By: Magdalena Gómez
The General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) issued a message last January 1; I will emphasize some aspects of it. It repeats and bases the call to organization from below, which has been its axis and conviction ever since the State “kicked over the board,” as they pointed out in 2001, after the failure to comply with the San Andrés Accords, which ruined the possibility of resuming the dialogue, suspended since September 1996. On the part of the Zapatistas, they have set the example, as they pointed out: “During these 24 years we have been constructing our autonomy, developing our different areas of work, consolidating our three levels of autonomous government, formalizing our own health and education systems, creating and strengthening collective work, and in all these autonomous spaces is where the participation of all the women, men, youths and children counts.” They refer to the Juntas de Buen Gobierno (Good Government Juntas), an emblematic experience that reaches beyond national borders, which was systemized and shared in the Escuelita Zapatista (Zapatista little school), which brought us together as students with a repeated call to get organized. The full evaluation of that effort, although not shared in its entirety, convinced them to seek other ways; that is inferred from the different seminars on the capitalist hydra, the two Comparte and Conciencia festivals, parallel to the complex activities of their own government spaces.
They also gave an account of the deepening deterioration in the country and of the virtual war against the peoples promoted from the State. Among other factors it was noted that: “they have provoked more contradictions and confrontations between communities and municipios, and they make sure that problems are not resolved in a good way, but rather by means of violence, which is why they continue to maintain, protect and equip paramilitary groups, because the bad governments want us to kill each other among brothers of the same people… Everything that’s happening shows that there is no longer government in our towns, municipalities, states and in our country.” They abounded in signaling what they have been realizing about the transmutation of the rulers into the historic figure of the overseers: “They are good defenders of the interests of their bosses to plunder the natural riches of our country and the world, like the land, forests, mountains, water, rivers, lakes, lagoons, air and mines that are guarded in the bosom of our Mother Earth, because the boss considers all of it merchandise and so they want to destroy us completely, in other words, kill off life and humanity.” The recent approval of the Homeland Security Law was referenced: “And yet they make us believe that it’s to combat organized crime, when in reality their idea is to keep us under control, quiet, divided, threatened, with more violence and impunity towards the peoples… We are not lying when we say that we have more than 500 years of exploitation, repression, contempt and dispossession.” In this context they reaffirmed their full support for the Indigenous Government Council, and once again they disclaimed that it’s about an electoral project, a question that continues without being understood: “They make fun of us a lot, that Compañera Marichuy doesn’t know how to govern, isn’t going to give us anything… Let’s organize so that Compañera Marichuy and the Indigenous Government Council can make their tour in the country, although she doesn’t get enough signatures to be a candidate. Because the signature is not the one that struggles, is not the one that is going to organize us… So go ahead, Compañera Marichuy, walk, jog, and when you may need run and stop and then continue, nothing else is left for us to do now.”
Aware that they are sailing against the current, they came out in front of what is starting to take shape in some sectors that attempt to evaluate this process only around whether or not registration is achieved: “Now is not the time for backing out, for getting discouraged or tiring, we must be firmer in our struggle, keep our words firm and follow the example that the compañeros and compañeras that have already died left us: not surrendering, not selling out and not giving up.”
Days before, Subcomandante Galeano, in the second edition of ConSciences, affirmed respect for the council members: “There are no luxuries for them, no private airplanes, no reporters from the pool assigned. Some say that they are collecting signatures so that the spokesperson Marichuy will be an independent candidate to the Presidency of the Republic. I don’t know if they are collecting signatures. They say they are collecting pains, rages, indignations, and that there is no cybernetic application for collecting that, or low, medium, or high-end cell phone that supports those terabytes. They only have their ears and their heart. Their word is invariably the same: ‘organization’, ‘resistance’, ‘rebellion.’”
Such are the axes of their struggle for life, that’s what it’s about, no more no less.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Tuesday, January 09, 2018
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee
By: Raúl Zibechi
Caring for the environment, or Mother Earth, is a women’s thing, according to a recent study in the Scientific American, a magazine published at the end of December, which points out that “women have surpassed men in the field of environmental action; in all age groups and countries.
The article titled “Men resist green behavior as unmanly,” came to that conclusion after having realized a broad survey among 2,000 American and Chinese men and women. The study asserts that for men attitudes as fundamental as using a canvas bag to make purchases instead of plastic is considered “unmanly.”
The work is focused on marketing for the purpose of getting the men to feel masculine even buying “green” articles, with which it comes to the painful conclusion that: “men that feel secure in their manhood feel more comfortable buying green.”
However, it manages to trace some behaviors that permit going a bit further, in thee sense of comprehending how patriarchy is one of the principal causes of the environmental deterioration of the planet. Donald Trump is no exception, by denying climate change and encouraging destructive attitudes, from wars to consumerism.
I propose three views that can be complementary and that affect the world of men, not so that we adopt politically correct attitudes (with their doses of cynicism and double speak), but to contribute to the process of the collective emancipation of the peoples.
The first is related to war capitalism or the accumulation by dispossession / fourth world war that we currently suffer. This shift in the system, which has accelerated in the last decade, not only provokes more wars and violence but also a profound cultural change: the proliferation of the alpha males, from the domineering chiefs of great and powerful states, to the arrogant males of the neighborhoods that seek to mark their territories and, of course, “their” dominated and, above all, the women they dominate.
Acquiring geopolitical muscle permits being positioned in this period of decadence of the hegemonic empire. That is complemented by the appearance of countless little alpha macho men in territories of the popular sectors, where drug dealers and paramilitaries seek to substitute for the priest, the commissioner and the “father of the family” in controlling the daily life of those below.
