Zapatista Army for National Liberation
To the compas of the National and International Sixth:
To the National Indigenous Congress:
To the family members and compañeros of those killed and disappeared in Ayotzinapa:
Sisters and brothers:
Compañeros and compañeras:
There are many things we want to tell you. We won’t tell you all of them because we know right now there are more urgent and important issues for all of us.[i] Thus we ask for your patience and your attentive ear.
We Zapatistas are here. And it is from here that we see, hear, and read that the voice of the family members and compañeros of the murdered and disappeared of Ayotzinapa is beginning to be forgotten and that now, for some people out there, the more important things are:
-the words coming from other people that have taken stage;
-the discussions over whether the marches and protests belong to the well-behaved or the badly behaved;
-the discussion about whatever it is that appears most frequently and rapidly in social media;
-the discussion over what tactic and strategy will “move beyond” the movement.
And we think that the 43 from Ayotzinapa are still missing, as are the 49 from the ABC Daycare, the tens of thousands of murdered and disappeared citizens and migrants, the political prisoners and disappeared prisoners.
We think that the truth is still kidnapped, and justice is still disappeared.
And we think that the legitimacy and autonomy of this movement [of the family members and compañeros of Ayotzinapa] must be respected.
We Zapatistas heard their voices in person. Thousands of Zapatista bases of support heard them and their voices were then carried to tens of thousands of indigenous people. Their voice thus also spoke in Tzeltal, Chol, Tojolabal, Tzotzil, Zoque, and Spanish to our collective heart.
Those voices are wise, they know what they are talking about, and their heart is like ours when it becomes pain and rage. They know their path and they are walking it.
They know themselves. We know ourselves in rage and pain. We have nothing to teach them. We have everything to learn from them.
That is why now, as their voice is stifled, silenced, twisted or forgotten, we send them our word as an embrace.
That is why we say that the first, most important and urgent thing is to listen to the family members and compañeros of the disappeared and murdered of Ayotzinapa. These are the voices that have touched the hearts of millions of people in Mexico and around the world.
These are the voices that have marked the pain and the rage, that have denounced the crime and pointed to the criminal.
The importance of these voices is also recognized as much by the government, which tries to delegitimize them, as by the vultures that try to twist them.
We want to help these voices retake their place and their path.
These voices resisted the slander, the blackmail, and the buy-off.
These voices did not sell out, did not surrender, and did not give up.
These voices are in solidarity.
We found out, for example, that when young people were piling up in the jails, and the “well-behaved” advised these voices not to pause for the prisoners, that their freedom wasn’t that important given that the government was of course “infiltrating” the protests, those dignified and firm voices of the family members and compañeros of the 43 said, more or less, that for them the freedom of those detained was part of the struggle for the return of the disappeared. That is, as they say, these voices did not let themselves be blackmailed nor did they buy that cheap bit about the “infiltrators.”
Of course, these voices have had the fortune of encountering a population receptive at the fundamental level of being both fed up and empathetic—fed up with the “classic” forms of Power and empathy among those who suffer its habits and abuses.
But this already existed in diverse calendars and geographies. What puts Ayotzinapa on the world map is the dignity of the family members and compañeros of the murdered and disappeared young people, and their stubborn and uncompromising insistence on the search for justice and truth.
In their voice, many people all over the planet recognized themselves. Their words spoke to other pain and other rage.
And their words made us remember many things. For example:
-that the police do not investigate theft; the police kidnap, torture, disappear, and murder people, whether or not they have political affiliation.
-that the current institutions are not the place to take our rage for indictment; they are the places that provoke our rage.
-that the system has no solutions for the problem because it is the problem.
And that for a long time now, and in many places:
-the governments don’t govern, they pretend;
-the representatives don’t represent, they supplant;
-the judges don’t impart justice, they sell it;
-the politicians don’t do politics, they do business;
-the public security forces are not public and don’t impose order other than that of the terror they carry out at the service of whoever pays best;
-that legality is a disguise for illegitimacy;
-that analysts don’t analyze, they make their phobias and affinities into reality;
-that critics don’t critique, they accept and distribute dogmas;
-that those responsible for informing don’t inform, but produce and distribute slogans;
-that thinkers don’t think, they swallow whatever is in fashion;
-that crime isn’t punished, but rewarded;
-that ignorance is not fought, but extolled;
-that poverty is the wage for those who produce wealth.
