UK Zapatista Network | A website for UK-based Zapatista groups
Zapatista women march for an end to militarization If you or someone you know would like to donate equipment, please contact [email protected] Date: Fri, 10 Mar (PST) From: paz libertad. email: [email protected] activities in support to the general Campaign choosing this date to be the anniversary of the murder of Zapata. Unlike other Zapatista spokespeople, Marcos is not an indigenous Mayan. The date refers to a terrorist group in Mexico's Chiapas state.
In the land of the Zapatistas, the people rule and the government obeys. But it could be true, that the truth and justice that you and we and everyone are seeking can be found thanks to the generosity of a leader surrounded by people as intelligent as he is, a savior, a master, a chief, a boss, a shepherd, a governor, and all this with the minimal effort of a ballot and a ballot box, with a tweet, by attending a march, a rally, signing a petition… or by remaining silent in the face of the farce that feigns patriotic interest while what it really longs for is Power.
What we Zapatistas have learned is that the answer is No. That the only thing offered from above is exploitation, theft, repression, disdain. That is to say, all we can expect from above is pain. And from above, they are demanding, calling on you to follow them.
That say that you owe it to them that your pain is now known all over the world. That you owe them for all the occupied plazas, the streets filled with colorful protest and creativity.
We Zapatistas have only this to say: They are the ones who do not deserve you. They are the ones who are attracted to your pain as they would be to a spectacle, either because it pleases them or disgusts them, but which they will never be a real part of. Be afraid yes, but only of forgetting your cause, of allowing your struggle to fall by the wayside.
But while you keep with it, while you resist, you will have the respect and admiration of many people in Mexico and the world.
People like those who are here with us today. But Adolfo is here, and we ask of him to let Don Pablo know about this next part.
I imagine that the Sup lit his pipe and then explained. Quite prestigious intellectuals have come here as have some not so prestigious ones. They have come to speak their word. Few, very few, have spoken with the comandantas and comandantes. And only with these three persons have I seen my bosses, the comandantes and comandantas, speak and listen as equals, with trust and mutual camaraderie.
How did they do it? We Zapatistas do not value thinking on the basis of how much it coincides with ours or not, but upon whether it makes us think or not, on whether it provokes our thought or not, and above all, whether it provides a true account of reality. These three persons have held, it is true, different positions and even contrary ones to ours across diverse situations.
Never, ever have they been against us. And in spite the moving trends, they have been by our side. But they have helped us understand that there are various positions and different thoughts, and that it is reality that gets to judge, not any self-established court within academia or from within militant struggle.
Provoking thought, discussion, debate is something that we Zapatistas value very much. And believe me that orthodox critical thought, for lack of a better phrase, has a lot to learn in this respect from anarchist thought, and not only in that regard. To give you an example, the current critique of the State is something that anarchist thought has been developing for some time.
Mexican president-elect rebuffed by Zapatista rebels [Video]
The family members were afraid and enraged, and they wanted to speak, but the head bureaucrat claimed that only those already on the list could speak, and he intimated them. The way Don Mario put it, give or take a word or two, was: But it happened that the one who did it was named Adolfo Gilly.
As Zapatistas, we have also learned that nothing that we deserve and need is achieved easily or quickly. Because up above, hope is a commodity, yes. But below, it is a struggle for a certain truth: We will get what we need and deserve because we are organizing and we are struggling for it. Happiness is not our destiny. Our destiny is to struggle, always struggle, at all hours, at every moment, in every place.
Because, believe it or not, the originary peoples are specialists in storms. We call ourselves Zapatistas. And for over 30 years we have paid the price of that name, in life and in death. All that we have, that is to say, our survival in spite of everything and in spite of everyone above who has come and gone in the calendars and geographies, we do not owe to individuals.
We owe it to our collective and organized struggle. Because this is how the collective cancels out that individuality that supplants and imposes, pretending to represent and lead. This is why we have said to you, families in search for truth and justice, that when everyone leaves your side, we who are NOBODY will remain. But there are more, many more. You will continue to have our affection, our respect, our admiration. There is so much that we cannot do, that we cannot give you.
Instead, what we have is a memory forged in centuries of silence and abandonment, in solitude, in a place assaulted by distinct colors, different flags, various languages. Always by the system, the fucking system that is above us. The system that exists at our cost.
All stubborn memories do is not forget, and that is how they struggle. The plazas and streets empty out, government posts and administrations end, palaces are demolished, cars and windows are replaced, museums get moldy, and social media runs from one place to the other, demonstrating that frivolity, like capitalism, can be massive and simultaneous. But moments arrive, compas family members of the absent, when memory is the only thing left. Because we should tell you that the persistent memory of the Zapatistas is quite other.
When did the Zapatista movement start?
