’s it worth to preach one thing and do the opposite? We don’t want to do this, to say one thing and do another.

As we say, we have compañeros and compañeras who are with us in struggle, and it is because of that that we are able to turn this building over to the community today, March 1. So with that, I formally turn this building over to the support bases, today, Sunday March 1, 2015, at 10:34, southeastern time.

Many thanks, compañeros and compañeras!

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee – General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Zapatista Reality, Mexico, March 2015

 Section “Entries from the Diary of the Cat-Dog”:

- It is not the same thing to search for a divine man to save us as it is to organize men, women and others [2] to collectively save ourselves. To delegate to someone else what is your own responsibility is, to say the least, irresponsible.

-Thoughtful warning: Are you depressed because the candidates from the PRI and the opposition make you nauseous? Does it scare you that, when you watch TV, you can’t tell whether you are watching the channel that shows congressional proceedings or the comedy channel? Are you sad because no one [someone] blocked you, un-followed you, or sent you looking for your cake? Stop suffering! Tweet something like the following and see how life smiles at you…okay, so it grimaces, but that’s something, isn’t it? Here goes:

Elections are to social transformation as homeopathy is to pandemics: they are expensive and entertaining, but don’t resolve the fundamental problem.

In Mexico, the difference between a vote and a garbage can is that the first is much more expensive…and the second more useful.

In order to lose weight: After eating, read the political party’s proposals. Hydrate after vomiting. Copyright in process at the INE [National Institute of Elections].

-Tips for foreign tourists: In Mexico, the quesadillas may be without cheese, the politicians without brains, and logic without weight. That’s it.

(To be continued…)

Notes:

[1] Member of the EZLN’s civilian militia or reserves

[2] The text uses “otroas” meaning “others,” to give a range of possible gendered pronouns including male, female, transgender and others.

Photos courtesy of Los Tercios Compas

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2015/03/07/gracias-ii-el-capitalismo-destruye-los-pueblos-construyen/

If you click on the above link, there are photos of the inauguration. They enlarge if you click on them.

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU Part I

New School in La Realidad

New Autonomous Zapatista School and Clinic in La Realidad

On Sunday, March 1, 2015, after more than six months of work, the building that houses a health clinic and a school was presented to the Zapatista bases of support of La Realidad. The solidarity of people and collectives throughout the world made this construction possible. Here we present to you the accounts, the words expressed during this event, and some photos from that day.

Clear accounts and thick pozol: [i]

-Construction began on July 31, 2014. It was finished at the end of February 2015.

-Work days: approximately 2015 compa/work days.Note from The Tercios Compas [ii] on the compa/work day, abbreviated CWD. CWD is a Zapatista unit of measure that could be thought of as equivalent to Socially Necessary Labor Time (SNLT). However, in addition to the fact that it is not measured in hours, CWD is not a unit of measure of value. CWD is a referent in order to compare the individual and the collective (an individual would have taken almost 7 years to do what a collective did in almost 7 months), and to contrast that which is done below and to the left with that which is done above and to the right (a government from above would have taken 14 years and still wouldn’t have finished the job). For example: with billions in their budget, the Chiapas state government cannot finish building hospitals in Reforma, Yajalón and Tuxtla Gutiérrez. The one in Tuxtla Gutiérrez is just one of the examples that abound of the corruption of the “leftist-PRDista-AMLOista” Juan Sabines Guerrero (who, as his predecessor Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía confessed, created and financed the paramilitary group known as CIOAC-H in Chiapas; the Aryan Velasco carries on those same politics). In 2012, to “inaugurate” the hospital in Tuxtla, they moved equipment there from other hospitals. After that psychopath Calderón and the criminal Sabines cut the ribbon, they dismantled everything. Now it is just a shell (information from “Chiapas Paralelo” chiapasparalelo.com and “Diario Contra Poder” diariaocontrapoderenchiapas.com). The Aryan Velasco hides his patron’s enormous fraud and follows in his footsteps. Meanwhile, the money paid out above is spent on media propaganda, binge parties, decor, and makeup and beauty salons. In addition, of course, to being spent on persecuting the small independent paid media that still exists in the state, and buying silence on social networks. It is one thing to use handouts to corral people into praising the Aryan rancher, and a very different thing to organize in order to build what the people need. More information on the concept of SNLT, in Capital, Volume 1, Section 1, Chapter 1. We don’t remember the author, but he was a Jew, so proceed with caution. More information on the concept of CWD later on. End of the note from the Los Tercios Compas, press that is neither free, nor autonomous, nor alternative, nor independent, but it is compa. Copyright still in process because the Junta de Buen Gobierno told us “more information later on” (sonofa….didn’t I tell you?).

