dorset chiapas solidarity

February 22, 2017

EZLN: The Cat-Dog and the Apocalypse

Filed under: CNI, Human rights, Indigenous, San Marcos Aviles, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:48 am

 

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EZLN: The Cat-Dog and the Apocalypse

December 29, 2016.

Science fiction.

Remember that: science fiction. You’ll see that, in your coming nightmares, it will help you to not become so distressed, or at least not uselessly distressed.

Perhaps you remember some science fiction movie. Perhaps science fiction set some of you down the path of scientific science.

It didn’t do that for me, perhaps because my favorite science fiction movie is La Nave de los Monstruosi with the unforgettable Eulalio González, known as “el Piporro,” the soundtrack for which has been unjustly excluded from the Oscars, the Golden Globes, and the local and renowned “Clay Pozol Bowl.”ii Perhaps you’ve heard talk of the movie: it’s a “cult” film, according to one of those specialized magazines that nobody reads, not even the people who edit it. If you remember the film and/or you see it, you’ll doubtless understand why I ended up lost in the mountains of the Mexican Southeast and not in the suffocating bureaucratic web that, at least in Mexico, chokes scientific investigation.

You’ll also cheer the fact that that movie is my point of reference for science fiction, instead of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Kubrick, or Alien by Ridley Scott (with Lieutenant Ripley breaking with Charlton Heston’s blueprint of the macho survivor in “Planet of the Apes”), or Blade Runner, also by Ridley, where the question “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” is the nodal point.

So you should thank Piporro and his “Star of Desire”iii and the robot Tor in love with a jukeboxiv for the fact that that I’m not on their side in this encounter.

Anyway, cinephile philias aside, let’s suppose an average film of the genre: an apocalypse in progress or in the past; all of humanity in danger; first an audacious and intrepid man as the protagonist; then, from the hand of innocuous feminism, a woman, also audacious and intrepid; a group of scientists is convoked to a super secret facility (invariably of course located in the United States); a high-ranking military official explains to them: they must create a plan to save humanity; they do so, but it turns out that in the end, they need an individual hero or heroine who, as the story goes, annuls the collective work and at the last second, with a pair of pliers that appeared inexplicably, cuts the green or blue or white or black or red cable at random, and ta-da, humanity is saved; the group of scientists applauds like crazy; the young man or woman finds true love; the respectable public vacates the theater while the free-loaders check the seats to see if anyone left any half-finished cartons of popcorn, with that delicious and unbeatable taste of sodium benzoate.

The catastrophe has a variety of origins: a meteorite has changed course with the same constancy as a politician making declarations about the gas hikes; or a tornado of sharks; or a planet spinning off its course; or an irritated sun sending one of those igneous tongues out of its orbit; or an illness that comes from outer space, or a spaceship; or a biological weapon that gets out of control and, converted into an odorless gas, transforms whoever has contact with it into a professional politician or maybe into something not quite so horrible.

That, or the apocalypse is already a done deal and a group of survivors wanders without hope, introjecting the exterior barbarity into their individual and collective behavior, while humanity struggles between life and death.

The end can vary but the constant is the group of scientists, be they the ones who caused the disaster or the only hope of salvation, if of course a handsome man or woman appears at the opportune moment.

The film’s conclusion could be open-ended, or it could be a downright “dark beating” (José Alfredo Jiménez had already warned us that “life isn’t worth anything”).

Sure, let’s take as an example any novel, movie or TV series with an apocalyptic or catastrophic theme. Let’s say one with a popular theme: zombies.

A concrete example: the TV series The Walking Dead. For those who aren’t familiar with the plot, it’s simple: due to some unspecified cause, people who die “turn into” zombies; the protagonist wanders, he encounters a group, they establish a hierarchical organization in continual crisis and they try to survive. The series’ success could be due to the fact that it shows characters who, in normal situations, are mediocre or pariahs, and they become heroines and heroes willing to do whatever it takes. Some of them are:

Michonne, a housewife ignored and belittled by her husband and siblings, who becomes a fearsome warrior with a katana (played by the actress and dramaturge Danai Jekesal Gurira and, not to make you jealous, she’s the only one whose real name I give because, in the trunk left by SupMarcos, I found a picture of her in the character of Michonne, dedicated by her own hand to the deceased. Arrrrroz con leche!v).

Daryl, a manipulated pariah transformed into a “tracker” and a fearsome crossbowman. Up until now the symbol of the refusal to submit, resistance and rebellion.

Glenn, a pizza delivery boy turned star explorer. The handyman and “thousand lives” of the series, until Rickman returned to the comic.

Maggie, a young woman whom the zombie apocalypse saves from the monotonous life on a farm and converts her into a leader, despite being pregnant.

Carol, an abused wife transformed into a female version of Rambo, but smart.

Carl, an adolescent who behind his eyepatch hides a serial killer, as Negan well deduced.

Eugene, a nerd who symbolized science and eventually goes from being a pathological liar to becoming useful to the group.

Father Gabriel, the self-serving, opportunistic religious leader who reconverts himself and becomes necessary.

Tara and Aaron, the lesbian woman and the gay man who ensure the political correctness of the plot.

Rosita, my preferred wet dream, the Latina who combines passion, skill and courage.

Morgan, the survivor in “shaolin monk” mode.

Sasha, the woman who changes from the classic romantic role to that of realistic survivor.

And in the upper part of the hierarchy, the battered symbol of order, Rick, an ex-sheriff’s deputy who barely hides the fascist inclinations of any police officer.

I don’t know what season you’re on. Since the fifth one I stopped watching because the law caught up with the movie guy who used to send me the “alternative” editions and now who knows where he is (which is a shame, because he had promised me up to season 10, though not even Kirkman knows if there will be 10 seasons). But with what I’ve been able to watch, I understand the reason for its success.

It’s not hard to follow the plot, anyway: it’s enough to look at the spoilers that filter through on the respective Twitter hashtags.

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A few moons ago, I asked a compañera what would have happened if Rick, or any member of the group, had known ahead of time that what was going to happen would happen. I choose the police officer as my example because it seems that he is the only one whose survival is guaranteed, at least in the comic of the same name.

Would Rick have prepared himself? Would he have constructed a bunker and stockpiled in it food, medicines, fuel, weapons and ammunition, and the complete works of George Romero?vi

Or would he perhaps have tried to stop the disaster?

The compañera, Zapatista to the end, answered me with the same question: what did I think Rick Grimes would have done?

I didn’t hesitate to answer her: nothing. Even knowing what was going to happen, neither Rick nor any of the characters would have done anything.

And there’s a simple reason for that: despite all the evidence, they would have kept thinking, up until the very last minute, that nothing bad was going to happen, that it wasn’t such a big deal, that someone somewhere would have the solution, that order would be re-established, that there would be someone to obey and someone to boss around, that, in any case, the tragedy would happen to other people, somewhere else, geographically distant or distant in terms of their social position.

They would think up until the night before that the tragedy was something destined not for them [ellas, ellos, elloas], but for those who survive below… and to the left.

Zombies aside, in the majority of those apocalyptic narratives, there are one or more moments in which someone, invariably the protagonist, when everyone is surrounded by a horde of zombies or the meteorite is a short distance from their heads, or in a similar situation, says, with all the serenity and aplomb, “Everything is going to be all right”.

And it turns out that for this meeting I got stuck with the role of party pooper. So I should tell you what we see: No, it’s not a science fiction movie, but rather reality; and no, everything is not going to be all right, only a few things will be all right if we prepare ourselves ahead of time.

According to our analysis (and until now, we haven’t seen anyone or anything that refutes it; on the contrary, they confirm it), we are already in the middle of a structural crisis that, in colloquial terms, means the reign of criminal violence, natural disasters, runaway shortages and unemployment, scarcity of basic services, collapse of energy infrastructure, migration, hunger, sickness, destruction, death, desperation, anguish, terror, helplessness.

In sum: dehumanization.

The crime is in progress. The biggest, most brutal and cruel crime in the brief history of humanity.

And the criminal is a system willing to go to any lengths: capitalism.

In apocalyptic terms: it’s a fight between humanity and the system, between life and death.

The second option, death—I wouldn’t recommend it.

Actually, don’t die. It’s not in your best interest. Believe me, I know something about that because I’ve died several times.

It’s very boring. Since the entrances to heaven and hell suffer from an annoying bureaucracy (though it’s not as bad as those in the universities and research centers), the wait is worse than an airport or a bus station during holiday season.

Hell’s the same, you have to organize gatherings of the arts, exact and natural sciences, social sciences, originary peoples, and other equally terrible things. They force you to bathe and comb your hair. They inject you and make you to eat squash soup all the time. You have to listen to Peña Nieto and Donald Trump in a never-ending press conference.

Heaven, for its part, is the same, just that there you have to put up with a monotonous chorus of palid angels, and they all give you the runaround if you want to talk to God to complain about the music.

In sum: say no to death and yes to life.

But don’t fool yourselves.

You’re going to have to fight every day, at all hours and everywhere.

In that fight, sooner or later, you’ll realize that only collectively will you have any possibility of triumph.

And even so, you’ll see that you also need the arts and that you need us, too, and others [otros, otras, otroas] like us.

Organize yourselves.

As Zapatistas we are, we’re not only not asking you to abandon your scientific practice, we’re demanding that you continue it and deepen it.

Continue exploring this and other worlds, don’t stop, don’t despair, don’t give up, don’t sell out, don’t give in.

But we’re also asking you to seek out the arts. Even though the contrary might seem to be true, they will “anchor” your scientific task in what you have in common: humanity.

Enjoy dance in any of its forms. Perhaps at the beginning you won’t be able to avoid framing the movements in the laws of physics, but afterwards you’ll feel it, boom.

Go beyond geometry, color theory and neurology and enjoy painting and sculpture.

Resist the temptation to find the scientific logic to that poem, that novel, and let the words discover galaxies for you that only inhabit the arts.

Surrender when faced with the lack of scientific basis to the stories that in theater and film peer into that which is humanly imperfect, unstable, and unpredictable.

And so on with all the arts.

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Now imagine that it’s not your own daily life but rather the arts which are in danger of extinction.

Imagine people, not statistics: men, women, children, elders, with a face, a history, a culture, threatened with annihilation.

See yourselves in those mirrors.

Understand that it’s not about fighting for them or in their place, but rather with them.

See yourselves as we Zapatistas see you.

Science is not your limit, your dead weight, your useless burden, the activity you should carry out in clandestinity or hiding in the closet of the academies and institutes.

Understand what we have already understood: that, as scientists, you all fight for humanity, that is to say, for life.

-*-

Yesterday Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés was explaining to us that the communities are, and have been for decades, our teachers and tutors. That the interest in science is new in Zapatismo. That it’s been incited by the new generations, by the Zapatista youth who want to know more and better how the world works. That out of the organized communities came this newest push that has us here in front of you.

It’s true. But what’s not new in Zapatismo is the struggle for life.

Even in our willingness and plans when faced with death, we were concerned with life from the start.

Those who are older, or who are interested despite not being older, may know about the uprising: the taking of 7 municipal capitals, the bombardments, the clashes with the military forces, the desperation of the government upon seeing that they couldn’t defeat us, the civil uprising that forced them to stop, what’s followed in these almost 23 years.

What you might not know is what I’m going to tell you next:

We prepared ourselves to kill and to die—Subcomandante Insurgente Moises already summarized that for you. So then we had two options in front of us: the country as a whole would be ignited, or we would be annihilated. Imagine our bewilderment when neither the one nor the other took place. But that’s another story for which perhaps there will be another occasion.

Two options, but both had the common denominator of death and destruction. Even though you might not believe it, the first thing we did was prepare ourselves to live.

And I don’t mean those of us who fought in combat, those of us for whom knowledge of the resistance of different materials was useful for taking cover and finding shelter in combat and during bombardments; nor the knowledge that allowed the insurgent health workers to save the lives of dozens of Zapatistas.

I’m talking about the Zapatista bases of support, those to whom, as Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés explained last night, we owe the path, the pace, the direction and the destination as Zapatistas we are, just as we owe to them the interest in the arts, the sciences, and the effort to include us with the workers of the countryside and the cities, the world headquarters of struggle, resistance, and rebellion that’s called “the Sixth.”

Starting a few years prior to that apparently now distant January 1, in the Zapatista communities the so-called “reserve battalions” were formed.

The mission that was given to them was the most important one in the gigantic operation that carried thousands into combat: to survive.

For months they were given instruction. Thousands of boys, girls, women, men and elders trained to protect themselves from bullets and bombs; to gather and retreat in orderly fashion in case the army attacked or bombarded the towns; to place and locate deposits of food, water and medicine that would allow them to survive in the mountains for a long time.

“Do not die” was the only order that they were to follow.