Because it turns out, friends and enemies, that capitalism nourishes itself from war and destruction.
The era in which capital needed peace and social stability is over.
And in the new hierarchy within capital, speculation reigns and commands, and its world is made of corruption, impunity, and crime.
As it turns out, the nightmare in Ayotzinapa is not a local, state, or national problem. It’s a global one.
And it turns out that it is not only against young people, nor only against men. It is a war of many wars: a war on the other, a war against indigenous peoples, a war on youth, a war against those who with their labor make the world go round, a war on women.
Because it seems that femicide is such old news, so everyday and ubiquitous in all ideologies, that it now goes down as “natural death” in the records.
Because it is a war that every few minutes takes on a name in whatever calendar and geography: Erika Kassandra Bravo Caro: young woman, worker, Mexican, 19 years old, tortured, killed, and flayed in the “pacified” (according to civil, military, and media authorities) Mexican state of Michoacán. “A crime of passion,” they will say, just like those who say “collateral victims,” or “a local problem in the municipality of the provincial Mexican state of… (enter the name of any state in the federation),” or “it’s an isolated event, we must move on.”
It turns out that Aytozinapa and Erika are not the exception, but rather the reaffirmation of the rule of capitalist war: destroy the enemy.
Because in this war the enemy is all of us and everything.
And this is a war against everything, every thing everywhere.
Because as it turns out, this is what it’s about, what it has always been about: a war, which is now a war against humanity.
In this war, those below found in the family members and compañeros of those taken from Ayotzinapa an amplified echo of their own history.
And now not only in their pain and rage, but also and above all in their stubborn effort to find justice.
And with their voice the lies of conformity, of “we can put up with it,” of “nothing is wrong,” of “changes is made within oneself.”
But, in the midst of pain and rage, there above, once again, the vultures circle over the great stain of death and disappearances that carry names.
Because where some count unjust absences, others count votes, windows, job opportunities, memberships, leaderships, marches, signatures, likes, and follows.
But that doesn’t mean that the count that counts and means something is forgotten.
We, Zapatistas of the EZLN, believe that it is so important that the voices of the family members and compañeros of the murdered and disappeared of Ayotzinapa retake their place that we have decided the following:
1. To cede our place at the First World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism to the family members and compañeros of the Ayotzinapa students who were murdered and disappeared. We think that in their voices and ears there will be generous echoes for all of those who, present or not, participate in the festival.
2. That is why we are asking the compañeras and compañeros of the National Indigenous Congress in the distinct locales, the Joint Commission of the CNI-Sixth for the Cultural Festival, and those who would have been offering transportation, lodging, food, security, and health support to our delegation, to dedicate and orient their efforts toward the families and compañeros of the Ayotzinapa students who we all miss today. We ask that you attend to them, listen to them, and talk to them as if they were whichever of the 20 Zapatistas, 10 women and 10 men, who would have formed our delegation.
3. This is why we respectfully ask the family members and compañeros of those absent from Ayotzinapa to accept our invitation and name, from among yourselves, a delegation of 20 people, 10 women and 10 men, and participate as honored invitees in the World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism to be celebrated from December 21, 2014, through January 3, 2015. It was very important for us, as Zapatistas, to listen to you directly. We think it will be very good for all of those who attend the festival to have this same honor. And we also believe that all of you will gain much from meeting other sister resistances and rebellions from Mexico and around the world. You will see then how great and extensive this “you are not alone” really is.
4. The EZLN will participate in the Festival. Our attentive and respectful ear will be there as one more among all of our compas of the Sixth. Not on stage or in special places. We will be like shadows, alongside everyone else, among everyone else, behind everyone else.
5. Our word for the exchange is already on video. We have indicated to “The Odd Ones Out Compas” [Los Tercios Compas] that they should get it to the various Festival locales and to the free, alternative, and independent, autonomous, or whatever you call them media who belong to the Sixth so that they can air it, if they see fit, according to their own times and methods.
6. On December 31, 2014 and the first day of the year 2015, it will be an honor for us to receive as honored guests, in the Oventic caracol, the women and men who, with their pain and rage, have raised across the planet the flag of dignity that we below and to the left are.