-Accounting of money received. Total monetary support received: $1,191,571.26 (one million, one hundred ninety-one thousand, five hundred seventy-one pesos and 26 cents, national currency).

Total spent on construction: $370,403.84. (three hundred seventy thousand, four hundred and three dollars and 84 cents, national currency).

Total spent on materials for equipping the autonomous school and clinic: $102,457.42 (one hundred and two thousand, four hundred fifty-seven thousand pesos and 42 cents, national currency).

Cash remaining: $718,710.00 (seven hundred and eighteen thousand, seven hundred and ten pesos, national currency).

With the remaining cash, the Zapatista people of La Realidad propose to work collectively toward the following:

The purchase and sale of cattle: $200,000.00 (Two hundred thousand pesos, national currency).

The purchase and sale of coffee and corn: $100,000.00 (One hundred thousand pesos, national currency).

The purchase of a three-ton vehicle to serve the community: $200,000.00 (Two hundred thousand pesos, national currency).

Support for a store, cafeteria, and bakery for the compañeras’ collective work: $100,000.00 (One hundred thousand pesos, national currency).

For the Zapatista resistance fund: $118,719.00 (One hundred and eighteen thousand seven hundred and nineteen pesos, national currency).

Total cash remaining plus expenses: $1,191,571.26 (one million, one hundred ninety-one thousand, five hundred seventy-one pesos and 26 cents, national currency).

Thus the accounts balance and are now closed. Now all that is left is to continue struggling.

The words of compañero Jorge, Zapatista base of support for the EZLN. In Zapatista La Realidad, at the inauguration of the Autonomous Zapatista School “Compañero Galeano” and the Autonomous Clinic October 26 “Compañero Insurgente Pedro,” on March 1 2015.

Good morning compañeros and compañeras.

I would like to say a few words as the compañero in charge of this community.

The capitalist government wants to destroy our autonomy and put an end to the EZLN, but we know well that they will never be able to do this, because whatever the bad government destroys, our autonomy [re]builds.

We will continue to exercise and increase our autonomy and our resistance as the EZLN because we well know that the ones who don’t resist are those who are fooled by the bad government and paid to destroy things. But they won’t achieve anything with their depraved ideas. It is a shame that there are people who allow this, who let themselves be used by the bad government, and don’t realize how they are manipulated and deceived by the crumbs that the bad government throws them.

All of this that I am describing here is no lie, because what they destroyed is already reconstructed much better than it was before, so that the bad government can see that as Zapatistas, we [re]-build what they destroy.

And everything that happened on May 2 is not just about us here, but also shared by the national and international Sixth and the world. That is why we, as the EZLN, are here with the compañeros who are authorities in this zone to receive our new school and clinic, because what happed to our compañero Galeano is unforgettable.

We also thank the compañeros of the national and international Sixth who offered their support for the construction of our new school and clinic in this Zapatista community, La Realidad, with special thanks to the compañeros from France, Italy (inaudible) and the other compañeros who offered their support.

For all of this, for what happened on May 2, the government has not done justice, because we know that it is a corrupt and murderous government.

I also want to let you know that later on we will continue with another homage that will be held elsewhere, on May 2. Our compañero Galeano will never be forgotten because he struggled for the people and carried out his duty as a Zapatista.

Thank you, compañeros.

Words of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee of the EZLN, in the voice of Comandante Tacho

Good morning compañeros. Good morning everyone.

