Zapatistas (Mexico) urge social revolution: “Where others destroy, we rebuild”

Mexicans gather at Zapatistas/Indigenous congress (masked in case of reprisals by drug gangs/police)

At the beginning of this year the Zapatistas of Chiapas, Mexico, concluded a two week congress – a gathering of  indigenous peoples in multiple locations in the province – to reconfirm their resolve to organise and live according to the principles of mutual aid in contradistinction to capitalism. Attending the congress were many relatives of the 43 students who were murdered last year by drug cartel members in conjunction with the police (see video believed to be of police ferrying the students to the cartel). Since the tragedy the Zapatistas have offered ongoing support to the families of those murdered. Earlier this year the Zapatistas and the families agreed to unite against the thousands of murders – ‘disappeared’ – that take place every year. A statement from the Congress is given below. A selection of videos of some of the moving speeches (in Spanish) made by relatives of the murdered students are provided at the end.

To the peoples of the world…

From Chiapas, Mexico, we send out our word to all those women and men from below, in the countryside and the city, in Mexico and throughout the world, all those who sow resistance and rebellion against the neoliberal capitalism that destroys everything.

We met in the Ñahtó community San Francisco Xochicuautla, State of Mexico, on December 21, 22, and 23; in the Nahua community of Amilcingo, Morelos, on December 22 and 23; in the space of the Frente Popular Francisco Villa Independiente in Mexico City on December 24, 25, and 26; in Moncolva, Campeche, on December 28 and 29; in the Zapatista Caracol of Oventik, Chiapas, on December 31 and January 1; and in CIDECI in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, on January 2 and 3.

We met to hold “sharings,” which means not only to share, but also to learn and build together. These were “sharings” that were grown from the deep pain and rage that belongs to all of us due to the disappearance and murder of the students from the Rural Teacher’s College Raul Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. This was a criminal act that reflects the politics of death that the bad government and the capitalists have pushed into every corner of the country and the world. These missing students are our disappeared, and we, as the National and International Sixth, the National Indigenous Congress, and the Zapatista National Liberation Army will not cease to struggle until they are found.

The capitalists and their overseers in the bad governments have left destruction in each of our individual hearts and great destruction in the collective heart that we make up as peoples, mothers and fathers of the young people who were taken from us, and solidarity organizations, all determined to reconstruct life where the powerful have sown death and mourning.

In the indigenous communities that we comprise, we suffer attacks by the capitalist system through the blood and pain of our children, who are also the only possible future for this planet we call Earth. Amidst the distances and different colors that make up our being and our existence, we maintain the certainty that Earth is our mother and she is alive. And in order to keep her alive, justice must be a demand that is woven by the actions and convictions of those of us who comprise the world of below, those who do not aspire to govern that world but rather construct it along our path.

From the oceans, beaches, mountains, cities, and countryside, we build and rebuild alongside the assemblies, organizations, and collectives that in diverse autonomous forms weave spaces and forms of organization and solidarity that are capable of containing the capitalist destruction that does not distinguish between peoples and colors and in its chronic blindness only recognizes what feeds the same production dressed as permanent war, unjust markets, and colossal profits for a few. These are values alien to our peoples and against the ancient agreements made with our Mother Earth that give meaning and sense to life in the world, that give us freedom and dignity, dignified in living and defending life.

But the capitalists who say they are governing but really are only trying to dominate, administrate, and exploit, have a limit—a very large barrier—when they come up against the dignity of a person, a family, a collective, a society who they have profoundly damaged, from whom they have snatched and killed a part of their heart, thus detonating an explosion of rebellion that has illuminated the World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion Against Capitalism which we call “Where those above destroy, we below rebuild.” Because we are below; from below we understand the world, from below we care for it, below we look at one another and from there, together, we rebuild the destiny that we believe is our own until the powerful snatch it from us and only then do we learn, do we know, that what is really ours is that which we can construct or reconstruct where capitalism has destroyed.

The pain that is converted into dignified rage in the families of the murdered and disappeared students of the Rural Teacher’s College Raul Isidro Burgos is the pain that has kidnapped and disappeared us also, and thus we will never stop struggling until they are found, along with all of the murdered, disappeared, tortured, exploited, disrespected, and dispossessed brothers and sisters, wherever they may be in this savage capitalist geography, on whatever border of the world, in whichever prison.

The walk of the peoples of the world in the countryside and the city, each with their path, are led by the footprints of their own ancestors, paths that divide, intersect, and cross with ours until they find one direction, marked by a rebellious dignity that speaks so many languages and has as many colors as nature itself, woven from small embroideries that together construct what we need to be.

So, brothers and sisters of this suffering world that is nonetheless happy because of the rebellion that nourishes us: we invite you to continue walking with a small but firm step, to continue to meet, share, construct, and learn along with us, to weave the organization from below and to the left of the Sixth that we comprise.

Only from our rebellion and our resistance will the death of capitalism be born and a new world brought to life, a world for all of us.

San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, January 3, 2015


(Note: the above declaration in Spanish is given at the end of this article.)

Speeches by relatives of the murdered students

The following are videos of speeches by some of the relatives of the missing and murdered students from Ayotzinapa at the inauguration of the final session of the 1st World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism “Where those from above destroy, us from below rebuild,” at Cideci/Universidad de la Tierra Chiapas, January 2, 2015.

Pronunciamiento del Primer Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y Rebeldías contra el Capitalismo

A los pueblos del mundo:

Desde Chiapas, México, levantamos nuestra palabra para dirigirnos a las mujeres y hombres de abajo, del campo y la ciudad, en México y el mundo, a los y las que sembramos resistencias y rebeldías en contra del capitalismo neoliberal que todo lo destruye.