The second view is insinuated in the cited study, wherein it concludes that: “women tend to live a more ecological lifestyle,” since “they waste less, recycle more and leave a smaller carbon footprint.”
This relates directly to reproduction, which is the blind spot of revolutions, committed to an extreme production to, supposedly, surpass the capitalist countries. Industrial production and the industrial worker have been central pieces in the construction of the new world, from Marx onward. In parallel, reproduction and the role of women have always been given less consideration.
We are not able to combat capitalism or patriarchy, nor take care of the environment or our children, without installing ourselves in reproduction that is, precisely, the care of life. I understand that reproduction can also be a men’s question, but that requires an explicit policy in that direction, as the comandantas (female commanders) that convoke the women’s gathering in the Caracol of Morelia point out.
As the comunicado says convoking the First International Gathering, Political, Artistic, Sports and Cultural of Women that Struggle, the Zapatista men “will be in charge of the kitchen and cleaning and of what is needed.” https://chiapas-support.org/2018/01/05/zapatista-women-convoke-international-womens-gathering/
Are those tasks perhaps less revolutionary than being standing on a stage “giving the line” (as we say in the south)? They give us less visibility, but they are the obscure tasks that make the big actions possible. To involve ourselves in reproduction, we men need a strong exercise to limit our ego, even more if we’re dealing with a revolutionary ego.
The third view is perhaps the most important: what can we heterosexual and leftist males learn from feminist and women’s movements?
The first would be to recognize that women have advanced much more than us in recent decades. In other words, being a little more humble, listening, questioning, learning to stand aside and being quiet so that other voices are heard. One of the questions that we can learn is how they have stood up without vanguards or hierarchical apparatuses, without central committees and without the need to occupy the state government.
How did they do it? Well organizing each other, among equals. Working with the inner patriarchy: the father, the well-spoken leader, or the boss. This is very interesting, because women that struggle are not reproducing the same roles they fight, since it’s not about substituting a female oppressor for a male oppressor, nor an oppressor of the left for an oppressor of the right. That’s why I say that they advanced a lot.
The second question we can learn is that politics, by and large, in well-lit and media scenarios, with programs, strategies and grandiloquent speeches, is no more than the reproduction of the dominant system. Women have politicized daily life, cooking, the kitchen, the care of children, the arts of weaving and healing, among so many other things. Believing that all this is of little importance, and that hierarchies exist between one dimension and another, is similar to women continuing to look to alpha males to emancipate them.
Surely there are many other issues that we can learn from women’s movements, which I don’t know about or that we still must discover. What’s important is not having the answer already prepared, but engraving in each other the simplicity humility in to learn from this wonderful movement of women that are changing the world.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, January 5, 2018
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee
Update: We have just received word that Myrna Dolores cannot accompany Mario Luna on this trip due to some unforeseen conditions in Mexico. Therefore, Mario Luna will speak on behalf of the CNI-CIG at our Wednesday welcoming gathering in Oakland.
¡SPECIAL OAKLAND GATHERING with MEMBERS of the CIG!
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2018 – 7-10 PM
4799 SHATTUCK AVE., OAKLAND
Mario Luna Romero and Myrna Dolores, members of the Indigenous Government Council, will be at the Omni Commons.
Mario Luna Romero is a Yaqui activist from the state of Sonora, Mexico. He organized Yaqui communities to protect the Yaqui River from a development project. The Yaqui River is the Yaqui’s place of Creation and an important place for protecting the survival of the Deer Dance. The Yaqui River is the backbone of their culture. He was imprisoned for his activism and, when released, went to the UN and made visible the need for Indigenous Rights in Mexico. He has been the delegate for Vícam to the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena, CNI) since 2007, a council member on the Indigenous Government Council (Consejo Indígena de Gobierno, CIG) and the Coordinator of the CNI-CIG’s International Affairs Commission. He will speak about the struggles they are facing in Mexico.
Bio for Myrna Dolores: Yoreme of Sonora
I was born in Benito Juárez on April 7, 1976. I have lived most my life in Buaysiacobe, Etchojoa. Both places are in the State of Sonora, in the Mayo indigenous region.
For twenty years, I have been a distance-learning teacher of basic education for high school students, and four years ago I came to work in my village Buaysiacobe, where I am a teacher. I was also chosen as a candidate for commissioner, which was ultimately taken from me, but that allowed me to meet people and provide them with social support through a group called “Women in Movement.”
In 2015, I was notified I would need to undergo an evaluation under the new educational reforms, which I have resisted ever since. This led me to reaffirm my conviction of struggle. I had previously collaborated with the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), indirectly through its delegates, mainly in defense of territory. This was in addition to my being politically left, without belonging to political parties.
On April 30, 2016, the town of Cohuirimpo, one of the eight Mayo towns of Sonora, named me a CNI councilor, and that helped me embrace the struggle for territory that the people have been sustaining for some decades. My people, as well as others from the region, have fought alongside the CNI since its formation in a discontinuous and isolated manner with a few delegates, without realizing major achievements other than to transmit their ideals among a few.
I am part of the CNI because I am a of the left, because I am a woman, because I am a minority in struggle, because I am Yoreme (indigenous Mayo), and because the fight
of the CNI is for the only thing that is worth fighting for: life and continued existence of the indigenous peoples of Mexico.
Regarding the goal for the US tour, I would love to be able to tell the world that women are the immediate victims of a system in crisis—one that oppresses those who represent families and these in turn also tend to oppress their constituencies. That women should strive to get to know each other and confront potentialities using that which traditionally does not correspond to us: the struggle for territory. As it is the earth that is the closest to us, and what distinguishes us is the ability to be Mothers: bearers of life.
