Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Loaeza & González Casanova

Originally published in Spanish by La Jornada
Translated by irlandesa

[The following are two op-ed pieces which appeared recently in La Jornada. As you will see, there is some relation between the two, the second in some ways a response to the first. The respective authors, and their histories, will be quite familiar to many, but here they bring special light to specific issues which have been recently debated - at higher decibel and perhaps with less light - in other arenas]

La Jornada
Thursday, May 18, 2006.

The Challenge

Soledad Loaeza

There are many people in Mexico who are still skeptical about electoral democracy. Gradual changes exasperate them, they mistrust the secret vote and they spurn reasoned discourse for stridency or the ease of insult. The brain made viscera, they react furiously to political differences, they reject debate because they consider it a dangerous weapon, which it is, especially for those who have no recourse other than so-called dignified silence or verbal violence. Since they fear the discussion of ideas and of diverse political proposals, they implicitly discredit it as if it were illegitimate.

In 1999 the CGH – the vulgar minority which paralyzed activities at UNAM for a year – embodies, in an infantile and brutal manner, the victory of attitudes over ideas. Nonetheless, there are more than a few political actors these days who are proving that Mosh and his partying compañeros imposed a style of doing politics which has met with nothing more than tolerance. Many of these attitudes are the framework of action of those – leaders and followers – who have raised in recent weeks what could turn into a powerful challenge for our electoral institutions.

The union mobilizations – provoked, it’s true, by the stubbornness of officials – and the machetes of Atenco, which also seem to be those of Los Altos of Chiapas, are weighing like a Damocles sword above the upcoming election of July 2, and, even worse, above the more than 20 years of work and resources invested by everyone in the building of an inclusive political system in which politics would not be a chain of mechanical acts or repetition of clichés.

Many of those nowadays who, voluntarily or involuntarily, are calling into question the power of elections as an instrument of change, do not accept the profound political transformations of the last two decades which are proof that we have overcome the authoritarian past. They are determined to stop the democratic creation, and they are trying “…to get their poetry from the past..” instead of looking to the future, as Marx wrote regarding the bourgeois revolutionaries of 1851, the same ones who established the dictatorial power bases for Napoleon III.

The organizers of the Other Campaign, but also those candidates who – for logical consistency I imagine – would be This Campaign, for example, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Roberto Madrazo, seem to be determined to undermine the credibility of the July 2 election, and they want to take us back “…to an extinct epoch…” and then “…the old dates, the old names reappear…” (Karl Marx, El 18 brumario de Luis Bonaparte), and they talk about the State election and about the dirty war as if Luis Echeverría were still president, and they act as if the multi-party system which has been so laboriously constructed since 1979 and the Federal Election Institution Institute did not exist.

Some of them are threatening violent confrontation, worse still, they are offering it as if it were a valid promise of the future, and is if their history in Mexico had not been a history of failures, of betrayals and of costly errors, and not just of repression. Those who are questioning the validity of the vote and the legitimacy of elections these days want to make us forget what the country was like when the parties were hardly representative, political participation was limited and it wasn’t possible to choose among different options in the elections. With their actions and their statements they are denying the political plurality of society which is reflected in the very contest for the positions of political representation, in the newspapers, among the editorialists, news announcers, observers, citizens.

Casting the shadow of doubt on the electoral institutions is the equivalent of denying the validity of political pluralism, which is one of the great achievements of Mexican democracy. The formula “Todos somos Atenco” has lost that sense of solidarity which inspired its birth in the 19th century to defend, with another name, the universality of suffrage, and it has taken on the intolerable authoritarian resonance which comes from the concept of democracy as unanimity.

It remains to be said that the same thing is happening with the different invocations with which a formula is used which has lost its greatness because it has been used for such diverse and not always honorable causes, some of them outright trivial. The worst of all is that in many cases it only serves to hide poverty of language, as happens with the responses of the politicians who resort to palabrotas as a substitute for argument. They might make us laugh, but they do not invite us to think. That is probably what they are seeking: to trivialize politics in order to conceal their own triviality.

Defending the July 2 election is a challenge not just for the IFE – which appears spineless and confused – it is an obligation for parties and candidates, and for everyone else it is the most secure and efficient instrument for guaranteeing the survival of our status as citizens.


La Jornada
Monday, May 22, 2006.

Social Sciences and Democracy in Mexico (what I actually said)

Pablo González Casanova

A few days ago a roundtable was organized at the Social Research Institute of UNAM on Democracy in Mexico. At the end, they invited me to say a few words, whose principle theses did not appear in the news article. As it might be of interest for them to be known, below I will make a brief summary in an attempt to rectify the disinformation. I will say what I said:

ONE: Today, more than ever, the social sciences have to confront the problem of knowledge of the truth, the problem of critiquing the lie and the problem of speaking what one thinks and of thinking about what one doesn’t even want to think about.

It is necessary to see what is novel in such old problems: for example, the importance which has accrued to those lies which are not made in order to deceive, but in order to seek accomplices, lies whose art has so enriched international bodies and neoliberal governments. And another example: the importance which rudeness has gained, more than as insults, as crude expressions and angry responses as a substitute for critical thought in the explication of controversial issues which should be clarified.

TWO: The social sciences have to start from highly probable hypotheses, like those which are noted below, and be elucidated with all scientific resources and “narrated experiences,” taking care not to substitute reasoning with rationalization or justification, and using rhetoric as the art of persuasion which can help one in science and also in conscience.

THREE: It is false to assert that “we have moved closer to democracy, and the authoritarian regime ruled Mexico has been done away with.”

FOUR: The presidentialist regime continues, although now the final decision and the limits of freedom of action, and of the “politically correct” measures and offers, are no longer established by the President of the Republic, but rather by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the mega-businesses and the business and military complexes of the “Empire” and their native partners.

FIVE: The “separation of powers” is not in play in the primary mechanisms of the privatizing and de-nationalizing neoliberal politics in which the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial share in the “decision-making,” palabras mas, palabras menos.

SIX: The struggle of the parties disappears in concepts, vocabulary, programs, purportedly alternative to neoliberal politics, all lacking in concrete measures and in organized and articulated social foundations which would make them credible. Today the State party seems to have transformed itself into three different parties and one single truth. Fights take place between parties which were previously fought inside the PRI, and even in the PRM, as when there was discussion about whether it would be better to choose Mújica or Avila Camacho. The fights take place within the parties and between the parties, and the alliances of individuals and clients are established in order to prevail in the selection of government elites and in the distribution of public positions.

SEVEN: The constitutional reforms approved by all the parties in the “government of change” are three in number: 1st – The one which denied the rights of the Indian peoples and even deprived them of some rights which came from the colonial period. 2nd – The one which handed the mass media over to Televisa and TV Azteca. 3rd – The one which handed over ownership of archeological and cultural sites of the national heritage to the federal government, for a purpose similar to Salinas de Gortari’s when he did away with ejidal ownership and commercialized the lands of poor campesinos. Now Mexico’s cultural heritage is marketable, or it’s coming very close to being so.