In the name of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee of this zone and of the other zones that accompany us in our homage to our compañero, I will allow myself a few words on behalf of all of the compañero bases of support, milicianos, insurgents, the General Command and the entire EZLN.

With your permission, compañeros.

Compañeros and compañeras of the Sixth in Mexico and the International Sixth across the world:

Brothers and sisters:

Today, March 1, 2015, the bases of support of our Zapatista National Liberation Army in the Selva Fronteriza (Border Jungle) Zone are witness to the conclusion of the construction of the autonomous school and the health clinic belonging to our compañero bases of support in resistance of the community Nueva Victoria, known as La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico. Our school and clinic had been destroyed under the orders of the three levels of bad government, paramilitary boss Manuel Velasco, and supreme criminal boss Peña Nieto, and those who organized the destruction of the autonomous school and the health clinic of our compañeros and compañeras, along with the cruel and cowardly punishment of our unforgettable compañero Galeano, zone-level teacher for the Little School for Freedom According to the Zapatistas, on May 2, 2014.

The bad governments’ plan is to what it can everyday to destroy the autonomy of our Zapatista people in resistance, of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation. The rotting death of this bad neoliberal capitalist system has organized counterinsurgency methods to provoke confrontations between villages and Zapatista communities, which they then use to justify military intervention. It is clear to us that all of the acts of provocation by paramilitary groups paid and trained by these bad governments are meant to destroy the resistance of our people.

That is why today, March 1, 2015, we thank the compañeros and compañeras of the Sixth in Mexico and the International Sixth across the world, and all noble and good people who expressed solidarity with our struggle. On behalf of our Selva Fronteriza Zone, caracol Mother of the Caracoles, Sea of our Dreams, we give you our thanks. Because of your solidarity and economic support, we were able to rebuild the autonomous school and health clinic. We are very grateful that together we have been able to build what the bad governments dedicate themselves to destroying.

All of this is a fact, and provides more proof that when we are coordinated and organized we can change our lives, building from below and to the left new things for the good of the people, for and from the people. That is why today in this Selva Fronteriza Zone we accept your great support and solidarity in the construction of the school, called Companero Galeano Autonomous School, and the clinic, called 26 of October Compañero Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro Autonomous Health Clinic.

Thank you, compañeros and compañeras of the Sixth in Mexico.

Thank you compañeros and compañeras of the International Sixth across the world.

Thanks to the solidarity organizations who provided economic support.

Thanks to the noble and good people for your support and solidarity.

Thanks you to everyone.

La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico. Caracol I “Mother of the Caracoles. Sea of our Dreams.” March 1, 2015.

Many Thanks.

PHOTOS, GOSSIP, CRAMPS, AND NON-SCIENTIFIC REFERENCES courtesy of Los Tercios Compas.

SECTION “ENTRIES FROM THE DIARIES OF THE CAT-DOG:”

I don’t know, maybe it’s just a supposition, but it could be more profitable to try to convince the millions that are going to vote anyway to vote for you, rather than attacking those who aren’t going to vote or who are going to cancel their votes or whatever. Because responding to skepticism with arguments along the lines of “peñabots”—”go get your sandwich and your juice box”; “not voting is a vote for the PRI,” and their equivalents—in addition to being the same arguments used by the PANistas and their PTistas and PRDistas allies and the rest of them, are, well, how to explain? Hmm…okay, in the nicest way possible: the level of argument is an indicator of the level of intelligence and the command of language. Or maybe it’s that you already see that you’re not going to come out ahead and you are looking for someone to blame? No come on! Get excited! The funding is set up, the [party] registration is filed, the right environment, press, leader, structure, and tribunals have been put in place, and there is a candidate for 2018, 2024, and 2030, and so on! Oh, what, you’re lacking ideas? Imagination? Shame? A politics of smart alliances? Oh well, “Quod natura non dat, INE non præstat“(from the Latin “that which nature has not given, the INE [National Electoral Institute] will not provide). But, that’s ok! There is always the option of creating another par…oh oh, there’s citizen Card—– raising his hand!