Good morning, afternoon, evening, and early morning again
Perhaps someone remembers that the late Sup Marcos insisted that the capitalist system could not be understood without the concept of war. Of course, supposing that it is a concept. He said that war was the motor that had first permitted the expansion of capitalism and later its consolidation as a global system, besides resorting to it to face its recurrent and profound crises.
Oh, I know, what else could you expect from a soldier. But I must point out, as a way of vindication, that he did not limit war to military war. Perhaps a re-reading of the correspondence that he maintained with Don Luis Villoro Toranzo in 2010 and that was made public at the beginning of 2011 could help us understand that. In the first of those public missives, he examines minutely the apparent inefficiency of the so-called “war against drug trafficking” initiated by the fan of warlike video games, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa. And I say “apparent inefficiency” because, in effect, in view of the results, it was and is inefficient for combatting organized crime, but was effective for sending the military to govern de facto in several regions of the country called “Mexico.”
I bring it up because, unlike the deceased, in my opinion, capitalism can be studied as a crime.
Bringing it up in this way would demand scientific knowledge of matters that could appear distant from what is traditionally known as “social sciences.”
In the end, catalogue to your liking this theoretical deviation, perhaps the product of an unfinished correspondence course of a private detective, in that distant epoch in which the mail did not refer to electronic accounts and nicknames, and that when you put the address, you put the zip code and not the no la I.P. or protocol of the Internet; an epoch in which you could study, also by correspondence, anything from a locksmith course to one of pilot aviator, passing by, of course, “how to have a body like Charles Atlas without going to the gym and in just a few weeks,” which I didn’t need to take because my beautiful and well-shaped legs are evident (arrrrrroz con leche).
Finally, put me in the archive of any of the “isms” that may be on hand in the social networks, and avoid concluding that the social sciences will remain incomplete while they don’t include criminology among their tools, since crime is also about, forensic science.
But I continue talking about a crime, a crime that is explained from different perspectives.
Take a recent example: the earthquakes and the consequent misfortunes.
We could ask about the construction conditions. We suppose that there was and there is a scientific study of the subsoil, calculations of the resistance of materials, and things like that. Those who have made science their vocation, profession and life, can tell us that this is the case; that the sciences can give us the elements for avoiding or at least reducing the risk that buildings collapse.
In other words, in a seismic zone and with a history of earthquakes, one would hope that buildings would be constructed talking that into account. I mean, it would not be anything serious if a building were constructed and afterwards they prayed that no earthquakes occurred that would bring it down.
I don’t know, perhaps the scientists could answer the key question, which is not, of course, why there are earthquakes, but why people die under the shambles of buildings that should be built to resist earthquakes.
But, according to the analysis in vogue, it all depends.
So, as the neophilosopher of science said, the “intellectually formidable” (according to the press that he made his), the citizen without party José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, we’re going “to move in a scheme in which the question is not valid.” In other words, we’re not going to ask who is responsible, by commission or by omission, for those buildings collapsing and hundreds of people dying. No, what we’re going to ask is why it trembled. Then we will be like this, always following that postmodern organic intellectual, on another question: Why do tremors or earthquakes occur or, as is said, when the soil abandons its apparent resignation and moves?
No, if you wait for a scientific explanation, you wait in vain. The valid explanations are the ones that have more followers, listeners, sympathizers and militants. Science has long since lost all popularity contests.
Then, it depends on what scheme those explanations are given.
Let’s go to one of them, Mr. Alberto Villasana, who defines himself, with exemplary modesty, as a “Catholic theologian, Philosopher and International analyst. An expert on Church-State relations, an author of 12 books, 3-time winner of the National Journalism Award,” which his 15, 600 Twitter followers would ratify.
Don’t laugh, that amount far exceeds the attendees, participants and listeners in this gathering.
With respect to the September 19, 2017 earthquake, the illustrious and enlightened Villasana wrote: “This without a doubt a warning from God, a very special grace to Mexico, to prepare us for everything that is coming…“
How did he know? Well, it turns out that Villasana assures at the time of the earthquake he was performing an exorcism on someone possessed by 4 demons. “During the exorcism, the infestators declared that the September 19 earthquake is part of God’s warning before the great punishment,“ he published in his article. Besides the earthquakes, there would be huracanes and volcanic eruptions. According to the theologian, the punishments would be: “for having approved abortion in the same city where the Mother of God appeared in 1531.” According to Villasana, the earthquake, under those arguments, would be a warning to Mexicans. On his Twitter account, he published the image of the rubble of the monument to the Virgin: “The monument to Mother Significant collapsed: in the city where they approved abortion.”
Despite his undisputed wisdom, Villasana is not original. In November 2016, the Italian newspapers pointed out that the priest Giovanni Cavalcoli, who is known for his career as a theologian, made the following statements on Sunday, October 30, the same day that a 6.5-magnitude earthquake shook the central region of Umbria: the seismic shocks are a “divine punishment for the offense to the family and to the dignity of matrimony, above all because of homosexual civil unions.”
The scheme on which this explanation depends has more followers:
Just a few weeks ago, in this December 2017, Cardinal Emeritus Juan Sandoval Iñíguez placed responsibility on women and LGBT community (loas otroas) for organized crime violence and for the earthquakes and floods.
As the platform for such a scientific explanation, Sandoval Iñíguez, convoked a so- called “Great Act of Atonement” that, as I understand it, is like a meeting of Unconscious for the Deity, but with more power to convoke that this one in which we are found. The event was in the so-called Blue Stadium in Mexico City, which, incidentally, has a better location than the CIDECI.