EIGHT: Facing that panorama – precisely! – is a very important and positive, creative, fact – democracy has become part of the Mexican culture and of the ideals of government. The Mexican people have not “become disillusioned with democracy,” in general, as the reports of some “experts” maintain. People are increasingly critical of that so-called democracy which is neither representative nor participatory, but rather “supplantive.” In many base organizations there tends to prevail a culture in which reasoned discourse can be heard, political dialogue with clear statements, sometimes quite original, respect for beliefs and ideas, autonomy and the dignity of individuals and communities. If our authoritarian culture is still a serious problem in the alternative formations themselves and in democratic practices - and in the compliance of the majority when there is no consensus - there is still a culture of coordinated, plural and democratic collective organization which has been increasingly able to express itself among the poor of our land and among those who are with them. As for me, as all of you know, I am with the Other Campaign.

A few words in conclusion: In our country and in our university there are highly qualified personnel in the social sciences, with many international-level researchers and professors, who are in the forefront in this Latin American region, who are in the forefront in the world. Perhaps this is because we came from conquering peoples and rebels conquered to the yoke, many of whose leaders have gone to universities and colleges which neoliberalism has vainly tried to privatize and denationalize, and which have provided postgraduate studies and residencies on the campuses of the best universities in the world and on the campuses of Mexico and Latin America.

When I entered the Institute here as a research assistant, more than half a century ago, the university had not attained the high level it now has, although it was already playing that critical role, and was autonomous from the power of the State, which, with contradictions, is so important for the emancipation of the peoples. Today I am sure that it has even more possibilities and much more personnel able to link the social sciences with the theory and practice of democracy in Mexico. And then I added a few words of thanks.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Women with no fear

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa

Women: Assembly Instructions?

Words from the Sixth Committee of the EZLN for the public event “Women Without Fear. We Are All Atenco.”

May 22, 2006

May 22, 2006

Good evening.

My name is Marcos, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

For those of you who are familiar with zapatismo, it might not be necessary to explain what I’m doing here, at an event of and for women.

Of course you are not just women, but women who have decided to raise your voices in order to protest against the attacks the police have been making, and are making, on other women since May 3 and 4, 2006 in San Salvador Atenco, in the State of Mexico, in the Mexican Republic.

You are, here, there and everywhere, women without fear.

My name is Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, and I am, among other things, the spokesperson for the EZLN, a primarily indigenous organization which fights for democracy, liberty and justice for our country which is called Mexico.

As spokesperson for the EZLN, those others take voice through my voice, those who comprise us, who give us face, word, heart.

A collective voice.

In that collective voice is the voice of zapatista women.

And along with our voices and hearing are also our looking, our zapatista lights and shadows.

I am called Marcos, and among the numerous personal flaws I bear, sometimes cynically and cockily, is that of being man, macho, male.

As such I must bear, and often flaunt, a series of archetypes, clichés, proofs.

Not only in regard to me and my sex, but also and above all in reference to woman, the female gender.

To those flaws which define me personally, someone might add the one we have as zapatistas, to wit, that of still not having lost the capacity for being astonished, for being amazed.

As zapatistas, sometimes we approach other voices which we know to be different, strange, and yet similar and appropriate.

Voices which astonish and amaze our ear with your light…and with your shadow.

Voices, for example, of women.

From the collective which gives us face and name, journey and path, we go to great effort in choosing where to direct ear and heart.

And so now we are choosing to hear the voice of women who have no fear.

Can one listen to a light? And, if so, can one listen to a shadow?

And who else chooses, as we are today, to lend ear – and with it, thought and heart – in order to listen to those voices?

We choose. We choose to be here, to listen to and make echo for an injustice committed against women.

We choose to be fearless in order to listen to those who were not afraid to speak.

The brutality wielded by the bad Mexican governments in San Salvador Atenco on the 3rd and 4th of May, and which is still going on, to this very night, against the prisoners, especially the violence against women, is what summons us.

And not only that. Those bad governments are trying to sow fear through their actions, and, no, what is happening now is that they are sowing indignation and anger.

In a newspaper this morning, one of the individuals who, along with Vicente Fox and his cabinet, are priding themselves on “imposing the Rule of Law,” Señor Peña Nieto (alleged Governor of the State of Mexico), stated that what happened at Atenco had been planned.

If this were so, then those who were beaten, illegally detained, sexually attacked, raped, humiliated, then they planned, among other things, to be women.

We know, from the statements of those without fear who were detained, who are our compañeras, that they were attacked as women, their women’s bodies violated.

And we also know from their words that the violence visited upon their bodies brought pleasure to the policemen.

The woman’s body taken violently, usurped, attacked in order to obtain pleasure.

And the promise of that pleasure taken on those women’s bodies was the lagniappe which the police received along with the mandate to “impose peace and order” in Atenco.

Certainly according to the government they planned on having the body of a woman, and, they planned, with extreme depravity, that their bodies would be plunder for the “forces of law.”

Señor Fox, the federal leader of “change” and of the “Rule of Law,” clarified for us a few months ago that women are “two-legged washing machines” (partial disclaimer, revolving payment plans and go to the customer service department).

And it so happens that up above those machines of pleasure and of work, which are the bodies of women, include assembly instructions which the dominant system assigns them.

If a human being is born woman, she must travel throughout her life a path which has been built especially for her.

Being a girl. Being an adolescent. Being a young woman. Being an adult. Being mature. Being old.

And not just from menarche to menopause. Capitalism has discovered they can obtain objects of work and pleasure in infancy and in old age, and we have “Gobers Preciosos” and pedophile businessmen everywhere for the appropriation and administration of those objects.

Women, they say above, should travel through life begging pardon and asking permission for being, and in order to be, women.

And traveling a path full of barbed wire.

A path which must be traveled by crawling, with head and heart against the ground.

And, even so, despite following the assembly instructions, gathering scrapes, wounds, scars, blows, amputations, death.

And seeking the one responsible for those sorrows in oneself, because condemnation is also included in the crime of being women.

In the assembly instructions for the merchandise known as “Woman,” it explains that the model should always have her head bowed. That her most productive position is on her knees. That the brain is optional, and its inclusion is often counterproductive. That her heart should be nourished with trivialities. That her spirit should be maintained by competition with others of her same gender in order to attract the buyer, that always unsatisfied customer who is the male. That her ignorance should be fed in order to guarantee better functioning. That the product is capable of self-maintenance and improvement (and there is a wide range of products for that, in addition to salons and metal and painting workshops). That she should not only learn to reduce her vocabulary to “yes” and “no,” but, above all, she should learn when she should speak these words.

There is a warranty included in the assembly instructions for the product called “Woman” that she will always have her head lowered.