-Pst, pst. They should have appointed Deepak Chopra to a position or put him in charge of the party’s strategy for science and culture. It would surprise you how many cultured people would put aside their skepticism and vote. Hmm…although it’s true, it may be a vote against you.

-Another reason NOT to rely on Twitter as a source of information: reading about the topic on Twitter you would conclude that: Islamophobia = a fear of islands.

(to be continued…)

[i] Pozol is a highly nutritious drink made from ground maíz (corn) mixed with water. It is commonly consumed in the Mexican countryside as a midday meal.

[ii] Literally this would be something like “Odd Ones Out Compas

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2015/03/05/gracias-i/

 

 

 

ON THE BULLETIN BOARD 

The Concierge

ZAPATISTA NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY

The comandantes

March 2015.

Early morning in reality.

Just here, as usual: watching and listening. The crack in the wall is barely visible from the other side. On our side it expands with persistence.

In the classrooms and in the huts of the thousands of Zapatista families who received, housed, fed, and cared for thousands of others,[1] men, women, and children from the five continents, the evaluations made by the teachers and votanes after you all left still resound.

Some of the evaluations were harsh, it’s true, but that probably won’t matter to those who claimed to have been moved by the experience and then continued on with their lives as if nothing had happened, avoiding looking in the mirror or editing that glance at their whim. Despite this, according to what I’ve heard, there were some, a few, that were evaluated as “pretty good.”

“Pretty good” is how the compas describe something good without making a fuss. “How are you?” “Well, I’m here, pretty good,” is how we greet each other.

Meanwhile time marches on just as we do, without fuss, just moving along, like shadows…

And the compa Galeano, who lit up these classrooms, houses, and schools with his word, now fallen and silent, murdered.

Then came the embrace of our compañeros, collective and sincere, from the Sixth.

The distinct and different colors that helped us paint death another way, the night sparkling, the rain coming down while a cat-dog howled-meowed, calling on the light to relieve the shadow.

And we, mocking death, playing with marked cards, deceiving it with names.

Death is losing here. Just as it has for hundreds of years, same as always.

But no, it’s not the same as always. Now that which is compa[2] is made with the figure 6, uniting against fucking death.

And the 6, overwhelming in its unprecedented stubbornness: you’re not alone, enough, not again, never again.

So then, back to reconstructing what was destroyed.

And then the peoples who are our teachers arrive, the native peoples, and they nourish us with their words, their pain, their rebellion, their resistance.

In the north, the Yaqui tribe is attacked once again and dignity is taken prisoner, as if the earth could be locked up behind bars.

And the system, the fucking capitalist system, paints history as horror. As it always does.

But we learn quickly that “Ayotzinapa” does not only name terror, and that injustice has many names in many times in all geographies.

“Ayotzinapa” also names the simplest kind of dignity—that is, the most powerful kind. The families of the 46 refuse to swallow a lie, reject bribes, and resist an oblivion that threateningly bears its teeth with each turn of the calendar.

This is the kind of dignity that moves our history forward, the kind that does not deserve biographies, studies, specialties, tributes, or museums: dignity from below, so anachronistic above, so incomprehensible, so persistent, so threatened.

When we see them, we see ourselves. And when we hear them, we hear ourselves. Our leadership spoke the truth when they embraced them and said, “Your pain is our pain, and your dignified rage is also our dignified rage.”

And when resistance and rebellion are convoked in calendar and geography, we are there just behind them, without making noise, making sure that it is the families who step up on stage, that they fuel other hearts with their pain, that their own hearts grow by listening to other words. We are just behind them, yes, but with a notebook and a pen: watching, listening, knowing, admiring.

And up above the competitions in the “protestadium:” the disputes over who gets the stage, over social networks, over broken glass, over good manners and bad manners, over a protest converted into a society page in the paper; and here below, the silent bridge of gazes.

Up there above they are making calculations over how much can be made off the movement; here below the questions are, “Where is truth? When is justice?”

There above, the so-called radicalism promises to itself that it will drive the new R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N (which in reality is quite old), programming activities that it will not attend (the assault on the Winter Palace can’t conflict with the holidays); and the families all alone, stiff with cold and rage.