Not to vary, there were also masked men there. But, unlike those who convoke us, who are devoted to talking bad about capitalism, the masked men of Sandoval Iñíguez flogged themselves until bleeding. In other words those are indeed whippings and not the existential ones that crowd together in the social networks.
Between whipping and beating, but careful that blood would not splash, the cardinal emeritus declared that the right to decide and sexual diversity are sins, and that violence from drug trafficking and the earthquakes are punishment for those sins: “The Lord and our God, before a greater punishment comes, sends us temporal punishments or paternal corrections by means of nature that is your work and is governed by your providence. Will it be pure coincidence September 19 in this city?”
The “Great Act of Atonement” event was convoked by a kind of association that could well be called: “The time has come for the sinners to march.” In other words as he says: against those who support the Indigenous Government Council and its spokesperson.
Over there I read that, among those who summoned, there are “public figures,” they say, like Esteban Arce, Manuel Capetillo and Alejandra Rojas. I don’t know how public these people are, I only know that the mother of Esteban Arce must be very remembered among the LGBT community.
In the act, which we now know was not to exorcize the football team that has that stadium as its headquarters (oh well, “all past Cruz Azul was better”), the neoscientist Sandoval Iníguez said: “This is an act of redress, in which we come to make a confession of guilt, to recognize our sins before the Lord and to ask him for mercy and forgiveness. We come to say: Lord, we have sinned against you and committed the evil you hate; forgive your people and set aside the punishment we deserve. We have sinned against you, above all with the most tremendous, most grave and most cruel crime of abortion practiced throughout our country, at times with the consent of iniquitous laws and on occasions hidden, furtively, but always with cruelty, treachery and advantage against the innocent, the defenseless.”
According to press reports, very close to where se azotaban las “brotherhoods of encrusted and flagellant penitents of Taxco” (as they call themselves), signatures were collected to support the ex panista Margarita Zavala in her project of being an independent candidate to the presidency of the republic.
Against the current, and in a different scheme, regarding the recent natural misfortunes, Pope Francisco pointed out: “I think that the Devil punished Mexico with a lot of anger mucha because the Devil doesn’t forgive Mexico that it (pointing to an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe) has shown her son there. It’s ny interpretation. In other words, Mexico is privileged in martyrdom for having recognized and defended his mother.“
So there you have: divine punishment or diabolic punishment. Choose your scheme of explanation about one reality.
“They are mere opinions,” you will say or the influencers closest to your bandwidth.
Ok, ok, ok. But the problem is that decisions are made based on those opinions: there are those who ask for divine forgiveness or embrace pain as privileged martyrdom … and there are those who organize to demand truth and justice.
I’m not going to make firewood from the heavy cross carried by Mrs. Margarita Ester Zavala Gómez del Campo de Calderón (who, disrespectfully and far from all political correctness, the Zapatistas call “La Calderona,” and of whom I, who have always shone for my good manners and for being politically correct, let go).
And I clarify that I pointy out that it’s “Gómez del Campo” to bring to mind the murder of the infants of the ABC Nursery, which occurred on June 5, 2009 in the state of de Sonora, and was managed, among others, by Marcia Matilde Altagracia Gómez del Campo Tonella, exonerated because of being a relative of La Calderona. The memory of that crime is not extinguished, thanks to the fact that the families continue demanding truth and justice.
And I name her as “de Calderón,” because referring to her with her maiden name would be pointing out that she lives as a concubine with the psychopath. Y, as far as my limited studies of Canon Law permit, being a concubine is a sin. Ergo, that would bring us more earthquakes to punish us for the guilt of those who sign in support of her candidacy.
On the other hand, I will make a brief reference to the principal saboteur of her political career, (her concubine, if we pay attention to those who get angry because of naming her by what is his last name according to Catholic, Apostolic and Roman laws), Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.
Mr. Calderón Hinojosa was, 10 years ago, the titleholder of the federal executive power in Mexico. “President,” I believe that they used to say to him. Well, 10 years ago, on the occasion of the floods that devastated the state of Tabasco, the then supreme commander of the army, air force and navy, declared that the responsibility for the more than 125,000 people that had lost their homes and had to take refuge in shelters, was… that of the moon and a cold front.
The National Action Party competes with the Institutional Revolutionary Party, not only because of the ridicule into which their pre-candidates fall. No, the National Action Party, now with the ballast called the Party of the Democratic Revolution, also disputes the PRI’s complicity in the crime.
If you note in the eyes of Ricardo Anaya, pre-candidate of the PAN-PRD-MC, a demented shine, don’t attribute it to a possible affectation in the area of the brain responsible for decency (indeed, if there is one). It’s the product of a partisan formation of cadre leaders. Ricardo Anaya makes up part of that generation of partisan cadres that grew up as such in the midst of corruption, cynicism, betrayal, fanaticism, intolerance, arrogance, nepotism, ignorance, cretinism… ok, I think I’m describing more than a pre-candidate, but now I’m referring to the alliance of the PAN, PRD and MC called “For Mexico, out front”… and, well, there is an abyss out front. So there you have it.
Along with Acteal and Ayotzinapa, another name refers us to unpunished crime: the ABC Nursery, in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.
And in the six-year term of that consistent thinker who is called Vicente Fox, the PRI, PAN and PRD are allied for the crime called “Atenco,” in May 2006, which included, besides murder, sexual assault on women.
So, everything seems to indicate that the great elector, who certainly doesn’t need the National Electoral Institute, demands evidence of criminality to decide. On their altar, these party proposals offer the blood of women, children, young people, the elderly… and the LGBT community.
And to confirm it, political proposals of the most rancid right arrive in the different posts of murderers that the global political system offers periodically.
Although there are examples in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, the United Kingdom, the Spanish State, Israel, Honduras, Nicaragua, Russia, and you can add the geography you wish, there is one that synthesizes the fateful times to come: Ronaldo Trump.
Besides his undeniable ability and sapience for managing his Twitter account, Ronaldo Trump has defined with transparent clarity the victim to immolate: women, LGBT folks (otroas), infants, immigrants, the environment, and you could continue detailing specificities but, finally, you will come to the same conclusion that I have: the victim is the entire planet, including the humanity that inhabits it.
Although Ronaldo has shown signs of serious mental problems, he has solved the basic equation that every ruler must face: what must I do to stay in power? Occham has been useful and he has opted for the simplest response: a war.
To obtain a war he proposes walls, changes of embassies, provokes diplomatic incidents and thus begs, implores: “give me a war, I ask you! Where it is doesn’t matter. And the bigger the better.” And then, going back centuries, Ronaldo Trump takes Nero’s lyre and sings: “We don’t want to fight, but by Jingo, if we do, we have the ships, we have the men and also the money.”
Yes, a war. Or a crime, it depends.
War or crime, it’s a misfortune as never before in the history of humanity.
As if the world as we know it will collapse.
And since we have referred to video games, imagine that we have the dream of any video addict: a cybernetic interface that permits us, simultaneously, to have the strategic perspective, tactics and that of the first person. Something like a combination of real-time strategy, role-playing, the first person or first person shooter, and the other that I don’t know what it’s called but it’s like in the third person. Anyway, if someday it is created, don’t forget to buttress yourself with the rights of intellectual authorship.
Now, suppose you are enclosed inside an ideal spherical room. The inner surface of the sphere, which you can see, is a large curved screen, with 5K technology, omled or as it is said, and in which, simultaneously and with dizzying speed, information packages are presented to you. Not only images, also sounds, smells, tactile and pleasing sensations; and, well, also, not to discriminate against the esoteric, extrasensory perceptions.
You can think, with a high degree of certainty, that you are in the real world, that you live in that world, that’s where you were born, grew up, reproduced, and, God forbid, but it’s a hypothetical situation, die.
You are happy or unhappy there. The machine is so efficient that it even provides the parameters for defining happiness and unhappiness. Moreover, it also offers an explanation of that world and, if you prefer, of a spiritual world, a consolation for the day on which, I already said God forbid, you die.
So there you are, in the machine that we will call, with prudent impresarial calculations, “the cat-dog’s machine” (all rights reserved).
In what it is, in other words, simulating life or living (because the machine also gives you the criteria to distinguish between “what’s real” about the machine and “what’s virtual” that the same machine produces to give you a point of reference).
Well, suppose that at any time inside of the machine, you are doing what you are supposed to do. In that, who knows from where, a person appears that has nothing to do with anything. You, of course, are a modern person, understanding of the technological limitations and you attribute that irruption to an irregularity in the machine’s complicated software or in its complex hardware. You wait patiently for the irregularity to be solved, that is, you look for the reset button, but the person remains there and, when you least expect it, that person tells you:
“One moment, don’t anyone touch anything, and nobody can leave. This is the scene of a crime.” You doubt. You don’t know whether to complain in support or put a package of popcorn in the microwave, because perhaps it’s about a new episode of “Law and Order, Special Victims Unit” (background music).
But something doesn’t fit because it’s not the detective that appears, but rather another woman. Yes, the machine has given her the pattern that indicates: “woman.” But the above-mentioned wears an embroidered blouse, her stature is smaller than the average that the same machine has inculcado as “average stature,” her complexion is of dark color, we say the color of the earth. The machine gives you the information that you have: “indigenous, or also self-named “originaria,” her geographic location is in the middle region of North America called Mexico, zero or minimal level of school studies, access to technological advances between 0 and 0.1, monolingual although there are cases in which she manages two or more languages, mortality rate, well above average, life expectancy, well below average; cultural persistence, centuries; therefore, indefinite age.
With that information, you now begin to edit the report to support, of course, getting bogged down at the same time with popcorn, because it’s not about wasting the Valentina sauce that covers them:
“Dear programmers, I beg you to solve this flaw because it’s not possible that one (uno, una, unoa) is here perfectly fulfilling the functions that have been assigned to me, and suddenly something so premodern appears. Hurry because the new season of “To the right, the best of possible worlds” is about to start” and the promotional materials are already here. Signature”
The feminine irruption in question has the bad taste of changing the fashionable joke of “I come from the future and…” followed by something ingenious. Oh, don’t worry, the machine also tells you what is and what is not “witty.” Because the, let’s say, original (native) woman now says: “I come from the past and this movie is not a movie and I saw it.” Then you realize that the woman is not alone, there are others that resemble her, although now that they oblige you to look at them you see that they are the same but different. There are also men, well males. And they don’t lack those who are neither one nor the other.
With respect to the programming, those strange beings, anachronistic and, needless to say, irreverent, start sniffing and there is even one who has taken out, who knows from where, a magnifying glass. You are about to applaud, because you think that the machine has been updated and now you can produce a virtual reality inside the virtual reality, but the woman that now the machine labels as “indigenous” without any nuance, studies you in detail. Of course you have the right to feel uncomfortable when, after placing the magnifying glass over the eyes, she says: “Another victim, that the team of rapporteurs writes down.”