And that, if for some involuntary or premeditated manufacturing defect, one should lift her gaze, then the implacable scythe of Power will chop off the place of thought, and condemn her to walking as if being a woman were something for which one must ask forgiveness and for which one must ask permission.

In order to comply with this warranty, there are governments who substitute the weapons and sex of their police officers for their lack of brain. And, in addition, these same governments have mental hospitals, jails and cemeteries for irreparably “broken” women.

A bullet, a punch, a penis, prison bars, a judge, a government, in sum, a system, puts a sign on a woman who doesn’t ask for forgiveness or permission which reads “Out of Service. Non-Recyclable Product.”

Women must ask permission in order to be a woman, and it is granted to her if she is so according to what is shown in the assembly instructions.

Women should serve men, always following those instructions, in order to be absolved of the crime of being a woman.

At home, in the fields, the street, the school, work, transportation, culture, art, entertainment, science, government. Twenty-four hours a day and 365 days a year. From when they are born until they die, women confront this assembly process.

But there are women who confront it with rebellion.

Women who, instead of asking permission, command their own existence.

Women who, instead of begging pardon, demand justice.

Because the assembly instructions say that women should be submissive and walk on their knees.

And, nonetheless, some women are naughty and walk upright.

There are women who tear up the assembly instructions and stand up on their feet.

There are women without fear.

They say that when a woman moves forward, no men move back.

It depends, I say, from my machismo reloaded perspective – a mixture of Pedro Infante and José Alfredo Jiménez.

It depends, for example, on whether the man is in front of the woman who is moving forward.

My name is Marcos, I have the personal flaw of being man, macho, male. And the collective virtue of being what we are, we who are zapatistas.

As such, I confess that I am astonished and amazed at seeing a woman raise herself up and seeing the assembly instructions shattering, torn into pieces.

A woman standing up is so beautiful that it makes one shiver just to look at her.

And that is what listening is, learning to look…

Cheers to these women, to our imprisoned compañeras and to those who are gathered here.

Cheers for your having no fear.

Cheers for the valor which you pass on to us, for the conviction you grant us that if we do nothing to change this system, we are all accomplices in it.

From the Other City of Mexico.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mexico, May of 2006

PS WHICH ASKS: What punishment do those officials, leaders and police deserve who attacked the women, our compañeras, like that? What punishment does the system deserve which has turned being a woman into a crime? If we are silent, if we look the other way, if we allow the police brutality in Atenco to go unpunished, who will be safe? Isn’t the release of all the Atenco prisoners thus a matter of elemental justice?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The sine qua non of legitimacy

Originally published in Spanish by La Jornada
Translated by irlandesa

La Jornada
Sunday, May 21, 2006.

No Movement More Legitimate Than Release of Atenco Prisoners: Marcos

Emir Olivares Alonso

The movement for the release of the prisoners of San Salvador Atenco and for justice for those women who were attacked and sexually violated “has an international force which the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) strike didn’t have, and which the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) didn’t have,” stated Subcomandante Marcos during his address at the student group assembly.

Delegate Zero added that what had happened at Atenco had taken on such international relevance that now “women all over the world are mobilizing” so that the repression is not repeated.

“A woman, any of you, or someone who isn’t here, gets up in the morning, bathes and fixes herself up and looks in the mirror and asks herself: “Am I fixing myself up for those bastards to detain me and rape me?” (…) This feeling of defenselessness which turned into being on guard thanks to the attitude of the compañeras’, and those who are still imprisoned, has given rise to a legitimate movement. There isn’t a movement in this country as legitimate as that of the release of the prisoners taken on May 3 and 4 in Atenco. None.”

He warned that after the denuncias of what happened during the detention in Atenco and the trip to the jail in Santiaguito in Almoloya, the state of Mexico, social groups should ensure that every woman “be treated with gentleness,” since “we are not going to allow” what happened two weeks ago “to be repeated.”

He stated that no political organization has the legitimacy of that movement. “At the best, a bothersome interview was contributed. We think it contributed.”

He added that, after appearing on television, the media began reversing the attitude that the residents of San Salvador Atenco had been the aggressors, and “now the police operation lacks all legitimacy, but that belongs to the lawyers.”

The group assembly, held yesterday in the Che Guevara auditorium in the UNAM Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, lasted more than seven hours, with some 400 students discussing, in front of Delegate Zero, the actions they would be carrying out in response to events in Atenco.

Subcomandante Marcos urged them to listen and not to decide for those who were absent, since it’s “not about making the assembly as long as possible, for seven hours. There were 400 (participants), and, according to the vote count, there were 150. And the other 250? And the other thousands who are supporters of the Other Campaign? It’s fucked! The group has already decided, and that’s how it’s going to be, even though the Other Campaign is saying there are other ways of doing politics. We said the organizational process has to be respected.”

Delegate Zero attacked the method the students were using for discussion. “It’s good that you listen to all the positions, but those who aren’t here should be taken into account. That’s what we’re proposing.” He said that what should be at stake during the assembly is that the movement not be exhausted.

“We, as a group, can decide, given that at no point has the Other Campaign said that an assembly can make an agreement for the rest of the supporters, even at the last assembly in the Che (last Saturday) we said we couldn’t make a decision. We can propose, but we can’t decide.”

After the long assembly session, the students agreed that they would participate in the marches called for May 28, from the Angel de la Independencia to the Zócalo, and in the one on June 10. They also agreed to continue with the information brigades and to hold another group assembly on May 26.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Demon of Will

Originally published in Spanish by La Jornada
Translated by irlandesa

The Demon of Will

Guillermo Almeyra*

It is time to close ranks in order to secure the release of all the prisoners, to the very last one, who have been brutally and arbitrarily jailed, as well as to secure the condemnation of the rapists, torturers, those who invaded properties and the kidnappers, and to expose those highly placed who ordered the violations of law and the murders in Sicartsa and in San Salvador Atenco. That is our primary task. But at the same time we have two other fundamental tasks: protecting our flank from other provocations and assessing what the tactical and strategic errors of the popular sector have been, in order to reorganize and reinforce it, and to discuss the ideological bases of the lynching of an unarmed policeman, which was used so much by television as an excuse for fascist attacks. Because the “strategy of tension” which the government is employing is not going to stop, instead it will be increasingly on the agenda - and now Calderón is saying that AMLO is behind Marcos’ mask - in order to extend the provocations as far as popular reaction will allow it.

Will is the worst of advisors. It is irresponsible to say, like Marcos, “screw the correlation of forces” (in a speech at UNAM), or to publish, in Rebeldía, “we agree, we’ll overthrow the government, we’ll throw the rich out, we’ll change the country” (something like Fox’s 15 minutes to resolve the Chiapas issue), or, as he repeated each time during his trip, “we’ll expropriate the banks,” “we’ll throw the rich out to Miami,” “we’ll overthrow the government.” It is irresponsible to maintain that the Other Campaign “stopped the construction of La Parota” – thus displacing the Guerrero ejiditarios and comuneros who are still confronting that construction – or made San Salvador Atenco visible.