The order that those of us who went to combat had was: “Don’t give up, don’t sell out, don’t give in.”

When we came back to the mountains and we met back up with our communities, we fused the two orders and made them into one alone: “Struggle to build our freedom.”

And we agreed to do so with everyone [todas, todos, todoas].

And we agreed that, if it wasn’t possible to do so in this world, then we would make another world, a bigger one, a better one, one where all the possible worlds fit, the ones that already exist and the ones we still haven’t imagined but that can already be found in the arts and sciences.

Thank you very much.

From CIDECI-Unitierra.

SupGaleano.

Mexico, December 2016.

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From the Notebook of the Cat-Dog.

“What’s Lacking”

I was in my hut, reviewing and analyzing some videos of plays by Maradona and Messi.

Like a premonition, a ball bounced inside. “Defensa Zapatista” arrived behind it, entering without giving notice or asking permission. Behind the girl came the notorious Cat-Dog.

Defensa Zapatista” grabbed the ball and approached to look over my shoulder. I was busy trying to keep the Cat-Dog from eating the computer mouse so I didn’t notice that the girl was watching the videos with great interest.

“Hey Sup”, she said to me, “do you think Maradona and Messi are all that?”

I didn’t answer. From experience I know that Defensa Zapatista’s questions are either rhetorical or she’s not interested in hearing my answer.

She continued:

“But you’re not seeing the issue,” she said, “for as much as they might have of art and science, they both have a serious lack.”

Yes, that’s how she said it: “lack.” There I did interrupt her and I asked, “And just where did you get that word or where did you learn it?”

She responded, indignant: “That very bad Pedrito said it to me. He told me that I couldn’t play football because girls lack technique.”

“I got mad and I gave him a slap upside the head, because I didn’t know what that word meant and what if it’s a bad word. Of course, the very bad Pedrito ran to the education promotora to make a complaint about me and they called me in. I explained to the teacher the national and international situation, as they say, that the situation with the Hydra is really messed up and everything. And since the promotora understood that we have to support each other as the women we are, they didn’t reprimand me, but they sent me to look up what “lack” means. And well, I thought it was a better punishment than if they had sent me to eat squash soup.”

I nodded understandingly as I tried to get the mouse out of the Cat-Dog’s mouth.

“Well anyway, I went to look up what “lack” means on the internet in the office of the Junta de Buen Gobierno [Good Government Council] and I found that it’s a song by the musicians of the struggle, that it’s really happy and that everyone starts dancing and jumping around as if they gotten into an anthill of leafcutter ants. So I went to the education promotoraand I told her that “lack” is a song that goes: “I wake up in the morning and I don’t feel like going to school.” She laughed and told me, “it’s ‘going to work.’” So then I told her that songs are up to each person’s taste and the problems they have. Which is to say I gave her the political explanation, but I don’t think she understood, because she just laughed. And then she sent me back to find out not about the song, but rather to look up what the word means. So I headed back and when I get there I had to wait for the guy who was on duty at the Junta to send out a denunciation. After that I was able to go in and there I saw that “lack” means you’re missing something. So I headed back to the education promotora and told her, and she said that there, now I’d seen that it wasn’t a bad word and she congratulated me. But since Pedrito was there eavesdropping I gave him another slap upside the head for going around saying that I lack technique. And then the promotora said she was going to tell my moms that I was doing that kind of thing, so I came to hide here because I know that nobody comes to see you.”

I took the jab heroically, as I was finally able to snatch the mouse back from the Cat-Dog.

Defensa Zapatista” continued her long-winded speech:

“But don’t worry Sup, before coming in, first I peeked in to make sure you weren’t looking at pictures of naked ladies that, errrr, just to get it over with, Sup, it’s really unbelievable, and anyway I’m not going to make a complaint against you with the collective “The Women We Are,” but I’ll tell you plainly that it’s no good what you’re doing, because it just means you have a lack of moms, that is, like SupMoy says when he gets angry, no tienes madre” [you have no mother].

I’d like to clarify here that it’s not true what “Zapatista Defense” says, what happened is that I was taking a correspondence course on anatomy.

Anyway, before the girl could continue airing my secrets, I asked her why she said that Maradona and Messi were seriously lacking in something.

She was almost in the threshold of the door when she answered:

“Because they’re missing the most important thing: being women.”

-*-

“An Interstellar Trip”

Among the pile of papers and drawings that the late SupMarcos left, I found what I’m going to read to you below. It’s a sort of draft or notes for a script, or something like that, supposedly for a science fiction film. It’s called:

Toward What Does the Gaze Look?

Planet Earth. Some year in the distant future, let’s say 2024. Among the new tourist destinations, now it’s possible to travel to space and go around the world in a satellite adapted “ad hoc” for that purpose. The spaceship is a scale replica of the lunar satellite, with a big window that looks out, during the whole trip, onto Earth. On the other side, let’s say the back, there’s a sort of skylight, about the size of a house window, that always looks out onto the rest of the galaxy. The tourists, of all colors and nationalities, crowd up against the window that looks onto the planet of origin. They take selfies and live-stream the images of the world, “blue like an orange,” to their friends and family. But not all the travelers are on that side. At least four people are in front of the opposite window. They’re forgotten about their respective cameras and they look out in ecstasy at the jumbled collage of celestial bodies: the snaking line of dusty light that is the Milky Way, the twinkling glimmer of stars that might not exist anymore, the frenetic dance of asteroids and planets.

One of the people is an artist; they’re not immobile, in their brain they imagine rhythms, lines and colors, movements, sequences, words, inert or mobile representations; their hands and fingers move involuntarily, their lips mumble incomprehensible words and sounds, their eyes open and close continuously. The arts see what they see and they see what could come to be seen.

Another one of the people is a scientist; their body doesn’t move at all, they look fixedly not at the closest lights and colors but rather at the most distant ones; in their brain they imagine unthought galaxies, inert and living worlds, stars being born, insatiable black holes, interplanetary vessels without flags. The sciences see what they see and they see what could come to be seen.

The third person is indigenous, of short stature, with dark skin and ancestral features. They look at and touch the window. Their mind and body press upon the solid, transparent material. In their brain they imagine the path and the pace, the speed and the rhythm; they imagine a destination that’s constantly changing. The originary peoples see what they see and they see the life that could be created in order to be seen.

The fourth person is Zapatista, of changing color and features. They look through and delicately touch the glass with their hand. They take our their notebook and start writing frenetically. In their brain they begin to make calculations, lists of tasks, jobs to start, they trace maps, they dream. Zapatismo sees what it sees and sees the world that it will be necessary to build so that the arts, sciences, and originary peoples can realize and fulfill what they see with their gaze.

At the end of the trip, while the other travelers acquire their last souvenirs in the “duty free” shops, the artist runs to their studio, or whatever it is, so that others [otros, otras, otroas] can see and feel what they see; the scientist immediately convokes other scientists because there are theories and formulas that need to be proposed, demonstrated, and applied; the indigenous person gets together with their fellow peoples and tells them what they saw in order that, collectively, the gaze can define the path, the pace, the company, the rhythm, the speed and the destination.

The Zapatista person goes to their community and in the community assembly explains and details everything that must be done so that the artist, the scientist, and the indigenous person can travel. The first thing the assembly does is critique the story or the tale or the script or whatever it’s called, because it’s missing the workers of the city and the countryside. It is proposed then that a commission write a letter to the deceased SupMarcos so that he puts the fifth element in the story, that is, the Cat Dog, because it already ate the internet cable and two flash drives belonging to the Tercios Compas, and it spends all its time chasing around the computer mouse, so better that they take it with them; and so that he also adds, as the sixth element, the Sixth, because without the Sixth the story isn’t complete. Having approved this, the assembly proposes, discusses, adds and subtracts, plans the timetables, distributes the tasks, votes to determine general agreement and names the commissions for each task.

Before the assembly is adjourned and everyone goes to start the tasks assigned to them, a little girl asks to have the floor.Without coming up to the front, standing almost at the back of the communal house, the girl strains to raise her voice and says: “I propose that on the list of things to take, that they include a soccer ball and a whole lot of pozol.” The rest of the assembly laughs uproariously. SubMoy, who’s sitting on the panel that’s coordinating the meeting, calls for order. Having achieved silence, SubMoy asks the girl what her name is. The girl responds, “My name is Defensa Zapatista,” and she puts on her best “you’ll never get past me, not even if you’re aliens” face. SubMoy then asks Defensa Zapatista why she is proposing this.

The girl climbs up on a wooden bench and argues: “The ball is because if they aren’t going to be able to play, then it’s pointless to go there where they want go. And the whole lot of pozol is to give them strength so they don’t faint along the journey. And also so that way out there, far away, where the other worlds are, they don’t forget where they came from”.

The little girl’s proposal is approved by popular acclaim. SubMoy is about to adjourn the meeting when “Defensa Zapatista” raises her little hand asking again for the floor. It is conceded to her. As the girl speaks, in one arm she holds a soccer ball and in the other hugs a small animal to her. It seems to be a dog… or a cat, or a cat-dog: “I just want to say that we haven’t filled out the team yet, but don’t worry, soon there are going to be more of us, sometimes it takes a while, but soon there are going to be more.”

I testify.

Woof-meow.

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i “La Nave de los Monstruos” (1960) or “The Ship of the Monsters,” a Mexican science fiction comedy film.

iiPozol de Barro,” prize to be awarded by the EZLN to the winning team in a 2005 soccer (football) competition between the Zapatista team and the FC Internationale de Milán.

iii Musical number by Piporro that appears in “La Nave de los Monstruos.”

iv Tor the robot and his jukebox lover are characters in the film.

v Literally “rice with milk,” a sweet rice dessert, but in this context an exclamation after a suggestive comment or as a general exclamation of excitement, as in “Yeehaw” or “Woohoo”

vi Director of cult classics Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead among many other horror films.

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February 17, 2017

EZLN: The Walls Above, The Cracks Below (And To The Left)

Filed under: CNI, gal, Indigenous, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:50 am

 

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EZLN: The Walls Above, The Cracks Below (And To The Left)

 

 

maxresdefault-csub-702x468February 2017

The Storm On Our Path

For us, as Zapatista originary peoples, the storm—the war—has been going on for centuries. It arrived to our lands with the lies of the dominant civilization and religion. At that time, the sword and the cross bled our people dry.

Over time, the sword was modernized and the cross was dethroned by the religion of capital, but it continued to demand our blood as an offering to the new god: money.

We resisted, we always resist. Our rebellions were displaced by the dispute between various forces for Power. Those forces, always from above, demanded that we struggle and die to serve them. They demanded obedience and submission under the guise of liberating us. Like those who said and say they fight, they came and come to rule. There were supposed independences and false revolutions, those past and those to come.

Since then, those above have taken turns and continue to take turns in order to govern, badly, or aspire to do so. In past and present calendars, their proposal continues to be the same: that we offer our blood, while they lead or pretend to lead.

Before and now, they forget those of us who do not forget.

And always, yesterday and today, the woman is below, even in the collective that we were and are.

But as the calendars went by, they not only brought pain and death to our people. Upon expanding its dominion, Power created new brotherly and sisterly bonds in tragedy.

We saw then the worker and the peasant become one with our pain, lying under the four wheels of the mortal carriage of Capital.

As Power advanced in its path through time, those below grew increasingly more, broadening the base over which Power is and has Power. We saw that we were joined then by teachers, students, artisans, small business people, professionals, and the etceteras with different names but identical sorrows.

But that wasn’t enough. Power is an exclusive space, discriminatory and selective. Thus different kinds of difference were also openly persecuted. By colour, race, creed, and sexual preference, they were expelled from the promised land and given hell as a permanent residence.

Next came young people, children, and elders. Power thus converted the calendars one holds into cause for persecution. Everyone below is guilty: for being a woman, for being a child, for being a young person, for being an adult, for being an elder, for being human.

But, upon expanding exploitation, displacement, repression, and discrimination, Power also expanded resistance… and rebellion.

We saw then and now the raised heads of many [muchas, muchos, muchoas]. All different, but similar in their rage and refusal.

Power knows that it is what it is only when wielded over those who work. It needs them.

It responded and responds to every rebellion by buying or fooling a few and imprisoning or murdering many. It is not afraid of their demands; it is their example that terrifies it.

Still it was not enough. Having dominated nations, the Power of Capital sought to put all of humanity under its heavy yoke.

Even that wasn’t enough. Capital now attempts to manage nature, to dominate, domesticate, and exploit her. That is, to destroy her.

The destructive advance of Capital, always through war, demolished the first fiefdoms and kingdoms. Upon their ruins it raised nations.

Later it devastated nations and upon their ruins erected a new global order: the market.

The entire world became a big warehouse for commodities. Everything can be bought and sold: water, wind, land, plants and animals, governments, knowledge, fun, desire, love, hate, people.