And below, an anonymous hand offers something for the cold, the rain, the rage. A cup of hot coffee, a piece of bread to entertain the belly, a piece of plastic to keep out the rain, something for wet feet. And a murmur: “When they all leave, [those who are] no one will be left.”

Over there, outside and above, the well-behaved are still pointing out bad behavior. The captains of discipline installed throughout the media and social networks. Police without uniforms but with a platform and a congregation (they’re called “followers”)!

And there above, Power has its habits and customs: its mercenary pens, its slander, its lies, its enslavement through the media and the judiciary. The multiple death: killing life, killing memory, killing truth, killing justice: “The fault lies with the parents for sending them to study instead of sending them off to be braceros.”[3]

There above, the latest fads: the elections, the candidates and the “options.” And the common denominator: a profound disdain for truth, for people, for history, for reality.

There above, they know that they don’t know what they should know: the catastrophe advances. They think if they simply don’t name it, it will disappear. They talk about time, the media machine, the internal adjustments, the electoral season, registration, credit, foreign investment, Spain, Greece. Everything will be fine, nothing to worry about. Because if they were to point out the storm, they would also be pointing to their responsibility… and their utter uselessness.

But no!

In a letter to their reluctant brother, [ 4] somebody lets it slip: “Over here we think that everything is going to get worse for everybody everywhere.”

_*_

Meanwhile, here below, in reality, the truth is known. There is no justice. Carefully, so that the memory of it is not broken in the process, the part that was destroyed is moved off to one side. This isn’t to forget about it, but to raise upon it a new building. “Another, more better” building as they say here.

There is the coming and going of people and materials, the rain and the sun, the cold and the heat, the hunger, tiredness, sickness. And then the ruckus that comes when the announcement is made “cover your heads, we’re going to take a picture so that out there they know that here our word means something.”

One guy who didn’t get a handkerchief or a ski mask pulls his T-shirt over his head, leaving just a little slit to see through. Somebody jokes, “sonofa…even here there are infiltrators.”

They laugh. But you can’t see that they are laughing. I can hear them, but the photo isn’t going to have audio so you’ll only see that they have their faces covered, and you’ll see the shovels, the hammers, the saw, the wheelbarrows, the cement mixer, and behind them the skeleton of a house, or maybe of a whale, who knows.

Later the skeleton has eyes, although it isn’t clear yet what they are supposed to be, because someone has to explain, “this hole here is going to be a door, this other one here is going to be a window.”

Where the real suffering and sweat happens is in the accounting. “Because we have to make exact reports, so that nobody thinks the money went to liquor or stupid shit.” The accounts don’t balance, so once again they enter the money that came in, what was spent, and what’s left.

Then there are the “anti’s” from the Murderous CIOAC-Historic who send their spies. Their disappointment is audible: “man, they don’t get tired,” they say; “now they have the walls up already,” they repeat; “man, they’re already building the second floor,” they exclaim, scandalized; and then, “They just don’t stop,” in resignation.

I see that it is no longer the skeleton of a house, nor of a whale. Its eyes and its mouth can be seen clearly—that is, its doors and windows.

They paint murals on it. Someone says, “it would be cool if horses really looked like that.” They laugh. Even Selena laughs, and she’s about to get married.

I come closer to see what all the noise is about. They are setting a date for the inauguration. They get serious because the work won’t be done by the day they had been discussing.

Then there is laughter again.

Later, the rain comes during the dance after the grand opening, as it tends to do. Then there is mud and they keep dancing. They are not celebrating because there is a new school and clinic in La Realidad, but because there are compas in reality. That’s why all that dancing leaves the ground flat.

Somewhere else there is a meeting.

I hear clearly that the leaders, men and women, say, “we have an agreement.”

They call the concierge, that’s me. They ask me for an account of what I have seen and heard.

I say: “well, sometimes one can’t hear everything or see everything well, it depends…” There is silence. They know this isn’t the answer yet, that this is our way of talking, round and round until we get to the point.