The correlation of forces is fundamental, and attaining objectives depends on it and on the times, on combining, through alliances, with other sectors - with which one certainly has differences, but the differences are fewer than the points in common - and on the patient building of conscience and of organization in their own ranks. It is impossible, for example, not to see that the popular sector is confronting, and will inevitably be confronting, repression from the State, which is in the hands of exploiters (not of the “rich,” many of whom can be innocuous). It is a mistake to not put the Sicartsa situation alongside the one in Atenco, and, meanwhile, alongside the attempt to ethically lynch Elena Poniatowska or AMLO. It is delusory to ignore the national strike by 5 million workers and the breach between large numbers of the union leadership and the government with the argument that are all charros. It is absurd to appropriate the defense of the prisoners in San Salvador Atenco when, on the contrary, the broadest front possible must be constructed in defense of democratic rights and the Constitution.

It is irresponsible to “screw the correlation of forces” and to ignore the fact that the adversary thinks and acts, he has the power and he will defend it. That ignorant and arrogant advice led to confrontation (machetes against more powerful weapons) in order to defend eight florists whose situation could have been negotiated and, in any event, should not have led to providing an excuse for deaths, rapes, illegal searches, hundreds of prisoners, dozens of wounded, to the division of Atenco residents, to many of them fleeing. There are two reasons for the lynching of a fallen policeman (whose image was repeated ad nauseum on television and which, naturally, did not then lead to the savage images of repression). The main cause is hate, which has been well earned by the repressive organizations and their brutality (Sicartsa is the most recent case), which has now led to other acts of savagery such as the burning of police in various neighborhoods. But the other reason is lack of political conscience and of the idea of what the correlation of forces is.

And that is a problem of the Other Campaign and of the left. The end does not justify the means. You cannot fight the bourgeoisie with their own savage methods. Blind violence and hate should be eradicated, especially since we are fighting not just against capitalism and its horrors, but because we also want to build a new human being and a just society. Even if they were to impose war upon us, nothing, however, would justify torture, irregularities against enemy prisoners. In addition, it is a terrible commanding officer – and leads to bloody disasters - who only understands orders to advance and attack, and who does not take into account the media and immediate consequences of his actions.

The social movements in Mexico, without exception, from the indigenous of Chiapas and the rest of the country to the workers and campesinos, are going to great effort, on the other hand, to demonstrate that their struggles are not only legitimate but they are also legal. Those of La Parota, for example, insist that no one consulted them, that no environmental studies were conducted, that thousands of ejidos will be flooded, etcetera. Workers are seeking to defend their union independence, campesinos are asking for reform. In order to “overthrow the government (and) throw the rich (out of the country)” it is therefore necessary to violate neither consciences nor the times. To create consensus, to make alliances, to discuss how, with what, when, with whom. It is not fair to appear on Televisa with Loret de Mila, smoking, sprawled in an armchair as if at home, calmly answering insidious questions like a friend while, at the same time, calling for risky actions, “screwing correlation of forces,” because the bodies, whether for bullets or rape, are also being contributed by others.

[* Dr. Almeyra is a professor at UAM-Xochimilco, and, among an abundance of other accomplishments, is providing a workshop next month in conjunction with Mexico Solidarity Network ( .]

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Interview with Marcos by Bellinghausen

[La Jornada]
Martes 9 de mayo de 2006


Los medios electrónicos tienen amarrados a los candidatos

"Los conflictos ya están. La Otra Campaña los hace visibles"

En la primera entrevista que concede en cinco años a un medio de información, el delegado Zero considera que el cambio, que es inevitable, no será violento con La Otra Campaña


Actualmente el Estado nacional mexicano atraviesa una grave crisis, donde la clase política en su conjunto ha dejado de representar a la sociedad, y ese vacío está siendo llenado, torpemente, por los grandes consorcios de comunicación, que ni siquiera están preparados para ello. "Antes, la clase política gobernaba a los medios, luego en el periodo de crisis gobernó con los medios, y ahora es gobernada por ellos. O sea, ningún medio de comunicación masiva va a permitir que nadie de la clase política se salga del huacal", dice el subcomandante Marcos en extensa entrevista con La Jornada, la primera que concede en cinco años.
Considera que ningún candidato presidencial ofrece una solución a esta crisis del Estado. Madrazo propone un imposible regreso al pasado criminal; Calderón la instauración del fascismo, sacando al Ejército y la policía a las calles, y López Obrador un Estado que sea funcional al capitalismo (aunque se dice de izquierda), estableciendo una nueva estructura, que será autoritaria y no resolverá los problemas de los de abajo.
Considera que esta situación es insostenible, y que todos juntos caerán más pronto que tarde. Insiste en que el movimiento de La Otra Campaña es civil y pacífico; que es la única posibilidad de que el cambio, que es inevitable, no sea violento.
Desmiente las interpretaciones de que por donde pasan Marcos y La Otra Campaña surgen conflictos. "Los conflictos ya están. La Otra Campaña los hace visibles". Niega también que él haya desencadenado los hechos en Atenco. De ser así, ironiza, la resistencia "habría salido bien". Al respecto, dice que los medios electrónicos azuzaron el uso de la fuerza y construyeron una versión que de cualquier manera la gente de abajo no cree.
-Hay quien asegura que La Otra Campaña hace el juego a la derecha, que dinamita el camino de la opción de izquierda a la Presidencia, o sea López Obrador ¿Es cierto, o qué busca La Otra Campaña?
-Primero, no es cierto que muchísima gente piense que AMLO es la opción de izquierda. La Otra Campaña, a la hora que está criticando la clase política, ve de abajo hacia arriba. Dice éstos son los problemas, éste es el sistema, y siempre aparece la clase política como corresponsable o como correa de transmisión de esa injusticia, de ese despojo, de ese crimen, de esa represión, y no importa qué partido político sea. Lo señalamos en Yucatán con Acción Nacional; en Quintana Roo, Campeche, Veracruz con el PRI. Dijimos los nombres, aquí son éstos, de tal partido. Pero como hasta ahora el negocio era pegarle a López Obrador, lo único que sacaban los medios de comunicación eran las críticas a AMLO y los demás lo omitían.
-Pero al arranque de la otra, desde el año pasado, fue percibido como que el blanco eran AMLO y el PRD.
-El EZLN fue vinculado al PRD desde antes y tenía que marcar su distancia. Esto no sólo tiene que ver con el PRD, sino que también va contra toda la clase política. Porque siempre estaba la diferenciación; se critica a la clase política, pero al PRD se le pone aparte. Desde 1994 ni siquiera era el PRD, era Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas.
-Bueno, con él hay una cercanía en 94.
-Sí, pero cuando va Cárdenas a Chiapas, se le deja aparte y se hace la crítica al PRD. Siempre ha habido esta relación; ahora lo que se trata es de incluir a toda la clase política en nuestra crítica, aun el PRD. Teníamos que señalarlo porque la historia anterior era diferente. Siempre hacíamos esta distinción, éstos no, éstos a lo mejor sí, éstos tal vez.
"Teníamos que hacer la denuncia de que toda la clase política estaba en ese juego y que se podían hacer distinciones de matices, pero finalente su traducción en una propuesta política no tenía ningún impacto. ¿Cuál es la diferencia de que Calderón sea un Hitler en potencia y que Madrazo sea un criminal y que López Obrador sea un embaucador? ¿Porque uno roba y el otro no roba, si finalmente el proceso de destrucción de nuestra nación es el mismo? No se traduce en una diferencia práctica. A la hora de que la otra campaña dice 'vamos a mirar hacia abajo', entonces lo que está pasando arriba pasa a segundo plano.
"Antes de decidir mirar hacia abajo, hay una valoración de lo que pasa arriba, y uno puede decir 'no, pues es que hay un rencor del EZLN o de Marcos por lo que pasó con la ley indígena'. No sólo fue la ley indígena, sino todo lo que ha seguido después, de cómo las leyes son aprobadas por mayoría; algunas alcanzan nota en el periódico o en las noticias por el escándalo, como lo de la ley Televisa, pero otras no. Las que van realmente sobre los fundamentos de la soberanía nacional han pasado por unanimidad de todos los partidos políticos.
"Entonces de qué sirve diferenciar que AMLO es honesto, que no se roba el dinero (aunque su grupo sí) y el otro de derecha descarada, el otro de derecha moderada, éste es de derecha vergonzante. De qué sirve si finalmente toda esa crisis está ocurriendo.