But it is not only commodities that are exchanged in the great market of Capital. “Economic freedom” is a mere illusion that simulates mutual agreement between those who buy and sell. In reality, the market is based on dispossession and exploitation. The exchange then is one of impunity. Justice is transformed into a grotesque caricature and upon its scale, money always weighs more than truth. The stability of this tragedy called Capitalism depends on repression and disrespect.

But that wasn’t enough either. It is not possible to dominate the world if one does not dominate ideas. Religious imposition was intensified and reached the arts and sciences. Philosophies and beliefs emerged and emerge like passing fashions. The sciences and the arts ceased to be something distinctively human and instead were placed on a shelf in the global supermarket.

Knowledge became private property, as did recreation and pleasure.

Capital thus consolidated itself as a giant shredder, using not only humanity in its entirety as raw material for commodity production, but also knowledge, art, and…nature.

The destruction of the planet, the millions of displaced, the rise in crime, unemployment, poverty, the weakness of governments and the wars to come are not products of the excesses of Capital, or of a mistaken detour of a system that promised order, progress, peace, and prosperity.

No, all of these tragedies are the essence of the system.

It feeds on them; it grows at their cost.

Destruction and death are the fuel for the great machine of Capital.

Attempts to “rationalize” or “humanize” its functioning were, are, and will be futile. Irrationality and inhumanity are its key parts. There is no possible repair. There wasn’t before, and there is no way now to mitigate its criminal path.

The only way to stop this machine is to destroy it.

In the current world war, the dispute is between the system and humanity. That is why the anticapitalist struggle is a struggle for humanity.

Those who still try to “repair” or “save” the system are really proposing to us a mass global suicide, like a posthumous sacrifice to Power.

In the system there is no solution.

Neither horror, condemnation, nor resignation are sufficient, nor is the hope that the worst has passed and things can only get better.

No. What is certain is that things will get worse.

For these reasons, in addition to what each of us can add from our particular calendars and geographies, we must resist, rebel, say “no,” struggle, organize.

That is why we must raise the wind from below with resistance and rebellion, with organization.

Only then will we be able to survive. Only then will it be possible to live.

And only then, as we said 25 years ago, will we be able to see that….

When the storm calms, when the rain and fire leave the earth in peace once again, the world will no longer be the world, but something better.”

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The War and the Walls Outside and Inside

Provoked by the greed of big money, the intention above is to make those suffering the current nightmare pay for it. Borders are no longer just lines drawn on maps and customs checkpoints, but walls of armies and police, of cement and brick, of laws and persecution. In the world above, the hunting of human beings increases and is celebrated with clandestine competitions: whoever expels, incarcerates, confines, and murders the most wins.

As we have been saying for more than 20 years, neoliberal globalization did not bring about a global village, but rather the fragmentation and dissolution of the so-called “Nation-States.” Then and now we called this process by the name that best describes it: “world war” (the fourth, according to us).

The only thing that was globalized was the market, and with it, war.

For those who operate the machines and bring the land to life, borders continue to exist and continue to be what they always have been: prisons.

Two decades ago, our assertion of this reality provoked mocking smiles from the international intelligentsia, tied to its old and expired dogmas.

Those same people today stutter in the face of a frantic reality, or they recommend old recipes, or they move on to a currently trendy idea that, through complex theoretical elaboration, hides the only truth at hand: they haven’t the slightest idea what is happening, nor what is coming, nor what brought on the current nightmare.

They lament this. The thinking from above had promised them a world without borders, and the result was instead a planet crammed with chauvinist trenches.

The world was not transformed into a gigantic metropolis without borders, but rather a great sea writhing in an unprecedented storm. In that sea, millions of displaced (who are grouped together by the media paintbrush as “migrants”) flail in small boats, waiting to be rescued by the gigantic ship of big Capital.

Not only will it not rescue them, but big Capital is the principal cause of the storm that threatens the existence of humanity in its entirety.

Under the awkward disguise of fascist nationalism, the most retrograde dark times return, claiming privileges and attentions. Tired of governing from the shadows, big Capital dismantles the lies of “citizenship” and “equality” before the law and the market.

The flag of “freedom, equality, and fraternity” with which capitalism adorned its conversion into the dominant world system is merely a dirty rag, tossed in the garbage bin of history from above.

Finally the system unmasks itself and shows its true face and vocation. “War Always, War Everywhere,” reads the name on the proud ship that navigates through a sea of blood and shit. It is money and not artificial intelligence that fights humanity in the decisive battle: that of survival.

No one is safe. Not the naive national capitalist who dreamed of the bonanza that was offered by open global markets, nor the conservative middle class surviving between the dream of being powerful and the reality of being the flock for the shepherd in turn.

Then there are the working classes of the city and countryside who increasingly find themselves in even more difficult conditions, if that were possible.

And, to round out the apocalyptic image, the millions of displaced and migrants piling up at the borders that have suddenly become as real as the walls that governments and criminals raise with every step.

In the global geography of the mass media and the social networks, the displaced, nomadic ghosts without name or face, are merely a statistic that identifies their location.

The calendar? Just one day after the promise of the end of history, of the solemn declaration of the supremacy of a system that was to have guaranteed wellbeing to those who worked for it, of victory over the “communist enemy” who sought to restrict freedom, impose dictatorships and create poverty, of the promised eternity that would annul all genealogies. The same calendar that announced just yesterday that world history was only getting started. And it turns out that no, it was all nothing more than a prelude to the most frightening nightmare.

Capitalism as a world system is collapsing, and the great captains, now desperate, can no longer figure out where to go. That’s why they are withdrawing into the lairs from which they came.

They offer the impossible: local salvation against global catastrophe. And this rubbish sells well among a middle class that is blurring into those from below in terms of its income, but which aspires to make up for its unmet economic needs with authentications of race, creed, color and sex. Salvation from above is Anglo-Saxon, white, religious, and masculine.

Now, those who lived on the crumbs that fell from the tables of big capital watch desperately as walls are erected against them, too. And the worst part is that they intend to head the opposition to this warlike policy. Here we see the intellectual right making contrary gestures and attempting timid and ridiculous protests. Because, no: globalization was not the triumph of freedom. It was and is the current age of tyranny and slavery.

Nations are not Nations anymore, although their respective governments might not have noticed it yet. Their flags and emblems are threadbare and discolored. Destroyed by globalization from above, sick with the parasite of Capital and with corruption as their only sign of identity, the national governments try with inept haste to protect themselves and attempt the impossible reconstruction of what they once were.

In the airtight compartments created by their walls and customs checkpoints, the system drugs the middle sectors of society with the opium of a reactionary, nostalgic nationalism, with xenophobia, racism, sexism, and homophobia as a plan for salvation.

Borders multiply within every territory. Not just the ones that are drawn on maps; also, and above all, the ones that are erected by corruption and crime turned into government.

The postmodern bonanza was nothing but a balloon inflated by finance capital. And then reality came to pop it: millions of people displaced by the great war fill the land and waterways, they pile up in customs and begin making cracks in the walls already raised and the ones still to be built. Encouraged before by big Capital, fundamentalisms find fertile ground for their proposals for unification: “from terror will be born a single way of thinking: ours.” After being nourished with dollars, the beast that is terrorism threatens the house of its creator.

It’s the same thing in the United States as in Western Europe or neo-czarist Russian; the beast writhes and tries to protect itself. It extols then (and not only then) the crudest stupidity and ignorance, and, in its government figureheads, synthesizes its proposal: “Let’s go back to the past.”

But no, America will not be great againNever again. Nor will the whole system in its entirety. It doesn’t matter what those above do. The system has already arrived at the point of no return.

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ezln-con-cnte

Against Capital and its Walls: All the Cracks.

The international offensive of Capital against racial and national differences, in promoting the construction of cultural and legal walls as well as those of cement and steel, seeks to shrink the planet even further. In this way they are trying to create a world where the only ones who fit are those above who are equal amongst themselves.

It may sound ridiculous, but this is how it is: to face the storm, the system is not looking for roofs to protect itself, but rather walls behind which to hide.

This new period of Capital’s war against Humanity must be faced, yes, with organized resistance and rebellion, but also with solidarity and support for those whose lives, freedoms, and goods are being attacked.

For this reason:

Whereas the system is incapable of stopping the destruction.

Whereas below and to the left there must be no room for conformity and resignation.

Whereas it is time to organize to struggle and to say “NO” to the nightmare they impose on us from above.

THE SIXTH COMMISSION OF THE EZLN AND THE ZAPATISTA BASES OF SUPPORT CONVOKE:

I- A global campaign:

In the face of Capital’s walls: resistance, rebellion, solidarity, and support from below and to the left.

With the objective of calling for organization and global resistance in the face of the aggressiveness of big money and its respective overseers on the planet, which already terrorize millions of people all around the world:

We are calling for people to organize themselves in autonomy to resist and rebel against persecutions, detentions, and deportations. If someone has to go, let it be them, those above. Every human being has the right to a free and dignified existence in the place that they deem best, and has the right to fight to stay there. Resisting detentions, displacements, and expulsions is an obligation, just as it is an obligation to support those who are rebelling against those arbitrary actions REGARDLESS OF BORDERS.

It is necessary to let all those people know that they are not alone, that their pain and rage are seen even from a distance, that their resistance is not only welcomed, it is also supported, even with our limited possibilities.

It is necessary to get organized. It is necessary to resist. It is necessary to say “NO” to persecutions, expulsions, prisons, walls, borders. And it is necessary to say “NO” to the national bad governments that are and have been accomplices to that policy of terror, destruction and death. Solutions will not come from above, because that’s where the problems were born.

For this reason we are calling on the Sixth in its entirety to organize itself, according to its times, ways, and geographies, to support activities for and by those who are resisting and rebelling against expulsions. This may be by supporting their return to their homes, by creating “sanctuaries” or supporting the ones that already exist, through legal advice and support, with money, through the arts and sciences, through festivals and mobilizations, through commercial and media boycotts, in cyberspace, wherever and however possible. In all the spaces we move through it is our duty to support and be in solidarity with each other.

The time has come to create solidarity committees with the criminalized and persecuted of humanity. Today more than ever before, their house is also our house.

As the Zapatistas we are, our strength is small and, although our calendar is wide and deep, our geography is limited.

For this reason, and to support those who are resisting detentions and deportations, over the last several weeks the Sixth Commission of the EZLN has begun contacting individuals, groups, collectives and organizations around the world that are adherents to the Sixth, to figure out how to send them a small bit of assistance that may serve as a base to launch or continue all kinds of activities and actions in favour of the persecuted.

To start, we will send them works of art created by indigenous Zapatistas for last year’s CompArte, as well as organic coffee produced by the indigenous Zapatista communities in the mountains of the Mexican Southeast. This is so that, through their sale, they can undertake artistic and cultural activities that will concretize support and solidarity with migrants and displaced people who, all over the world, are seeing their lives, freedoms, and goods threatened by xenophobic campaigns promoted by the world’s governments and the far-right.

That’s just for now. We will be thinking of new forms of support and solidarity. The Zapatista women, men, children and elders will not leave them on their own.

II- We also invite all of the Sixth and anyone who is interested to the seminar of critical reflection, “THE WALLS OF CAPITAL, THE CRACKS OF THE LEFT,” to be celebrated April 12-15, 2017, at the CIDECI-UniTierra facilities in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Participants include:

Don Pablo González Casanova.

María de Jesús Patricio Martínez (CNI).

Paulina Fernández C.

Alicia Castellanos.

Magdalena Gómez.

Gilberto López y Rivas.

Luis Hernández Navarro.

Carlos Aguirre Rojas.

Arturo Anguiano.

Sergio Rodríguez Lascano.

Christian Chávez (CNI).

Carlos González (CNI).

Sixth Commission of the EZLN.

We will provide more details soon.

III- We convoke all artists for the second edition of “CompArte for Humanity” with the theme: “Against Capital and its Walls: All of the Arts” to be celebrated around the world and in cyberspace. The “real” part will take place between July 23-29, 2017, in the caracol of Oventik and at the CIDECI-UniTierra. The virtual edition will be August 1-12, 2017, on the web. We will provide more details soon.

IV- We also ask that you be on the lookout for the activities to be convoked by the National Indigenous Congress as part of its process of formation of the Indigenous Council of Government.

V- We convoke the scientists of the world to the second edition of “ConCiencias for Humanity” with the theme: “The Sciences Against the Wall,” to be celebrated December 26-30, 2017, at CIDECI-UniTierra, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico and in cyberspace. We will provide more details soon.

That’s not all. It is necessary to resist, it is necessary to rebel, it is necessary to struggle, it is necessary to get organized.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.

Mexico, February 14 (the day of our dead), 2017.