7. And not only that, we also want to use this space to invite everyone from the National and International Sixth, masked or not, to participate in this great exchange, to share their stories and listen to Others.[ii]
On hysteria as a method of analysis and guide to action.
We as Zapatistas, are here. And from here we see, listen, and read.
In the recent mobilizations for truth and justice for the Ayotzinapa students, the dispute over who sets the tone of such mobilizations has been repeated, to the extent now of criminalizing those who coincide with a particular overplayed stereotype: young people, with their faces covered, dressed in black, that are or appear to be anarchists. In sum, who are badly behaved. And as such, as the debate goes, they should be pointed out, expelled, detained, tied up, and handed over to the police or just to the ire of the progressive sectors.
This issue has been met with reactions close to hysteria in some cases, and schizophrenia in others, impeding a reasoned argument and necessary debate.
Although we have witnessed this before (in the UNAM strike of 1999-2000, in 2005-2006, and in 2010-2012), the relaunch of this method of analysis and guide for action by the well-behaved left requires some reflection:
The family members and compañeros of the murdered and disappeared of Ayotzinapa, like the tens of thousands of murdered and disappeared, do not ask for charity or pity; they demand truth and justice.
Who is anyone to say that these demands, that could be those of whatever human in whatever part of the world, should be expressed in this or that particular manner? Who gets to write the “manual of good and bad methods” that expresses pain, rage, and nonconformity?
In any case, one can and should debate how compañerismo is best expressed: whether from a haughty voice onstage or with a broken window; if with a “trending topic” or a police car in flames; if on a blog or with graffiti. Or maybe through all or none of those, and each person creates and constructs their form of support with whatever they have.
But not even those with the moral authority and human stature to say “yes, that way” or “no, not like that,” that is, the family members and compañeros of those absent from Ayotzinapa, have done so.
So, in that case, who assigned the jobs of commissioners of good behavior for support and solidarity? Where does this joyous pointing out of “government agents,” “infiltrators,” and, horror of horrors, “anarchists” come from?
The argument “those aren’t students, they are anarchists,” is ridiculous. Any anarchist has more cultural baggage and scientific and technical knowledge than the average person who, working as the thought police, point them out wanting them burned at the stake. And that’s not even mentioning those who are filled with praise and pride over the stupidity and illegality used as a form of policing (please who it may) by the government of Mexico City.
But of course, they can create a straw man that represents current trends (some version of region IV[iii] insurrectional anarchist) and build a caricatured theoretical body around it that makes it look ridiculous, so that it can then be dispatched without delay to the nearest government department, whether juridical or media-based (of course, if their arrest is caught on video; if not, well, who is going to miss them?). After all, “journalistic” information comes from reliable sources: betrayal and political policing.
It isn’t the same thing to single someone out (one who points out, accuses, judges, condemns, and demands that the police execute the sentence) as it is to debate. Because in order to single someone out, it is only necessary to be caught up with the latest trends (what is comfortable, easy, and well, increases “likes” and “follows”). Singling someone out does not require investigation or argumentation; it is enough to “post” a few photos. And that is where the great romances between the “leaders of opinion” and the masses of “followers” are born: blind faith synthesized in 140 characters.
From the “I follow you and you follow me” to the “and they lived happily ever after,” to the “You don’t love me because you don’t retweet me or make me a favorite or give me a “like.” “I’m going to go with a different hero.”[iv]
In order to debate one has to investigate (yeah that’s right, turns out there are different anarchisms: right on again: turns out that “direct action” isn’t necessarily violent), think, argue, and argghh, the most dangerous and difficult: reason.
Debating is difficult and uncomfortable. And there are consequences for those who debate (I mean, more than thumbs down, middle finger up, and “a cascade of “unsubscribes”).
But oh well, there are in fact people who don’t walk through life trying to please people, conform, fit, and attract.
Behind every critical being there is a long list of “followers” deserting them, moving somewhere one doesn’t have to think and retweeting doesn’t involve self-critique.
And when progressive journalism replaces the functions of the government office and accuses, interrogates, concludes, and condemns, is that singling out or debating?
Or is that a form of debate? With the anarchists in the jails or pursued or exiled, and the “well-behaved” in the presses, the microphones, and the little blue bird?
Okay okay okay. But we are in agreement that we must support the family members and compañeros of the murdered and disappeared from Aytozinapa, or is that no longer important?
Not the children of the ABC Daycare either? The disappeared of Coahuila, the ignored migrants, the women assaulted and murdered every day at every hour everywhere in all ideologies? Or the only thing that’s important is changing the name of the person that sits in the chair or promotes employment in glass, window, and shelving companies?
No one has accused those who insist on the electoral path as the only and exclusive option of being “infiltrators,” “police,” “provocateurs,” or “soldiers dressed in street clothes.” They may be accused of being fools, naïve, dumb, stupid, opportunists, careerists, intolerant, ambitious, vultures, tyrants, and despots. And well, of being fascists. But not “infiltrators,” even though certainly more than a few fit quite well the profile of government agent and political police.
We know that some are great strategists (its enough to look at their achievements); they think, propose, and impose the idea that “we must move beyond the mobilization.” So there are some with their well-dressed and well-behaved marches trying to contain and control; and others with the direct action of an exclusive and violent rage.
Some with a vanguardist enthusiasm for being an exclusive elite ready to direct, create hegemony and homogenize the diversity of manners, times, and places.
From “if you break a window you’re an infiltrator” to “and if you don’t break it… still an infiltrator.”
For some, what is important is the geographic center and what converges there: political, economic, and media power.
If it doesn’t happen in Mexico City, it doesn’t happen, it is not valid, it doesn’t count. Being “historic” is their exclusive patrimony.
For them, the mobilizations in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Jalisco, Veracruz, Sonora, and in other corners of Mexico and the world do not exist.
But because analytical laziness reigns among them, they do not realize that the center of Power is not located there.
There above, things have changed, and they have changed a lot.
As long as they continue to abandon serious and profound analysis of the new character of Power, following their noses to the calendars above (electoral and institutional) and being led from one date to another, or with the urgent claim that “we must do something, anything,” even if its useless and sterile, they will continue repeating the same methods of struggle, the same regurgitations, the same defeats.
Toward a serious debate:
Regarding the direct actions in Mexico City that took place with the marches of November 8 and 20 and December 1, 2014, it is worth remembering the words of Miguel Amorós:
“In such events, the mere presence of citizenists and their allies is enough to create confusion and transform the best radical intentions into pure activism, seamlessly integrated into the spectacle and thus easily manipulated, either by those who govern to justify the excesses of public force, or by the citizenists to justify the failure of the action to live up to their own expectations. Activism—whether violent or simply ideological—is the greatest testament to the obsolescence of revolt; it reflects the theoretical poverty and strategic weakness of the enemies of capital and the State. Activists, spurred by the need to do “something,” sign up for everything and thus fall into the trap of a media that seeks to depict them as hooligans and provocateurs. The result is only useful for the governments, the parties, or the pseudo-movements—that garbage that if it exists it is only in order to prevent even the most remote possibility of any autonomous struggle or revolutionary thought.” Amorós, Miguel. “The Decline of Revolt,” October 2001, in Punches and Counter-Punches, Pepitas de calabaza, ed. & Oxígeno dis. Spain, 2005.
What comes next: The requirements for protest
Ellos [men]: A credential from the National Electoral Institute or an identity card, proof of residence (if you don’t own a house, a copy of your lease; if you have a mortgage, what exactly are you doing here?), a pants suit and tie (no, not a tuxedo, there’s no need to overdo it—that’s for when we cross triumphant, on the shoulders of the crowd, through that sacred door that those thoughtless people had sought to destroy), clean face and hands, no visible tattoos, no piercings, and no outlandish hairstyles (outlandish: anything that does not appear in the fashion magazines), dress shoes (no sneakers or boots), your signature on a memo of understanding where you promise to respect all signs of authority and/or power in all of its forms and to call attention to any attitude or intention that deviates from said rules.
Ellas [women]: All of the above except with a skirt suit rather than a pants suit. Oh, and sorry, yes, you have to do your hair.
Elloas[v]: Not eligible to participate. Please proceed to the nearest closet.
On the vanguard of the proletariat, the well behaved, and the badly behaved:
We would like to let you know, in case you haven’t heard, that the Mexican Electrical Union (SME) refused to let us, the CNI and the EZLN, borrow one of their facilities for the celebration of cultural events in Mexico City during the First World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism: “Where Those Above Destroy, We Below Rebuild.”