En otro momento de la charla Foto Víctor Camacho
"Habíamos explicado antes que en la vieja política estaba concentrado todo en el poder presidencial, pero a la hora que se da esta crisis en el Estado nacional, por el avance del neoliberalismo, se destruye la clase política, se desplaza.
"Primero que se entienda esto: teníamos que hacer un deslinde especial del PRD porque en nuestra historia anterior hacíamos la distinción con los otros. Esto no afectó para que, a la hora en que López Obrador iba ser desaforado, nos opusimos y llamamos a movilizarnos contra el desafuero. Por lo que significaba, era una oposición ética. Nosotros no estamos de acuerdo con esta gente, pero tampoco estamos de acuerdo con lo que le hacen. Esta era nuestra posición ante el desafuero, porque una cosa es una cosa y otra cosa es otra cosa. En ese caso se trataba de dejarlo fuera de la jugada."
-Pero mucha gente insiste en que los dueños del dinero quieren hacer a un lado a AMLO. No quieren que sea él porque lo ven como una amenaza a la hegemonía del capital. Esa es la insistencia de que todo lo que se diga contra AMLO favorece a la derecha.
-Eso no es cierto: el hombre más poderoso de este país, Carlos Slim, ya le prometió que va a traer el beisbol aquí, que no nomás va a traer equipos de futbol, y AMLO se precia de que lleva una buena relación con Slim.
-De todos modos los medios...
-Ese es otro problema. Los medios de comunicación electrónica no quieren perder lo que ganaron, sin luchar, a la hora en la que se dio la crisis en el Estado nacional. Antes, la clase política gobernaba a los medios, luego en este periodo de crisis gobernó con los medios y ahora es gobernada por ellos. O sea, ningún medio de comunicación masiva va a permitir que nadie de la clase política se salga del huacal. Se trata de que obedezca, que vaya por la línea que le están marcando. Y si AMLO o Calderón, o Madrazo o Patricia Mercado o Campa o el Dr. Simi, cualquiera de ellos se sale y pretende tomar decisiones sin los medios de comunicación, entonces lo van a acorralar. Y se da todo este proceso de desgaste entre los medios y AMLO.
-¿Lo están domesticando?
-Sí, lo están domando, a él y a toda la clase política. "Se lo digo a Juana para que lo entienda Chana." No temen a una posición de izquierda, sino a una posición que no obedezca sus indicaciones y AMLO lo que está diciendo es "voy a administrar todo, incluyendo esto". López Obrador está ofreciendo una "nueva administración", es la posición política más avanzada que hay allá arriba y que no se nota porque éste está entre que las chachalacas y en el mismo juego. O sea, si Madrazo propone la imposible vuelta al pasado, lo único que hará es que el país acabe de destruirse; Calderón propone la mano dura, el fascismo, sacar el Ejército a las calles y la policía a todos los lugares y a gobernar con la fuerza represiva del Estado y no con leyes ni nada, aunque él dice que con leyes.
-Bueno, con las leyes que están haciendo...
-La propuesta de López Obrador es hacer un Estado nuevo, o sea el otro ya se destruyó: él no piensa regresar al Estado priísta, al populista y todo eso; dice la cosa está tan mal, que lo que se necesita es otro que no toque los fundamentos del sistema capitalista; un Estado moderno que administre esa crisis para mantener las cosas dentro de cauce; es la misma propuesta que hizo Lula en Brasil. Pero el gran capital dice que no hay problema; los gringos, que son los que mandan en este país, el Departamento de Estado estadunidense, dice que no hay problema; los bancos dicen que no hay problema, Slim dice que no hay problema. Los que dicen que hay problema son los medios de comunicación porque éste no obedece. Tienen miedo de haberlo alentado tanto que se sienta fuerte y quiera desprenderse de ellos; ése es el juego con las encuestas.
-Pero desde el desafuero...
-El desafuero lo mandó para arriba, o sea la mejor forma de promover a AMLO fue el desafuero.
-Lo estaban atacando no tuvo el efecto que querían, pero lo estaban atacando.
-Es que ya los medios no tienen la fuerza que tenían antes. Esto que explicaba de cómo se da la crisis en la clase política, los medios de comunicación ocupan un espacio que antes no tenían y no están preparados tampoco. Entonces lo que hacen es abrazar a la clase política y van a caer junto con ella. A la hora que la clase política pierde autoridad, legitimidad, los medios que los abrazan caen junto con ellos en su credibilidad.
"Salimos de Chapingo con mil gentes"
-¿Qué está pasando con lo de Atenco?
-Es un caso ejemplar. Yo estuve viendo la televisión, la radio, y todo era "acaben con ellos". En la marcha salimos de Chapingo con mil gentes, y llegamos a Atenco con 5 mil. ¿De dónde salieron esos 4 mil? Era gente de ahí. No había manifestaciones de repudio. Al revés, eran de adhesión; órale sí, no hay que dejarse. Eso ya lo habíamos visto desde la marcha de 2001, cuando los medios estaban en que la paz y no sé qué y la gente empezó a saludar al EZLN, a los indígenas, a contrapelo de los medios.
"Cuando abrazan a la clase política, los medios abandonan una actitud crítica, cuestionadora, que es el deber de todo medio y convierten la comunicación en un intercambio de opiniones. De un tiempo para acá, los columnistas políticos comentan lo que dice otro medio de comunicación, no lo que está pasando. Hasta que la realidad revienta, como en Atenco."
-Pero Atenco fue real, los medios mostraban escenas reales y fue un hecho muy grave, hubo mucha violencia; mucha gente sufrió y equivalió a que se atacara un pueblo.
-No, el proceso de desarrollo fue así, porque yo vi Tv Azteca y escuché las estaciones de radio. Cuando se da el primer enfrentamiento, o sea cuando a los policías les va mal, la televisora empieza a decir "cómo es posible, que entre la policía". Ellos estaban clamando porque hubiera una acción fuerte contra Atenco. Por supuesto se da el ataque, y a la hora que se ve en las imágenes en los medios electrónicos, se presentan sólo las del pueblo cuando está golpeando a los policías, y no lo que los policías hicieron. Tampoco aparece la parte de que los medios azuzaron esa acción represiva. Los locutores estaban diciendo "esto no puede permitirse que lo vea nuestra gente (aunque estaban pasando las imágenes), tiene que intervenir la autoridad y tiene que poner orden y hacerlo duro". Al final estaban leyendo las cartas donde su auditorio dice "¿cómo se les ocurre decir eso, que si llega la policía va a ser peor?", y dejaron de leer las cartas porque todas eran contra los que ellos decían.