“Yes they have a team of rapporteurs, which suggests sugiere some kind of uncatalogued organizational form,” the machine tells you, a little to make yourself useful and another little to give yourself time to self-review your programming.
The group of indigenous people that, you now realize, are a minority but make noise as if they were a majority, meet ti deliberate and, after a while that the machine cannot count or offer a parameter of comparison, decree:
“It’s all here: the victim, the killer, the murder weapon and the crime scene.”
Then you realize that the spherical screen rather resembles a concave wall, and you see, not without becoming alarmed, a little girl, accompanied by a strange being that the machine is incapable of labeling and conforms to a “cat-dog; a mythological being of unknown origin; there is no data that confirms its real existence, virtual that it, but real in the machine, in other words, you understand me don’t you? Well, it depends; probable habitat: the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.” Cfr: “There will be a time,” editions in Spanish, Italian, English, Greek, German, Portuguese, etc”
Well, what alarms you is that the little girl and the so-catalogued “cat-dog” are pointing to a crack in the machine; in other words, in the sphere, that is in the wall.
Now you doubt something that the machine has always avoided until now, between going to review the warranty conditions or running to look at the crack.
Because it turns out that the crack, its possibility, questions not only the machine’s programming but rather its very existence.
Then you feel that you are prisoner in the same paradox as Schrodinger’s cat.
The machine links you quickly to Wikipedia and there you read:
“Erwin Schrödinger outlines a system that is sistema formed by a closed and opaque box that contains a cat inside, a bottle dof poisonous gas and a device that contains a single radioactive particle with a 50% probability of disintegrating at a given time, so that if the particle disintegrates, the poison is released and the cat dies. At the end of the established time, the probability that the device has been activated and the cat is dead is 50%, and the probability that the device has not been activated and the cat is alive has the same value.”
Of course, you no longer follow those parts of quantum mechanics because you feel a slight tremor run through your body.
The machine says “terror” so that you identify that sensation. Because the machine had already labeled that sensory perception, but always, at least until now, had presented it as alien: terror had always been in the other.
All the evidence, all the solid evidence that gave you certainties, values, reasoning and judgment, starts to vanish.
You don’t know if you are alive or dead vivo, there is a 50% probability of one or the other, and you shudder, but not because you are about to find out your existential condition, but rather because of the question that the crack poses, like who it says moves the discussion:
“Is another world possible?”
“It is,” responds the little girl that now carries a ball under one arm and, over her head, something that could be a cat… or a dog.
You, of course, are a person with knowledge and self-apply “Occham’s razor” interpreted as the simplest explanation is probably the most correct. Then you say to yourself: “I am dreaming.”
What do you do while you decide whether you’re in a dream or a nightmare? Do you look at the crack or continue doing what you were doing when that irreverent and disobedient noise appeared?
For this what originally was a group of indigenous people, is now a larger collective: there are people of all colores, some who wield a hammer and smile complicitly when he heads to the wall where, oh, oh, it seems that they want to make the crack bigger.
And there are those who dance, and who paint, and who imagine a frame for the shot, and who write hastily, and even sing, and there is one who is weighing a microscope to see whether to throw it at the spherical wall or if it’s better that the scalpel will have to do it to the crack.
And, just a moment, where did that marimba come from?
And now they are playing football and the little girl, who to save explanations, hangs a badge that reads: “Defensa Zapatista” asks you what your name is, and then you understand that that she is not asking for your name-name, but your position for a supposed team that wasn’t complete.
And you already feel the terror that has taken over your whole being, because your intuition tells you that in reality the little girl is asking:
“And, what about you?”
From the CIDECI-UniTierra, Chiapas,
Mexico, December 2017
FROM THE NOTEBOOK OF THE CAT-DOG: THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE DISAPPEARED BISCUITS
Elías Contreras is a Zapatista compañero who has the job of the investigation commission, a detective; in other words, he’s like a lookout. Elías Contreras is deceased, just like Sup Marcos and they worked together to look for bad and evil. Elías now works at times with SupMoy, although every so often he chats with Sup Galeano.
Este brief summary should help you understand what occurred one afternoon this December in the EZLN’s General Command, where Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés quoted the aforementioned Elías Contreras.
“Elías,” said Sup Moy after responding to the militar salute from the investigation commission, “there is a problem.”
Elías Contreras said nothing; he just took out a little bender and a few strands of tobacco, and dedicated himself to forging a cigarette while he listened to Sup Moy:
“It’s in then region’s cooperativa store. They say that some merchandise is missing, that it disappeared. They asked me if someone could support. Are you in charge?”
Elías Contreras only uttered a sound like “mmh,” and left without saying a word. The person in charge of the store just greeted Elías with a gesture, as he was balancing the monthly account.
What was it that disappeared then,” preguntó Elias asked while he looked distractedly at the DVDs that were for sale, the majority of them with the seal of ellos con el sello de “Los Tercios Compas.” “The biscuits,” said the man in charge without taking his eyes off the notebook where he suffered with the accounts.
“And how do you know they’re missing,” Elías asks while he checks out the shelf.
“Because nobody buys them, they were always there, like free.”
“And if nobody buys them what’s the problem?”
“The vigilance commission,” the one in charge sighed resigned, “the count has to be exact; if not, well we must replace or punish.”
Elías Contreras snorted and leaned over to pick up a few strands of black tobacco at the foot of the counter.
“Sup,” he said when he was now at the door of Sup Galeano’s house.
“Elías,” the Sup responded without looking away from a screen wired to an old laptop computer.
“It’s fucked up,” the Sup wants to clarify, “the screen is broken, but the processor and everything else is fine, so I connected it to this monitor. I just adapted the keyboard, but I can’t find the mouse.”
He turned in his wheelchair and looked at Elías.
“The biscuits,” the investigation commission said.
“They’re all gone,” the Sup said, “Defensa Zapatista and her dog… or cat… or whatever it is ate them.”
“But I have some pinole bread that the male insurgents made. How do you know that the male insurgentes made it? Well because it rose; when the women insurgents make it, it’s flattened.”
Elías rolled a cigarette passed the matches to the Sup for his pipe.
“And now,” Sup Galeano asked after waiting for Elías Contreras to light his cigar.
“Well they’re going to set you to doing the storekeeper’s accounts; of course, in addition to replacing the money. But I didn’t come for that. There is a thought that I want to talk to you about…”
A few hours later, Elías Contreras, investigation commission of the EZLN, left Sup Galeano’s house and stopped a moment to see the evening already give in to the shadows of the night.
With the flashlight he lit the way to the general command of the ezetaelene. Now at the door, without entering, he saluted and said: “The Sup, some biscuits.”
Sup Moy smiled and said to himself: “Well, someone had to do those accounts.”
In the general assembly it didn’t go badly for Sup Galeano, but not good either. After “self-criticizing him” for eating junk food and not eating well (they told him that the biscuits that they make in the CIDECI bakery are better), the authorities gave him the worst dieron punishment that there currently is in the community: doing the accounts of the cooperatives.
The Sup lit his pipe upon leaving the assembly and, while he was heading to the cooperative “As the women that we are,” he said to himself: “well, it could be worse, in different times they would have sent me to clean the paddock.”
He did the accounts quickly, not because he knew mathematics, but because he did them with the cell phone that he “borrowed” from the comandancia when Sup Moy called him to scold him. Nor was it a great cell phone, it was one of those “low end” ones that wasn’t useful for capturing the signatures that the first world INE set as requirements on aspiring third-world candidates, but the calculator did work for addition and subtraction.
He found Elías at the foot of the Ceiba tree, such as they had been.
The odors of both tobaccos intermingled with the silences. Dialogue between the deceased, deaf and dumb dialogue.
Neither of the two remembers who asked: “How much time?” but they know that both answered in unison: “a little, very little.”
Originally Published in Spanish by the Editor of Proceso.com.mx
Thursday, December 28, 2017.
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee
CONVOCATION of the FIRST INTERNATIONAL GATHERING of POLITICS, ART, SPORTS, and CULTURE for WOMEN in STRUGGLE
Communiqué of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee, General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army
December 29, 2017
To the women of Mexico and the World:
To the original women of Mexico and the World:
To the women of the Indigenous Governing Council:
To the women of the National Indigenous Congress:
To the women of the national and international Sixth:
We greet you with respect and affection as the women that we are—women who struggle, resist, and rebel against the chauvinist and patriarchal state.
We know well that the bad system not only exploits, represses, robs, and disrespects us as human beings, but that it exploits, represses, robs, and disrespects us all over again as women.
And we know that things are now worse, because now all over the world we are being murdered. And there is no cost to the murderers—the real murderer is always the system behind a man’s face—because they are covered up for, protected, and even rewarded by the police, the courts, the media, the bad governments, and all those above who maintain their position on the backs of our suffering.
Yet we are not fearful, or if we are we control our fear, and we do not give in, we don’t give up, and we don’t sell out.
So if you are a woman in struggle who is against what is being done to us as women; if you are not scared (or you are, but you control your fear), then we invite you to gather with us, to speak to us and listen to us as the women we are.
Thus we invite all rebellious women around the world to:
The First International Gathering of Politics, Art, Sport, and Culture for Women in Struggle
To be held at the Caracol of Morelia, Tzotz Choj zone of Chiapas, Mexico, March 8, 9, and 10, 2018. Arrival will be March 7 and departure on March 11.
If you are a man, you are listening or reading this in vain because you aren’t invited.
With regard to the Zapatista men, we are going to put them to work on all the necessary tasks so that we can play, talk, sing, dance, recite poetry, and engage in any other forms of art and culture that we want to share without embarrassment. The men will be in charge of all necessary kitchen and cleaning duties.
One can participate as an individual or as a collective. You can register at this email: email@example.com Include your name, where you are from, if you are participating as an individual or a collective, and how you want to participate or if you are just coming to party with us. Your age, color, size, religious creed, race, and way of being don’t matter; it only matters that you are a woman and that you struggle against the patriarchal and chauvinist capitalist system.
If you want to come with your sons who are still small, that’s fine, you can bring them. The experience will serve to begin to get it into their heads that we women will no longer put up with violence, humiliation, mockery, or any other fucking around from men or from the system.
And if a male over 16 years of age wants to come with you, well that’s up to you, but he won’t get past the kitchen here. He might be able to hear some of the activities and learn something though.
In sum, men can’t come unless a woman accompanies them.
That’s all for now, we await you here compañeras and sisters.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,
For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation and on behalf of all the girls, young women, adult women, and women elders, living and dead, councilwomen, Good Government Council women representatives, women promotoras, milicianas, insurgentas, and Zapatista bases of support,
Comandantas Jessica, Esmeralda, Lucía, Zenaida and the little girl Defensa Zapatista
Mexico, December 29, 2017
Originally Published in Spanish by Enlace Zapatista
Chiapas, Mexico, December 27, 2017
The EZLN classified the crime this evening, especially femicide, as part of the Mexican reality, in which the dead no longer have names and pass to being numbers. The capitalist system has converted violent death into natural death, the Chiapas rebels denounced in the voice of Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, inside the evening session of the first day of the “ConCiencias por la Humanidad” (“ConSciences for Humanity) festival with the theme “Sciences versus the wall,” in the CIDECI-UniTierra, of San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
How many murdered women do you need to ask why is this happening, the Zapatista spokesperson asked. “Capitalism is crime made system,” the Subcomandante pointed out, who also remembered the poet Juan Bañuelos, when he denounced the Acteal Massacre of 20 years ago. Before it was Acteal, now it’s Chalchihuitán and Chenalhó, “the governments put up candidates and the peoples put up the deaths,” Galeano indicated in reference to the conflict between those two neighbor municipalities that currently have thousands of displaced indigenous peoples.
With respect to the spokesperson of the Indigenous Government Council (Concejo Indígena de Gobierno, CIG-CNI) Marichuy and councilwoman Lupita of Acteal, the insurgent mentioned that organized and rebel women, mothers, daughters and grandmothers are the ones that walk and talk about “this crime called Mexico.” “Their proposal isn’t to gather signatures, it’s to join together pains and rages,” sub Galeano pointed out, with respect to the tour of the CIG and its spokesperson through Mexican territory, to make its proposal known and to be able to contend in the next presidential elections.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) renewed its criminal persistence with its behavior. The PRI always needs a terrifying crime as part of its project, remembered the late Sub Marcos, with respect to the murder and forced disappearance of the teachers college students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. The families of the students don’t surrender and they persist in their demand for truth and justice, the Zapatista recognized. There is no longer the State, only a gang criminals protected in a “Homeland Security Law,” Galeano asserted.
For their part, Doctors Ramón Carrillo and Luis Suárez denounced how with capitalism patients are seen as merchandise, and diseases are just administered for their greater profit. There is negation of the sociological causality, ignored by the strictly biological vision that the health system prioritizes, they added. The biomedical model is outdated, reductionist and exclusionary, evidenced the researchers, who invited breaking with capitalist domination over medicine, returning it to its human character. “May there be doctors, so that there are no sick people,” they invited.
The physicist Nelson Ravelo questioned in front of the dehumanization in which we live: Would another science have to exist, and who would be responsible for constructing it? Doctor Alejandra Arafat, expressed from a videoconference that we dedicate ourselves or not to research, to be thinking and critical subjects, “the one who questions, bothers,” the researcher asserted and invited seeking that the benefit of the knowledge that as a species has been accumulated over time is for everyone.
Dr. Ana Luz Garza gave a detailed explanation on the evolution of geophysics from Eratosthenes to the present and about the importance of knowledge of the land for the care of natural resources. Dr. Salvatore Engel–Di Mauro, presented the theme: towards a science of soils coherent with collective struggles, from below and to the left. That is taking into account thousands of years of knowledge, as in agriculture, since there isn’t much difference between the knowledge of “formal” science and the local knowledge, which are complementary.
Originally Published in Spanish by: Pozol Colectivo
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee
In the ConSciences for Humanity Festival Zapatista bases of support ask: “Do you see yourselves as rebel scientists?”
December 27, 2017 – With questions about how to construct a scientific practice for confronting the storm and the walls of capital, the second edition of the “ConSciences for Humanity” festival started this Wednesday with the theme “The sciences versus the wall,” in the CIDECI-UniTierra, of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México. The EZLN’s Sixth Commission, headed by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, was in charge of the inauguration.
The first ones to participate were the women spokespersons from the different Zapatista Caracoles of Chiapas.
From the Caracol of “Oventic”, they defined the Zapatistas as very “other” (meaning different) students, with a lot of curiosity for learning, asked the scientists: What does your heart say about organizing and struggling? What are you doing, when, where and why? What do you imagine you can do, what do you think, what makes you angry… do you see yourselves as rebel scientists?
The representative from the Caracol of “Morelia,” pointedly described how the state and federal governments operate, politically, ideologically and culturally, to ”deceive, divide and exploit” the communities by means of “social” programs and welfare-oriented political campaigns. For this reason the Zapatista communities have constructed their autonomous education, health, study of land, justice and democracy.
The spokesperson from the Caracol of “La Realidad,” emphasized that capitalism is not only out to exploit the labor force, but also the natural resources, witnessed in both the state and national context. “Don’t doubt your path, that science is for reaching that other world,” the Zapatista student exhorted in the name of her compañeros.
From the Caracol of “Garrucha,” they recalled that a year ago they were as students in the first edition del Consciences, and recognized the difficult and complicated work of science, to know how the world is formed. “Now is the time to organize collectively against the hydra,” they invited. They spoke out similarly against capitalism’s violence and death regarding women.
From the “Caracol of Roberto Barrios,” they expounded on the analogy of capitalism as a plantation (finca), where the original peoples are in resistance to said system. “May science become collective,” was their request at the same time that they remembered the late Comandanta Ramona and the 13 Zapatista demands for which they rose up almost 24 years ago.
Dr. John Vandermeer, Dr. Kristin Mercer and Dr. Ivette Perfecto, during this first day of Consciences, expounded on Agro-ecology, and how it is based on traditional knowledge, nature, political struggle and science, all to counteract the effects industrial agriculture, mono-crops and genetically modified organisms.
Agro-ecology, the researchers emphasized, is a practice, a social movement, and a science that seeks to develop new models of agriculture and forms of management that don’t contaminate the body or ways of life. For his part, Dr. Rodrigo Gómez, questioned whether medicine is sick, as well as governmental health programs, with a view to the privatization of medical service.
Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee