Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Subcomandante Marcos Speaks Out

After days of fighting in San Salvador Atenco, leader of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), Subcomandante Marcos, has declared a Red Alert. He is urging the closure of Zapatista community centers and a myriad of other security measures. The uprising began in Mexico after police brutally attacked a group of poor flower vendors who were setting up shop on soon to be Walmart property. Protestors responded by blocking off highways and stopping business in Atenco. Thus far, hundreds have been arrested, 5 women raped, and on 14 year old boy murdered by police. The EZLN has vowed to fight for the rights of workers and indigenous peoples inside Atenco and throughout Mexico. Here is Subcomandante Marcos' speech

Companeros and companeras,

A few moments ago we were watching and listening to the media and the manipulation of what was happening, the informational manipulation about what was occurring [in Atenco]. We listened to the commentators on Television Azteca imploring that law be restored, that the military enter to restore order and end what was taking place there. We also listened to the indignation of the viewers who sent letters to the station stating that the commentators pleading for greater public force were idiots.

Years ago here, in the Plaza of Three Cultures [Tlatelolco] there was a massacre and in response to this the government claimed that the army had been attacked. And much time passed until someone asked what the army had been doing at a student meeting in the first place. And now over those same means of communication, including radio, it does not occur to reporters to ask what the public forces were doing in San Salvador Atenco.

And what they were doing there was enforcing this alliance that was made between the PRD and the PRI in order to oust a few flower vendors because the municipal president of Texcoco thinks they deface the city; because he wants to put a shopping center there, a Wal-Mart in Texcoco and the small merchants bother him and because the PRD aligned there with the PRI at the state level and with the PAN at the national level, and now they will have to be accountable for this death.

As the 6th Commission of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, signatory to the Other Campaign, we are asking, soliciting respectfully the regional and sub-regional coordinators throughout the entire country to execute actions and mobilizations in support of the Frente de Los Pueblos en Defensa de La Tierra [Salvador Atenco] beginning at 0800, eight in the morning tomorrow, the fourth of May, 2006.

As the Sixth Commission we are declaring a red alert. The troops of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation have already been declared under red alert and from that point onwards the Caracoles and Autonomous Zapatista Rebel Municipalities will be closed. Beginning at that moment, from that moment on, the new chain of command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation will be in place. Whatever may happen to me, there is now someone else in place to make decisions. We don’t know about everyone else, but today, we, the Zapatistas, are Atenco!

We are going to be attentive to their demands. We call for the holding of meetings by sector, by region, as you all see fit. As the Sixth Commission we are canceling all of our participation in programmed activities and we are waiting for the cue from the Frente de Los Pueblos en Defensa de La Tierra. If it needs our presence there, we will go there. If not, we will participate directly in the actions that you all program tomorrow beginning at 0800, eight in the morning.

Close the highways, close the streets, fly, paint, whatever occurs to you, in a civil and peaceful manner. Atenco cannot be left all to itself. We will not cease these actions and this situation until the companeros of the Frente de Los Pueblos en Defensa de La Tierra indicate so to us.

We are not going to pay attention to any piece of information that doesn’t arrive directly from them. For us, they, those who comprise the Frente de Los Pueblos en Defensa de La Tierra are the Other campaign in those lands. We will respect their decisions. We will go wherever they tell us to go. They have been clear in their demands: immediate liberation of those detained and total withdrawal of the government forces that are invading their lands.

This is our message companeros and companeras. Not only for the Other Campaign in this Other Mexico, in this Other Mexico City that is rising up. It is our message to the Other Campaign in the entire country. From Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Campeche, until the two Baja Californias, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon. From the north to the south, from the east to the west so that the Other Campaign echoes in Atenco and let there be justice for those that have fallen! Thank you companeros, thank you companeras.”