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.