|THE FUTURE IS NOW|
Subcommandante Marcos, the man who never was, or was, is no more, at least, the cartoon version...or is. The reality is, of course, as always, much different then the media, the corporate media, understands. Marco "ousted" himself in a communique. The media reacted. Leonidas Oiknomakis writes:
The media immediately created the story: “Subcomandante Marcos steps down as EZLN leader.” They did not even bother to read the rest of the communiqué, neither did they bother to investigate the situation any further. The headline was there, emphatic and maybe convenient as well: “Subcomandante Marcos steps down…”
“It is our belief and our practice that in order to rebel and struggle, we need neither leaders, nor caudillos, nor messiahs, nor saviors. To struggle, we only need a little bit of disgrace, a good amount of dignity and a lot of organization. The rest is either useful for the collective or it isn’t."
It all began on May 2, 2014. Members of the paramilitary organization CIOAC-Histórica, funded and organized by the regional and national government, planned and executed a coward attack on the Zapatista autonomous community of La Realidad. They destroyed the autonomous school and clinic and, knowing that the compas from the nearby caracol would rush in to stop them, they ambushed them. Fifteen Zapatistas were injured, and one of them, Jose Luis Solis Lopez, a teacher at the Escuelita Zapatista of August 2013 and December/January 2014, was brutally murdered. He had selected for himself the nickname “Galeano”, like the author ofThe Open Veins of Latin America.
This attack was the last straw in a series of similar attacks on Zapatista communities that have been taking place ever since the government of Enrique Peña Nieto took office — a sign of the President’s intentions towards Zapatismo and the Zapatistas.
Ever since that day, an has been organized in solidarity with the Zapatista communities, which culminated on May 24 in the caracol of La Realidad with a public event in which the Comandancia General of the EZLN also participated to honor the memory of Galeano and assure that justice will be done.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos was also present, in his first public appearance since 2009, on his horse, this time with a pirate eyepatch on his right eye. In the event he didn’t speak much. The EZLN spoke through its other spokesperson, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés. However, at 2.08am, he read a communiqué through Radio Zapatista, in which he bade farewell to the persona of Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, in a communiqué he signed as Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
“We think that one of us must die so that Galeano can live,” he said. “So death does not take a life but a name.”
Of course, as with all Zapatista communiques one wonders...World War Four asks:
As for Marcos' new non-existence... The communique is entitled "Between Light and Shadow," (Ed. see below) which could be a cryptic reference to Marcos' own shadowy persona and trickster spirit. Is the new Subcommander Galeano really the same man as the old Subcommander Marcos, now writing under a new name to symbolize an altered role in the Zapatista movement? Your guess is as good as mine, but I wouldn't exclude the possibility.Whatever...
The Zapatista movement has been and continues to be an incredible and innovative inspiration to many of us, to the multitudes, to working people, to indigenous people, to peasants and more. Subcomandante Marcos and his host of characters may now be past, but the movement itself is still the now, and even more so, the future.
I am printing too lengthy pieces below.
The first piece below is from Schools for Chiapas.
The second piece below is from Popular Resistance.
We All Must Become Zapatistas
Just a few days later [after the uprising], with the blood of our fallen still fresh in the city streets, we realized that those from outside did not see us.Accustomed to looking at the indigenous from above, they did not raise their eyes to look at us.Accustomed to seeing us humiliated, their heart did not understand our dignified rebellion.Their eyes were fixed on the only mestizo they saw with a balaclava, that is to say, one they did not look at.Our bosses told us then:“They only see their own smallness, let’s make someone as small as them, so they may see him and through him they may see us.”A complex maneuver of distraction began then, a terrible and marvelous magic trick, a malicious play of the indigenous heart that we are, the indigenous knowledge challenging modernity in one of its bastions: the media.The character called “Marcos” started then to be built.
Should we prepare those who come after us for the path of death?Should we develop more and better soldiers?Invest our efforts in improving our battered war machine?Simulate dialogues and a disposition toward peace while preparing new attacks?Kill or die as the only destiny?Or should we reconstruct the path of life, that which those from above had broken and continue breaking?… Should we have adorned with our blood the path that others have charted to Power, or should we have turned our heart and gaze toward who we are, toward those who are what we are—that is, the indigenous people, guardians of the earth and of memory?Nobody listened then, but in the first babblings that were our words we made note that our dilemma was not between negotiating and fighting, but between dying and living.… And we chose.And rather than dedicating ourselves to training guerrillas, soldiers, and squadrons, we developed education and health promoters, who went about building the foundations of autonomy that today amaze the world.Instead of constructing barracks, improving our weapons, and building walls and trenches, we built schools, hospitals and health centers; improving our living conditions.Instead of fighting for a place in the Parthenon of individualized deaths of those from below, we chose to construct life.All this in the midst of a war that was no less lethal because it was silent.
Small justice looks so much like revenge. Small justice is what distributes impunity; as it punishes one, it absolves others.What we want, what we fight for, does not end with finding Galeano’s murderers and seeing that they receive their punishment (make no mistake this is what will happen).The patient and obstinate search seeks truth, not the relief of resignation.True justice has to do with the buried compañero Galeano.Because we ask ourselves not what do we do with his death, but what do we do with his life.
Maybe it’s true. Maybe we were wrong in choosing to cultivate life instead of worshipping death.But we made the choice without listening to those on the outside. Without listening to those who always demand and insist on a fight to the death, as long as others will be the ones to do the dying.We made the choice while looking and listening inward, as the collective Votán that we are.We chose rebellion, that is to say, life.