Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Plenary words of the Comandantas and Comandantes

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
*************************************
Translated by irlandesa



Words Spoken by the Comandantas and Comandantes at the Opening of the Plenary Meeting, September 16, 2005



Words from Comandante David

Compañeros and compañeras, indigenous brothers and sisters from Mexico and the world and to all those who embrace the Sixth Declaration.

In the name of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN, we have the following to say:

As indigenous of our country, Mexico, and of our entire continent, we are the ones to whom everything has been denied, even our existence.

From the Conquest to our time, they have humiliated us, they have silenced us and they have tried to exterminate us, but they have taught us, over long years of pain and suffering, to resist. That is why they have not been able to extinguish our struggle, our resistance, our rebellion and our indignation against injustice and subjugation.

The fury and rebellion of the indigenous peoples of Mexico and of all America have been fuelled by the conquistadors themselves and by their descendents with their cruelty and barbarity against the indigenous. Our peoples do not forget their history, their sorrow and their struggle. They are kept safely in the hearts and thoughts of all of us who are the first ones of these lands of Mexico and of America. Because the lives and blood of many millions of fallen and massacred indigenous brothers continue to demand justice and liberty. That is why, throughout more than 500 years of sorrowful history, there have been movements, resistance struggles and wars by the indigenous against their oppressors and the bad leaders.

In the case of our beloved country Mexico, from the Conquest until our days it has been stained and cultivated with the blood of millions of indigenous.

Many thousands of indigenous died during the Conquest, and hundreds of thousands were enslaved.

During the War of Independence of eighteen hundred and ten, led by Padre Hidalgo, it was us, the indigenous, who gave the most blood for the independence and liberty of our Patria.

It is exactly today, September 16, 2005, when we remember with pride our indigenous brothers who died and all those who gave their lives because they wanted to give us liberty and independence. But after that war of independence and liberty, we indigenous continued to occupy the same places of slavery, of poverty, of being humiliated and forgotten, the blood of our fallen was ignored, as was the existence of those who had survived.

Thus there was no liberty or independence for the indigenous, only their masters and lords were changed.

We were not included in the laws that were drawn up during those times.

Then the Revolution of 1910, and it was also us, the indigenous and campesinos, who gave the most blood and lives for land and liberty, because it was our indigenous and campesino brothers who fought with valor and heroism, without fear of losing more than their own lives.

But after that revolution, there still was not any land or liberty for the indigenous and campesinos. Those who assumed power in the name of the revolution after the assassination of our General Emiliano Zapata also forgot about the indigenous. They drew up laws like the Constitution of 1917, and we were not included or recognized in that Mexican Constitution either.

As indigenous and campesinos, we are still the same or worse than jodidos, because we do not have the right to anything, not to land, health, education, food, a dignified life or to being respected.

And so struggles and revolutions have taken place, and we indigenous and campesinos have always stayed the same. Always set to one side, always marginalized and forgotten.

Compañeros and compañeras, brothers and sisters, we can no longer allow this sad history that we have been suffering for centuries to keep repeating itself. We cannot allow them to keep mocking us.

All indigenous and campesinos, and all honest men and women who inhabit our Mexican Patria, our continent and our entire world, have the right and the duty to change this reality and to build a new history, the history of humanity, the history of the world.

That is why - through this struggle the zapatistas are engaging in and this great movement we are building with all the indigenous and campesinos - we will no longer remain excluded, we will be an important part of history and of nations.

That is why it will be what it will be, and we will conquer the place that belongs to us and which the indigenous, the campesinos and all the exploited deserve. The struggle is ours, the Patria is ours and history is ours.


Words of Comandanta Esther

Good evening, Compañeras and Compañeros.

In the name of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

We would like to say a few words to all the women who are here and not here, those who have joined the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona. We must continue fighting as women in order to defend our rights, because for more than 500 years the bad leaders and the powerful have denied us the right and the place which belongs to us as persons. And they have treated us like objects, and they imposed that on our fathers and grandfathers. That is why now some of our fathers, brothers and husbands tell us we are useless, and that we are only good for taking care of children and taking care of the home and that we are weak, that we do not know how to think or to make decisions. These bad ideas have kept all the women in the countryside and the city dominated.

But this is not true, we women can indeed organize ourselves, hold positions and make decisions, just like men. That is why I am telling you that we shall keep fighting together to defend the rights we deserve as women and as human beings.

If we do not do anything, our daughters and granddaughters will continue to live the way it is now in our country, because the majority of women are not taken into account, we are not respected, we do not have dignified work. That is why many women leave to look for work in other countries like the United States. There they receive mistreatment, humiliation, contempt, exploitation, death, and their rights are often violated by their employers.

But this situation in our country cannot continue like this if we want women to have secure work, a fair salary, dignified and respectful treatment.

In order to achieve this, time is necessary, and sacrifice, responsibility, patience and resistance. Like this work and organization we are beginning together, there will be many problems and obstacles. But we cannot leave the struggle because of this, because it is not about just trying it for a while. It is going to take years to achieve what we want, and because of that we must be firm and strong and always seek solutions to the problems we will be encountering.

That is why it is now the hour to unite our strengths in order to achieve our objective. Courage, then, compañeras, workers, teachers, doctors, artists, lesbians, intellectuals, young people, housewives and all sectors of society. Do not become discouraged, because there is no other path left to us than that of continuing to fight together, men, women, young people, girls and boys, old ones, so that we may be taken into account in our country Mexico.

But we also want to talk a bit about the struggle of indigenous women. We, as indigenous women, are also struggling for the same circumstances, because we suffer from triple exploitation, for being women, for being indigenous and for being poor. Because we are women, they do not take us into account, we are humiliated, despised. Because we are indigenous, we are discriminated against because of our clothing, color, language and cultures. Because we are poor, we do not have a right to health, to education, and they forget about us. That is why we decided to organize and to fight together in order to get out of this situation. It does not matter to us if there is persecution, incarceration, kidnapping, even death if it is necessary. In spite of all this, here we are, and we shall continue fighting, and we are not going to surrender nor sell ourselves for the little bit of charity the bad government gives, let alone to hold some government position.

Thank you to the struggle that gave us this space to participate, to unite our strength and to struggle together, men and women, because without the men or without the women, the struggle would not move forward. That is why the participation of everyone is very important, without distinction as to race or color.

Lastly, I just want to tell you to join our strengths together in order to achieve democracy, liberty and justice for all.


Words of Lieutenant Colonel Moisés

Garrucha Meeting

Good evening to all the compañeros and compañeras, and so, as compañero Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos said, I am speaking in the name of my compañeros and compañeras from the political-military wing. The compañero and compañera comandantes and comandantas are the organizational political part, those who guide us on our path of struggle. We are the soldiers of the people who left our fathers and mothers and everything. There are insurgent compañeros and compañeras who have now left their families forever, because they died while carrying out their duties. Those of us who are still alive are striking blows against the bad government, the exploiters, and we are not going to stop striking out at those bad, exploitative governments. We, the insurgents and insurgentas, are here out of conscience. The great payment that we will receive someday is that of one day seeing these people - which are called Mexico - being free. That is why we are a political-military army which took up arms in order to look after and defend our compañeros and compañeras of our peoples in struggle.

You have seen that while fighting, we have spoken truly and clearly about how they exploit us, how they humiliate us, and by organizing against that, and by fighting against that, repression comes. They do not want us to learn to make a new politics and another way of doing politics. That is why we are defenders of our organized peoples who are struggling politically.

It is exactly what we are doing now with these peoples who are here and those who are not here now, we want to fight politically and peacefully. We are not a militaristic army, we use arms to defend ourselves, in order to conquer liberty, justice and democracy.

Politically we understand that the people of Mexico should have democracy, and that is what we are organizing and we are demanding be practiced.

We had to form an army of the people in order to make it real and make democracy really of the people. We are very otherly, it is a different kind of army, crazy but good for the people.

Willing to go all the way, to die if it necessary, by the people and for the people and of the people of Mexico. It is so much like that that the EZLN practices democracy with its villages and regions, it consults with its villages on its initiatives of struggle. That is what it did in '93, we asked if we should begin our struggle. It has done so on several occasions, and now it did so with the Sixth Declaration and the great majority of our peoples said yes.

It is easy to give orders, but we did not do it like that, because it would not be a democracy that way, they were consulted as to whether they were in agreement with the initiative. With this new plan we are carrying out, together now, in the Sexta, there is something I would like to tell or recount to you. It is not very easy for me to tell you, but that is how it is when you really fight and one is willing to go all the way. That is what I want to talk to you about, but I'll see if I can.

I, Lieutenant Colonel Moisés, came to the mountains to prepare myself to be an insurgent, and - as it is when someone arrives to be part of the insurgent ranks - you learn, and later you are given command responsibility in order to teach others. For many years, my commander was our unforgettable Compañero Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro.

One day he said to me - I do not remember the exact date, but it was in 1993 - he said to me, or he called to me: "Moy, come here," and I went to where he was, in his house, in one of the barracks we had, but this one I'm telling you about was the "Collective" barracks. I came, and he said to me: "Listen, Moy, since we're going to go out in public now in order to start our struggle for National Liberation, if anything happens or happens to me, you'll be my second in command. I'm putting you in charge of the compañeros and compañeras and to continue the fight, continue the work. Just like me," he told me, "I'm the second in command for compañero Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos." What do you think happened? I don't really feel like telling it, because it's not a story, it's not a story I really want to tell, it's very painful and distressing and mixed up with anger and sadness. When you are close to a compañero, and he's your commander, to see a faithful compañero die who you have lived with for a long time is like something...no, better that I don't tell you...

But our commanders, those who know how to honor their given word, they honor it at first if circumstances allow, if not, they fulfill their duty.