"A la hora que se dice 'son una bola de alborotadores y violentos' y no sé qué contra Ignacio del Valle y los compas de Atenco y del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tiertra (FPDT), sólo se presentan las imágenes de que ellos son los agresores, no lo que pasó después. Después de eso es la marcha de Chapingo a Atenco. Después de la campaña de miedo. Llega un momento en que esto de los medios tiene su límite. La gente dice: 'son los mismos que me humillan' o sea, a quién va a convencer que un pobre policía es agredido si es el que lo extorsiona, el que lo golpea o la viola."
-Pero se dice que ahora que estamos en la democracia, la policía responde a gobiernos legítimos y, por tanto, hay que estar con la policía contra los violentos de Atenco.
-Eso lo dicen allá arriba, abajo no. Qué legitimidad puede tener la policía del estado de México o de la ciudad. No ha hecho una sola acción en beneficio de la comuniad. Todos en México, allá abajo, lo saben. Por eso cada vez refuerzan más los aparatos policiacos, porque cada vez pueden menos.
-También se dice que lo de Atenco fue azuzado por Marcos.
-Si hubiera estado organizado se habría hecho bien. Hay una imagen que es elemental, que es cuando están pateando al policía.
"Sí, tú dices: "Esa gente está enojada y fuera de control". Por tanto, no está organizada; cualquiera hubiera dicho mejor agárrenlo, amárrenlo y llévenselo. Lo entregan, lo catean o lo que sea. Pero de nada sirve que lo pateen, ¿para qué?
"En el caso de la barranca de Los Sauces (Cuernavaca), paramos el desalojo; en el caso de La Parota, lo paramos, en el caso de la gasolinera en Cuautla se puso en stand by. Y en otras muchas partes, que son muchos de los lugares donde hemos ido, donde ningún candidato presidencial lo ha hecho, no ha pasado nada. O ha pasado por existir una lógica del conflicto. No es cierto eso de que donde yo llego provoco conflictos. No estaríamos hablando aquí, estaríamos hablando en el castillo de Chapultepec."
-Una corriente de opinión afirmaba La Otra Campaña no existe, Marcos está para abajo. Y ahora resulta que Atenco resucita al muerto, le da oxígeno a Marcos y a La Otra Campaña y está en los medios, porque es donde existen las cosas. La Otra Campaña no estaba, luego entonces no existía. Ahora ya está, Marcos se salió con la suya.
-¿Cuál es la mía?
-Estar en los medios, según los medios.
-Pero si todos los medios están en contra, por qué voy a querer yo estar en los medios que hablan en contra mío.
-¿No están castigando a La Otra Campaña en Atenco?
-Te voy a decir a quién están castigando: a López Obrador. Te voy a decir qué fue lo que pasó. El FPDT hizo lo que todo adherente de La Otra Campaña hace, que es apoyar a otro. Siempre aparecen estos compañeros con su consignas, dicen ánimo cantan canciones y se van. Entonces están los compañeros floreros que van a la reunión en el mitin de Atenco y hablan y dicen nos quieren hacer esto, el gobierno perredista.
"Los compañeros del FPDT les aconsejan dialogar, ellos tratan, van a buscar al presidente municipal, para que no los desalojen, para que les dé un espacio, él no los recibe, los amenazan con el desalojo y el compa Nacho del Valle y todos los demás hacen lo que hacen siempre, se juntan y se ponen junto a ellos y siempre cargan su machete como nosotros cargamos nuestro pasamontañas. Estando ahí , ya sea porque le pagaron, o por idiota. El presidente municipal de Texcoco cerca de los floristas y al grupo de Nacho, y amenaza con desalojarlos. Ve que son pocos y el presidente municipal en una entrevista de radio dice "Yo pedí el apoyo de la seguridad pública del estado". Los que están en Atenco ven que sus compañeros están cercados y cierran carreteras para que los dejen libres."
"Todo esto pasa con el presidente municipal del PRD, que es de izquierda, democrático y que es la salvación del país. Llega la policía a desalojarlos y se mete hasta el pueblo, la gente de ahí reacciona, los golpea y los hecha para atrás. Viene la campaña de medios "acaben con ellos, cómo es posible el desorden y todo" y entonces se da la entrada y toda la crueldad extrema de la policía y se empieza a manejar que fue el pueblo y que no sé qué. Ahora ya se está diciendo que no, que en realidad la brutalidad vino de la policía, no de la población, que hay mujeres violadas, niños desaparecidos (ahí tengo los nombres, cinco menores de edad)."
-De eso no se ha hablado.
-Bueno, pues se supone que había algunos chiquitos sueltos, no aparecen y dice la mamá que nos tocó ahí en Atenco, que y uno está en Almoloya. Ella dice que está ahí, que lo golpearon mucho.
"Y entonces se dice, 'bueno, pues si es Atenco y el PRD, sobre López Obrador'. A los tres equipos de campaña no les importa si hubo muertos, ni si hubo balazos o violaciones, sino cómo se capitaliza electoralmente. Entonces el equipo de López Obrador hace el cálculo 'deslíndate, no tienes nada que ver'. Ni siquiera dice si estuvo mal la policía o estuvo mal. 'No son tuyos, no digas nada.' No importa si hubo mujeres violadas, si hay muertos, no importa si hay violación a los derechos humanos. A los otros les dicen: 'tú di que sí, que es lo que hay que hacer' y eso lo deciden Calderón y Madrazo.
"Hasta ahí van las cosas, van contra el PRD, contra AMLO. Esta es la puntilla, si le colgamos a López Obrador Atenco, lo bajamos en las encuestas. Como ya toda la clase política está de acuerdo en que las encuestas deciden, no las urnas, pues entonces ahí ya quedamos."
-Incluido López Obrador.
-El fue el que empezó con eso.
"Y entonces resulta que cuando ya está así la jugada, hay una marcha en la que aparece Marcos junto con la comisión sexta, con La Otra Campaña, que crece a contracorriente de los medios de comunicación y de la clase política. Y hay un giro en las declaraciones, para todos los candidatos es 'que si Marcos, que si el EZLN, que si van a capitalizar y no se qué' y es cuando Marcos dice 'me quedo y voy a hacer lo que no había hecho hasta ahorita que es dar entrevistas'.
"Por eso brincan. Ahora nos viene a hacer revoltutra en la sopa que tenemos, menos López Obrador, que dice, 'no yo no'. Pero Calderón y Madrazo dicen 'no, aplíquenle la ley, la ley Cocopa', también dicen. No les preocupaba que estuviera aparte, aunque fueran muchos, mientras no salieran en los medios electrónicos. Si ahora va a salir en los medios entonces se envidenciará la crisis de la clase política, la falta de propuestas. 'Es nuestro derrumbe', piensan.