So, after a few rounds, I give the answer. I don’t say a lot, nor a little, just what is necessary. They listen in silence. Then they speak. One says, “that is indeed what we are seeing where I come from.” “Same here,” says another. Others concur. More words are exchanged. In reality they haven’t asked in order to find out, but to confirm.

As I am leaving someone stops me and says: “this is what has been happening for 500 years. But what we really need to learn is algebra.”

The meeting continues.

I’m out in the cold, cursing, but being careful so that no one hears me. Well, maybe just the cat-dog. When I realize it’s there, it’s already too late. But the story it tells me will have to wait because I know that the leadership is putting calendars and geographies to its words.

It is the wee early morning hours when SubMoy comes and gives me a piece of paper.

All at once?” I ask.

Yes,” he says, and adds, “and say there will be more information later. This is so the ones who will come get can get started planning.”

Then he gives me some paintbrushes. I’m about to ask him, anxiously, if I have to sweep the floor with these, when he says: “those are for the crack in the wall.”

I wait a little and then ask, “and the colors?”

Ah,” SupMoy says, already at the doorway of the hut, “our visitors will bring the colors.”

So I went to the bulletin board, and I wrote everything up in one go. Done.

(…)

Oh! You can’t see our bulletin board. Okay, okay, okay, here it is:

ANNOUNCEMENT TO THE SIXTH… alright, okay okay okay, TO EVERYONE:

Write this on your calendars and plan from your geographies:

–Various words to be shared about critical thinking, starting with a report on the completion and grand opening of the School-Clinic in La Realidad Zapatista. Date: to begin March 5, 2015, anniversary of the death of compañero Luis Villoro Toranzo. Place: wherever you are.

–The pending homage to compa Luis Villoro Toranzo and homage to compa Galeano on the first anniversary of his death. Date: May 2, 2015. Place: Caracol of Oventik. Special Invitees: family of Don Luis Villoro Toranzo, family of those absent from Ayotzinapa, and the Sixth.

–Beginning of the Seminar “Critical Thought Versus the Capitalist Hydra.” Date: May 3-9, 2015. Place: to begin in the Caracol of Oventik and continue in CIDECI, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. Participants: families of the absent of Ayotzinapa, national and international critical thinkers, and the EZLN. Special invitee: the Sixth.

–From July to December 2015. Decentralized, diverse, simultaneous, selective, massive, etc. World Seminar: “Critical Thought Versus the Capitalist Hydra.” Place: Planet Earth. Participants: The Sixth and others.

–Second Grade of the Little School (only for those who passed the first grade).

Date: July 31, August 1-2, 2015. Place: locations to be specified later. Participants: only those who receive an invitation for the second grade and pass the admissions exam. More information later.

Fiesta for the Caracoles: Date: August 8-9, 2015. Place: the 5 Zapatista Caracoles

–Third Grade of the Little School (only for those who pass the second grade). Date:

November-December 2015. Specific dates to be determined. Place: to be determined.

So there you have it. As we say here: “more information, later on.”

From this side of the crack in the wall of the Little School.

SupGaleano

Concierge until further notice.

Mexico, March 2015

Section “From the Journals of the Cat-Dog”:

–That deputized assassin, Mario Fabio Beltrones Rivera, was right when he said that: (the candidacy of) “Carmen Salinas doesn’t impoverish the political class.” It’s true, it actually encapsulates the political class better than any analysis: Carmen Salinas makes a living acting, as does the entire Mexican political class.

–The differences between the proposals of the various political parties are the equivalent of those between Tiger Balm and Aromatherapy. They are equally useless, but one is progressive and provides more intellectual prestige. Even in esotericism there are social classes, my dear.

(to be continued…)

[1] The text uses “otroas” meaning “other,” to give a range of possible gendered pronouns including male, female, transgender and others.

[2] Compa is short for compañero o compañera, like comrade.

[3] Cheap manual labor for the US.

[4] The author uses an explicitly ambiguous term, “bajo-protesta,” which in Spanish simultaneously means reluctance and/or “under oath.”

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2015/03/04/en-el-tablon-de-avisos-el-conserje/