I remember the last time Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro and Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos saw each other, and I was there. I personally heard the last directions Subcomandante Marcos gave to Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro. Sub Marcos said to Sub Pedro: "Pedro, you are my second, remember, so be careful you don't die," Subcomandante Marcos said, and Subcomandante Pedro answered: "We'll take care of each other, compañero." Those were the last words exchanged between Subcomandante Marcos and Subcomandante Pedro.

Subcomandante Pedro was very happy, I remember he gathered together the insurgent compañeros and compañeras of the First Regiment, and he told us: "Compañeros, compañeras, now we're going to come out publicly, now they're going to know who we're fighting for, the people of Mexico."

We have to organize with them, the workers, and then he said, it's where I came from, because he was a worker, he wasn't indigenous, but he turned into an indigenous person with us and he died among the indigenous. A worker who was loyal to us is no longer with us physically, but he dreamed this, what we are doing here, he dreamed of being here with workers, campesinos, indigenous, teachers, students, neighbors, artists, and many others, he told us. This dream he dreamed, what he dreamed is what we are doing right now, and that is why I am speaking for him, because for us he is not dead, just like the great poverty and inequality we suffer have not died. For us he is not dead, and we have even triumphed, for us he is not dead, because what has to be built continues and we have even built what has to be built, for us he is not dead, because he will live among the living of the peoples of free Mexico. But for there to be free living beings in Mexico, you have to know how to give your life when it's necessary, and that is exactly what happened. He fell in combat on the dawn of the first day of January of the year of 1994 in Las Margaritas. He is with us there in a place where we have his body buried, his corpse, but he is here with us, and we want him to be with the compañeros and compañeras who have joined with the Sexta and with all the others.

As our commanders taught us, the one who follows, follows, and in this case it fell to me to continue the work that was left when compañero Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro fell.

I also remember that I wanted to speak to compañero Subcomandante Pedro when I reached the place where he had fallen, and I said to him: "What happened, Subcomandante, what happened?" He answered me with a silence. It hurts to see and lose a loved one of struggle who was at the same time your commander, but, as I told you, those of us who continue, will continue.

That is how we were made, organized, as soldiers. We are prepared for those events.

Like today, compañeros and compañeras. You know several of the compañeros and compañeras comandantes and comandantas, but someday we will not see them again, according to our circumstances in the struggle, the missions to be carried out, for the word given to struggle for a free Mexico.

Several of the compañeros and compañeras, comandantes and comandantas, are going to go to work in the Other Campaign. They were asked to make the decision to work in the Other Campaign voluntarily, because it is they and the people who we take care of. We, the insurgents, are also going to go out, but not voluntarily, by orders. If they say to us compañero, compañera, you're going to go out to work in the Other Campaign, or they tell us, compañero, keep taking care of our peoples and organize them better, the resistance, we will do that. Whatever it is, we will carry out our orders.

Our duty is to carry out the exploration of the land where we are going to take our compañeros and compañeras of our peoples, we are the soldiers, there are always those who go as vanguard. Vanguard is what we call those who go on ahead and see what the land is like ahead that we don't know yet. And the task of the one who goes as vanguard is to discover what is there. Whether the land is swampy, rocky, thorny and other circumstances which the vanguard observes, and he informs us of that so we know what to do and how to do it.

We know you understand vanguard as being the person who is going to lead, or those who know how to fight or the one who commands, and that they are the only ones and they are right and those who know more and who are, therefore, the leaders.

We do not understand it like that, the vanguard for us is like I just said, the one who goes to learn the land, unknown land for us, and it is necessary to go to that land in order to advance the struggle, that is our work, the military, the exploration of land.

We are already organized, reorganized and everything, for this work. The leadership succession is already in place.

The work of the vanguard of exploring the land for the Other Campaign has fallen to compañero Subcomandante Marcos. He will be the first to leave, and, after him, we will also follow, taking turns in order to do the work. Compañeros and compañeras, it has already been planned and decided.

The compañero second in charge to Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos is now ready. He is being guarded and looked after by us, the insurgents and insurgentas.

Compañeros and compañeras, the mission of struggle has fallen to compañero Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, we are entrusting you with very much. All you can do for his security, because he is going to leave and be out of our control, but we will remain very alert.

We know who the ones are who want there to be deaths, and that it would be better for them if those who are struggling were to die, and especially, especially if it were the zapatistas who were to die. They are planning that, how they are going to kill us. That is why I am entrusting you with so very much, compañeros and compañeras.

If that happens, our struggle will not be stopped, we are ready and prepared for that.

Listen well, compañeros and compañeras, our departure is political, ideological and peaceful, our initiative does not speak with bullets, but with words and thoughts and ideas.

Men and women of the national and international press, well, we could also call you compañeros, compañeras, if you join the work of the Sixth Declaration. But if you don't join, just be good communicators, say what is said, and don't make things up.

Listen well, then, our compañero Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos is going to depart, without arms, he's going to go with only what God gave him, and our initiative is political, peaceful, it's about ideas and thoughts and words.

Any attempt which the bad government and the exploiters make to do away with the struggle is going to fail, that is why we are staying, our liberation struggle will continue.

Compañeros and compañeras, compañero Subcomandante is not going to lead the people, we are not commanding, nor do we believe we are the vanguard of a struggle, that we're the best and the only ones. He is not going to promote armed struggle, he is going for what the poor people of Mexico want, political and peaceful struggle.

He is taking nothing other our word, which we want to join together with all our poor brothers and sisters in struggle in Mexico.

We, the soldiers of the people, have nothing. All we have is the aim of struggle, all of our equipment and arms are not ours, they belong to the people, we take care of them and use them for the struggle.

And so compañero Subcomandante Marcos is not taking anything. We trust in you, compañeros and compañeras, that you will be able to provide what is needed for the work we are entrusting you with. Well, there are some little things he'll be taking - you know which thing, right? - don't have bad thoughts. He's going to take his pipes, chewed up, obviously, which is now part of his life, his faithful compañera, inseparable for him. He's also going to take his beat-up computer so he can write us and tell us how his exploration of the environment is going. Today we are entrusting you with what he's lacking in his work.

One more time we are telling you that we are not going to provoke actions of war so there can be more deaths, not that, we are not seeking that. On the contrary, we want living lives, not deaths.

Compañeros and compañeras, we are giving everything: our top chiefs from our poor peoples, you will soon see, compañeros and compañeras.

Well, compañeros and compañeras, people of poor Mexico, it is our hour, it is the hour for the poor to together say ya basta!

Men and women, everyone, fight for this Patria, the one that gave us birth and which others wish to take over. We will not allow it, we will defend it as our loved ones fallen in battle have taught us. Today it is up to us, no one will do it for us, except we ourselves.

No one will come to liberate us from this ruinous state in which the criminals have placed us.

March on then, compañeros and compañeras! Let us all go towards the liberation struggle! Live for the patria or die for liberty!



Words of Comandante Tacho

Compañeras and Compañeros.

All those who have joined the Sixth Declaration.

In the name of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN and of the support base compañeros and compañeras of the rebel zapatista peoples, we are speaking our word.

We have spoken truthfully to the political class and the leaders, we have clearly told them what they are and what they are like. As for those who have felt hurt and offended by this, they will certainly try to come after us, because they do not like anyone telling them the truth. The politicians of the political parties who have been in power have committed many crimes against the people of Mexico.

As for the PRI, they are responsible for their actions in the massacre of 1968, where they were massacred for demanding their rights.

As they are responsible for other repressions and persecutions of other social and student movements.

In the countryside, the same federal and state officials used repressive force in order to crush and dislocate indigenous campesinos in different parts of the country. But there was more, they also incarcerated and assassinated campesinos unjustly. They are still being deprived of their liberty, and they are in their graves and in high security jails as if they were criminals, while the real criminals continue enjoying their freedom with large quantities of salaries, disguised as pensions.

This same PRI party, headed by Carlos Salinas, made the reforms to Article 27 of the Constitution for the purpose of burying the ideals of our General Emiliano Zapata. All this was, and is, in order to carry out the neoliberal plans to finish delivering our national sovereignty into the hands of the powerful moneyed ones.

That is why we say there have been many crimes. Because they themselves prepared this plan and right now they are continuing to carry it out with the FTT, Plan Puebla Panama and the ALCA.

These treaties demand that the Mexican government reform the laws which guarantee these plans.

This has been the dirty work the PRI has been up to behind the backs of the Mexican people.

And to top it off, their colors are those of our flag, and they say they are revolutionaries, but the truth of it is they aren't at all.

Because revolution means real change for the good of the people.

For them, on the other hand, revolution means looting the wealth and selling off the patria.

Those who are continuing this neoliberal plan, continue now with another color and with another name, but they are carrying out the same plan, and it's the National Action Party - PAN.

It is not true that it's a government of change. Their plans are worse for our peoples, because once again they are promoting structural reforms so they can continue selling off what is left of the rest of our national sovereignty.

The change they told us so much about is just promises. It would seem that more than 15 minutes have passed, and the problems and demands of the people are still unresolved, just as they were demanded before these last 5 years.

We cannot expect anything for the people from these politicians and these political parties. They have sown much despair, much mistrust, because we were once again mocked through words and promises.

Because the current government of that change did the same things as the previous ones did.

With Carlos Salinas de Gortari and that dream of entering the first world and with his family solidarity and with the February 9, 1995 betrayal, there was no improvement.

With Vicente Fox with his opportunities with little shops and the famous change and nothing.

And now with this señor, the commissioner for peace Luis H. Álvarez. The program is being used to wage a counterinsurgency campaign accompanied by some corrupt persons who pass themselves off as leaders and representatives of the PRI in different places in our region.

With the leftovers from Martha Sahagún and from Vicente Fox when they travel to other countries to lie in the name of the Mexican people that there is democracy in Mexico now, there isn't any poverty now and blessed peace now reigns.