 

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/02/14/los-muros-arriba-las-grietas-abajo-y-a-la-izquierda/

 

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February 7, 2017

CNI/EZLN in Solidarity with Rarámuri People

Filed under: CNI, Corporations, Dams, Displacement, Ethics, Frayba, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:05 am

 

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CNI/EZLN in Solidarity with Rarámuri People

 

Joint Communique from the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation in Solidarity with the Rarámuri People

Stop the assassinations of Rarámuri Indigenous Compañeros Defending Their Territory!raramuri

Indigenous Territories of Mexico

February 4, 2017

To the people of Choreachi,

To all of the Rarámuri People,

To the Indigenous Peoples,

To the people of Mexico,

To the peoples of the world,

We learned today of the murders of Indigenous Rarámuri compañeros Juan Ontiveros Ramos and Isidro Baldenegro, both of the community of Choreachi in the municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua, yesterday February 2, and 15 days ago, respectively.

We urgently denounce these new acts of barbarity against compañeros known for their commitment to the struggle of their people for the recuperation of their territory, which was taken over 40 years ago by large landowners/ranchers and organized crime.

As the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation, we are in solidarity with the Rarámuri People who have been so hurt by these murders, now totaling 18 homicides committed against their communities since 1973, four of them in the last year.

Compañeros and compañeras, you are not alone! We accompany you in your pain, we open our hearts to the tireless struggle you are waging against organized crime and the landowners backed by the bad governments, and we offer you our support as indigenous peoples of this country who are organizing ourselves to defend our lives and our territories.

 

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STOP THE ASSASSINATIONS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN STRUGGLE!

NEVER AGAIN A MEXICO WITHOUT US!

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS

ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/02/05/comunicado-conjunto-del-congreso-nacional-indigena-y-el-ejercito-zapatista-de-liberacion-nacional-en-solidaridad-con-el-pueblo-raramuri/

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January 14, 2017

Zapatismo’s presidential candidacy

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:22 am

 

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Zapatismo’s presidential candidacy

 

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By: Raúl Zibechi

The decision of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI,) to submit the possibility of presenting an indigenous woman as a candidate for the presidency in the 2018 elections to its support bases and communities all over Mexico, provoked the most diverse reactions but left no one indifferent. In the days following the diffusion of the comunicado “May the earth tremble at its core” (October 14), there were those who maintained that it is an attempt to divide the left and therefore favour the right, while others assured that they set aside their principles by entering into the electoral path.

Days later another comunicado appeared, signed only by Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, arguing with some detractors without naming them. Beyond the polemics and interpretations, it is convenient to read the comunicado attentively to comprehend the objectives of the movement.

What is being proposed with the candidacy is: “to initiate a consultation in each one of our towns to dismantle from below the power that those above impose on us and that offers us a panorama of death, violence, dispossession and destruction.” Some lines later, they clarify that: “our struggle is not for power, we don’t seek it; but rather we will call on the original peoples and on civil society to organize in order to stop this destruction, to get stronger in our resistances and rebellions, in other words in the defence of the of life of every person, every family, collective, community or barrio. We make a call to construct peace and justice, reweaving ourselves from below, from where we are what we are.

The indigenous woman candidate to the presidency, assuming the communities approve it, will be the spokesperson for “an indigenous government council” that will bring the word of all to society’s corners for the purpose “of constructing a new nation by and for all, of strengthening the power from below and to the anti-capitalist left.

These words spell out the principal objectives of the candidacy that the Zapatistas promote.

The first disposes of a reading of the Mexican reality, which can be extended to the current state of the world. In the last eight years the war on drugs, declared by ex-president Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), cost 120,000 deaths and 30,000 disappeared in full democracy. Something unusual in Latin America, where genocides like the one in Mexico have happened under regimes that are not proclaimed democratic.

They are also convinced that: “the offensive against the peoples will not stop but rather they seek to make it grow until having finished off the last trace of what we are as peoples of the countryside and the city.” As they had already expressed during the “Critical Thought versus the Capitalist Hydra” gathering, in May 2015, they observe that a storm is battering against the peoples. This proposal of an electoral candidacy is produced within that framework. It is only fitting to add that the dominant Mexican classes like those in a good part of the world, are divided, confronted and for the moment in conflict with each other, which increases the system’s decomposition and the violence against the peoples.

The second question to take into account is that neither the Zapatistas nor the CNI enter into the electoral path. They do not propose presenting candidates for deputies, senators, mayors or governors; only a candidate to the presidency. This point is crucial. The voting results are not what’s important, but rather something else, which is what they seek to explain in their communiqués.

The key is what they understand about the “power of below” with which they seek to dismantle the power of above. They enumerate: “their own communications media, self-defence community police, assemblies and popular councils, cooperatives, the exercise and defence of traditional medicine, the exercise and defence of traditional and ecological agriculture, proper rituals and ceremonies to pay Mother Earth and to continue walking with her and on her, the planting and defence of native seeds, forums, publicity campaigns and cultural political activities (…) That is the power of below that has kept us alive.

It is to that society or counter-society that the electoral candidacy is directed; in order to make it stronger, more visible for others from below and, if not misinterpreted, to contribute others getting organized. The interventions of Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés in the 2015 gathering were a permanent, repetitive, call to organize, “organization for construction and to free oneself from the capitalist system.” But also for confronting what Galeano defined as the catastrophe/storm that is coming over the peoples.

A necessary clarification: the Zapatistas and the Indigenous Congress do not seek to organize the others. Each social sector must organize itself as it wishes and is able. They only seek to help, contribute to what is possible for that organization, but without substituting anyone. That is a question of principles. An intervention of Moisés at the closing of the “CompArte” Festival, on July 29 of this year in Oventik, makes it very clear:

There are those who think that we should come out and go fight for the teachers. If one thinks like that, then you have not understood anything. Because that means I expect that someone will come and fight for me. The Zapatistas don’t ask anyone to come to fight for us. Each struggle is unique, and we must mutually support, but not take away the place of each fight. The one who struggles has the right to decide what path to take and with whom to walk. If others interfere, then it’s no longer support, but rather it’s supplanting. Support is respect and not direction or command.

The third reflection is related to a problem that has always occupied all revolutionary processes and that could be summed up in a question: how to relate and work with other movements and organizations that don’t agree with our objectives and have their own modes of work, but suffer similar oppressions?

Based on an investigation of the Spanish-American University of Puebla, Víctor Toledo estimates that in just five Mexican states there are “more than a thousand new projects,” which include from the Zapatista Caracoles to indigenous organic coffee cooperatives and many cases of community self-management (La Jornada, September 13, 2016). All over Latin America, and in the world, are tens of thousands of initiatives that include millions of people that are making resistance to neoliberalism and capitalism possible.

That non-capitalist and anti-capitalist world exists, although dispersed, like islands and archipelagos. It’s not about inventing it, but rather about empowering it. Or, as the comunicado says, constructing the new world “from below,” which according to the dictionary is at once spinning and shaking or buzzing, a synonym of “retemblar,” as the Mexican national anthem says. If those of us below tremble, we shake each other and provoke a political tsunami capable of breaking the bank of the dominant classes. That seems to be the principal message of the indigenous candidacy for the presidency.

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Published in Spanish by Viento Sur

November 7, 2016

http://vientosur.info/spip.php?article11883

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted with minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

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January 1, 2017

CNI releases map showing locations of aggression against indigenous peoples

Filed under: CNI, Displacement, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:30 am

 

Indigenous conflicts number 202 in MX

Congress releases map showing locations of aggression against indigenous peoples

 

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Mexico News Daily | Saturday, December 31, 2016

Just over 200 indigenous communities in Mexico are victims of aggression of some sort, according to the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI).

The two organizations, meeting in Chiapas for the fifth national indigenous congress, issued a map indicating the locations of conflicts affecting Mexico’s indigenous peoples.

The document indicates that 202 indigenous municipalities suffer some kind of aggression, including the dispossession of their land, the effects of mining activities or the presence of organized crime groups.

Among the cases cited:

  • Toxic spills in Veracruz that have devastated water sources and the occupation of lands belonging to the Wixárika people of Jalisco, Nayarit and Durango.
  • Communities in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca face the dispossession of their land in favor of industry while the creation of natural protected areas has had the same effect on the territory of indigenous peoples elsewhere in the state.
  • A new highway between Toluca and Naucalpan threatens a 23-kilometer stretch of forested area in the State of México and communal indigenous lands in Morelos face a similar threat due to the construction of the Pera-Cuautla highway.
  • The Cerro Grande forests of Colima, the only source of water for the state, are currently under threat by a mining entrepreneur.
  • Organized crime and government are both a threat to Nahua communities in Michoacán.

“In the Nahua communities of Santa María Ostula, Coibe and Pomaro, part of the coastal Aquila municipality of Michoacán, organized crime and the government have killed 34 of their members, including two children, while six more remain disappeared,” said a speaker at the congress, being held in San Cristóbal de las Casas.

To face these attacks, say the EZLN and the CNI, communities have had to develop autonomous forms of government and defense.

Indigenous peoples from across Mexico are participating in the meeting, one of whose outcomes is expected to be the designation of an indigenous woman as an independent candidate for president in the 2018 election.

While the Zapatista movement has stated its support of the candidacy, it has made it clear that the nominee will not be a Zapatista.

Source: Reforma (sp)

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/indigenous-conflicts-number-202-in-mx/?utm_source=Mexico+News+Daily&utm_campaign=2222324af4-December+31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f1536a3787-2222324af4-347992809#sthash.1rGpWuxT.d

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December 28, 2016

EZLN: Inauguration of the Gathering “The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity”

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:37 am

 

EZLN: Inauguration of the Gathering “The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity”

Words of the General Command of the EZLN in the name of the Zapatista women, men, children and elders at the opening of the Gathering “The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity”

moi

 

Good morning.

Compañeras, compañeros of Mexico and of the world:

Brothers and sisters of Mexico and of the world:

First and foremost, in the name of the compañeras and compañeros who are Bases of Support of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation, we thank all of the compañer@s of CIDECI who once again have provided us with these spaces so that we, Zapatista originary peoples and scientists, can gather here as a way to begin to look and walk toward what must be done in this world we live in, which capitalism is destroying.

We also thank the compañeros who have worked on registration and coordination for this event.

We also thank the compañer@s from the transport support team.

We thank you in advance, compañeras and compañeros of the various teams and collectives for the shitload of work that you have done to make this gathering happen. Many thanks.

For we as Zapatista men and women, today begins our long walk in search of others with whom we think share the great responsibility to defend and save the world we live in – with the art of artists, the science of scientists, and the originary peoples alongside those below from across the entire world.

A handful of some so-called “neoliberal capitalists” have decided to savagely destroy everything, caring nothing at all for this house that we live in.

This makes us Zapatistas think and ask ourselves:

Where are we poor people of the world going to live, because they, the rich, might just go and live on another planet?

What should we do now, as we see that they are destroying our house?

Or what happens if they take us to another planet to be their slaves?

After turning this over many times in our heads, we conclude that:

Below there are women and men who study science, who study scientifically, who do good science. But the wicked capitalists come along and use this science to do harm to the very people who discovered that science. What kind of harm?

They use science to make the rich richer.

The rich use it as they choose, for a destiny other than that for which it was created. They use it to kill and destroy.

Now it is getting worse for them up there, and that will be used even more harshly against us living beings and our mother earth.

That is how all of these bad things began and how they continue, bringing us to a very dire point today.

This is how things happened, and in the same way they use the artists who make art – capitalism uses everything to the detriment of society and for the good of capitalism. What was natural, nature and those who live within it, which is to say the originary peoples, will be destroyed along with mother nature.

 

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Therefore, we believe, think, and imagine.

We can organize ourselves, work, struggle, and defend who we are – the foundation of this world – so that this world, the house in which we live, can’t be disappeared by the capitalists. Now is the time, brothers and sisters, compañer@s, compañeroas; no one is going to bring us salvation. It is up to us.

Begin to dream and you will see that we can only fight capitalism with good scientific science, the art of the artist, and the guardians of mother nature together with those below from across the world. This is our responsibility.

I don’t mean to say that we are the only ones who should struggle, not at all. But when we look around at how things are, we realize that all of the useful things that we have in our houses are a matter of science, in terms of where they came from, and all of the figures and figurines in our houses and rooms are the art of artists, and all of the materials for these things come from mother nature, where the originary peoples live.

It is as if we are the “seeds” of all of this.

Let’s put it even more clearly.

Who figured out how to make today’s most modern cellphone? It’s the same for thousands of other products – they are used to benefit the rich, and not for the use science intended, nor for the people.

Who figured out how to make the images that are held within cellphones which are now manipulated on any whim?

Where did the materials that cellphones are made of come from? The same question goes for thousands of other goods.