Nos reunimos los días 21, 22 y 23 de diciembre en la comunidad ñahtó de San Francisco Xochicuautla, Estado de México; los días 22 y 23 de diciembre en la comunidad nahua de Amilcingo, Morelos; los días 24, 25 y 26 de diciembre, en el espacio del Frente Popular Francisco Villa Independiente, en la Ciudad de México; los días 28 y 29 de diciembre en la comunidad de Monclova, Campeche; los días 31 de diciembre y primero de enero en el Caracol Zapatista de Oventic, Chiapas; los días 2 y 3 de enero en el CIDECI de San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. Nos reunimos para hacer comparticiones, que no solo es compartir, sino aprender y construir juntos. Comparticiones que fueron crecidas con un profundo dolor que es nuestro y una rabia que es nuestra, por la desaparición y asesinato de los estudiantes de la Normal Rural Raul Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. Acto criminal que es a su vez el reflejo de la política de muerte que los malos gobiernos y los capitalistas han proyectado en cada rincón del país y del mundo, pues ellos, los que nos faltan son nuestros desaparecidos y no dejaremos de luchar hasta encontrarlos desde lo que somos en la Sexta Nacional e Internacional, en el Congreso Nacional Indígena, en el Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional.

Los capitalistas y sus capataces de los malos gobiernos han dejado una destrucción en el corazón de los individuos que somos y han dejado una gran destrucción en el corazón colectivo que somos, como somos, los pueblos, los padres y madres de los jóvenes que nos arrancaron y las organizaciones solidarias decididos a reconstruir la vida donde los poderosos han sembrado luto y muerte.

En las comunidades indígenas que somos, los embates del sistema capitalista se sufren con la sangre y con el dolor de nuestros hijos, que son también el único futuro posible para este planeta al que llamamos Tierra, en el que en medio de las distancias y de los diferentes colores que nos hacen ser y nos hacen existir mantenemos la certeza de que es nuestra madre y de que está vivo, y que para que así siga siendo, la justicia es una demanda que se teje con las acciones y las convicciones de los que somos el mundo de abajo, los que no aspiramos a gobernarlo sino a caminar construyéndolo.

Desde los océanos, las playas, las montañas, las ciudades y los campos, construimos y reconstruimos junto con las asambleas, organizaciones y colectivos que tejen de diversas formas autónomas los espacios y las formas de organización y solidaridad que son capaces no solo de contener esta destrucción capitalista que no distingue pueblos o colores y que en su ceguera crónica solo reconoce todo aquello que alimente esa misma destrucción vestida de guerras permanentes, mercados injustos y descomunales ganancias para unos pocos, valores ajenos a los pueblos y contrarios a los antiguos acuerdos con nuestra madre tierra que dan sentido a la vida en el mundo, que nos dan libertad y nos hacen dignas, dignos de vivir y defender la vida.

Pero los capitalistas que dicen gobernar y que en realidad solo buscan dominar, administrar y explotar, tienen un límite, una barrera grande, en la dignidad de una persona, de una familia, de un colectivo, de una sociedad a la que han dañado en lo más profundo, a la que han arrancado y matado una parte de su corazón, detonando una explosión de rebeldía como la que ha iluminado este Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y las Rebeldías en contra del capitalismo al que llamamos “Donde los de arriba destruyen, los de abajo reconstruimos” porque abajo estamos, desde abajo entendemos el mundo, abajo lo cuidamos, abajo nos miramos unos a los otros y desde ahí, juntos, reconstruimos el destino que creíamos propio hasta que nos lo arrancaron los poderosos y solo entonces aprendemos, solo entonces sabemos que lo que es realmente nuestro es lo que podamos construir o reconstruir donde el capitalismo ha destruido.

El dolor que se convierte en digna rabia de los familiares de los estudiantes asesinados y desaparecidos de la escuela normal rural Raul Isidro Burgos es el dolor que nos secuestró y desapareció también a nosotros, así que nunca dejaremos de luchar hasta encontrarnos, junto con el hermano o la hermana asesinados, desaparecidos, torturados, explotados, despreciados o despojados en cualesquier punto de la salvaje geografía capitalista, en cualesquier frontera del mundo, en cualesquier cárcel.

Los caminos de los pueblos del mundo tanto en el campo como en la ciudad con su propio rumbo se conducen en el rastro dejado por sus propios ancestros, caminos que se dividen, se intersectan y cruzan con los nuestros, hasta que encuentran un mismo rumbo, marcado por la dignidad rebelde que habla en tantas lenguas y es de tantos colores como es la naturaleza misma que se teje con pequeños bordados para poder construir lo que necesitamos ser.

Así, hermanos y hermanas de este mundo dolido pero alegre por la rebeldía que nos alimenta, invitamos a seguir caminando con un paso pequeño pero firme, a seguirnos encontrando, compartiendo, construyendo y aprendiendo, tejiendo la organización desde abajo y a la izquierda de la sexta que somos. Sólo de nuestra rebeldía y de nuestra resistencia nacerá la muerte del capitalismo, vivirá un nuevo mundo para todos, para todas.

San Cristóbal de las Casas, México a 3 de enero de 2015.

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13 Responses to Zapatistas (Mexico) urge social revolution: “Where others destroy, we rebuild”

  1. mike says:

    This is great. There is a groundswell of people who won’t accept the status quo. Occupy, Million Mask March taking this up in Britain. Social media links us. Capitalism would destroy the planet, our only home, me if we did not make a stand; it is now urgent.

    Liked by 1 person

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