© Derechos Reservados 1996-2005 DEMOS, Desarrollo de Medios, S.A. de C.V.Todos los Derechos Reservados.Derechos de Autor 04-2005-011817321500-203.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Call for Encuentro

Los Adherentes a La Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona en Chiapas, Considerando:

Ø Que en las actividades de La Otra Campaña nos hemos propuesto construir el Plan Nacional de Lucha y una Nueva Constitución;

Ø Los acuerdos del Encuentro Estatal Contra la Represión celebrado el 9 y 10 de abril pasados, que incluyen preparar un Encuentro Estatal hacia el Plan Nacional de Lucha; Ø Los acontecimientos de represión que se vienen sucediendo desde el 3 de mayo, en contra de los compañeros de San Salvador Atenco y otros adherentes a la Sexta Declaración en el Distrito Federal,


Encuentro Estatal en Chiapas de La Otra Campaña hacia el Plan Nacional de Lucha

Que se llevará a cabo del 16 al 18 de junio de 2006, en las instalaciones del CIDECI-Unitierra en San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas (Camino Viejo a Chamula sin número, Colonia Nueva Maravilla en la zona norte de la ciudad-). El viernes 16 será la llegada y la instalación del Encuentro, el sábado 17 se desarrollarán los trabajos y el domingo 18 se tomarán los acuerdos y la clausura.


Ø Analizar el contexto en el que se ha desarrollado la primera etapa de La Otra Campaña, particularmente las acciones de represión en contra de los adherentes.
Ø Reunir las propuestas de las organizaciones e individuos adherentes para que sean incluidos en el Plan Nacional de Lucha.
Ø Acordar acciones y formas de coordinación entre los adherentes a La Otra Campaña en los estatal y nacional.

Solicitamos a todos los participantes para la preparación de este Encuentro:

1.- Compartir esta convocatoria con las organizaciones e individuos adherentes en sus regiones.
2.- Que se realicen acciones para juntar dinero para el pasaje de los delegados de su organización y si es posible, apoyar con los gastos del Encuentro.
3.- Preparar reuniones previas en su región o en su organización, considerando los siguientes temas:

a) Cuáles son las luchas, las demandas y las propuestas de sus organizaciones que deben estar incluidos en el Plan Nacional de Lucha.

b) Qué pensamos de cada uno de los 6 puntos que surgieron en la Plenaria de La Garrucha, al final de los encuentros preparativos:

1. De la ratificación, ampliación o modificación de las características de la Otra Campaña propuestas en la Sexta Declaración.
2. Quiénes están convocados y quiénes no.
3. Sobre la estructura organizativa de La Otra Campaña.
4. Del lugar especial de las diferencias: indígenas, mujeres, otros amores, jóvenes, niños y otros.
5. De la posición de la Otra Campaña frente a otros esfuerzos organizativos.
6. De las tareas inmediatas (difusión e información) política nacional/organización general.

c) Qué propuestas tenemos para una mejor coordinación de los adherentes de La Otra Campaña en Chiapas y con los adherentes del resto del país.

d) Qué propuestas tenemos para apoyar y solidarizarnos con los compañeros adherentes que son reprimidos en Chiapas y en el país.

Convocan: Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración y a La Otra Campaña en Chiapas.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

May 3

Compañeros, compañeras:

Hace unos momentos estuvimos viendo y escuchando en los medios de comunicación el manejo que se estaba haciendo, el manejo informativo sobre lo que estaba ocurriendo. Escuchamos a los locutores y locutoras de Televisión Azteca implorando por que entrara el orden, por que entrara el ejército a poner orden y acabar con lo que estaba ocurriendo ahí. Escuchamos también la indignación de televidentes que mandaban cartas diciendo que eran unos idiotas los locutores que estaban pidiendo que entrara más fuerza pública.

Hace años aquí, en la Plaza de las Tres Culturas hubo una matanza y entonces el gobierno dijo que el ejército había sido agredido. Y pasó mucho tiempo a que alguien preguntara qué estaba haciendo el ejército en un mitin estudiantil. Y ahora esos medios de comunicación, incluso de la radio, no se les ocurre preguntar qué estaba haciendo la fuerza pública en San Salvador Atenco. Y estaba haciendo esta alianza que se dio entre el PRD y el PRI para desalojar a unos vendedores de flores porque el presidente municipal de Texcoco piensa que afean la ciudad; porque quiere meter un centro comercial, un Wal-Mart ahí en Texcoco y le molestan los pequeños comerciantes y que también el PRD aliado ahí con el PRI a nivel estatal, ahora aliado con el PAN a nivel federal, y ahora va a tener que dar cuenta de esta muerte.

Como Comisión Sexta del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, organización adherente a la Otra Campaña, estamos pidiendo, solicitando respetuosamente a las coordinadoras regionales y subregionales en todo el país a que acuerden y ejecuten acciones y movilizaciones de apoyo al Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra a partir de las 800, ocho de la mañana del día de mañana, cuatro de mayo del 2006.

Como Comisión Sexta nos estamos declarando en alerta. Han sido ya declaradas en alerta roja las tropas del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional y en punto de esa hora serán cerrados los Caracoles y los Municipios Autónomos Rebeldes Zapatistas. A partir de este momento, a partir de este momento, está funcionando ya el nuevo escalón de mando en el Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional. Cualquier cosa que me ocurra hay ya ahí quien tome las decisiones. No sabemos ustedes, pero los zapatistas somos hoy Atenco.