It carries with it a record of pain and rage of days past, sketching in its notebook maps of the calendars and geographies that have been forgotten above, but not only this. As Zapatistas, our memory also looks for what is to come. It signals times and places. If there exists no geographic location for that tomorrow, we start gathering twigs, stones, strips of clothing and meat, bones and clay, and we begin constructing and islet, or better yet, a rowboat planted in the middle of tomorrow, the place where one can still just barely see the storm looming ahead.
And if there is no hour, day, week, month, or year on the calendar that we recognize, well we begin to gather the fractions of seconds, barely minutes, and filter them through the cracks that we open in the wall of history.
And then it turns out that someone walks by and sees us, sees the Zapatistas, hitting ourselves hard against that wall. Sometimes that passerby is someone who thinks that they know everything.
And then they hit it. That someone, who thinks that they know everything, comes back, since their journey is one of always coming and going, as if checking in on their subjects. They now see that another one has joined in the same stubborn task. They speak a lot and say very little: It is indestructible, eternal, endless. I promise you that I can soften it up. In any case, we will always be on this side of it.
It will always be there. All you need to do is think positively. Look, what a coincidence, I happen to have on me this religion, trend, philosophy, alibi that can help you. You will find there the ones—women, men, or others—who hit with their shoulders, their bodies, their lives. There are ones with a book, a paintbrush, a guitar, a turntable, a verse, a hoe, a hammer, a magic wand, a pen. Man, there are even ones who can hit that wall with a pas de chat [a ballet step].
And well, things might start to happen then because it turns out that dancing is contagious. And someone has a marimba, a keyboard and a ball, and then the shifts… well, you can imagine. It continues undaunted, powerful, unchanging, deaf, blind. And the paid media begins to appear: The parade of specialists goes on. The conclusion is unanimous: The tumult of cameras and microphones produce a curious effect: A great and moving speech. They will run an article about it.
No one asks the Zapatistas anything. The wall heals itself. Sometimes the wall dresses itself up nicely, and on its surface a pleasant landscape appears. Other times it is hard and grey, as if trying to convince everyone of its solid impenetrability. They know how it was erected, what its function is. They know its deception. And they also know how to destroy it. They know that both are false. But right now, the important thing is the crack, that it not close, that it expand. Because the Zapatista also knows what exists on the other side of the wall.
Even though it will have to be memorized because the recorder is done, the camera is better not described, and the tripod metamorphosed into a centipede right then and there.
ZAPATISTAS: Call to international solidarity
It could be millennia, centuries, decades, half a decade, years, months, weeks, days… or already tomorrow? But not everyone walked past. Not everyone walked by and judged, absolved, or condemned. They were there, silent, watching. It also does not mean disapproval or agreement. Among those few there was one, there is one. Sometimes that one joins the soccer league that the anti-wall commando organizes in order to continue hitting, even if sometimes what he hits is a soccer ball and later what he plays is the marimba keyboard.
Nobody is named Juan or Juana or Krishna, no. In a corner, a restless little girl starts to put on some rubber boots that, you can tell, are too big for her. The little girl, it is clear, is recruiting players to challenge the losing team. Yes, because over here, the team that wins gets to go hit on the wall.
The little girl already has a good part of her team, which she shows off to the man. It wags its tail with enthusiasm. I looked in the book on herbalism to find what a little animal like that is called. Pedrito told me that the Sup used to say that he was called a cat-dog. If they fight, his mom knocks them both on the head and they calm down, but Pedrito argues a lot about freedom according to the zapatillas [house slippers] and who knows that else.
Pedrito owes her and he has it coming. The other day we almost won, but the ball went into the bushes and then it was time to drink our pozol and the game was suspended. But anyway, I tell you, that cat-dog whatever-you-call-it, one of his eyes is yellow like this.
The little girl has just described a color using her little hands. The man had seen many worlds and many hardships, but he had never met anyone who could describe a color with a mere gesture. You know how that stubborn-ass capitalism works? Well look, lemme give you a political lecture. It messes with you all over the place. It bites everything, the fucking system. It scarfs everything down and if it sees that it has gotten all big and fat, then it vomits it up so it has room again to keep going some more.
A representative of the tzotzil highlands warns "the situation is grave. When there is military movement like there is now, it means that at any moment something could happen. A teacher reports that in La Realidad, a helicopter hovered so low that is seemed like it were going to land in the patio of the elementary school.
From within the helicopter, a soldier videotaped inside the classroom. Similar actions have occurred in other communities in recent days. In Oventic, soldiers shoot into the air in the afternoon and the paramilitary groups surround the communities in the night.
A community authority explains, "This means that want to provoke us, threaten us for wanting to struggle peacefully. What the government wants is an armed confrontation. We will make sure that there is no response to the government provocation. But nor will we accept being humiliated by them, because the cause of our struggle is fair and true. The militarization and the paramilitarization has promoted and increased the violence, the division, the murder, prostitution, drug addiction, and alcoholism.
All this has gravely damaged our towns and communities. Meanwhile, in Mexico City, the women of the UNAM declared that they could not celebrate Di'a de la Mujer when 44 women students are incarcerated for the crime of defending the university.