Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A youth dignified and enraged: Subcomandante Marcos of the EZLN

seattle.indymedia.org In solidarity, Felípe Sources (in Spanish): http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/ http://dignarabia.ezln.org.mx/ SEVEN WINDS IN THE CALENDARS AND GEOGRAPHIES OF BELOW First Wind: a youth dignified and enraged Good evening. Sintrófisa, síntrofe, Ekseyerméni Eláda. Emís, i pió mikrí, apó aftí ti goniá tu kósmu se jeretáme. Déksu ton sevasmó mas ke ton zavmasmó mas giaftó pu skéftese ke kánis. Apó makriá mazménume apó séna. Efjaristúme. (I hope that I haven't said something rude, what I wanted to say was "Comrades, rebel Greece. We, the smallest, from this corner of the world, salute you. May you recieve our respect and admiration for what you think and do. From afar we learn from you. Thank you.") I Of violences and other things. For the longest time, the problem of calendars and geographies has kept Power awake with insomnia. In each of these it has been seen (and will be seen) how the splendid machinery of domination has jammed and come to pieces. This is why Power tries to take so much care in its deployment of geographies and calendars. In geography it is clearest: in its clumsy entanglement, as this Festival has revealed, Greece is very far from Chiapas. And in the schools it is taught that Mexico is separated by an ocean from France, from Basque Country, from the State of Spain, Italy. And if we look at a map, we see that New York is very far to the north of indigenous, mexican Chiapas—something which was refuted a few hours ago by the comrades of the Movimiento Justicia para el Barrio. And Argentina is very far south of this land, something challenged by the comrade from Solano who just spoke. But this separation exists neither above nor below. The brutality of neoliberal globalization, IV World War as the Zapatistas call it, has put the most distant places into spatial and temporal simultaneity for the flow of riches... and for their appropriation. Enough with the fantastic tales about the supposedly heroic discoverers-conquerors, who defeated with sword and cross the weakness of those who were made "civilized". In place of the three caravels, a high speed computer. In place of Hernan Cortez, a simultaneous marionette made to govern every corner of the planet. In place of swords and crosses, a massive machinery of destruction and a culture that has in common with "fast food" not only its omnipresence (McDonalds, like God, is everywhere), but also difficulties of digestion and zero nutritional power. The same globalization makes the Israeli and U.S. bombs fall in Gaza while the whole world trembles. With globalization the whole world above is in our hands... better put, in our sight and conscience. The bombs that murder Palestinian civilians are a warning that must be heeded and assimilated. And the shoe-attack [zapatazo] on Bush in Iraq can be reproduced in almost any corner of the planet. This all plays into the hand of the cult of the individual. The enthusiasm which was awoken amongst the well-behaved by the shoe-attack against Bush (proof only of the reporter's bad aim) celebrates a brave but insignificant and useless gesture, as weeks later was shown by the Bush government's support for the crime which the Israeli government is perpetrating in Palestinian territory... and—forgive me if I disillusion anyone who has lit their candles at the feet of the image of Barack Obama—which Bush's successor supports. And while the bad shot in Iraq provokes applause, the insurrection in Greece provokes worry: "There is danger," they warn and excoriate, "that the Greek rebellion will spread to the rest of Europe." We have already heard and read what the rebel youth of Greece have communicated about their struggle and what it confronts; from those who in Italy are preparing to resist the force of the government; of the daily struggle of our comrades in the North of the North. And confronted with this, everyone above pulls out their dictionary and finds the word "violence" and they contrast it with "institutionalism." Without any context, that is to say, without a class position, they accuse, judge, and condemn. And they tell us it is the violence of rebel Greek youth that makes the Hellenic Peninsula burn. Of course they edit, mutilate, and erase the fact that the police murdered a young person. In Mexico, in the geography marked by the city of the same name, a government of the institutional left murdered a group of youth, most of them adolescents. A sector of progressive intellectuals maintained complicit silence, arguing that this was a distraction of the public's attention, supposedly directed at the carnival which has been made of the supposed defense of the oil industry. The subsequent sexual violence against the young women in the cells of the police was lost amidst the sound of the fireworks and cymbals announcing a referendum that failed. They did not condemn the violence of the police, who, contrary to what was said, did not act in a disorderly way. The police have been prepared for years to repress, harass, and abuse youth, informal salespeople, sex workers, laborers, and anyone who dissents against the government of the ice skating rink, the Fujimori-style mega-spectacle, the cookie recipe. It must not be forgotten that the doctrine that empowers this police force was imported to Mexico City by the today "legitimate" president of Mexico when he was the Head of Government of the Federal District [Andrés Manuel López Obrador]. In Mexico City and in Greece the government murders youth. The U.S.