Vamos a estar atentos a sus demandas. Llamamos a que se hagan reuniones por sector, por regional, como ustedes piensen y que acuerden estas acciones. Como Comisión Sexta estamos cancelando todas nuestras participaciones en las actividades programadas y estamos esperando la indicación del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra. Si necesita nuestra presencia allá, allá iremos. Si no, participaremos directamente en alguna de las acciones que ustedes programen para el día de mañana a partir de las 800, ocho de la mañana.
Cierre de carreteras, cierre de calles, volanteo, pinta, lo que se les ocurra, civil y pacífico. Atenco no puede estar solo. No vamos a detener estas acciones y esta situación hasta que los compañeros y compañeras del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra así nos indiquen.

No vamos a hacer caso de ninguna información que no llegue a través de ellos. Para nosotros, ellos y ellas, quienes forman el Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra son la Otra Campaña en esas tierras. Respetaremos sus decisiones. Llegaremos hasta donde ellos nos digan llegar. Han sido claros en sus demandas: liberación inmediata de los detenidos y retiro total de la fuerza pública que está invadiendo sus tierras.

Este es nuestro mensaje compañeros y compañeras. No sólo para la Otra en este otro México, en esta otra ciudad de México que se está levantando. Es nuestro mensaje para la Otra Campaña en todo el país. Desde Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Campeche, hasta las dos Baja Californias, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León. De norte a sur, de este a oeste, que la Otra Campaña resuene en Atenco y que haya justicia para los caídos.

Gracias compañeros, gracias compañeras.

Zapatista Network

Date: April 27, 2006

To the compañer@s in every corner of the so-called US and Canada,
To all the peoples of the continent of so-called America,
To the struggling Peoples of the Global South and the world,
To all the adherents of the Sixth Declaration, the Other Campaign,and the International Campaign,
To the national and international alternative press,

We, the Zapatista Network, are reaching out as a newly emerging "network of networks" to invite companer@s in the so-called U.S. and Canada to "walk together" as Zapatista grassroots and community-based groups who support the Zapatistas and are inspired by Zapatismo. Our intent has been to create spaces of encounter so that diverse groups can share ideas, resources and projects as part of a larger process to strengthen each collective's work, solidarity efforts and rebellion; as well as to encourage new Zapatista inspired collectives to form. By saying "network of networks" we propose one of many overlapping webs of resistance taking place all over the world.

Since January 1, 1994 when the EZLN declared !Ya Basta! Mexican and International Civil Society have responded in solidarity creating a broad base of support. The Zapatistas' commitment to encounter and dialogue has made it possible to collectively imagine "a world where many worlds fit." Some communities working in solidarity with the Zapatistas have responded with aid, while others used direct action to help halt the military and state repression, drawing attention to the low intensity war directed against the Zapatistas. The response to the Zapatista rebellion has been unique not only in its diversity but its intensity. Solidarity efforts have served to keep people informed, provide material support, and protest the cruel excesses of military and state repression. More importantly, communities around the world and in the US have pursued their own resistance locally, attempting to imagine and realize a different way of doing politics.

In August 2004 the Committee of Indigenous Solidarity-DC-Zapatistas sent out a call to form a zapatista network in the U.S. and Canada that was initially referred to as red "Plan Morelia-Polo Norte" (in response to and in solidarity with the Plan La Realidad-Tijuana in Mexico). This call was made in order to construct one avenue of many for zapatista inspired groups in this region of America to dialogue and construct networks of support. Of the Zapatista related collectives and groups who responded to this initial call, we began talking together about encuentro, Zapatismo, Zapatista solidarity and how to reach out to others so that we all know that we are not alone.

Regarding the Zapatistas as offering profound new political strategies and alternatives whose relevance goes well beyond Chiapas there have been two encuentros inspired by this effort to form a bi-national network and in response to the Zapatistas' proposals in the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. One was in August 2005 in Oakland, California and the other in November 2005 in Los Angeles,California. Both were amazing successes and have lead to a stronger networking among the numerous Zapatista groups and individuals in California.

As these encuentros have strengthened networks and community in California, we would like to see this spread in other parts of the U.S. and Canada alongside Mexico and the whole of the Americas. Additionally, through sustained dialogue, the grassroots organizations and collectives involved thus far have come to eight "points of agreement" (preliminary and subject to change by the collective voice). These are: A commitment to horizontal, egalitarian, fully inclusive and transparent structures and processes in all aspects of our activities and interactions; reciprocal respect for the autonomy and independence of all member organizations; support for the Zapatistas' "Other Campaign" in solidarity with the efforts of our Mexican Compa~er@s to unify the struggle, and in recognition of the need to pursue a similar project north of the Rio Grande, throughout the U.S. and Canada; a commitment to carry out our solidarity support work for the autonomous Zapatista communities of Chiapas in full accordance with the protocols established by the Good Government Juntas and the autonomous rebel Zapatista municipalities (MAREZ); a commitment to advance Zapatismo as political thought and as a method for resistance in our local struggles; solidarity in principle with all global struggles being waged by the people of the world for humanity and against neoliberalism; support and respect for the choices of the autonomous Zapatista communities to struggle in defense of their lives, humanity and environment and against neoliberalism in any way they deem necessary; a commitment to participate to the best of our abilities in the operational processes and development of the Zapatista Network ("Zapared").

As the "Other Campaign" advances, we see it as urgent that this network is available to support such initiatives. Consequently, we are publicly announcing the existence of this emergent network which we are calling the Zapatista Network and are reaching out to Companer@s in the U.S and Canada in the hope to encourage more connections and strengthen webs of resistance.We invite you to join us, as we begin this dialogue to create a "world where many worlds fit." As a medium to facilitate an ongoing encounter, there is an interactive website with a private blog for collectives and an open forum available for individuals. There will also be a resource archive. For more information about the network, visit our web site at:

If you're interested in participating, feel free to contact the Zapatista Network, or contact any of our member organizations directly:

Acción Zapatista de Humboldt (Arcata, CA) Manolo Callahan,
Acción Zapatista of Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA) Jordan Camp,
Chiapas Support Committee (Oakland, CA) Mary Ann Tenuto-Sánchez,
Committee of Indigenous Solidarity-DC Zapatistas (Washington, DC) Adrián Boutureira ,
El Machete (Austin, TX) Simón,
Estación Libre (Los Angeles, CA) Pablo Gonzales,
Protesta y Apoyo Zapatista (Santa Barbara, CA) Jordan
Zapatista Solidarity Coalition (Sacramento, CA)
Colectivo Caracolero Chicagotra (Chicago, Il) Dora T. y Kora M.,
Rebel Imports (Maryland) Kristin Bricker,
Colectivo Zapatista Tz' ajal Ek' 32 (San Diego, Ca.) Elizabeth Saenz-Ackermann,