By: Isaín Mandujano
TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas
The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) said today that the mobilization y protest actions of the peoples, communities, organizations and activists in Chiapas, the government is losing the media war against the teachers’ movement that impugns the education reform.
“We don’t know about the rest of the country, but at least in Chiapas, those above are losing the media war. We have seen entire families, in rural and urban surroundings, supporting the teachers,” the EZLN asserts in a public comunicado.
And it’s not referring to support of the type “this fist is seen,” “the people united, will never be defeated,” and the slogans that despite distances in calendars and geographies, continue being the same –says the guerrilla group– “because underneath continues being the fundamental principle of solidarity.” If in previous mobilizations of the rebel teachers the “citizenry” appeared fed up and disturbed, it continued, now things have changed.
“There are more families all the time that aid the teachers, support their travels and marches, are anguished when they are son, offer them food, drinks and shelter. They are families that, according to the taxonomy of the electoral left, would be ‘stupefied’ by television, ‘eat sandwiches,’ ‘are alienated,’ ‘are driven in’ and ‘have no conscience.’ But apparently, ‘the enormous media campaign’ against the teachers that resist, has failed,” the writing points out.
It adds that now the resistance movement against the education reform has been converted into a mirror for more and more people-people all the time, in other words, not people of the social and political organizations, but rather common people.
“As if it had awakened a collective feeling of urgency before the tragedy that is coming. As if each blow with a club, each gas canister, each rubber bullet, each arrest warrant, were eloquent slogans: ‘today they attacked her or him; tomorrow I will go after you. Perhaps because of that, behind each teacher are entire families that sympathize with their cause and with their fight.
“Why? Why does a movement that has been ferociously attacked on all fronts continue growing? Why, if they are ’vandals,’ ‘loafers,’ ‘terrorists,’ ‘corrupt,’ ‘opponents-of-progress,’ do many people from below, not a few in the middle, and even some of those above, salute, though that may be at times in silence, the teachers that defend what any person would defend,” the armed group that rose up in arms on January 1, 1994 points out.
Later it lets loose against the media, in particular against the Chiapas newspaper “Cuarto Poder,” which it labels as being a media nostalgic for the epoch of fincas (estates) and Lords of the manor.
“Reality is a lie,” the EZLN points out, ought to be the title of its note when “it denounced” the popular (cultural) fiesta as false that was celebrated last June 9 in the streets of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, in support of the teachers in resistance.
“Parachicos, danzantes, folk musicians, traditional dress, persons in wheel chairs, marimbas, drums, whistles and flutes, the best of Zoque are and thousands of people greeting the resistance, the subversive group relates.
And it emphasizes that the “success” of the media war against the CNTE gave an account that day of a handmade sign that prayed: “Gracias teacher, for teaching me to fight” and another one that pointed out: “I am not a teacher, but I am Chiapan and I am against the education reform.”
More than three years after promulgating the alleged “education reform,” the EZLN lashes out, “Señor (Aurelio) Nuño still cannot present any educational argument, be it even the minimum, in favor of his ‘personnel adjustment program.’
“Its arguments have been, up to now, the same as any overseer from the Porfirio Díaz epoch: hysterical cries, blows, threats, firings, incarcerations. The same ones that would use any sad and gray aspirant to the post-modern police,” it emphasizes.
And it stirs things up
“They already beat them, gassed them, incarcerated them, threatened them, fired them unjustly, slandered them and ordered a de facto state of emergency in Mexico City. What’s next? Do they disappear them? Do they murder them? Seriously? Will the ‘education’ reform be born in the blood and dead bodies of teachers? Are they going to substitute the teachers’ occupations with police and military occupations; blockades of protest with blockades of tanks and bayonets?”
Later it refers to the Secretary of Education, as a “terrorist” for taking hostages, “that and nothing else is what the arrest is of members of the CNTE’s leadership.” In any kind of terrorism –whether that of the State or that of its fundamentalist mirrors—the EZLN points out, that (hostage taking) is a resource to force a dialogue and negotiation.
“We don’t know if up there above they have realized it or not, but it turns out that the other part (the teachers) is the one that seeks dialogue and negotiation. ¿Or is the SEP now affiliated with ISIS and takes hostages just to sow terror,” the armed group ironizes.
The Zapatistas point out in their comunicado that they don’t know much about the communications media, “but in our humble opinion, it’s bad business to place at the front of the media campaign about a shameless privatization, a sad and gray overseer that wants to be a police agent,” they say in reference to Nuño.
“Initiating the children into the first steps of science and art, that is what the teachers do,” the comunicado concludes.
Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso
Friday, June 17, 2016
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee