Monday, September 19, 2005

Closing Words of the EZLN at the Plenary

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
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.