That business about poverty being finished is just lies. Proof of that is that there is deep discontent among workers in the countryside and in the city, and they are saying no to privatization of electric energy and no to privatization of social security.

And what more can we say about the PRD? We have a list of what they've done to us.

They deceived us that they were a party of the left and that they were fighting for the demands of the people.

We believed they were a referent for opposition against the state party system.

But we realized we were wrong, that it wasn't true.

Another thing they did was that they made an agreement with the PRI, PAN and the PRD against the Cocopa law. If they were capable of doing that - after centuries of our being denied - what would they do with the selling of our national sovereignty?

In addition to this, everything the PRD itself has done in other states, but especially in Chiapas, which everyone already knows about through previous communiqués. The PRD is now a business, because those who make up Manuel López Obrador's team are Salinistas, and they have a lot of experience with manipulation and corruption. That's why they became expert politicians. That's why they know where to fit in, and so we don't expect anything.

Because of all this, we have seen that the three main political parties have the same plans and interests, but how good that they are doing that now.

That way the people of Mexico will realize that any party which comes to power is not going to resolve anything. They have also demonstrated that they only agree with the people every 6 years when they begin their political campaigns to seek the presidency, a governorship, a seat in the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate.

But after this, when any of these gentlemen reach power they forget everything, except the lucrative salary they receive every month and everything they steal and keep until the end of their term.

We are sure of all that, but for the Mexican people they are demonstrating quite clearly to us that what they are interested in is making money.

We have already seen that the PRD is no longer a party of the left, because when the Cocopa law was voted on and approved, it made agreements with the corrupt PRI-PAN parties, and they then showed us their complicity, and they did not pay any attention to the need for so many years for the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture, it is not decades they have denied us, but centuries. And the PRD did not pay any attention, and they betrayed the hope of millions of Mexican indigenous, denying us our rights, our culture which belongs to us as the Mexican indigenous we are, deceived by those parties and those politicians.

And the engineer Cuauhtemoc Cárdenas. One May 15, 1994, if I remember correctly, he also committed himself to doing something for our demands and to being steadfast with the zapatista cause.

So, what can we expect of these señors? That is why it is worthwhile to join our forces and to fight together so the impossible will be possible and to go to great effort to make another form of doing politics.

That is all our words.

Thank you very much.

September, month of the Patria


Words of Comandante Zebedeo

Compañeras and Compañeros

Everyone who has joined and those who will be joining the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona, in the name of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN and in the name of the men, women, young people, children and old ones, support bases, we address you.

Compañeras and compañeros, we would like to tell you that in these almost eleven years of struggle against the forgetting, against marginalization and against extermination, "here we are." We have not surrendered, nor have we sold out. We will not sell out, nor will we surrender, because we are quite convinced that out struggle has just causes for the poor of Mexico and of the world.

The living conditions of workers from the countryside and the city - and for the teachers, workers, students, housewives, doctors, truck drivers, campesinos, day workers, unemployed, indigenous, street children, religious persons, intellectuals, homosexuals, lesbians and artists - are increasingly worse, with pain, poverty, hunger, deaths from curable illnesses and contempt against this great majority.

While the exploiters are increasingly fewer in number and richer, because they are hoarding the wealth of our nation.

Faced with this indiscriminate appropriation by the rich, we are obliged to speak our words in this Sixth Declaration for the purpose of joining our struggles, in order to walk together without regard to color, creed or race.

We are workers from the countryside and the city who have the physical circumstances and the knowledge to produce and to make what our society needs. Seeing this immense capacity of the men and women of the countryside and of the city, we are capable of creating wealth to support our country. That is why we believe that the solution for this great injustice we are suffering is on our side and it is in our hands, because we have already seen that we can't expect anything good from the government.

Throughout these centuries of mockeries and deceptions, the wealthy have enriched themselves at the cost of the workers of the countryside and the city.

In the countryside we suffer from low prices for our goods, and in the city they suffer from unemployment and low wages.

On this long path, we have all separately sought a solution, and the response to all of this has been mockery, deception, repression, incarceration, torture and disappearances.

These black histories of struggle which we have passed through were not the best path, and they should not be repeated.

Do we have to repeat another 500 years of resistance against the forgetting and marginalization? Do we have to continue to be willing to put up with more years of corrupt politicians and those who sell off our Patria? If what they showed us was that when we fought against injustices and for our rights we were accused and persecuted like criminals and traitors to the Patria.

This is what really happened, and it continues to happen in our country, and we should no longer keep allowing them to continue with their projects of death.

Because the hour has come to unite our forces, our struggles, our thoughts, our ideas, our hearts, our faith, our hopes of some day experiencing a real change in our lives.

We know the risks and the cost this can bring to us zapatistas, but we have decided to take them.

It does not matter what happens if that is the price that is needed for doing away with injustice.

We also recognize the experiences of all your struggles, of all the organizations and the social movements that each of you have had during this time which has now passed, and we believe each organization had the capacity to plan and organize a movement.

You have had experience in the organizational practice of each movement which each organization had, and we must make these experiences greater from this day forward.

Once again we repeat our call to struggle together in the face of a common enemy, taking into account the long bridge of resistance and not falling into conformity, into competition, into divisionism and into corruption.

We should never allow the enemy's desires to be realized.

We should struggle and we should impose the desires of the exploited.

These have been our words.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Closing Words of the EZLN at the Plenary

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
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Translated by irlandesa


Plenary Meeting
Final Words of the EZLN


We are going to bring things to a close, compañeros and compañeras.

We are going to deliver a short message, compañeras and compañeros, in closing this meeting in which we handed over the Other Campaign to you. First of all, we apologize to you for the errors we committed while leading this assembly, while realizing that the act of recognizing our errors is not going to exonerate us from criticisms you make about what we have done. Some things we realized, like this last one about the immediate tasks. Perhaps we were not aware of other errors, but we are willing to learn that work also. We are going to ask a few things of everyone who’s here and of those who are not. Since we have already handed over the Other Campaign, it’s no longer the EZLN’s, not just the EZLN’s, so I’m going to ask the compañeros and compañeras of Revista Rebeldía to send an email to all those compañeros who have joined who they have on their list and ask for their authorization for allowing, or not allowing, their information to be collectivized – to be passed on to the other supporters. We have to do it like that because there are people, individuals and organizations who are trusting in us. To others we have to say that it’s no longer with us, it’s with everyone, so let them rectify or ratify whether they are going to share this information so they can be contacted. When we have this, in no later than one month – we’re going to set that as a deadline – the directory of the Other Campaign, as of September 11, is going to be sent to everyone, and then you’re going to be able to get into contact with each other by towns or states. We are also respectfully asking all organizations, individuals and groups, those who are here and those who are not here at the moment, to send us your proposals, as you’re organizing, for the dates when you’re going to relocate – what someone here called Agent X - to your states, taking into account the days we’re going to be there for the meetings which are going to be held. We are also asking you, as the EZLN, if you could make an assessment of what the meeting was like and send us a critical assessment so we can know how you saw it, and also tell us if we can make it public, if we can send it to the others. Everyone, persons, individuals, organizations, etcetera. And we want to make it quite clear here – because it was alluded to in some of the presentations – that neither the EZLN nor Marcos are going to agree to be the spokesperson for the Other Campaign, because that would mean establishing a position which has no place. Marcos is the spokesperson for the EZLN, nothing more. Compañeros, there is a problem regarding immediate political tasks which has been pointed out, which we noted, when we invited people to the Other Campaign. We told the people we were going to take them into account. That is why we thought that when the Other Campaign was handed over, everyone had to be consulted, everyone had to be taken into account. That is what is going to guarantee to the people that this is different. That no one is larger, or smaller, that the one who knows how to speak isn’t worth more than the one who doesn’t. That the one who has the money to be able to travel isn’t worth more than the one who has to stay put.

We have to look at the methodology for consulting on everything, because we cannot decide on the criteria. We’ll consult on that, but not on this. I know this presents problems for urgent tasks which come up, but it’s something we have to build, to know how to build, and, first, that everyone is guaranteed that decisions on the building and on the direction of the Other Campaign will be made by everyone. Every word is going to be taken into account the same as any other, nothing, then, is going to be decided through subjugation, ganging up or opportunism. Everything which is done in the name of the Other Campaign, since we have already turned it over to you, we will have to say that, that everyone counts. Then we cannot decide like that, this will be consulted and this not, or any criteria whatsoever, because then we would be demonstrating a lack of respect for the people. If we don’t want the same thing to happen in the Other Campaign that happened with the other political parties - who say chin two decades later, they left us for the other side, and we didn’t do anything at all – then in that building and in that direction of the Other Campaign, it’s going to be decided with everyone, from the smallest to the one which has the most people. That is what we’re proposing, but it’s not for us to decide which things are priorities and urgent in the Other Campaign. So we are proposing that everyone be consulted as to what is urgent and basic. The Other Campaign should be in solidarity with and help those who make it up. Then it won’t be possible for some compañeros to be attacked - because when you leave, or all of us leave, there will begin to be an atmosphere of threats against everyone. Therefore the first thing the Other Campaign has to do is to look after all the supporters – we cannot tolerate something happening to one of us, and we are going to mobilize with all the civil and pacific means we have in order to protect him, help him, be in solidarity with him. Also urgently, however, because that will allow many things to be done, since the immediate reflection of an organization is protecting those who are part of it. We are asking you to express yourselves as soon as possible concerning the different points which are being presented.

The EZLN is going to send this letter tomorrow to all supporters, asking them to express themselves, as quickly as possible, on the different points which are being presented, but especially on this one, insofar that, starting now, any one of us could be subjected to some action or threat, as has already been noted here. Several urgent issues have also been noted. I can imagine the desperation of the compañeros who were hoping there would be a declaration in this assembly about these important and urgent matters. We are also desperate, but we feel we have to wait for the Other Campaign to take hold of its direction and to give itself form. The problem of the Social Security workers was pointed out, of the metallurgical workers, of Fox’s energy program. So, making use of its prerogative as an organization supporting the Sexta – and the respect which is established for the autonomy and independence of organizations – the EZLN, as the EZLN, commits itself to sending a message (it is a shame that the calendar doesn’t allow us to go personally) to the compañeros, Social Security workers, on the day of their Congress, a message of encouragement, of support and, obviously, of unity with them. And the EZLN also commits itself to calling on all political organizations, persons, political groups, NGOs, collectives and persons supporting the Sexta to join with the mobilization the Social Security workers will be organizing on the day of the Congress. We will make this public. It is not a secret to anyone that there have been bilateral meetings between the EZLN and other organizations and collectives. We told everyone the same thing. Independent of the development of the Other Campaign, these relationships can allow for joint actions. What we are pointing out here is that the Other Campaign, which all of us are part of, is one thing, and each organization, each individual and each person, is another thing. In this regard, we are proposing to those political, social and non-governmental organizations, collectives, groups and individuals who find it relevant, that they draw up a joint message which the EZLN will sign along with these other organizations, groups and individuals.

Regarding the mobilizations which are going to be held in a few days against Fox’s energy program, what we are proposing to you here is – making use of your autonomy and independence – that you meet, draw up a joint draft, send it to us and we will sign it jointly with you. We can’t go any further right now. We think that after the first exploration of the environment, as Lieutenant Colonel Moisés said, we will then be able to participate personally in these meetings. Similarly, we will also commit ourselves to a message, to sending a message to the compañeros, metallurgical workers of Lázaro Cárdenas Las Truchas Iron and Steel, about their problem, and we are also calling on organizations to make a joint statement, but not as the Other Campaign, rather as organizations, persons and individuals, and to pass it along to everyone who wants to support it. And I am also proposing to organizations that have contact with the Mexican Electricians Union, or with other sectors of workers in the city or in the countryside, that they compose a joint invitation, a joint letter, inviting them to join the Other Campaign, and that they do the work that will make that take shape. We believe we can overcome obstacles in that way, and go about building a new organization where everyone has their place, without losing our independence and our autonomy as organizations, compañeros. I’m going to tell you: 91 social organizations came out of 162, 71 social organizations did not come; 36 political organizations came, 19 were missing; 129 NGOs, groups and collectives came, 324 were missing; 26 indigenous organizations came, 29 were missing; 196 individuals came, 1428 did not. In no way are we the majority, and we have to build something so that any one of these compañeros, who couldn’t come for any reason, will know that their place is going to be saved for them, like when something happens. In total, there were 2069 of us gathered here, counting national and international observers and without counting the press. So I am leaving that message for social and political organizations about the problems of Social Security, of electricity and energy in general, about Lázaro Cárdenas Iron and Steel.

Compañeras and compañeros, the Other Campaign is no longer ours. I mean it is no longer just ours because of what I have listened to at this meeting, what we listened to in the preparation meetings and what we have found out in various places. We want you to know that, as the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, it is an honor for us to have you, from now on, as compañeros and compañeras. And, in saying that, I am telling you we will repay you with compañerismo, with honesty, and, above all, with loyalty to all of you. The loyalty which we have had, the compañerismo and honesty with our communities, we will now also have with you. After having heard and seen you work, we think we are very lucky to have met you. You are men, women, others, children and old ones. Some of the best in the country. How good that we met you. Hopefully we will continue on together, ahead, for a long time.

I would like to thank, in ending, first the zapatista community of La Garrucha, which welcomed us, the autonomous authorities of the Good Government Junta of the Caracol, the authorities of the Flores Magón, San Manuel, Francisco Villa and Francisco Gómez Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities, the support bases of the Tzeltal Selva region who worked to build all this, the militia compañeros of the Third Regiment of the Zapatista Infantry who were looking after us with just their batons and who had to put up with the impertinence of some imbecile photographer who called them perros because they didn’t let him through and who didn’t respond to the provocation. Thank you, militia compañeros, for taking care of us.

Thanks to my compañera comandantas and my compañero comandantes of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee.

Compañeros, compañeras, men, women, others, children, old ones, thank you very much.

That is all.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Reunión Plenaria - Palabras Finales del EZLN

REUNIÓN PLENARIA
PALABRAS FINALES DEL EZLN


Vamos a clausurar, compañeros y compañeras.
Vamos a dar un pequeño mensaje, compañeras y compañeros, de clausura de esta reunión en la que les entregamos la Otra Campaña. Primero que nada les pedimos disculpas por los errores que hayamos cometido a la hora de conducir esta asamblea y tomando en cuenta que el hecho de reconocer nuestros errores no nos va a eximir de las críticas que nos hagan por lo que hayamos hecho. Algunas cosas nos dimos cuenta, como este último de las tareas inmediatas. Tal vez otros errores no nos dimos cuenta, pero está en nosotros la disposición para aprender también ese trabajo. Les vamos a pedir a todos los que están y los que no están algunas cosas. Como ya entregamos la Otra Campaña, ya no es del EZLN, no sólo del EZLN, entonces les voy a pedir a los compañeros y compañeras de la revista Rebeldía que manden un correo a todos los compañeros adherentes que tienen en la lista y les pidan autorización si están de acuerdo o no para que sus datos se socialicen o sea que se pasen a todos los adherentes. Eso tenemos que hacerlo así porque son gentes, personas y organizaciones que confiaron en nosotros. A otros les tenemos que decir ya no es con nosotros, es con todos y entonces. Que rectifiquen o ratifiquen si se va a compartir esta información para que se puedan contactar. Cuando tengamos esto a más tardar en un mes, vamos a poner eso de plazo, el directorio de lo que fue hasta el 11 de septiembre la Otra Campaña se les va a mandar a todos y ahí van a poder contactarse por localidades o estados. También pedimos respetuosamente a todas las organizaciones, individuos, grupos, y a los que están y a los que no están que en estos tiempos, conforme se organicen nos manden sus propuestas para las fechas en las que se va a mover lo que alguien dijo aquí, el agente X, en sus estados, tomando en cuenta los días que vamos a estar ahí para las reuniones que se vayan a hacer. También les pedimos, como EZLN, si pueden hacer luego un balance de lo que fue la reunión y nos manden un balance crítico para nosotros saber cómo lo vieron ustedes y también nos digan si se puede hacer público, es decir, mandárselo a los demás. Todos, personas, individuos, organizaciones, etc. Y queremos aquí dejar claro, porque se manejó en varias intervenciones, que ni el EZLN ni Marcos van a aceptar la vocería de la Otra Campaña porque eso ya sería establecer un cargo que no tiene cabida. Marcos es el vocero del EZLN nada más. Compañeros, hay en esto de las tareas políticas inmediatas un problema que se señaló, que se notó, pues, nosotros cuando invitamos a la Otra Campaña le dijimos a la gente que la íbamos a tomar en cuenta por eso nosotros pensamos que la otra campaña en el momento en que se entrega tiene que consultar todo, tomar en cuenta a todos. Eso es lo que le va a dar la garantía a la gente de que esto es diferente. Que no hay quien es más grande, o quien es más chico, que no vale más el que sabe que el que no sabe hablar, que no vale más el que tiene la paga para poder moverse que el que se tiene que quedar, pues.
Tenemos que ver la forma de consultar todo porque no podemos decidir el criterio. Eso sí lo consultamos y esto no. Yo sé que esto plantea problemas para tareas que se presentan como urgentes pero es algo que tenemos que construir, saber construir y lo primero es que todos tengan la garantía de que en esa construcción y en este rumbo de la otra campaña se va a decidir por todos. Cada palabra se va a tomar en cuenta como cualquiera, entonces nada se va a decidir por avasallamiento, por montón, por agandalle. Todo lo que sea a nombre de la otra campaña, si ya se la entregamos a todos, tenemos que decirlo, que todos cuentan. Entonces no podemos decidir así, esto sí se consulta y esto no o cualquier criterio porque entonces le vamos a estar faltando el respeto a la gente. Si no queremos que pase con la otra campaña lo que con otros partidos políticos que dos décadas después dicen chin, se nos fue yendo por otro lado, y ya no hicimos nada, de que en esa construcción y en ese rubro de la otra campaña se va a decidir con todos, desde el más pequeño hasta el que tenga más gente. Eso es lo que nosotros proponemos pero no está para nosotros lo que hay cosas que son prioritarias y urgentes en la otra campaña. Entonces nosotros estamos proponiendo que se consulte a todos lo que es urgente y básico que es que la otra campaña debe tener solidaridad y apoyo con los que la forman. Entonces no puede ser que estén golpeando a unos compañeros, porque en el momento en que salgan ustedes o salgamos todos pues, va a empezar a haber un ambiente de amenazas sobre todos. Entonces lo primero que tiene que hacer la otra campaña es ver por todos los adherentes, es decir, lo que le pase a uno de nosotros no podemos permitirlo, y nos vamos a movilizar con todos los medios civiles y pacíficos que tengamos, para protegerlo, apoyarlo, solidarizarnos con él. Como quiera también como urgente, porque eso va a permitir que muchas cosas se puedan hacer porque el reflejo inmediato de una organización es proteger a quienes forman parte de ella. Les pedimos que se pronuncien tan pronto sea posible sobre los diferentes puntos que se plantearon.
Entonces el EZLN va a mandar esta carta ya mañana a todos los adherentes donde se les pide que se pronuncien, tan pronto sea posible, sobre los diferentes puntos que se plantearon, pero especialmente sobre éste, en la medida en que a partir de ahora cualquiera de nosotros puede ser sujeto de alguna acción o amenaza como ya se señalaron aquí. Se señalaron también varias urgencias. Imagino la desesperación de los compañeros que esperaban que en esta asamblea hubiera un pronunciamiento sobre estas cosas importantes y urgentes y nosotros también tenemos desesperación, pero sentimos que tenemos que esperar que la otra campaña agarre su rumbo y se dé forma a sí misma. Se señaló el problema de los trabajadores del Seguro Social, de los trabajadores metalúrgicos, lo del programa de energéticos de Fox. Entonces, haciendo uso de su prerrogativa como organización adherente a la Sexta y el respeto que se establece en la autonomía e independencia de las organizaciones, el EZLN, como EZLN, se compromete a mandar un mensaje (lástima que no está en el calendario para poder ir personalmente) a los compañeros trabajadores del Seguro Social el día que sea su Congreso, un mensaje de aliento, de apoyo y por supuesto de unidad con ellos. Y el EZLN se compromete también a hacer un llamado a todas las organizaciones políticas, personas, grupos políticos, Ong’s, colectivos y personas adherentes o no a la Sexta para que se sumen a la movilización que van a organizar los trabajadores del Seguro Social el día en que sea el Congreso. Esto lo haremos público. Para nadie es un secreto que ha habido reuniones bilaterales del EZLN con otras organizaciones y colectivos. Con estas organizaciones hemos establecido relaciones bilaterales. A todos les dijimos lo mismo. Independientemente del desarrollo de la otra campaña, estas relaciones podrían permitir acciones conjuntas. Lo que nosotros estamos señalando aquí es que una cosa es la Otra Campaña que formamos entre todos y otra cosa es cada organización, cada individuo, cada persona. En ese sentido les proponemos a las organizaciones políticas, sociales, No Gubernamentales, Colectivos, grupos, individuos que lo consideren ya pertinente hacer un mensaje conjunto que firmaría el EZLN con estas otras organizaciones, grupos, individuos.
Para las movilizaciones que en unos días se van a hacer contra el proyecto energético de Fox, ahí lo que nosotros les proponemos es que haciendo uso de su autonomía, independencia, se reúnan, hagan una redacción común, nos la manden y nosotros firmaríamos junto con ustedes. No podemos ir más allá ahorita. Pensamos que después de la primera exploración del medio ambiente, como dice el Teniente Coronel Moisés, ya podremos participar personalmente en estas reuniones. Asimismo, nos comprometemos también a un mensaje, a mandar un mensaje a los compañeros obreros metalúrgicos de la Siderúrgica Lázaro Cárdenas Las Truchas sobre el problema que tienen y también llamamos a las organizaciones a que hagamos un pronunciamiento conjunto, pero no como la otra campaña sino como organizaciones, personas e individos y que se pase a todos los que quieran adherirse. Y les proponemos también a las organizaciones que tengan contacto con el Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas o con otros sectores de trabajadores de la ciudad o del campo a que les hagamos una invitación conjunta, una carta conjunta, de invitación a que se sumen a la Sexta y a la Otra Campaña y a los trabajos para irle dando forma. Nosotros pensamos que así podemos ir salvando los obstáculos, de ir construyendo una nueva organización donde todos tengan su lugar sin que perdamos nuestra independencia y nuestra autonomía como organización, compañeros. Les voy a decir: llegaron 91 organizaciones sociales de 162, 71 organizaciones sociales no llegaron, organizaciones políticas llegaron 36, faltaron 19 de llegar, ONG’s, grupos y colectivos, llegaron 129, faltaron 324, de organizaciones indígenas llegaron 26, faltaron 29, de individuos llegaron 196, faltaron 1428. De ninguna forma somos mayoría y nosotros tenemos que construir algo que cualquiera de estos compañeros que no pudo venir por cualquier situación, sepa que su lugar se le va a apartar, como cuando pasa algo. En total los que estuvimos reunidos contando observadores nacionales e internacionales y sin contar a la prensa fuimos 2069, los que estuvimos reunidos en estos días. Entonces les dejo ese mensaje a las organizaciones políticas, sociales, sobre los problemas del Seguro Social, de energía eléctrica y energético en general, sobre la Siderúrgica Lázaro Cárdenas.