Capitalism has converted science into something used for harm: something to feed its massive accumulation of wealth; something to manipulate at its every whim. It takes no responsibility for the destruction it has wrought with these actions.

We know what will happen.

One more point of clarity.

We are the lifeblood of the rich; we are the flesh and bone that make their lives possible, and the rest of the organs (in this body) are made up of the consumers; meanwhile, they live to do us harm in this capitalist system.

The origin of the evil the capitalist system wreaks on us is revealed.

Our survival, and the other construction of a new world, is in our hands.

Today we are here not to tell each other what to do, but to understand what our function is to capitalism in this world, and to see if what capitalism has us doing is any good for this world that we live in, human and living beings.

And if we discover that it is entirely bad, that the use capitalism makes of our sciences is harmful, then we have to take responsibility and decide what to do.

Before I finish compañeras and compañeros, sisters and brothers, today December 26, we do not forget that there are lives missing from our midst, the life of the 46 missing young people from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.

Together with their families and friends who continue to search for them and who do not give up or sell out, we Zapatista men and women also demand truth and justice. To these mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers of the missing, we give our largest collective embrace.

So, welcome to this gathering, to this long walk of the other sciences during which there is no rest, because rest would mean that the other, new world is already built, and until it is built there will be no rest.

May your wisdom, scientists, encounter and embrace our desire to learn and to know about the worlds.

Many thanks.

From CIDECI-Unitierra, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Mexico, December 26, 2016

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2016/12/26/palabras-de-la-comandancia-general-del-ezln-a-nombre-de-las-mujeres-hombres-ninos-y-ancianos-zapatistas-en-el-inicio-del-encuentro-ls-zapatistas-y-las-conciencias-por-la-humanidad/

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December 26, 2016

EZLN: Program for the Gathering “The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity”

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:04 am

 

 

EZLN: Program for the Gathering “The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity”

 

encuentro-conciencias

 

CIDECI-Unitierra. San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

From December 26, 2014, through January 4, 2017.

 

December 26
10:00 – 11:00. Inauguration. Words of Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés on behalf of the Zapatista women, men, children, and elders.
General Sessions. Participation by:
Biologist Adriana Raquel Aguilar Melo: “The Academy May Be Exclusionary, But Can Science Be A Common Good?”
Dr. Marco Antonio Sánchez Ramos: “Sisyphus and Science”
Dr. Tonatiuh Matos Chassin: “A Fundamental Law for the Progress of a Nation”
Physicist Eduardo Vizcaya Xilotl: “(Meta)Sciences, Utopias and Dystopias”
Professors Luis Malaret and Diane Rocheleau: “Ecology From Below”
Dr. Iván Alejandro Velasco-Dávalos: “Who Does Science Serve? A Collective Vision Regarding the Importance of the Joint Popularization of the Arts and the Sciences”
Alchemist SupGaleano: “Some Questions for the Sciences”

 

December 27
General Sessions. Participation by:
Physicist Alejo Stark: “The Role of the Sciences in the Transformation of the World”
Dr. Claudio Martínez Debat: “Biology and Biotechnology: Who Do They Serve?”
Doctoral Candidate Dr. Luis Fernando Santis Espinosa: “The Slavery of Science: The National Market for Natural Resources and Their Privatization”
Dr. Kristen Vogeler: “Thoughts on the Relation Between Science and Customs”
Dr. Mariana Benítez Keinrad: “Some Reflections on Science from the Cubicle of a Development Biologist”
Dr. Tatiana Fiordelisio: “The Sciences: A Raft For the Storm?”
Alchemist SupGaleano: “The Flower is to Blame”

Informational Talks. Participation by:
Dr. Jerome Leboeuf: “The Potential and Applications of Artificial Intelligence”
Dr. Marco Antonio Sánchez Ramos: “What Are the Stars Made Of?”
Dr. Patricia Ramos Morales: “What Are Mutagens and Where Are They Located?”
Dr. María Alejandra Jiménez Zúñiga: “Our Place In the Cosmos: What Astrophysics Tells Us”
Mathematician Florencia Cubría: “Connectivity In Graphs”
Master of Science, Verónica López Delgado: “Gravity and Magnetism: Determinate Forces In Our World.”
Biologist Felipe Gómez Noguez: “Pteridium, A Capitalist Fern”

Workshops. Participation by:
Atenea Martínez Dolores and Manuel Alejandro Lara, Engineers. Robotics Workshop for The Masked, I (only for Zapatista students)

 

December 28
General Sessions. Participation by:
Elfego Ruiz Gutiérrez, Master of Science: “Critical Reflections and Practices On the Scientific Endeavor For Life”
Dr. Gabriela Piccinelli Bocchi: “Science…and ConScience, What For?”
Dr. Igor Valencia Sánchez: “Bloodsucker Science: Free Access to Knowledge and Biohackers”
Dr. Jaime del Sagrado Corazón Morales Hernández: “Agroecology and the Sciences For Sustainability”
Dr. Carlos Román Zúñiga: “Astronomy: the Poetry of the Exact Sciences”
Dr. Yuri Nahmad Molinari: “Flaws and Benefits of Mexican Energy Reform”
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés and Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano: “The Arts and the Sciences in the History of (neo) Zapatismo”

Informational Talks. Participation by:
Dr. Natalia Ismene Pavón Martínez: “Estrogen and Its Influence On the Heart”
Mathematician Eric López González: “Emotional Mathematics”
Biologist Adriana Raquel Aguilar Melo: “Come Together, Separate, and Come Together Again for ‘Buen Vivir’: The Case of Non-Human Primates”
Mathematician Elisa Rocha Cardozo: “How are Living Beings Distributed Spatially?”
Dr. Gabriel Ramos Fernández: “Complexity, Resilience, and Uncertainty: Socioecosystems and Biodiversity”
Dr. Lev Jardón Barbolla.

Workshops. Participation by:
Atenea Martínez Dolores and Manuel Alejandro Lara, Engineers. “Robotics Workshop for The Masked II” (only for Zapatista students)

 

December 29
General Sessions. Participation by:
Dr. Adolfo Olea Franco: “The Social Function of Science”
Engineer Fayez Mubarqui Guevara: “Feeling-thinking the Energy Crisis”
Dr. Octavio Valadez Blanco: “Scientists and Humanists as Participants in Social Struggle: Challenges in the Mexican Capitalocene”
Dr. Eva Jablonka: “Epigenetics: The Science that Connects”
Dr. Melina Gómez Bock: “The Obscurity of a Theoretical Physics”
Dr. Lev Jardón Borbolla: “The Storm in the Sciences and the Sciences in the Face of the Storm: It is Possible to Change the Relations of Production”
Alchemist SupGaleano: “The Cat-Dog and the Apocalypse”

Informational Talks. Participation by:
Dr. John Vandermeeer: “Ecological factors in Controlling Coffee Blight”
Dr. Carlos Román Zúñiga: “Gestation and Life of the Stars”
Engineers Iván Domenzain del Castillo Cerecer. “Frankensteins Also Sow Seeds”
Dr. Alejandro Vásquez Arzola: “Light and Its Enemies”
Dr. Claudio Martínez Debat: “Genetically Modified Vegetable Organisms in Uruguay”
Dr. Grodecz Alfredo Ramírez Ovando: “Geometry: A World Where Many Worlds Fit”

Workshops. Participation by:
Dr. Patricia Ramos Morales. Workshop: How Does a Scientist Work? (only for students)

 

December 30
General Sessions. Participation by:
Dr. Pablo González Casanova: “Capitalism and Ecology”
Dr. John Vandermeer: “Ecology As a Science and As a Component of Cosmovisions”
Dr. Ivette Perfecto: “Ecology As a Science and As a Component of Cosmovisions, II”
Jesús Vergara Huerta, Master of Science: “The Eruption of Free and Communitarian Science In the 21st Century”
Gibran Mubarqui Guevara, Engineer: “From Imposition to Communitarian: Remaking the Sciences”
Dr. Stuart Newman: “Social Uses of Science”
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés: “Originary Peoples and the Sciences in the Service of Life”

Informational Talks. Participation by:
Dr. Carlos Rodrigo Martínez Prieto: “Theory of the Origin of the Universe and Other Speculations”
Dr. Ivette Perfecto. “Ecological Complexity in the Coffee Farms of Chiapas”
Dr. Yuri Nahmad Molinari: “Harvesting the Sun”
David Franco Martínez, Master of Engineering: “Use of Renewable Energy Resources”
Physicist Alejo Stark: “Cosmos Without Borders: the Poetic Relational Logic of Physical Cosmology”
Medical Doctor Lilia Piélago García: “Palliative Cities: A Universal Right”
Dr. Emilio Molinari. “Another World is Possible, and We Are Looking for It”

Workshops. Participation by:
Karla María Castillo Espinoza, Master of Science: “What Do Fossils Tell Us About the Earth’s Past?” (only for Zapatista students)

 

January 2
General Sessions. Participation by:
Dr. Kristin Mercer: “The Effect of Money in Academic Research”
Dr. Gabriel Ramos Fernández: “Complexity and Uncertainty: Scientists and Decision Making”
Dr. Gertrudis Hortensia González Gómez: “Some Promises of Science, Or, How To Care For Our Health”
Alejandro Muñoz: “García in Nuevo León and the Free-Scientific-Technology Vision for the 21st Century”
Dr. Jérôme Leboeuf: “The Risks That Arise With Artificial Intelligence”
Dr. Valeria Souza Saldívar and Dr. Luis Eguiarte Fruns: “The Water Paradigm”
Alchemist SupGaleano: “Zapatista Alchemy”

Informational Talks. Participation by:
Dr. Ramón Carrillo Bastos: “Quantum Mechanics and Causality”
Dr. Mariana Peimbert:“Color Inheritance in Dogs”
Dr. Adolfo Olea: “Corn seed: From Indigenous Varieties to Hybrids and Genetically Modified Versions”
Dr. María Magdalena Tatter: “Application of Knowledges and Values in Pediatrics”
Physicist Alejandro Muñoz: “Nuclear Fusion in General as a Source of Clean Energy”
Dr. Luis Concha Loyola: “Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Understand the Human Brain”
Dr. Azucena de León Murillo: “Pearls of Neurological Disease”
Practicum. Participation by:
Dr. Gertrudis Hortensia González Gómez and Dr. Tatiana Fiordelisio C: “How We Study the Brain, the Muscles, and the Heart: Our Senses and Learning”

 

January 3
General Sessions. Participation by:
Dr. Alejandra Arafat Angulo Perkins: “The Path and the Practice of Science in Mexico”
Teacher Ernesto Hernández Daumas: “Food Production and Public Health”
Dr. Fabiola Méndez Arriaga: “The Destruction of the Environment in the Name of Capitalist-Health: Pharmaceuticals Contaminating the World”
Dr. Juan Manuel Malda Barrera: “Science and Dialogue Between Cultures”
Christian Abraham Enríquez Olguín, Engineer: “The Transitions Between Points of Epistemic Equilibrium”
Dr. Carlos Rodrigo Martínez Prieto: “Are Physics and the Natural Sciences a True Tool of Liberation for Communities and People?”
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés and Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano: “What’s Next?”

Informational Talks. Participation by:
Biologist Jani Azucena Olvera Maldonado: “Pathogenic Bacterial Causes of Gastrointestinal Illness and Their Relation to Water Purification”
Karla Aguilar Lara, Master of Science: “There Is No Hope For Those Who Wait (Food Technology)”
Dr. Luis David Alcaraz: “Microorganisms, Their Genes, and Health”
Dr. Manuel Fernández Guasti: “Tlayohualchieliztli and Indigenous Knowledge”
Jesús Vergara Huerta, Master of Science: “Don’t Look Into Its Eyes: New, Non-invasive Techniques for Ecophysiological Study ”
Physicist Gustavo Magallanes Guijón: “Of Whales, Jaguars, and Microbes: Geocomputational Visualization of Biological Species from the Roof of the House the Size of the World”
Dr. Juan Manuel Malda Barrera: “Empathy and Evolution”

January 4
General Sessions. Participation by:
Dr. Celia Oliver and Dr. César Abarca: “Bioethical Reflections on the Inversion of Specialized Resources In Science, Art and Humanities, Employment, and Educational Spaces”
Hugo I. Cruz Rosas, Master of Science: “A Possible Place for Basic Science In the Process of Social Transformation”
Maria del Pilar Martínez Téllez, Master of Science: “The Sciences and the Capitalist Hydra”
Dr. Martha Patricia Mora Flores: “Two Ways to see Nature: The Capitalist Lens of Patriarchy and the Very Other Gaze Of the Communities”
Physicist Nelson Ravelo: “How Can Social Movements Appropriate the Construction of a Science and Technology In Line with Social Transformation?”
Dr. Steven Rose: “Science for Oppression or Science for Liberation?”

Informational Talks. Participation by:
José Manuel Serrano Serrano, Master of Science: “What Do Females Sing In Environments Where Males Predominate? The Case of Frogs and Toads”
Mariana Patricia Jácome Paz, Master of Science: “Social Effects of the Eruption of El Chichón Volcano, Chiapas”
Biologist Nolasca Valdés Navarrete: “The Monopolization of the Ocean… The Illusion Of Fishing?”

Closing: Zapatista students and Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

ezln_1-350x245

 

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2016/12/24/17693/

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December 1, 2016

EZLN: a clarifying text

Filed under: CNI, gal, Indigenous, La Sexta, Marcos, Zapatista, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:10 pm

 

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EZLN: a clarifying text

 

img_5865-800x400-995x498

SCI Marcos before he died and became SCI Galeano. Photo: Vice

By: Magdalena Gómez

I dedicate this collaboration to the Cuban people and to Pablo González Casanova for the “Lessons of Fidel” and, also for his own. The text “A story to try to understand, elaborated by sub Galeano and Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, spokesperson and current head of the EZLN, is very opportune. It is obligatory reading for those who in good faith are interested in knowing and sharing the initiative underway, about which the National Indigenous Congress is consulting with indigenous peoples and communities. The detailed story about the gestation of the initiative gives an account of a political conviction of the EZLN that it is certainly not the first time they have put into practice. We remember their historic decision in the dialogue with the federal government, of ceding the table to the country’s indigenous peoples so that they would be the ones that in the first instance would discuss the proposals on indigenous rights and culture in coordination with the indigenous commanders. The San Andrés Accords owe their relevance to that construction and unpublished collective debate.

The correct allegation about the more than evident fact that neither dreams nor nightmares fit into ballot boxes, for the effects of the subject initiative in consultation is a double edged sword, because, as is recognized, “there have been, there are, and there will be doubts and legitimate and rational questionings,” among them is rightly the one that proposes to go to an election when it (the election) is recognized as being meaningless.

Nevertheless, one must turn to that evaluation and the text that proposes it clearly: there is no other more convincing way of making the situation of the indigenous peoples visible than placing themselves on the stage where the whole political class will see them in 2018. Very strong what they shared with the CNI upon presenting their proposal to them: “Our pain reaches fewer people all the time. Our deaths don’t echo like before. And it’s not that the people outside have become cynical or apathetic. It’s that the war we have suffered since a long time ago as Native peoples, now reaches them, it is now in their streets, in their houses, in their schools and in their workplaces. Our pains are now one more among many others. And, although the pain extends and becomes deeper, we are more alone than ever. Each time we’re going to be fewer. Soon the CNI won’t be able to meet because no one will be able to leave their territories, be it because of the cost, be it because of the bad government, be it because of the corporations, be it because of crime, be it because of a natural death or a bad death mala that it impedes you. In a while more we will only be talking among ourselves, already knowing what we’re going to say.”

Also very significant, for those who want to understand, the story about the meeting that the now-deceased Sup Marcos had 10 years ago with a northwest indigenous chief of the country’s northwest 10 years ago, when he (Marcos) was touring with the other campaign.The chief had previously received institutional governments. The chief told Marcos: “I know very well that they didn’t want you to meet with me, that they pressured you so that you would not be here. They also pressured me so that I would not receive you. I don’t know why you are here. I imagine that those who command you told you that you should see us and listen to us. I don’t know. But I’m going to tell you why I received you. I have received the governments. They have come from all the colours and sizes. They come and take their photo, they say a few words, they go away and they don’t come back. I have received them because my predecessors told me that my duty was to see that my people, my pueblo, would not die, that they would survive. I received them for that reason. I receive you because of that. I don’t believe that you bring me ether advice or teachings, although it’s good that you don’t seek a photo and that you listen instead of talking. I received them because I think my people will survive a while longer that way and won’t die. So I receive you because I believe that something will be seen from what we are and that view, although only for a little time, will help my people survive.”

Upon the deceased Sub Marcos questioning whether he wasn’t worried that they would judge him for receiving him, he answered: “Only my own people can judge me. If my people condemn me for what I have done and for what I do, that would mean that I wasn’t wrong. My people will have to have survived in order for them to condemn me. So that would mean that I have fulfilled my duty and I can show the dead that I have done so, although the living condemn me.”

Another of the document’s central messages is the clarification that it will not be the EZLN that participates in the election: “the CNI is who will decide if it participates or not with its own delegate, and, if so, it will have the support of Zapatismo.” It couldn’t be clearer. The decision of the peoples in the consultation is complex, because they rightly resist the enslavement of power, but also, like the indigenous chief of the northwest, they are supported in institutional mechanisms like survival strategy. They know that the community, individual and secret vote will be visible and they will be objects of multiple pressures. There is the task of the indigenous peoples we have accompanied and obviously we decided to assume it.

 

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/11/29/opinion/020a1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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November 30, 2016

New EZLN Communiqué Clarifies Joint Proposal with CNI

Filed under: CNI, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:11 pm

 

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New EZLN Communiqué Clarifies Joint Proposal with CNI

 

galSubcomandante Galeano (Photo@SIPAZ archives)

On November 17, 33 years after its foundation, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) published an extensive communiqué titled “A History to Understand”, in which it gives further details about the proposal of consultation with the peoples that make up the Indigenous National Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) to examine the convenience of naming a national council of government and an indigenous woman candidate for the 2018 elections.

Subcomandante Galeano clarified that, although the proposal was launched by the EZLN, “the CNI is who will decide whether or not to participate with a delegate of its own, and, if necessary, it will have the support of Zapatismo.” But, “No, neither the EZLN as an organization nor any of its members will run for a popular election position in the 2018 electoral process. No, the EZLN is not going to become a political party. No, the EZLN is not going to present a Zapatista indigenous woman as a candidate for the presidency of the Republic in the year 2018. No, the EZLN has not altered its course to any degree, nor will it continue its struggle along the institutional electoral route.” He ratified that “the EZLN does not struggle to take Power.”

Subcomandante Galeano added that in making the proposal to the CNI, the EZLN stated “that it did not matter whether or not they won the Presidency of the Republic, that what was going to matter was the challenge, irreverence, insubordination, the total rupture of the image of the indigenous, subject to the alms and the image of pity so rooted on the institutional right and who, would say it, also on the left of ‘real change’ and its organic intellectuals addicted to the opium of social networks – that their daring would make the whole political system vibrate and that it would have echoes of hope not in one but in many of the Mexicans below … and the world.”

 

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

 

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/chiapasnational-new-ezln-communique-clarifies-joint-proposal-with-cni/

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November 28, 2016

Convocation for the Second Phase of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress

Filed under: CNI, Zapatistas — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:20 am

Convocation for the Second Phase of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress

 

cni

Given that:

1. During the first phase of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress, we analyzed and discussed in depth the different faces of the capitalist war on our peoples. We agreed that it is urgent to halt the displacement, destruction, disrespect, oblivion, and death to which our peoples are subjected and which seek to put an end to our individual and collective resistances and leave our homeland in the hands of the capitalists that govern this country and this world.

2. It is urgent to struggle, to take serious steps and go on the offensive alongside the peoples of the countryside and the city, indigenous and non-indigenous, to construct a new nation from below.

3. We agreed to remain in permanent assembly while carrying out a consultation in all of our geographies on the resolutions reached October 9-14, 2016, with respect to the formation of an Indigenous Governing Council, to be represented by an indigenous woman who is a CNI delegate who will run for the Mexican presidency in the electoral process of 2018.

 

WE CONVOKE THE SECOND PHASE OF THE FIFTH NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS:

 

15032912_1292407087490057_6691877084545519357_nTo be held December 29, 30, and 31, 2016, and January 1, 2017, in the Zapatista Caracol of Oventik. This Congress will have decisive capacity with regard to the agreements proposed in the first phase of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress as well as with regard to any agreements reached during this second phase. The Congress will be carried out according to the following schedule:

December 29:

  1. Arrival and registration of CNI commissions.
  2. Opening ceremony.

December 30: Closed plenary session to discuss:

  1. The installation of the second phase of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress.
  2. The report on the results of the internal consultation by the commission named for this purpose.
  3. Evaluation of the results of the internal consultation in work groups.
  4. Determination of the paths the CNI will take in the face of capitalist displacement, repression, disrespect, and exploitation, and the strengthening of our resistances and rebellions.
  5. The steps to be taken toward the constitution of an Indigenous Governing Council for Mexico.

December 31: The work group discussions continue.

January 1: Plenary Session in the Zapatista Caracol of Oventik.

With regard to the above, and based on the agreements, reflections, and results that come out of the work around the internal consultation that is being carried out in each of the geographies of our peoples, we ask the peoples, nations, and tribes who make up the National Indigenous Congress to name delegates who will discuss and agree upon the steps to take. These delegates should register at the official email address: catedratatajuan@gmail.com.

In addition, as agreed during the general meeting of the Provisional Coordinating Commission held November 26, 2011, at the UNIOS facilities in Mexico City, we ask that the results of the consultation—as acts, minutes, pronunciations, or other forms that reflect the consensuses reached according to the methods of each people, nation, or tribe—be submitted by December 15 at the latest to the email address: consultacni@gmail.com.

The points put forward in this convocation will be discussed in closed sessions December 30 and 31, 2016, in which EXCLUSIVELY CNI delegates may participate. Compañer@s of the National and International Sixth as well as accredited media may participate in the January 1, 2017 plenary, or in any moment that the assembly deems appropriate.

Members of the National and International Sixth, special invitees of the CNI, as well as media who want to participate as observers in the open sessions of the second phase of the Fifth CNI should register beforehand at the email address: cni20aniversario@ezln.org.mx.

Attentively,

cni-ezln__-1November 26, 2016

For the Full Reconstitution of Our Peoples

Never Again a Mexico Without Us

National Indigenous Congress

Zapatista Army for National Liberation

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2016/11/26/convocatoria-a-la-segunda-etapa-del-v-congreso-nacional-indigena/

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November 23, 2016

Galeano: Make no mistake, The EZLN will not bet on electoral means to achieve power, far less force of arms

Filed under: CNI, gal, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:02 am

 

Galeano: Make no mistake, The EZLN will not bet on electoral means to achieve power, far less force of arms

 

galeano-600x431Sup Galeano of the EZLN. Photo: from Chiapas Paralelo

 

By: Isaín Mandujano

33 years after the foundation of the Forces of National Liberation (Fuerzas de Liberación Nacional, FLN) in the Lacandón Jungle, the seed of which would later be the Zapatista Nation Liberation Army (EZLN), Subcomandante Galeano clarified today that he does not struggle to take power and once more made clear that the independent indigenous woman candidate in 2018 is a proposal the armed group made to the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) who made it theirs and will drive I forward.

And it does not matter whether or not they win the presidency of the Republic, “what matters is the challenge, the irreverence, the refusal to submit, the total breakdown of the image of the indigenous as an object of alms and pity.”

Faced with the controversy unleashed, Subcomandante Galeano clarified that the indigenous woman postulated will not come from the EZLN’s ranks, and that nobody will supplant the initials of the armed group for those of the CNI, because the EZLN continues firm in its word of not betting on the electoral path, that it will not convert into a political party and that it will not seek to attain power through the armed route, because they took up arms to make use of them and not to become enslaved by them.

On November 17, 1983, that first armed group arrived, headed by Fernando Yañez, alias Comandante Germán, who in the heart of the Jungle planted the first seed of what would become the EZLN; the group was called the FLN, an organization which was persecuted and repressed since the seventies in different parts of the country. It had a Marxist-Leninist philosophy, with visions of achieving power and installing socialism.

In recent weeks, the EZLN as an integral part of the CNI has caused a controversy, because they proposed a consultation to postulate an indigenous woman as an independent candidate in the 2018 presidential elections, a theme that has provoked the most hostile reactions from the Mexican political class, the media and Mexican analysts.

In his letter, “A story to try to understand,” Galeano himself made it clear that they were the ones who made this proposal last October 13 to the CNI, a conglomerate of indigenous peoples from different regions of the country. This took place within the framework of the 20th anniversary of that national body, but in no way will they [EZLN] have an active participation in nominating that candidacy.

“No, neither the EZLN as an organization, nor any of its members, are going to participate” for a “popular election position” in the 2018 electoral process. No, the EZLN is not going to convert into a political party. No, the EZLN is not going to present a Zapatista indigenous woman as a candidate for the presidency of the Republic in the year 2018. No, the EZLN “has not taken a turn” of any degrees in its path, nor is it going to continue its fight through the institutional electoral route,” Galeano said.

So, is the EZLN not going to postulate an indigenous Zapatista woman for president of the Republic?  Are they not going to participate directly in the 2018 elections? To answer, he responds with a “No.”

“Why not; because of the armed option?

 No. Those who think that is why are profoundly wrong because: the Zapatistas took up arms to serve them, not to be enslaved by them.

 Then, because the institutional electoral political system is corrupt, inequitable, fraudulent and illegitimate?

 No.  Even if it were transparent, equitable, just and legitimate, the Zapatista men and women would not participate to attain and exercise Power from a post, a position or an institutional appointment.

 But, in certain circumstances, for strategic and/or tactical reasos, would you not participate directly to hold office?

 No.  Although “the masses” may demand it; although the “historic conjuncture” may need our “participation;” although “the Homeland,” “the Nation,” “the People,” “the Proletariat,” (ok, that’s very out of style now) may demand it, or any concrete or abstract concept (behind which is hidden, or not, personal, family or group or class ambition) that is hoisted as a pretext; although the juncture, the confluence of the stars, the prophesies, the stock exchange index, the manual of historic materialism, the Popol Vuh, the polls, the esotericism, “the concrete analysis of concrete reality” and the convenient etcetera.

 Why?

 Because the EZLN does not struggle to take Power.

Galeano said that the postulation of the indigenous woman as an independent candidate is no longer in the EZLN’s hands. Therefore he asked that they stop awarding it to the armed group, because they are only a part of that big body which is the country’s indigenous peoples.

He insisted that no one from the EZLN seeks a position through popular election and that the independent indigenous woman candidate will not come from their ranks.

“No insurgent, male or female, whether from the command or from the troops, nor any comandanta or comandante of the CCRI can even be authorities in the community, nor in an autonomous municipio, nor in the different autonomous organizational bodies.  They cannot be members of the autonomous councils, nor of the good government juntas, nor of the commissions, nor take on any of the responsibilities that the assembly designates, that is created or to be created in the construction of our autonomy; in other words, of our freedom,” Galeano explained.

“Our work, our task as the EZLN is to serve our communities, to accompany them, support them and not to command them.  To support them, yes.  And sometimes we achieve this.  And yes, certainly, sometimes we hinder them, but then the Zapatista peoples give us a slap (or several, accordingly) so that we can correct ourselves,” he clarified.

When the EZLN made the proposal to the heart of the CNI, they told them: “it doesn’t matter if they win the presidency of the Republic or not, but what would matter was the challenge, the irreverence, the refusal to submit, the total breakdown of the image of the indigenous as the object of alms and pity –an image so ingrained in the right, and also in the institutional left of “real change” and its organic intellectuals addicted to the opium of the social networks-, that their daring would move the entire political system and that it would have echoes of hope not in one, but in many of the Mexicos of below… and of the world.”

He said that they are not seeking for an indigenous woman from the CNI to be president, but rather that what is desired is to carry a message of struggle and organization to the poor in the countryside and the cities of Mexico and of the world.

“It is not that we consider that, if we get together the signatures or win the election, it will go well, but rather that it will go well if we can talk and listen to those who nobody talks or listens to.

Here we will see whether it will go well or not, if a lot of people are going to find the strength and hope to get organized, to resist and rebel,” Galeano said.

 

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Thursday, November 17, 2016

http://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2016/11/no-se-confundan-el-ezln-no-le-apuesta-a-la-via-electoral-para-alcanzar-el-poder-menos-por-las-armas-galeano/

 

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted with minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

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November 19, 2016

EZLN: 33rd Birthday. GGT: Celebrating Organization and the Fruits of its Labour in Zapatista Territory

Filed under: Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:45 am

 

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GGT: Celebrating Organization and the Fruits of its Labour in Zapatista Territory

 

ezlnantonio

 

To the EZLN

To the National Indigenous Congress (CNI)

To the Sixth

On November 17, 1983, a handful of young members of the now extinct Fuerzas de Liberación Nacional, arrived in the Lacandona Jungle. The unpredictable pathways of struggle brought them from Monterrey to the depths of the Chiapas Jungle. They were few, but had taken the firm decision to struggle. Past failures had still left their spirits intact.

They arrived loaded with theories, influenced by the great thinkers of socialism and of complex political treaties. In the rainy mountains filled with humidity and fog, the theories often became wet paper. However, the Indigenous thought, simple and determined, had for 500 years resisted invasion and dispossession. Daily rebellion is the best treatise to learn. Because for indigenous people, to exist in those days, was already an act of joyful rebellion.

The greatest decision of those guerillas was without doubt to listen to those who were to be the heart, soul, and hands of the future EZLN—to learn the Indigenous thought that the deceased Subcomandante Marcos personified in Viejo Antonio.

Zapatismo would take years to present its covered face to the world. It was on that unforgettable January 1st, 1994, when the Zapatista surprised the world with their unpredictable insurrection. That uprising though, was only possible thanks to a decade of preparation, of learning, of filling the spirit with desires of democracy, freedom, and justice.

From the CGT, we want to celebrate that November 17th, 1983. We want to celebrate the decision that was taken: to organize. That word, like Pandora’s Box, unleashes storms. To organize is to risk suffering repression. But it is also the key to open up pathways where autonomy, dignity and utopia circulate.

We opt for a society of many worlds, based in the permanent construction of personal and collective autonomy. We thus celebrate the organization that began in 1983, as we salute the scream of enough already! Since 1994, that was part and parcel of the internal work and its external presence, and that continues to this day underlying the new world that is the Zapatista Caracoles. We invite all of the people below and to the left to celebrate the organization in the best way possible, putting into practice its rhythms and modes, in whatever geography.

Translated by Palabras Rebeldes

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

http://www.cgtchiapas.org/noticias/cgt-celebrando-organizacion-y-sus-frutos-territorio-zapatista

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November 16, 2016

EZLN: It’s Not The Decision Of One Person

Filed under: CNI, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:52 am

 

EZLN: It’s Not the Decision of One Person

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November 2016

For the [l@s] racists:

Well, we’ve been reading and listening to everything you’ve been saying and writing.

We’ve seen all of your mockery, your scorn, the racism that you can no longer hide.

I believe that the compañeros and especially the compañeras of the National Indigenous Congress [CNI] are also reading and listening to what you say.

It’s clear that the CNI was right about what they thought and what they told us, that there is a lot of racism in society.

I imagine you amuse and applaud each other over what a good joke you made with your leftist mockery about the EZLN’s “candigata.[i]

You celebrate your machismo making fun of indigenous women.

You say that we ‘fucking Indians’ let ourselves be manipulated, are unable to think for ourselves, and go like sheep wherever the shepherd points.

But I think when you say this you are actually looking in the mirror.

That’s what you turned out to be: shameless machista racists.

You all talk so much about the racism of the exploitive class and don’t realize you have taken on that racism in body and soul, in your form of thinking, your way of talking, your perspective on life.

Your individualism and egoism doesn’t let you see anything else or any other way, as if you could save yourselves by yourselves, or as if you yourselves could save any other living being.

You don’t realize that you are stuck in your individualism, closed off in your own lives, unable to see that the little that is left is almost gone.

We tell you first to learn to read, then read carefully, then learn to understand what you have read.

Because those who have written in newspapers and social networks are pathetic.

Supposedly some of you have doctorates or honorary doctorates or whatever you call it but it turns out that you don’t know how to read or write; you haven’t understood anything.

Or perhaps you do understand, but you like to create a lie, make it grow, dress it as the truth, repeat it and shout it and spread it around so people don’t realize it’s a lie; or maybe you just don’t know how to read or write.

Thus you mock the decision of the National Indigenous Congress which has gone out to consult the thousands of people in their communities, tribes, nations, and barrios who will decide if they are or are not in agreement [with the proposal].

You make fun of the fact that the National Indigenous Congress functions like that, consulting before making a decision, because you all just do whatever your shepherd tells you, even if it is stupid nonsense.

You claim to be thinkers, critical ones, but you remain silent when your shepherd comes out with his idiocies, because you are just as racist and disparaging as he is.

The National Indigenous Congress is consulting on whether their people will name an Indigenous Governing Council to govern our country of Mexico, a Council be represented by an indigenous woman, delegate of the CNI, who would be candidate for the presidency of Mexico in the 2018 elections.

This is what was announced the morning of October 14, 2016.

That is what was written in the text; it is clear and it is in Spanish so that you all can understand it. The text does not say that the EZLN is going to consult its bases of support as to whether they want to run an independent candidate for the EZLN, an indigenous woman who is a Zapatista base of support, and that they will also consult the National Indigenous Congress about whether they agree with this proposal.

It says nothing of the sort, but you all are lazy and ignorant and don’t want to read or pay attention, so you just swallow what is sold by the paid media.
You purport to be so studious, with so much advanced technology, and you don’t even bother to read. You just grab something from what the paid media puts out and then write about it.

You don’t read the text from its original site, nor what it actually says, but rather become a bunch of gossips that don’t even know how to say “National Indigenous Congress,” substituting instead “National Indigenist Congress” or “National Indigenous Council.”

What a shame that professional writers get paid to be ignorant.

How can you ask that people read or listen to you if you don’t read or listen yourselves?

Or is that you quite simply can’t be bothered to read it?

How can you ask to be respected when you don’t know how to show respect?

How can you expect to be understood if you don’t even understand how we make decisions communally? The results of this decision aren’t even in yet and already you have begun with your insults, lack of respect, mockery, and racism.

What a shame that you are so full of yourselves as lawyers, professionals, university professors, and researchers with awards and titles.

What a shame, because you say you are all these things but you don’t know how to read or write.

And it isn’t that you don’t have the means, because you are well-stocked with cellphones, tablets, computers, and everything else, but apparently you have these things for mere fashion and not for their usefulness. You have them only to show off who has the newest modern models.

But one thing is for sure, you do use these things to publish every racist and disparaging stupidity that occurs to you.

You mock us because there are only a few of us; there’s no need to concern oneself with the Zapatistas, you say.

You say that we Zapatistas are off in our mountains and don’t know anything about the world, that we are ignorant and backward, that we don’t know how politics works, professional politics, things that only educated people from the city know about.

It’s true, there are only a few of us.

Just some thousands of organized people, true.

We are only 23 years old and haven’t gotten far, just a few Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities in Rebellion where we have told the bad government to fuck off like true teachers of disobedience to the bad system and the bad government.

A few Autonomous Municipalities with health care services where one can access free surgery thanks to the support of conscientious doctor comrades who lend a hand.

With a few autonomous schools where one can truly learn to read and write.

With a few radio broadcasters, a few laboratory specialists, a few compañeras who operate the ultrasound equipment, a few dentists.

Where the people rule and the government obeys.

Ah, and one thing for sure: a few hundred thousand rages against the capitalist system in which we live and die.

There’s that, as well as everything we still plan to do, because we have no plans to stop.

Now then, could you tell us what you have done over the last 23 years?

And not that business of sniffing around for some crumbs or for somebody to throw you a bone, that is, a job or a title.

Because what we are doing here is a true demonstration of how to destroy the bad system, what must be destroyed and what must be created, a decision made by thousands and not just a handful of people in an office or on the order of one individual.

While you all in many cases have spent years talking and arguing without even creating a mirror so that you can see what it is that you are constructing.

Because what counts is when you can actually see what you have been talking about, not just hear empty words. What counts is not what just person one has decided, but what has been the decision of thousands.

-*-

How should one behave as a writer?

As a commentator or journalist?

Or as a seeker of a cabinet position or job appointment?

I think the answer would be not to criticize when you don’t know the actual situation, because you don’t live with those you are talking about.

It would be to inform yourselves honestly, scientifically, not repeat robotically what you have heard, or poorly read, or what the paid media have said.

It would be to not make fun of the people you are talking about and then later refuse to acknowledge what you said, or insist that wasn’t what you meant and that you have been misunderstood. When you do that it is clear that in addition to being ignorant, you are cowardly.

The answer would be not to assume you know everything if you do not live with the people you are talking about, nor study, nor read carefully, nor experience any of the things they experience.

What’s more, how can you be so smug if you have nothing to show for it?

You can’t even see your own shadow.

You have nothing to show for yourselves that is visible and tangible.

Because a slew of words is not the same as a visible deed, a practice composed of thousands of visions and thoughts.

So why do you mock and scorn?

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Ladies and gentlemen, to those who think so highly of themselves for having some organizational leadership position or who are so boastful of their degrees, we want to say:

As indigenous people of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation, we feel pity, sadness, and rage because you mock and disrespect us as indigenous people.

But despite this, we will struggle and fight for you too, for this Mexico in which we live.

We have more than 500 years of experience with the poor lives that the rich have inflicted on us, and for more than 500 years we have known how we want a good life to be.

And you?

How many five hundreds of years do you have that you can come mock and scorn us?

We have decided, along with our compañeras and compañeros of the National Indigenous Congress, to consult our communities as to if they are in agreement or not with creating an Indigenous Governing Council that governs all of Mexico, not just the indigenous, and that this Council participates in the 2018 elections through an indigenous woman delegate of the CNI as its representative.

We still don’t have the final decision as to yes or no.

We don’t even know what the decision will be, and look how much the originary peoples, especially the indigenous women, have been mocked and disparaged.

That means that those who attack us are not just those who exploit us. Rather, those who have tried to step on and over us with their critiques include the political parties, even the ones who claim to be on the left, the supposedly great intellectuals, professionals, researchers, commentators, writers, journalists, and university professors.

Who is missing?

Whoever else feels themselves interpolated can add themselves to this list of frauds.

Now even those smug people who treated us like children want to order us around. Let’s hope that someday their work is seen and put up for comparison. Let’s hope someday they tell the truth about why they left.

Let’s see, derisive and disdainful ladies and gentlemen: how many autonomous municipalities have you organized?

In how many of the places where you live do the people rule and the government obeys?

Where in your world are women, children, and the elderly respected?

Where is help given to those who have nothing?

Where do you have freedom, freedom according to you, to go out into the street or countryside without fear that you will be kidnapped, disappeared, raped, murdered?

Where do you have a government that isn’t full of criminals and prisons that aren’t full of innocents?

Did you do the math?

Now respond: why do you turn against the indigenous and treat them as if they have no brains and don’t know what they are doing?

Why, if we aren’t even messing with you?

We don’t even mention you and yet you accuse us of getting paid by the bad government to fuck you over, you accuse us of working for capitalism.

Nobody pays us to be what we are and we don’t work for anybody.

Because no one rules over us.

Perhaps that is why you attack us and disrespect us, because you are in fact ruled over and told what to think, say, and do.

You don’t like freedom because you like to be a slave.

As Zapatistas, we may do things well or we may do them badly, but we do them ourselves.

We don’t do what others, outside of us, tell us to do.

You should study and learn that what is fucking you over is called “capitalism” and not “the indigenous.”

It is fruitless for you to attack and mock us, because one day we will see each other, we will have to.

Who will obligate us to do so?

The system.

Learn this and stop throwing tantrums and fits because to struggle for the world is not a game.

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Ladies and Gentlemen who are intellectuals:

How is it that you don’t realize that the capitalists change their ways of thinking, exploiting, stealing, repressing, and disrespecting?

You are supposed to be profound thinkers but you are more like dry old trees that won’t bear any more fruit no matter how long you wait.

Now the land even where you live is contaminated, which is what capitalism is doing to it, and you continue to see and think the same things as if your heads had become deformed in the same process and there was no other way to exercise thought.

Leave your rooms, get up out of your chair, walk, lift your heads, looks for your eyeglasses so that you can see further and better.

Now imagine all of the possibilities of the combinations of what you have seen, and you’ll see that you get new ideas, not the same ones repeating over and over.

And if you didn’t manage to see anything, well then your eyes must be done for.

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So now it seems that you want to tell us what SupGaleano should or shouldn’t do.

SupGaleano, just like the rest of the insurgent troops, does what I tell him.

And I do what the people tell me.

In that regard, it is up to me to tell SupGaleano to do what I say because I do what our people say.

If I tell him not to respond [to something someone has said or written], he doesn’t respond, because it isn’t worth the time.

And if I tell him to respond, he has to even if he doesn’t want to, and he has to respond clearly because he must help others understand.

If I tell him to give interviews, he has to give them, even if he doesn’t want to. I can tell him to give everyone an interview or only some people, and he has to do as I say. If I tell him only with the free media, that’s what he does. If I say the paid media also, that’s what he does.

For those who don’t want to understand this, what they will have to do is very simple:

First they will need to be subjected to death, destruction, and humiliation for more than 500 years.

Then they must organize for 10 years, preparing themselves to rise up as we did January 1, 1994. Then they will have to resist for many years, without selling out, without giving up, without giving in. Who knows if they can do it, because it’s one thing to write and another thing to do, that’s why we say theory is one thing and practice is another. This is what teaches you and gives you another vision without losing sight of your principles.

But we’ll see if we don’t get bored waiting for them.

We’ll see if we’re even alive then because what the capitalist beast will do in the meantime is so fucked.

Either they realize their lack of or limited vision or it will lead them down the system’s path toward death, and then there really is no remedy, and no one will even remember the tragic history that they played out.

So it can all be blamed on SupGaleano, who manipulates us and takes us down the wrong path?

It is laughable how now you say “Galeano/Marcos.”

You were so in love with SupMarcos that you came to take photos with him and get his autograph; I know because I was there off to the side.

Also off to the side was the maestro Galeano, whose name you did not even ask.

Then later you so hated SupMarcos because he didn’t obey you, but rather obeyed us.

Well he’s dead now.
Stop acting like his abandoned widows.

He’s dead, get over it.

Now there is a SupGaleano because that’s what we decided. And we put him out there so that you would attack and criticize him and thus reveal who you really are. It doesn’t matter what you say, not even the death threats. It doesn’t matter because that is what we trained him for, that is what we prepared him for and that is his work. And he can take it, not like you all who, after any little thing somebody says to you, cry that the world doesn’t understand you.

If we decide that he dies again, then he dies again.

And if you don’t like the way we do things, oh well. As if we were here to make you happy.

We are here for the people below and to the left, those who struggle, who think, who organize, and who resist and rebel.

We respect those people and they respect us because they know we are equals.

And we are with these people not only in Mexico, but all over the world.

So stop fooling the people in the schools where you give classes. You know nothing.

And the reason that you don’t know anything is because you lack both humility and honesty. You lost both among all of those papers and desks and medals and honours and other bullshit.

If in the end you understand and organize, well then we’ll see if you find yourselves another Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro, or another SupMarcos, because we haven’t found another yet.

But perhaps you will have better luck in finding them.

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In the meantime, shut up and listen, read, and learn from the organized peoples, tribes, nations, and barrios of the National Indigenous Congress.

They are our families, and it is their turn to teach us, to show us the way.

It is our job as Zapatistas to learn from them.

Hopefully we all manage to do this, and the world will be more just, more democratic, and more free.

The cadaver of the capitalist Hydra lies beneath the bare feet of the originary peoples.

Not injured, but dead.

Thus we will have to make everything anew, but this time right, without an above or a below, without disrespect, without exploitation, without repression, without displacement.

That world will also be for you, you who are racist and disdainful of what you do not understand.

Because you do not yet understand that you don’t understand.

You don’t understand that you know nothing.

What is going to come out of this is not the decision of one person, but of a collective.

-*-

Later we are going to tell the Sixth what happened.

We didn’t tell them before because the National Indigenous Congress asked us to wait until they arrived safely to their communities and began the consultation. They asked us to be their guardian and wait and take the critique and scorn that would have been aimed at them.

So we waited and took it, and now all those we expected have popped up.

The National Indigenous Congress has heard them and read them; they know.

They know where the scorn and the racism comes from.

They know what the professional politicians think.

They know what the Ruler thinks.

They know what those who think they are saviours think.

The CNI’s skin is healthy.

Ours is wounded, but we are used to it and we scar over quickly.

-*-

The CNI is clear in its thinking.

Now we must wait for their decision and support it.

We know that the path that they choose for all of us originary peoples, tribes, nations, and barrios will be born of pain and rage.

It will be born of resistance and rebellion.

It will come not from an individual, not from a person.

It will be born of the collective, as indeed those of us who are what we are, are born.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Mexico, November 2016

[i] “Gata” is a derogatory term for domestic workers. The author points to critics’ use of the term “candigata” instead of “candidata” (candidate) as a racial slur.

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2016/11/11/no-es-decision-de-una-persona/

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November 8, 2016

CNI, All Flying Together

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, La Sexta, Repression, water, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:02 pm

 

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CNI, All Flying Together

 

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Luis Hernández Navarro 

Wine consumption in Mexico has gone up in the last ten years. Its consumers have grown significantly. The sweet nectar has ceased to be the tipple of executives with high purchasing power and more and more women and young people are drinking it. But behind a few of the glasses of wine savoured in this country, lies a bitter tale of dispossession. Nearly 30% of national production comes from Baja California, and there, one of the most important wine companies in the country, LA Cetto, dispossessed and invaded lands belonging to the Kiliwa people. It intends to claim ownership of national lands that do not belong to it.

The Kiliwa are one of the five originary peoples of what is now Baja California. The company LA Cetto intends to claim legal ownership of national lands in possession of the indigenous group. The winemakers are aided by the complicity of the Agrarian Bureau (Procuraduría Agraria), which on two occasions has “lost” the files that show that the native dwellers are in the right.

As the Kiliwa chief Elías Espinoza Álvarez denounced, the agrarian authorities themselves are the ones putting pressure on the indigenous people so that we give in to the businessmen and accept unjust and inequitable conditions in contracts. As if that weren’t bad enough, the National Water Commission (Comisión Nacional del Agua – CONAGUA) gives this company special treatment, having authorised it to dig a well for drinking water, while denying the same for the indigenous people. And on top of that, LA Cetto has blocked right of way on a route the locals have always used.

Something similar is going on with fruit and vegetables for export, cultivated thanks to indigenous labour in Michoacán, Sinaloa and Baja California. Behind the strawberries, cranberries, blackberries and raspberries, the rocket, endives and chicory, the many varieties of tomato that are used to create succulent dishes, lies a long history of grievances.

The names of the companies and businessmen who reap the riches of these feasts are well known. Until a short time ago it was the pleasure of the Secretary of Rural Development of Guanajuato, Javier Usabiaga, nicknamed The Garlic King. Or there’s the transnational Driscolls, who’ve been in and out of the dock thanks to popular boycotts.

The indigenous labourers who plant the seeds of these culinary riches suffer a level of exploitation equivalent to that suffered by their ancestors during the Porfiriato (turn of the century dictatorial regime of Porfirio Díaz). Pitiful salaries and interminable working days are the rule. They have no paid holidays, social security or days off. Instead of going to school, their small children work alongside them in the fields. They normally live packed into huts or in modest houses that lack basic amenities. Clean drinking water tends to be a luxury.

But the inhuman exploitation which the indians suffer goes unnoticed in Mexican society. It’s “normal”. From time to time, as with the strike by agricultural labourers from San Quintín, the world realises they exist. Once in a while, it is reported that Rarámuris or Mixtecos live in conditions comparable to slavery in ranches in Jalisco, Colima or Ensenada. But more often, they are as imperceptible as Garabombo, Manuel Escorza’s famous character.

As in the case of the wine or the blackberries, behind a cup of coffee it’s not unusual to find a story of dispossessed originary peoples. 70% of cultivators of the bean in Mexico are indigenous people, who generally have plots of no more than two hectares. Coffee-growing is their way of life and the backbone of their existence. But transnational companies, colluding with the government, are trying to have these coffee producers abandon their livelihoods, or plant low quality types of coffee.

Recently, Cirilo Elotlán and Fernando Celis, of the National Coordinator of Coffee-Growing Organisations, decried the fact that poor provision of agricultural support is trumped by government and businesses encouraging growers to lose heart and abandon their crops, so that the companies can monopolise production and the market. “We’ve had no end of threats from the big commercial brands”, they explain, “largely because they want production to go up, sacrificing the work of the growers, our fields and biodiversity, to the interests of transnational businesses.”

The old coffee plantations are being flattened by a combination of plagues and voracious businesses. Until recently, coffee plantations were protected by the shade offered by other plants (chalahuites, citrus trees, ixpepeles, gourds, banana plants and jinicuiles). Today they are but a shadow of their former selves.

Amongst others, there are two main big companies involved: Nestlé and Coca-Cola. Apart from coffee, Nestlé sells artificial flavourings and promotes the substitution of arabica for robusta, a poorer quality bean they need for their blends. Coca-Cola, through the brand Andatti, sold in their 10,000 Oxxo shops, has inundated the market with poor coffee.

In the third forum of originary peoples of the Tarahumara sierra in defence of their territories, Rarámuris and Odamis recognised that their main problems are the dispossession of their lands, the exploitation of their natural reserves and the intervention of transnational and local businesses. They agreed the need to all fly together (all the indigenous peoples), to be collectively stronger. The Kiliwas and agricultural labourers have come to similar conclusions, as have the small-scale coffee growers and hundreds of communities all over the country.

Made invisible by the powerful, the organised originary peoples together with the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena; CNI) and EZLN will today discuss whether to support the candidacy of an indigenous woman in the 2018 presidential elections. A candidacy that forces Mexican society to take a look at itself. A candidacy that speaks not only of poverty and inequality, but of exploitation, dispossession and discrimination. A candidacy that allows them all fly together, to be collectively stronger.

Twitter: @lhan55

Translated by Ruby Zazac for the UK Zapatista Translation Servive

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/11/01/opinion/016a1pol

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