Before the campaign “Behave Yourself and Just Say NO to the Masks,” the SME had granted, generously, one of its facilities for the cultural festival. As the campaign progressed into “Don’t Fear the State; Fear what is Different,” the excuses began to roll in: “Well, since it’s the holiday season; we don’t have anyone to take care of the space; we’re not going to spend Christmas like that.”
Later they were more clear and told us, “there is a sector within the SME that is against supporting other struggles, and in the assembly they proposed that we needed to put a stop to this issue of involvement with the people from Ayotzinapa, because it is not possible to negotiate with the government on the one hand, and on the other be involved with a movement of masked, pissed-off youth responsible for actions like the one at the Palace. They had to stop these youth from coming to the deportivo (that’s what the SME calls the facility that they were going to let us borrow), where the caravans were going to come and where later you (the Sixth and the CNI) and your mask- wearers (in the role of the mask wearers: the EZLN) wanted to put on your festival. It will no longer be possible to have the festival there; that you will need to find another location. We hope you understand.”
They said other things, but those things have more to do with internal goings-on in the SME and it’s not our place to repeat or spread them.
So how about that? The compas from the National Indigenous Congress had proposed an SME facility as a show of recognition and as a salute to the SME’s struggle and resistance, and we supported their proposal. Yet there are still some people out there who think that the expulsions will be necessary until the improbable moment when the proletariat vanguard takes Power.
And well, the Zapatistas, we get it. But we don’t understand. We don’t understand how a movement that has suffered a campaign against them of every possible type of slander, lies, and harassment (even more than what today’s youth, anarchists/non-anarchists, mask wearers/non-mask wearers, students/studied go through) has given into the trend of criminalizing that which is different. We don’t understand how they can subscribe to this current fad and decide to enter the “circle” of the well-behaved and separate themselves from those who not only respect(ed) them but also admire(d) them. Is that separation part of the principles upheld by the new political party that they’re building? Is it part of its 100-year celebration?
It would have been much easier for them to do like they do nowadays in Mexico City and put up a sign at the door that says, “No masks allowed,” and that would have been it. It is true that we wouldn’t have come in, but your struggle would have been seen, enlivened by all the colors that make up the color of the earth in the National Indigenous Congress, as well as the diversity of resistances and rebellions that, although they don’t have facilities to hold cultural festivals, bloom in various corners of Mexico and the world.
In any case, in accordance with our limited means, we will continue supporting their just struggle. And, of course, we sent them an invitation to the Festival.
Select the correct response:
“Vile mask wearers” (or their equivalents in the new synonyms: “anarchists,” “infiltrators,” “provocateurs,” “students,” “youth”), was said, tweeted, declared, signed, sung, painted, drawn, or thought by…
a). – a columnist, intellectual, caricaturist, journalist, commentator from a conservative paid media outlet.
b). – a columnist, intellectual, caricaturist, journalist, commentator from a progressive paid media outlet.
c). – a conservative artist.
d). – a progressive artist.
e). – a military general.
f). – a person from the managerial class.
g). – a union leader from the vanguard of the revolutionary proletariat.
h). – a leader from a political party aligned with the right-wing.
i). – a leader from a political party aligned with the far right-wing.
j). – a leader from a political party aligned… Ok, in short: a leader of any political party.
k). – epi[vi]
l). – Enrique Krauze.
m). – All of the above.
Answer: Any letter selected is correct. If you selected the last option, you are not only right, you have also conducted an exhaustive monitoring of social media, paid media, and free media. We don’t know whether to congratulate you or send you condolences. Read: in today’s times, if you’re not really confused, then you’re not really informed.
On the stage of social media:
A typical tweet from the well-behaved after the November 20, 2014 march in Mexico City: “Why did the police arbitrarily detain civilians instead of detaining the anarchists?” Take note: Not only is it okay to arbitrarily detain the anarchists, they are also not considered “civilians.”
A commentary from the well-behaved in seeing a photo of Mexico City police beating up, in the “whetheryoulikeitnot” kind of way, a family on the outskirts of the city’s main square on November 20, 2014: “I know them and they are not anarchists.” Take note: If nobody knows you or if you are an anarchist, you deserve to get beaten up.
An argument from the well-behaved at the beginning of the movement, or maybe after, it doesn’t really matter: “For sure those aytozinacos[vii] were asking for it. Who told them to go around looking like anarchists? Note: no comment.