Compañeras y compañeros, la Otra Campaña ya no es nuestra. Quiero decir, ya no es sólo nuestra por lo que hemos escuchado en esta reunión, lo que escuchamos en las reuniones preparatorias y lo que hemos investigado por varios lados. Queremos que sepan que como Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional es un honor para nosotros tenerlos a partir de ahora como compañeros y compañeras. Ya al decir esto les decimos que corresponderemos con compañerismo, con honestidad y sobre todo con lealtad hacia todos ustedes, la lealtad que hemos tenido, el compañerismo y la honestidad con nuestras comunidades ahora también los tendremos con ustedes. Después de haberlos oído y visto trabajar pensamos que tenemos mucha suerte de haberlos encontrado. Son ustedes hombres, mujeres otros, niños y ancianos. Algo de lo mejor de este país. Qué bueno que los encontramos. Ojalá sigamos mucho tiempo juntos adelante.

Queremos agradecer, para terminar, primeramente a la comunidad zapatista de La Garrucha, que nos recibió, a las autoridades autónomas de la Junta de Buen Gobierno del Caracol, a las autoridades de los Municipios Autónomos Rebeldes Zapatistas Flores Magón, San Manuel, Francisco Villa y Francisco Gómez, a las bases de apoyo de la zona selva tzeltal que trabajaron para construir todo esto, a los compañeros milicianos del Tercer Regimiento de Infantería Zapatista que nos estuvieron cuidando sólo con sus bastones y que tuvieron que soportar la impertinencia de algún imbécil fotógrafo que los llamó perros, por no dejarlo pasar, y que no respondieron a la provocación. Gracias, compañeros milicianos, por cuidarnos.

Gracias a mis compañeras comandantas y mis compañeros comandantes del Comité Clandestino Revolucionario Indígena.

Compañeros, compañeras, hombres, mujeres, otros, niños, ancianos, muchas gracias.
Es todo.

Marcos on the Plan for the zapatista departure

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
*************************************
Translated by irlandesa


Words of Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
on Friday, September 16, 2005


Compañeros and compañeras, in keeping with our brief tradition, I am informing you how the campaign of support closed as of this September 11, two months after we began the call: 55 political organizations of the left have joined, a month and a half ago there were 30; 103 indigenous organizations and Indian peoples of Mexico, and there were 32 a month and a half ago; 162 social organizations and movements, and there were 47 a month and a half ago; 453 non-governmental organizations, collectives and groups, and there were 210 a month and a half ago; 1624 individuals or persons representing their families, barrios or communities, and there were 690 a month and a half ago.

Compañeros and compañeras, there’s this thing which is fashionable now having to do with models of oratory: for example, there’s the: “Which is my best side?” Like Catherine Deneuve says, la gauche, the left, and then someone goes like this and starts talking as if he really were thinking about what he’s saying. He bursts onto the airwaves with the precise words, and there are large pauses, and not because he’s mentally deficient, but because he’s taking up more time on television: I’m pausing. And he uses this technique because no one is watching the morning conferences, so there aren’t any commercials they can put in between pause and pause. There’s also the method of power confronting the polemic: “Señor Subcomandante Marcos, what do you have to say to Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the PRD?” “What my little finger says (the middle finger).” There are other oratorical methods which are also fashionable: “My crown fell off, and my brassiere is there”…There is the genealogical model: “My papa taught me that those who love Mexico sell it off completely, not in pieces.” The other, the self-deprecating model: “Because I’m mediocre, that’s why I want to be president.”

Those are more or less the styles of oratory recommended by image consultants, and they are very expensive. I can give you a few sentences for free. There are other methods of oratory. That method that goes “All of you close your eyes,” and here the public is divided between the bad thinkers who snatch purses and the good thinkers who say: “I thought you were never going to ask me”…That says “We’re all going to take each others hands” and then someone next to you begins gasping and rolling his eyes, “What’s going on, compañero, compañera?” “That’s not my hand.” There’s the punster “Compañeros and compañeras, we’re in a hole, pay attention.” There are the techniques we learned in the preparation meetings, where someone starts by saying: “I’ll be brief,” and half an hour later, it can be understood why he’s going to be brief. There’s the method of didactic help “One, two, three, four…vote.”

There’s also the method that’s used above a lot, the one with of the admonishing finger: “Honorable Congress of the Union,” I won’t say who, because…There’s that one that’s also used a lot: he’s bent over because he carries the weight of responsibility for the world on his shoulders: “We have to be serious, we can’t be laughing (pounds on the table)…laugh, compañeros, and we have to laugh because what we’re going to do is very serious.”

What we are going to do, together, is to shake this country from below, raise it up, turn it on its head. So then all the deprivations will be on display, all the contempt, all the exploitation. We are going to shake it, and perhaps we’re going to discover that it’s not complete. That it shouldn’t be that way. Then we’re going to have to broaden it once again, without any other above or any other below than those which are marked by its mountains, its valleys, its rivers and its lakes, and we’re going to put it together once again, anew, between the Pacific and the Atlantic and between the Rio Grande and the Suchiate, and then it will indeed have to start working.

What we have to build should not be decided on platforms, by the charismatic, or by the virtues or defects of oratory. It should be discovered below, decided below, worked below. Platforms should serve only for gathering together one word and many listeners. Its place should be secondary, because it is, in itself, a choosing and an exclusion. We do not trust orators.

We have to prepare ourselves for a mobilization, but compañeros and compañeras also have to be preparing themselves for repression. When Lieutenant Colonel Moisés spoke to us, he explained how the replacements were planned and organized. We are recommending that the social, political, non-governmental organizations, all of them, clearly establish their replacements, in such a way that any repressive action doesn’t leave the Other Campaign without leaders, and it will be able to continue forward.

We have to learn to name our prisoners and to name our repressions. At one of the meetings there was talk of the case of repression in Guadalajara against the young altermundistas. The ones who were speaking couldn’t give the prisoners names. That’s incredible. We, as the Other Campaign, cannot do that. We have to be loyal to our compañeros and not leave anyone alone, nor forget about anyone. And I’m going to name here, at one of the extremes, two compañeros, a man and a woman, who are prisoners and who – if we believe their relatives who came to one of the meetings – joined the Sexta. They’re the compañero Jacobo Silva Nogales and the compañera Gloria Arena Asís, prisoners from the Revolutionary Army of Insurgent People.

I’m going to read a poem by Jacobo Silva Nogales, which is called “Secondary Effects,” which he wrote exactly two years ago in the Almoloya jail:

If I could, perhaps
up there by the entrance
of the entrance I would put a sign
and it would say: “Warning,
drive with care.”
At very high doses,
it can produce sadness,
anxiety, neurosis, insomnia,
depression, suicide attempts,
family disintegration, loneliness, bitterness,
addictions to medicines or drugs,
to insipid TV programs,
to any sport, entertainment,
to sleep,
eyes closed or open,
claustrophobia, perhaps narcissism,
onanism or change of sexual option.
A brief contact could produce
repressed anger, a knot in the throat, burning in the eyes.
Prolonged exposure,
even indirect,
could produce hearts that are hard,
even more so than rocks.
And in extreme cases,
hidden sadism behind an austere face,
very serious.
Those are the rules.
In sensitive hearts,
it can cause a desire for some change,
and some little drops of effort.
And on the last line,
the label would read:
instead of the eternal “Consult your physician,”
just a simple:
“Consult yourself
and do something, god damn it!”

August 10, 2003, Almoloya of Juárez
Jacobo Silva Nogales

The Other Campaign should, then, name our prisoners and our disappeared, but also our dead. When we do this work, we are not looking to the future, or we are, but let us do so in reverse: looking towards our past, towards our dead. If we only look forward, inhibitions appear, the realism that “you have to be mature, prudent,” “you have to think about what can happen,” and “let’s not do this,” “let’s not do the other thing,” “be careful.”

Let us together, then, turn the indebtedness we have accumulated into debts. Let us struggle for them, for our dead, and for us ourselves. Then the morning will exist, with its own strength, and it will be, beyond a doubt, something else.

If we look to the future while forgetting where we came from, inhibitions will appear, good sense, prudence, fear, surrender and the worst betrayal of all, the betrayal of ourselves.

In an attempt to pass on liberties to generations yet to come, we would be passing chains and burdens on to them. Let us allow them to decide their own destiny, because that, and nothing else, is what it means to be free.

In that way the world will be a little better, and others, later, will give it form, direction, path, speed and destiny. Because it cannot be forgotten: there will always be what’s missing is missing.

The EZLN is putting its life into the Other Campaign and the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona, its survival as an organization, its moral authority, the modest advances it has made. In sum: everything we have. In exchange for that, we are asking: everything for everyone, nothing for us.

Let everyone tell yourselves how much you will put into this endeavor and what you’re willing to do. Then, in accord with that, establish your commitment and what you expect in exchange.

The unity we need is not the one to which we’re accustomed, unity as hegemony and homogeneity. Someone who wins and leads all the others and makes them equal. In that unity, someone wins and someone loses, but not the one who should lose, the one above.

Building unity with a thirst for hegemony and homogeneity is condemned to failure.

Before she left, Ramona gave me this piece of embroidery she made when she was in Mexico City, recovering. She gave it to someone from civil society, who returned it to us at one of the preparation meetings. I gave it to her, she returned it to me and told me: “This is what we want from the Other Campaign.” These colors, not one more, but not one less.

Perhaps what we have to do is to understand unity like this piece of Ramona’s embroidery, where every color and every form has its place. There is no homogeneity, nor hegemony.

Understanding, in the end, unity as agreement on a path.

And that unity means, above all else, loyalty to one’s compañeros. We, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, are offering you our loyalty as compañeros: the same as we have with our communities and with our troops.

It has to do with the No-one whom we are defending his place, his path and his destiny, and, above all, the multiplicity of feet and ways of walking in the Other Campaign.

Within everything, let us leave space for imagination. What is going to take place, compañeros and compañeras, will certainly be nothing like what we imagine. Hopefully it will better, and hopefully it will not carry the burdens which we could pass on to it. May it also be free from us.

A long time ago there was a poem which was made into a song and was converted into a hymn. The words were emasculated along with its meaning. I’m going to paraphrase it: no more dictators or supreme saviors, no Caesar, no bourgeoisie, no god; neither Andrés nor Marcos, No-one will be his own redemption, It was a part of the International, but modified now.

Compañeros and compañeras:

THE PLAN

I’m going to present the criteria by which the Sixth Committee of the EZLN will be going out:

Finances. There will not be any bank accounts. The Sixth Committee’s delegation will travel and be housed and fed solely through the support of those who have organized in states, regions and municipalities. What is received will go to and be collected by the delegation, or they will send them money so they can go to their location. The zapatista delegation will present an accounting of what it receives in each place.

Personal gifts will not be accepted, not even symbolic ones. Anything anyone wishes to send, should be sent to the communities.

Historians recount, if we are to believe them, that the first places in Mexico where critical anti-capitalist thought, and the effort to build a new society with new social relationships, arrived were the Chiapas coast and the Yucatán peninsula, among coffee and agave fiber plantation workers. That is where the Other Campaign is going to begin.

The zapatista delegation will begin where it began twelve years ago, one first of January, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the first of January of 2006.

The week of January 2 to January 8: Chiapas
From January 9 to January 15: Yucatán and Quintana Roo
From January 16 to January 22: Campeche and Tabasco
From January 23 to January 29: Veracruz
From January 30 to February 5: Oaxaca
From February 6 to February 12: Puebla
From February 13 to February 19: Tlaxcala
From February 20 to February 26: Hidalgo
From February 27 to March 5: Querétaro
From March 6 to March 12: Guanajuato and Aguascalientes
From March 13 to March 19: Jalisco
From March 20 to March 26: Nayarit and Colima
From March 27 to April 2: Michoacán
From April 3 to April 9: Guerrero
From April 10 to April 16: Morelos
From April 17 to April 23: Mexico State and the Federal District
From April 24 to April 30: Federal District and Mexico State
From the first of May to May 7: San Luis Potosí
From May 8 to May 14: Zacatecas
From May 15 to May 21: Nuevo León and Tamaulipas
From May 22 to May 28: Coahuila and Durango
From May 29 to June 4: Chihuahua and the first meeting with the chicano compañeros on the other side
From June 5 to June 11: Sinaloa and Sonora
From June 12 to June 18: Northern Baja California, Southern Baja California and the second meeting with Mexicans from the other side.

From June 19 to June 25: We are proposing that on Saturday, June 24, on the night of San Juan, a Plenary-Report be held in the Federal District and Mexico State.

On June 25, we will return to Chiapas, and we will wait for whatever happens.

The first departure, as I have already explained, will begin in the month of January and end in the month of June. Delegate Zero, which we call ourselves, I, will travel the country for six months on a first trip in order to hold state meetings of the Other Campaign and see to the transportation, lodging and feeding and movement plans for the Sixth Committee. Bilateral meetings will also be held with compañeros who request them in each state.

The second departure will be in September of 2006 until March of 2007. Another delegation will appear, which will be the national delegation and the regional or state delegations. The Sixth Committee of the EZLN is going to have a group that moves throughout the country, and other groups which establish themselves in the states or in the regions in order to conduct the Other Campaign.

The national delegation will hold bilateral talks and meetings throughout the country, by states. As that moves forward, regional delegations will be established, and they will begin the visits to the struggles, resistances and rebellions.

In April of 2007, the national and regional delegations will be replaced by a new team.

And so on, until we finish, if we finish.

What we are proposing in this discussion, to everyone, is that there not be any bank accounts. No “progressive” businessperson is going to sneak in, like they say to others.

That all of us will be supported with the help of the people, with donations, with boteo, whatever, and always turning in a clear accounting.

Without any, without any help from institutions or institutional political parties.

Teams will be organized in the states for making a social evaluation regarding the situation in each state and for going about collecting the demands, and the struggles, as they discover them in the advancement of the Other Campaign, by states, regions and sectors.

We are proposing that there not be any special committees. The only thing that would do would be to duplicate duties and create bureaucracies.

Concerning human rights, the way we see it is that in the Other Campaign we have, supporting the Sexta, the best non-governmental organizations expert in human rights in Mexico. I don’t see any reason why we would have to create another special commission.

As for propaganda, we have groups and collectives, and I’ve been seeing some of their publications and the things they are doing, and they’re really very good, of very good quality and everything. So I’m also proposing that, as for all that, everyone do their own thing.

Regarding gender, the compañeras have been working in that for a long time. The same applies with differences, those who are already engaged in that. In other words, let the Indian peoples organize themselves, as well as homosexuals, lesbians, etcetera.


Compañeros and compañeras:

Zapatista Army of National Liberation

Mexico

In the name of the women, men, children and old ones of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, I am formally, and in a shared manner, handing over the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona and the Other Campaign to those political organizations, indigenous organizations and Indian peoples, social organizations and movements, non-governmental organizations, groups and collectives, families and individuals, who have joined the Sexta and who have committed themselves to working in a campaign to go to all the corners of Mexico where we are invited, in order, through another way of doing politics, to listen and to learn about the struggles, resistances and rebellions; to support them and to link with them in the building of a national program of anti-capitalist struggle of the left.

The Sexta and the Other Campaign no longer belong just to the EZLN, but to everyone who embraces them.

By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Comandanta Ramona,
Comandanta Susana,
Comandanta Esther,
Comandanta Miriam,
Comandanta Hortensia,
Comandanta Gabriela,
Comandante David,
Comandante Tacho,
Comandante Zebedeo,
Comandante Ramón.

By the insurgent troops and militia of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation,
Lieutenant Colonel Insurgente Moisés

By the Sixth Committee of the EZLN,
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

La Garrucha Caracol, Francisco Gómez Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipality, Chiapas, Mexico

September 16, 2005.

It is yours, compañeros.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Parlour appears to be down

I don't know if it's a temporary issue, or not, but I haven't been able to access the Parlour for a bit. Since the Library is apparently functioning, we can always move here for the time being.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Further details on Plenary invitation

Originally published in Spanish by the FZLN
**********************
Translated by irlandesa

The Sixth Committee of the EZLN cordially invites you to:
The First Plenary Session of
"The Other Campaign"
Place: La Garrucha
Arrival: September 15
Work: September 16, 17 and, perhaps, 18
"Thanks to the compas at Indymedia Chiapas, you can (I believe) follow what is happening at the plenary, almost simultaneously, by Internet. I don't understand it very well, but these compas are going to "upload" what's going on to <www.chiapas.indymedia.org>, and there the alternate media will act as "mirrors", and if you go to their pages, you can find out what's happening. In addition to Indymedia, they will be on the webpages of Revista Rebeldía and the FZLN"...
Live audio transmission on Internet
(information on Indymedia-Chiapas, Rebeldía and FZLN pages)...To come...

Marcos issues an invitation

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
*************************************
Translated by irlandesa



Zapatista Army of National Liberation

Mexico

September 14, 2005

To all those who signed on to the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona:

SUBJECT: Invitation

Compañeros and compañeras:

Greetings. We are verrrry happy. In fact, we haven’t been this happy since we survived the Salinas and Zedillo military offensives. It was no small thing to have withstood the six preparation meetings. That’s why we celebrated, doubling the rations of pozol and with a plentiful dosage of Hydrocarbons and carbohydrates in order to reinforce the “few extra kilos.” Even so, don’t doubt that we’ll be coming, like in this plenary, with the intention of authoritarian and “Stalinist” imposition (you’ve seen how the anti-Sexta cartoonists and intellectuals are letting fly at us), we’re going to propose that the time limit for participating in the discussion will be 5 minutes for everyone…except for the EZLN. Now, after my brief greeting, I’ll move on to the following:

First - I’m writing in order to formally invite you to the First Plenary Session of the “Other Campaign.” The authorities, compañeros and compañeras, of the MAREZ of the Selva Tzeltal region and of the Good Government Junta, have accepted our request that La Garrucha Caracol be the site of this meeting. La Garrucha is just where it is (about two hours from Ocosingo, heading towards San Quintín – the compas at Frayba have now made a sketch that’s so exact even the potholes are marked), and it’s easy to identify these days: according to what they’re telling me, compañeros and compañeras are already arriving from all over to participate in the plenary, so it’s the place where there’s a lot of commotion going on.

Second - Arrival is on September 15 (they inform me that on the night of the 15th the Good Government Junta will give the Grito) or, if you arrive later, on the afternoon of September 16. Inauguration will be on September 16 starting at 8 PM. Afterwards there will be a large artistic-cultural fiesta where everyone who wants to can participate with songs, music, poetry, theatrical pieces, performances or whatever. On the next day, September 17, after having something for breakfast, the work will begin, and it will continue throughout the day, with the necessary recesses for eating, satisfying primary biological needs, counseling, gossiping, promoting schisms, swearing, sabotaging the vanity of the slim ones by eating some fat-filled meat pies, criticizing what you see or don’t see, etcetera. If we don’t finish on the 17th, we’ll give you as much as we can of Sunday, the 18th.

Third - Thanks to the compas of Chiapas Indymedia, one may (I think) follow what’s going on in the plenary, almost simultaneously, by Internet. I don’t understand very well, but these compas are going to “upload” what’s going on to “Chiapas.indymedia.org”, and there the alternative media act like “mirrors”, and if you go to their pages you can find out what’s happening. In addition to Indymedia, they’ll be on the Revista Rebeldía and FZLN webpages.

Fourth - As they then say, the program of activities will be as follows:

Thursday, the 15th and Friday, the 16th of September
- Registration of delegates, observers, press, informers, spies, detractors, those jealous and envious of the meeting’s success, etcetera.

Friday, September 16
- 8 PM. Welcome, inauguration and opening words from the EZLN. Definition of the discussion points of the agenda, of their order, of the rules of participation, and such. Afterwards, artistic-cultural-dance celebration.

Saturday, September 17
- 9:30 AM - Beginning of the work of the Plenary according to the agenda and procedures agreed to.
- 12:00 - Recess for pozol.
- 12:30 - Resumption of work.
- 3:00 PM - Recess for eating.
- 5:00 PM - Resumption of work.
- 7:00 PM - Recess for complaining.
- 7:30 PM - Resumption of work

The rest of the 17th and whatever necessary of the 18th
- Indefinite timetable - Plenary work

Fifth - In its role as organizer, the EZLN proposes the following procedures:

1. - In its presentation on September 16, the Sixth Commission of the EZLN will present its rough plan for the departure of the zapatista delegation, and it will formally hand over the “Other Campaign” to all the supporters of the Sexta, including to the EZLN (not like at the CND in 1994, when we turned it over, but with the “Other Campaign” we are also going to be included, at no cost and tax free). Then, the full assembly will decide whether the zapatista delegation will continue presiding throughout the session or name another table (or whatever they call those who will be speaking, taking notes, aren’t able to sleep while others are speaking, nor go to the bathroom, nor daydream, nor make faces when they don’t agree with what someone is saying). After this, we’ll all be happy, because then we’ll know that next comes the music, dance, theatre, painting, poetry and the etceteras (which always go far beyond the most detailed list).

2. - The EZLN proposes that, unlike the way in which the preparation meetings were held (anyone could participate, presentations without time or subject limits), in this plenary session, during the debate on the various points, only those who have subscribed to the Sexta can participate (because there are some who are still deciding whether yes or no, who haven’t yet committed themselves to entering), the presentations can’t exceed 5 minutes per speaker, and they should refer strictly to the point of discussion. The EZLN proposes that those who go overtime and begin to digress be booed with a unanimity even greater than the boredom provoked by the PAN candidates or be urged in some way to not go too far.

3. - The EZLN proposes that the agenda points which are agreed be discussed one by one, that each discussion does not end in a vote (because all the supporters will not be attending, and we have to take everyone’s’ thoughts into consideration, even if they’re not at this meeting), but in a proposal reached by the assembly through consensus, and that this proposal be sent to all those who have entered in, and then it can be decided by everyone. Of course, here in the assembly those who so decided will have already been announced, but it will not be resolved until everyone has been consulted. We won’t go on to the next point, then, until there’s consensus on a proposal or the options are clearly defined for asking everyone their opinions on those options. Hmmm…it’s a bit confusing and messy, but I believe more or less understandable, and, in any event, we’ll explain it more at the meeting.

Sixth - After listening to everyone who participated in the preparation meetings and to those who expressed their opinions in a letter or to Revista Rebeldía (and selecting only what refers to the “Other Campaign”, because many presentations were about the National Program of Struggle and about the New Constitution), the Sixth Committee of the EZLN proposes the following points (in the order in which we shall specify below), in order to discuss and decide:

- Concerning the ratification, expansion or modification of the characteristics of the “Other Campaign” proposed in the Sixth Declaration: civil and pacific; national; anti-capitalist; of the left; with another way of doing politics; favoring listening; recognizing the limits of one’s own actions and the need to join with other struggles; towards a National Program of Struggle and a new constitution; learning about the struggles and resistances which are taking place throughout the country, being in solidarity with them, helping them and learning from them and with them; respecting the organizations, groups, collectives and individuals in their methods of work, decision-making, demands, strategies and tactics; seeking, always based on mutual respect, to link struggles and organizations; learning about and helping the struggles for humanity and against neoliberalism which are taking place throughout the world.

- Concerning who is being convened and who is not. Or who can enter in and who cannot.

- Concerning the organizational structure of the “Other Campaign.” How we are going to organize ourselves for the “Other Campaign,” each and everyone’s place and how we are all going to relate to each other.

- Concerning the special place of differences in the “Other Campaign: - Indigenas, Women, Other Loves and Affections (homosexuals, lesbians, transsexuals, and everyone in their own way, and what is called “free preference or sexual orientation,” but, as we understand from what they have explained to us during the preparation meetings, the question isn’t just sexual), Young People, Boys and Girls and Others.

- Concerning the “Other Campaign’s” position vis-à-vis other organizational efforts (Promotora, Frentote, National Dialogues).

- Concerning the immediate tasks – information, propaganda and dissemination; artistic and cultural; against repression; solidarity and support; study; theoretical analysis and discussion; discussion and debate about the national situation, the struggles and resistances in our country, institutional politics, the election, struggles in the world.

- Concerning what has been sent us to make note of, group together or mark as points to be discussed and/or defined.

Compañeros and compañeras:

These are the proposals we are making. However, we want to make it clear that we are not forcing you to do it like this, but other things and changes can be proposed, and then we’ll all decide together.

Lastly, let me give you a few practical recommendations:

- We want to remind you that the consumption of alcohol and drugs is prohibited in the zapatista communities.
- Bring rubber boots – it’s raining a lot, and when we dance, it turns into a lot of mud.
- Also bring your plastic sheeting, rain cape, raincoat or something to protect you from the rain.
- If you naively think that some product is going to protect you from the mosquitoes and chaquiste, you’re completely wrong, but go ahead, try it.
- Those who so desire, feel free to embrace your difference.
- Don’t forget to bring something to eat. There will be small kiosks, but who knows whether there will be enough for everyone who comes. If not, they can throw more water into the beans (in case it’s just raining a bit too much).
- Bring a notebook and pen so you can take notes and then fully inform your organizations and collectives.

Vale. Salud and, hmmm…now it does look like everything is getting complicated.


From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

By the Sixth Committee of the EZLN

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mexico, September of 2005

Discriminatory PS - Everyone who’s chubby will be received with a big smile and various expressions of sympathy. Those who are slim will be treated with distant coolness and looked upon with disapproval and gestures of clear displeasure.

PS Which Honors the Tradition of the Left of Becoming Divided As Soon As Possible - It is rumored that the creation of a faction inside the “Other Campaign” is brewing. It calls itself the “Panzer [panza: belly] Division of the Sexta,” its slogan is “Cellulitis, yes, anorexia, no,” and it meets at a local where there’s a sign at the entrance that warns: “Warning: Curves Ahead.” According to sources which cannot be revealed, the Sup is one of the promoters, and he’s planning on showing up at the plenary in one of those shirts called “belly-button”, thus confidently flaunting the belly which so scandalizes the right…and the (impossible) center.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Marcos on words and ways

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
************************************
Translated by irlandesa



Opening Remarks for the September 10 Preparation Meeting


Welcome compañeros, welcome compañeras, welcome all others:

First of all, we would like to thank the compañeros and compañeras of the village of “Javier Hernandez” which is receiving us, and we would like to congratulate them on one more anniversary of the recovery of these lands, which were previously in the hands of the finqueros. And, along with them, we also congratulate all the compañeros and compañeras who are now celebrating the same thing in the new villages which were born on the ruins of the haciendas.

For those who don’t yet know, I’ll explain the format of this meeting. First, we’ll speak some words, then those who want to talk make a note of it, here at the Rebeldía table, and one by one you’ll take your turn and we’re all going to listen. There is no limit as to time or subject, but we all hope that the subject will be the Sixth Declaration and the “Other Campaign.” The compañeros and compañeras of Rebeldía, in addition to us, will be taking notes of your presentations in order to make a narrative that will be added to the ones from the previous meetings and which can be seen by those who have supported the Sexta and who have joined the “Other Campaign,” whether or not they’ve been able to attend one of the meetings.

I’m informing you that, as of September 5, we have:

51 political organizations
95 indigenous organizations
145 social organizations
395 non-governmental organizations, collectives and groups
1371 persons nationally
314 persons internationally

Compañeros and compañeras:

The Sexta and the “Other Campaign” present, for us, various challenges, discussions and definitions. Some have already been showing up throughout these now 6 preparation meetings and the sporadic debate which has taken place.

There is, for example, the debate about what it means to be of the left and what the work of the left means. There is also the debate about whether the grouping together of the left comes before, after or during the grouping together of a broader front. There is the debate about whether the elections should be confronted with a critical spirit or, on the contrary, to the drumbeat of the media and their polls. There is the debate about whether an organization of organizations or a movement should be built, a vertical and centralized structure or a horizontal network. There is the debate about concepts and slogans. There is the debate about times and places.

Now we would like to point out the challenge of words and ways. Because we have said that the “Other Campaign” proposes to listen and to build a space in order to listen. The Sexta assumes that the building of this listening is one stage which will be followed by others. But this first stage is also very unique, not just because it’s so against the grain, but also because it starts from a commonality and moves towards something different in order to build a new, still undefined, collective identity, a “something else.”

In order to understand what’s going on up above, you have to look at it like one of those television programs selling products, where some information is presented about the advantages of the product being advertised, its price and the sales offer to those who are being pressured to purchase it. Up above they talk and they promise, and that means that there are those who listen to the promises, who believe and hope and despair that what is promised will be fulfilled. The effect these promises seek to produce is to first transform beliefs into votes, and then into passive waiting. They are seasonal offers for a clientele who first must convince themselves that their only option is to buy one product or the other, then that their only participation is in choosing who will take their place in making the decisions which will affect them, and, lastly, that they should organize their emotional states into two time periods: three years for being disillusioned and three years for looking for a new illusion.

In addition, they shouldn’t question the fact that, as clients, they pay for promoting the product at a scandalously inflated price, especially if one watches the “debate” between the PAN “candidates” or the farce of the PRI’s internal democracy, or the hysterical PRD clamor which shouts “thief, thief” while they maintain their ties. And they all shout warnings about the right, the unmentionable, populism. With so much shouting perhaps some ingenuous persons, who do exist, become confused and choose the least worst from the ads.

The client, the citizen, pays for a pretense. Up above they pretend there are different programs, they pretend there is competence, they pretend there is intelligence and knowledge. They pretend there will be changes, they pretend they will do something else other than pretend.

Television rewards the lucrative profits they receive, and they celebrate the histrionics of the political class. The ridiculous ones of above put on their finest clothes, and Carlos Salinas de Gortari files down the runway, as do Roberto Madrazo, Vicente Fox, someone from PAN (he should have a name, but it doesn’t seem to matter to anyone), the great moneyed ones with last names from the social pages and the rising stock market. The view of the now exhausted progressive intellectuals edits and erases another image and another name: Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Paying critical attention to his presence in the most perfect portrait of the “modern” Mexican political class would obviously be playing into the right. And when they recount the presence of salinistas embedded in the PRI and the PAN, they fail to point out their delegates in the PRD. Why? Perhaps by remaining silent about their existence and leadership roles they will simply cease to be and to act in that party which presents itself and holds its anti-salinismo as its only difference, given that that there are no differences in programs and principles? No. Let the polls speak and analysis and debate be silent.

If anything sums up the campaign of above it is the profound contempt they have for the people, contempt for their intelligence, but also for their dignity.

Above is the spectacle, and there is no longer any room for anything but spectators who are asked to not even imagine that something else is necessary and possible. Laziness as media offer: don’t do, I’ll do for you; don’t speak, I’ll speak for you; don’t decide, I’ll decide for you; don’t think, I’ll act as if I’m thinking for you.

The “we” that is growing more and more, below and to the left, wants something else, the “Other Campaign.”

Below, with the “Other Campaign,” we are trying to listen and to organize. Nothing less, but nothing more. Nothing more than listening and the opportunity to work, together, in doing what we decide, together, to do. No redemption is promised other than that of work and struggle, no compensation other than the satisfaction of having done one’s duty. Positions are not being offered here, nor are budgets, but instead work and sacrifices. Neither influence, recommendations nor servility are asked for here, instead commitment, intelligence and imagination. Profits are not gained here, just chingas. Buying is not demanded here, just thinking. Here the calendar will be fashioned by looking, walking, listening, organizing, below and to the left.

And the words and ways are below and to the left.

And there are the words that mean different things according to who speaks them, to where they are spoken, when they are spoken, to whom they are spoken and the way in which they are spoken.

There is, for example, the word “sorrow,” and it is not the same when it is spoken by a Mexican when he’s crossing the border or when he’s detained on the other side by the Border Patrol or by the Minutemen project. When an indigenous sees how he is tricked simultaneously into being dispossessed of both land and culture. Or when a worker or retired person or pensioner sees social security being dismantled by decrees from those who say they are concerned about the workers.
Or a young person from the city or countryside being persecuted because of his clothes;
Or a campesina woman sitting at a table which abounds in nothing but deprivation;
Or a resident of one of the belts of abject poverty which are growing in modern Mexican;
Or a worker learning for himself about precariousness in the workplace;
Or an unemployed person scouring the newspapers and offices without finding work;
Or a street being vendor being fleeced by the police, officials and “leaders”;
Or a lesbian, a homosexual or some other whose love is criminalized;
Or a democratic teacher being attacked by officials, corrupt leaders and the media;
Or an artist who refuses to produce garbage for the commercial circuit;
Or an activist in a political organization being repressed for sinful words like “democracy,” “liberty” and “justice”;
Or a mother, wife, daughter, parent of a disappeared person or political prisoner looking for answers and not finding them;
Or a fisherman confronting the harshness of nature, the coyotes and the large consortiums;
Or a woman who is persecuted, looked down upon and dispossessed for the sole crime of not being a man;
Or an activist in an NGO who risks life and reputation in his work;
Or a musician being marginalized for the lyrics in his songs;
Or a religious person who chose to walk below and to the left;
Or an indigenous person who is exploited threefold: as a poor person, as a woman and as an indigenous;
Or a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, in any of the many corners of the left of the Mexico of below who says: “sorrow.”

It is not the same, but it is equal. By saying “sorrow” they are speaking of different sorrows, but that sorrow finds the bridge that unites them in a system that produces that sorrow and produces those who suffer from it: the capitalist system.

The Sixth Declaration has chosen. It did not choose to hear with resignation and surrender in this life in order to receive compensation in the other life, which is what the right offers. Nor did it choose to hear with the impossible neutrality of a little here, another bit there, neither one thing or the other, which is being hawked by the center.

It chose to listen with the reproach and indignation of the left. It chose to listen to the sorrow, emphasizing the nature of exploitation, contempt and dispossession by what is responsible for that sorrow: the capitalist system.

The “Other Campaign” should listen to that difference in the word “sorrow” which is spoken below and to the left by those who rebel against that sorrow. And it should learn the way in which that “sorrow” is spoken.

But the “Other Campaign” should also build the bridge between that word and the different ones who give it name. Because those who are listened to in the “Other Campaign” will know that they name sorrow with others, and we will discover the equality of those differences in the rebellion and resistance which they provoke.

We shall discover that that sorrow is only eased through collective struggle, and it is only relieved through a new social relationship.

That bridge is the National Program of Struggle, of the left and anti-capitalist.

The “Other Campaign” proposes, then, to organize the listening, organize the bridge, organize the resistance, organize the rebellion, make it collective, and turn it into a movement of profound and radical transformation, with those of below, from below and for those of below.

The “Other Campaign” can be summed up in that self-evident sentence: “What’s missing is missing.”

And what is missing is another way of doing politics.

Welcome, then, to this attempt.

Thank you very much.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos