|English | Español||February 24, 2017 | Issue #40|
You Are Not Alone…
…That is the Message of The Other Campaign, Direct from Tuxtepec
By Daniela Lima and RJ Maccani
Marcos marches to the center of Tuxtepec, protected by supporters.
Photo: D.R. 2006 RJ Maccani
The first event was a march from CODECI to Juarez Park, in the center of Tuxtepec, scheduled for the following morning. Taking off around 10:30 a.m. with a little over 100 people, the march picked up over 1,000 as onlookers and groups with banners representing the teachers’ union, indigenous organizations and socialist and communist parties joined along the way.
With the arrival of Delegate Zero and the Sixth Commission in Juarez Park, members of the Unified Movement for the Triqui People, Section 22 (the massive Oaxacan teacher’s union), the Revolutionary Popular Front, the Broad Front of Popular Struggle, and others took the opportunity to speak to the crowd that had formed. Judging from their speeches, there is a very wide range of opinion about what “The Other Campaign” is and for what they are fighting… including a mention of “dicatatorship of the proletariat.” And, yes, the Communist Party of Mexico (Marxist-Leninist) brought their Stalin poster. Members of the Francisco Villa Popular Front eventually hung their banner over the image of “Uncle Joe.”
Meeting of the Other Campaign in Tuxtepec.
Photo: D.R. 2006 RJ Maccani
In a state such as Oaxaca, publicly joining “The Other Campaign” is a brave and necessary act. Meeting with 250 adherents back at the grounds of CODECI, Delegate Zero recognized repression as a top concern. As Oaxaca is governed by an exceptionally repressive regime, it is essential that the governor also understands that any member of “La Otra” who is threatened or attacked will be defended by all: “We can build a national communication network to denounce and respond collectively to any form of repression against us.” And with a nod towards all the independent media workers in attendance, Delegate Zero encouraged CODECI and other organizations to open up spaces in their homes, buildings, and territories where media activists can join with them to build this communications network.
Before leaving for Juchitan at 3 p.m., Marcos listened attentively and took notes as adherents to the Sixth Declaration spoke of their struggles. Before leaving, he tied their stories of struggle for land, affordable electricity, and violence against women into the stories he had heard of similar struggles in the Yucatan, Quintana Roo and elsewhere. This is the proposal of “The Other Campaign”: that no one will be left alone and that through a network of communication, a movement that is building in one part of the country can be connected to other regions that are confronting the same problems, forming a network and campaign of national struggle. The idea is not that everyone will be a Zapatista, but that everyone will be members of “La Otra,” a juxtaposition (and not an imposition) of forces from widely different backgrounds committed to struggling together and defending each other’s right to exist. Near the end of the encounter, an adherent from Oaxaca’s powerful teacher’s union, Section 22, spoke to this: “I am sad to say that alone, we (the union) will not be able to defeat the new legislation being brought against us… we need all the support of The Other Campaign.”
- The Fund for Authentic Journalism