The impossible dialogue:
“What do you mean you don’t understand this whole thing about how mask-wearers = anarchists = infiltrators? Look, those people are not interested in politics, they only want to create disorder. That’s what “anarchism” means: disorder. This whole covering your face thing is just cowardice. And the thing about the infiltrators is that they’re working for the government. What? Yes, the Zapatistas are also masked, and so are the ones who confronted Ulises Ruiz in Oaxaca, and so are some of the people who are now mobilizing in Guerrero and Oaxaca. Yeah, but they aren’t here in our city (stress on the “our” with a look of alarm). The Zapatistas, the Oaxaquistas, and the people from Guerrero, well, they’re good-hearted little Indians. Of course, without clear political leadership. Plus, they’re far away. We can send them humanitarian assistance—by which we mean getting rid of those things that we no longer want, that are no longer useful, or worse yet, that have gone out of style. But these fucking anarchists are here and they have taken our streets (look of alarmonce again on that “our”) and well, how can I say it? They ruin the scenery. We’re here trying our best to make this place cool, like real retro, like the sixties. You get me? Very peace and love, Age of Aquarius, flowers, songs, soft drugs, smartdrinks, good vibes, you know? Check it out, I have an app on my phone that makes the lights blink to the tune of whatever ringtone I choose. Huh? No, I don’t march with a group, I walk along the sides and I climb on top of a… No, it’s not to get a better view of the march, it’s so that the masses can get a better look at me. Look dude, dudette, whatever you are: protesting should be like going to a club, you get me? It’s not about protesting but about seeing everyone, saying what’s up, and the next day confirming that we are what we are, and not in the media’s social section but in the national section. Besides, this thing in Ayotzi… No, nobody says Ayotzinapa, its way cooler to say “Ayotzi.” Well, as I was saying, Ayotzi has international repercussions, I mean, like it gives us a certain cosmopolitan air. Whatever, with all the attention given to the socialites; that’s for the right. We modern leftists let ourselves be known through these types of events. Next time, if those nacos[viii] don’t step back, we’re thinking about inviting Mijares. That’s right, so that he can sing “Soldier of Love” to us. And to keep with the vibe, Arjona should also come so we can have him belt out “Private Soldier.” Yes, everyone will look amazing marching to the beat, holding hands with the presidential guards and the police. Maybe it would be better at night and we’ll break out our lighters while we sway our arms to the rhythm of “soldier of love / in this war between you and me…” and with Arjona, “I am marking the passage / while I survive / I don’t have anger / oblivion has won out.” Yes, we can see it already, next time Eugenio Derbez will be the keynote speaker. It will be brilliant! We will infiltrate Televisa and get them to switch over to our side! Huh? No, we’re not going to demand the resignation of Peña… Well, because the deadline has passed and now we have to prepare for 2018. Huh? Who cares about those people’s original demands. Sure, poor things, but that’s exactly why they have to accept the direction given by those who know, and by those who know I mean us. Look, what this country needs is not a revolution but a massive “feat,” with us in the lead and only role and the common people in the chorus or backstage. Yes, the story that matters is a “selfie” of us in the front and the masses in the background and below, enchanted by us, hailing us, and… yes, I already know what I’ll say when they beg me to go up on stage… “Hey! Wait! Why do you refuse to engage in dialogue? Fucking anarchist! Yeah, you better put on a mask because you can see the naco on you from a mile away! Ugh, this is exactly why this country doesn’t advance. No worries, I already took his picture and I’ll put it on my Facebook so you all can get a good look at another guy who’s an infiltrator. Or was it a girl?. Well, I didn’t get a good look; they dressed real sloppy, very typical. Oh Mexico, you pain me…”
Other lines of investigation:
1. – The few words that most helped Abarca, under protection in the Altiplano penitentiary, and the house arrest on his Region VI[ix] iron lady—both of them out of the media’s reach—were the words: “it was the feds.” After that, they asked them nothing else. Not because they didn’t want to know, but because they already knew.
2. – Now that those above are seriously considering the possibility of a replacement in Los Pinos (which explains the sudden eloquence from national defense officials and the dizzying strategy of the media to distant itself [from Peña Nieto] are those who before December 1 demanded Peña Nieto’s resignation going to now produce a document called “The Defense of the Institutions and the Rejection of a Presidential Resignation, version June 1996, updated for 2014-2015”?
What singling out and denouncing really looks like
1. – Any analysis that blames the repression on the violent direct actions of “anarchist” groups should be consistent and, in the case of Mexico, also hold responsible the one who broke the so-called “white house” scandal that provoked the ire of the presidential couple (although that person later made up for this by playing prosecutor [to protestors]). But no, distributing blame is also a classed activity, and it is up to the well-behaved to foist the criminalization campaign onto the poor youth (according to the chain of equivalence: infiltrator = masked = anarchist = young = poor), which is exactly what set off the long nightmare that we know today as “Ayotzinapa.”
2. – According to the latest that we’ve seen, read, and heard, actual infiltrators do not hide their faces. Infiltrators working on behalf of the Mexico City government (“the institutional left as an alternative”) and their employees have been filmed attacking protesters, arbitrarily detaining them, and “planting” masks on their victims.
Now then, following a method of analysis guided by hysteria and the impeccable logic of the thought and fashion police, we understand that all the protesters who do not wear masks are potential “infiltrators” and need to be pointed out, detained, and handed over to the authorities “in order to allow the masked protesters to march for their demands.” So now, whenever anyone without a mask is spotted at a march, they should be pointed out and expelled to the sound of the refrain: “No to violence; No to violence.”
3. – Let’s do a bit of remembering: Aren’t the ones who today critique “violent” actions against the “historic,” commercial, and financial patrimony that take place in demonstrations for Ayotzinapa in Mexico City the same people who blocked banks, shopping centers, had that “historic” sit-in on Reforma in 2006, and harassed the employees in the orange uniforms for being “accomplices” of the 2012 electoral fraud? Oh yes, it’s because electoral fraud is more serious than 43 disappeared indigenous people and tens of thousands of persons in the same situation.
4. – The clamor of this hysterical campaign has resonated and now achieved its first victories: a few smooth operators are detained in a toll booth, far from the march, while they collected money for their own benefit; they are tied up and triumphantly displayed in the “taking of Mexico City” on December 6, 2014. Later, through the magic of the media, they become “infiltrators” of the march, and it is claimed that at least one of them was police and one of them military. About the supposed police, nothing more was said. About the supposed military type: he’s 17 years old and “confessed” that he was joining the army in a month. Nobody bothered to recall that all Mexican youth, the moment they turn 18, are obligated to fulfill their National Military Service. Nevertheless, the action was applauded. One hopes that hysteria as a method of analysis and a handbook for action will reach its pinnacle when a lynching takes place. At that point, everyone will look the other way.
The dreaded outcome of a resignation, in six acts (Complete the following names):
1. – A party in terminal crisis. Card_ resigns from the party, declaring: “I will live out my life as an ordinary citizen.”
2. – In the face of the crisis of the political party system, the “citizen option” begins to be put forward. The press and progressive circles begin talking about the rise of “Social Card_ísmo.”
3. – The movement grows and calls for unconditional unity in support of “citizen” Card_.
4. – Lop_ refuses.
5. – Another electoral fraud. A massive gathering in the capital’s town square. Among the protesters one notices cardboard signs reproducing the latest cartoons by the progressive cartoonists: “The students from Ayotzinapa were an invention of Salinas” being the common denominator. On stage, Ele_ mentions Lop_. The masses hiss and boo on cue. The next day, Ele_ clarifies that the mention of Lop_ was not intended maliciously and that he personally has a lot of appreciation for him.
6. – After the sit-in de rigueur, Card_ announces that the struggle must go on… creating a new party in order to run in the upcoming elections. No, if victorious, Epi will not be assigned to director of social communications and that idiot from desfiladero[x] will not serve as the presidential spokesperson. Or maybe they will? Gulp.
The story that doesn’t count for the world of progressive happenings:
Yes, there are some who remember that December 6 of this year marked the entry of Villa and Zapata’s armies into Mexico City 100 years ago. We, on the other hand, remember the Zapatistas’ negative gesture and rejection of the presidential throne. It is said that the leader of the Liberation Army of the South had this to say about it: “When a good person sits there, they become evil; when an evil person sits there, they become worse.” And if he didn’t say it, without a doubt he was thinking it.
Unsolicited advice which, of course, nobody will follow:
1. – Enough searching for the mockingjay. Abandon that train of disillusion. Its next stop is “Apathy and Cynicism,” and its final destination: “Defeat.”
2. – Don’t get caught up in the trending topic or whatever it’s called. Same thing with the tweets coming from the “famous” people, the “opinion shapers,” or the allegedly “intelligent” people. Look for the common people’s tweets. You will find there real literary gems in miniature, the thoughts of those who really matter—that is, those who force us to think. There is no small tweet there.
The trending topics (the “latest happenings”) only function as a deformed mirror and are as ridiculous as an enormous masturbation salon: everyone comes out beaten and unsatisfied. Soon we will be seeing tweets that look like a porn script: “Oh! Yes, yes, just like that, don’t stop!” Or maybe it’s a real victory to beat out the hashtags #WeLoveYourNewHairJustin or #Sammy?
3. – Valuing somebody for the number of followers they have and not for their thoughts and their actions is pointless and useless.
If shit had a Facebook account, it would have “likes” (and “licks“) from hundreds of thousands of flies.
4. – In defense of social media, or rather, in defense of using social media, we think that it also counts as a sharing if one chooses where to shift their gaze and their ear.
There are great writers, thinkers, analysts, critics, and social justice fighters who do not appear and will not appear in the paid mass media. And for many of them, it’s not because they haven’t been “discovered,” but because they have chosen a different mode of expressing themselves. This should not only be saluted but also nurtured.
5. – But if the possibilities of social media are great, so are its limits. Besides the obvious, that silences and gazes cannot be tweeted, as gigantic as the social media universe is, a far greater universe remains excluded.
Social media cannot replace basic communication (seeing, speaking, listening, touching, smelling, enjoying), it can only augment it.
“If you aren’t in twitter you don’t exist,” mimics that expired old maxim, “if you aren’t in the media you don’t exist.”
Whether you believe it or not, there exist many worlds outside of cyberspace. And it’s worth lifting one’s head up to take a look.
We’ll be (and have been) seeing you
Yes, we already know that we make some people uncomfortable. For some, we are radicals; for others, we are reformists.
Everyone, above and below, is going to need to accept this:
Here below, there are more of us each day
who insist on engaging in struggle
without asking forgiveness for being who we are
or asking permission to be it.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.
Mexico, December 12, 2014. In the twentieth year of the war against oblivion.
Note: The monitoring of the paid media, the free, autonomous, independent, alternative or whatever they’re called media, the social media, as well as all the selfless contributions of sarcasm, free psychoanalytic therapy, investigative tips, useless advice, the 140-character long straight jacket in some places and other special effects are courtesy of the “Los Tercios Compas” [Odd Ones Out Compas] who, as their name indicates, are neither media, nor free, nor autonomous, nor alternative, but they are compas. Copyright annulled for using a mask. This text may be cited, recited, and recycled by pointing to the source as an “infiltrator.” Reproduction is authorized in full or in part in front of the police, uniformed or not, whether behind a gun, a shield, a camera, a microphone, a smartphone, a tablet, or in cyberspace.
We have faith:”Winter is coming, so don’t forget your blankets” (that’s something one of the Starks say in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. Spoiler courtesy of the “Tercios Compas.” Nah, don’t mention it.)
[i] The text uses “todas, todos, todoas” to give a range of possible plural gendered pronouns including male, female, transgender and others.
[ii] The text uses “otra, otro, otroa” to give a range of possible gendered “others” including male, female, transgender and others.
[iii] Region IV refers to Latin America on DVD coding. Referring to someone as “región IV” is a putdown, something like saying “oh, you’re so third world.”
[iv] The text uses “sinsajo,” which is the Spanish translation for mockingjay in the context of The Hunger Games. Could be read to mean switching to a different favorite or hero to root for.
[v] The text uses “ellos, ellas, elloas” again to give a range of possible gendered “others” including male, female, transgender and others.
[vi] Likely refers to Epigmenio Ibarra, producer and journalist, twitter activist, and frequent contributor to Mexico’s “progressive” press. Ibarra carried out the first videotaped interview with then EZLN spokesperson Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos in 1994.
[vii] A play on Ayotzinapa and “naco” which is a derogatory term like “hick,” implying poorly educated, ill-mannered, and with poor taste.
[viii] See footnote iv.
[ix] See footnote iii.
[x] Desfiladero is a column in the Mexican daily newspaper La Jornada.
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