-Israeli axis now writes in Gaza the guideline to be followed: is much easier to kill them when they are children. Before, in Mexico, in the present calendar it would be 10 years already, students of the UNAM [Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, National Autonomous University of Mexico] rose up in a movement which disheartened the well-behaved left, a movement which, as hysterically as today, it ferociously slandered and discredited. They said that it was a violent movement in order to distract attention from the grey electoral campaign of the grey presidential candidate of the grey party of democratic revolution. Now, 10 years later, it must be remembered that the UNAM continues to be public and free thanks to the endeavors of those men and women, those young people whom we salute today. But in our pain-wracked Mexico those who have earned first place in the use and abuse, the groping of the term "violence," are Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and the mass media which accompanies him (fewer and fewer each time, true). Mr. Calderón, an aficionado of real-time strategy computer games (his favorite, he once said, is "Age of Empires"), decided that, instead of bread and circuses, the people ought to be given blood. Since the circus is already provided by professional politicians, and bread is expensive, Calderón decided, supported by one gang of narcotraffickers, to make war against another gang. In violation of the Constitution, he brought out the army to take over the duties of police, attorney general, judge, jailer, and executioner. That this war is being lost is obvious to anyone who isn't a member of his cabinet—and that the death of his beloved partner was an assassination [reference to the death in a plane crash of Interior Secretary Juan Camilo Mourino, Calderón’s right hand man] is also well known, even though it can't be published. And in their war, the forces of Calderon's government have to their credit the deaths of not a few people who owed nothing, of children and unborn. With Calderon at the head, the government of Mexico follows in the footsteps of the U.S. and Israel: he kills them from the time they are in their mothers' wombs. But it is said, and still repeated by talking heads and editorialists, that the force of the government is being used to combat the violence of organized crime. And each day it is more apparent that organized crime itself directs the forces of the State. But it could be that this is all an intelligent stratagem of Calderon's, and his object is to distract the people's attention. Busy as the public is with the bloody failure of the war on drugs, it could be that they won't notice Calderon's failure in political economy. But let us return to the condemnations of violence which come from above. This is a tricky transmutation, a false tautology: they say they condemn violence but in reality they condemn action. For them, those above, non-conformity is an evil of the calendar or, when they also challenge this, pathology of the brain which is cured, according to some, with a lot of mental concentration, putting oneself in harmony with the universe and realizing that all of us are human beings... or citizens. For these violent pacifists all are human beings: the young Greek woman who raises her fist with a molotov and the police who murder the Alex’s of the world who have been and will be; the Palestinian child who cries at the funeral of his little brothers killed by Israeli bombs and the pilot of the war plane with the Star of David on its fuselage; Mr. George W. Bush and the undocumented person murdered by the Border Patrol in Arizona; the multi-millionaire Carlos Slim and the waitress who commutes 3 or 4 hours to work and if she arrives late is fired; Mr. Calderon, who is called Chief of State of Mexico, and the peasant who is evicted from his lands; Mr. Lopez Obrado and the murdered indigenous of Chiapas who he doesn't see or hear; Mr. Peña Nieto, predator of the Mexican State, and the peasant Ignacio Del Valle, from the FPDT [Frente del Pueblo en Defensa de la Tierra, People’s Front in Defense of Land], prisoner for defending the poor; in the end, the men and women who have riches and power, and the men and women who have nothing more than their dignified rage. And up there they demand and urge, "We must say no to violence, wherever it comes from" ...being careful to be more emphatic when the violence comes from below. According to them, everyone should be in harmony so that their differences and contradictions will be resolved, shouting the slogan, "the people in arms are also exploited," in reference to soldiers and police. Our position as Zapatistas is clear. We do not support a pacifism that is enshrined so that someone else turn the other cheek, nor violence that is encouraged when it is others who kill. We are who we are, with all the good and bad that we carry and which is our responsibility. But it would be naive to think that all the good we have achieved, including the privilege to listen to and learn from you all, would have been possible without the preparation of a whole decade leading up to the dawn of January 1st [1994], which in turn lead to the dawns of 15 more years. It was not through a march or the unfurling of the below-signed in a petition that you came to know us. It was with an army, in combat against federal forces, with armed resistance, through which we met the world. Our fallen comrades, dead and disappeared, have been in a violent war which began not 15 years ago, but 500 years ago, 200 years ago, 100 years ago. I am not making an apology for violence, I am pointing out an irrefutable fact: we met at war, we have remained at war during these 15 years, and we will continue at war until this corner of the world called Mexico makes its destiny its own, without tricks, without forgeries, without simulations. Power has in violence a resource of domination, but it has this also in art and culture, in knowledge, in information, in the justice system, in education, in institutional politics, and of course, in the economy. Each struggle, each movement, in its very particular geography and calendar, must therefore rely upon diverse forms of struggle. It is not the only and probably not the best, but violence is one of these. It is a beautiful gesture to confront the rifle-barrels with flowers, and thus there are photos that immortalize this act. But at times it is necessary that the rifles themselves be the objective and that they be aimed above. The accuser and the accused. They accuse us of many things, it is true. And we are probably guilty of some of then, but for now I want to focus myself on one: We didn't shoot the alarm clock this January 1st, nor did we inaugurate a nostalgic festival of defeat, as has been done with '68 by some of that generation all over the world, as has been done with '88 in Mexico and now with 2006. I'll return later to this weak cult of the booby-trapped calendar. Nor did we edit history to rechristen it by claiming that we are or were the only or the best, or both (which is what the hysterical clique that is the Lopez Obrador movement has done, but I've already said I'll return to this later). There have been and are those who have criticized us for not having made the leap "to realpolitik" when our political stock, that is to say our rating in the media opinion polls, offered us a good price for our dignity on the market of electoral options (which is not to say political options). They accuse us, in short, of not having succumbed to the seduction of power, that force which has caused many brilliant people of the left to say and do things which would be shameful for anyone. They also accuse us of "raving delirium" or "radicalism" because in the 6th Declaration we pointed to the capitalist system as the source of the principal evils and causes of human suffering. Today they don't insist on this, because even the spokespeople of capital finance say it on Wall Street. Certainly, now that the whole world is talking in circles about the global crisis, it should be remembered that it's been 13 years since, in 1996, we were given warning by a dignified and enraged beetle. Don Durito of the Lacondón, in the shortest state of the union address I have heard in my short years, said, "The problem with globalization is that balloons [globos] pop!" They accuse us of not limiting ourselves to the survival which, with the sacrifice and support of the lowest in the corners of the planet, we have constructed and exemplified in these Indian lands; and of not locking ourselves into what lucid minds (so it is said) call "the Zapatista laboratory" or "the Lacondón Commune." They accuse us of sallying forth, once and again, to confront Power and search for others, for you all, who confront it without false comfort or conformism. They accuse us of having survived. And they do not recognize the resistance which 15 years later allows us to say that we continue struggling, not just living. What bothers them is that we have survived as another reference point in the struggle, one of critical reflection, of political ethics. They accuse us, those who would say it, of not having turned ourselves in, of not selling ourselves, of not giving up. They accuse us, in summation, of being Zapatistas of the EZLN. Today, 515 years later, 200 years later, 100 years later, 25 years later, 15 years later, 5 years later, 3 years later, we admit: we are guilty. And, in the way of the neo-Zapatistas, we don't just confess this, we celebrate it. We don't doubt that this will cause pain to some up there who simulate progress or dress up as a pale and yellow Left, or a Left without any color at all, but it must be said: The EZLN lives. Long live the EZLN! Thank you. Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos Mexico, January 2 2009

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