Countdown: Zapatista Comandantes’ Departure to Atenco and Mexico City to Begin this Week
Narco News Asks for Your Immediate Help to Report and Film the Next Giant Steps in Mexican History
By Al Giordano
Founder and Journalist, Narco News
September 27, 2006
CHIAPAS, MEXICO: The countdown begins anew… 10… 9… 8… as indigenous comandantes and comandantas of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish initials) prepare to descend from the mountains of the Mexican Southeast… 7… 6… 5…. Accompanied by Subcomandante Marcos to head up another hill, to Mexico City and the nearby town of Atenco…. 4… 3… 2… Where they will set up base and intensify the campaign to free the political prisoners detained there last May… and then, Delegate Zero will trek toward the US border, restarting the Other Campaign tour to listen to the stories of struggle by simple and humble people who fight.
Last Friday, after eight months on the road, Marcos returned to Chiapas, stopping in the colonial city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where he told reporters he had come to gather reinforcements and accompany his commanding officers to the center of the country. “See you here, probably on Tuesday or Wednesday,” he said, boarding his vehicle to head back into the Lacandon Jungle (Wednesday being today)… One… blast-off!
By Sunday morning, October first, we will be in Mexico City – seventeen of your reporters, photographers, documentary filmmakers of the Other Journalism Road Team – where, at Noon, the Zapatista Sixth Commission, with other organizations, will conduct a public “analysis of the national situation.”
On Sunday evening, at 6 p.m., Other Campaign adherents from various regions will reinforce the 24-hour encampment at the gates of the Santiaguito prison in Almoloya de Juárez, in the nearby State of Mexico, with an all-night vigil and bonfire, projecting videos, music, poetry and chants of support to the 27 political prisoners locked inside.
The following day, October 2, is the 38th memorial of the Massacre of the Plaza of The Three Cultures in Mexico City’s Tlalteloco neighborhood, the place where on May 3 the EZLN announced it had gone on “red alert.” And during those days the Zapatista comandantes – women and men – will install themselves in nearby Atenco to begin a new stage in the fight to free political prisoners like Nacho del Valle and 29 others.
On Saturday, October 7, Delegate Zero and a busload of alternative media and other organizations will head toward Tepic, Nayarit, to begin the long-awaited tour of twelve Northern Mexican states, including the two (already gigantic) meetings with Mexicans and Chicanos “from the Other Side” of the US-Mexico Border, across from San Diego in Tijuana (October 18) and across from El Paso in Ciudad Juárez (November 1).
It’s a huge trek, with thousands of kilometers to traverse through mountains, desert, oceanside, across the Sea of Cortes on ferry and through the Tarahumara highlands via railroad. It is going to cost us thousands of dollars (tens of thousands of pesos) – coins we do not yet have – to make it possible for you to be there, too, day after day, night after night, through our coverage.
And, the thing is, in order to be able to rent cars, our Road Team (each of whom is “going for broke,” Narco News-style, spending our every last personal resource to be able to do this work for you and the readers in six languages) needs the bulk of these resources to come in, and clear the bank, by next Friday, October 6.
Also, during these days, your webmaster and managing editor, Dan Feder, will begin to train two new talents on our team – we will introduce you them soon – to take over his duties running the website whence he will join the ranks of field reporters from somewhere in América. That is going to cost some more coins, still.
We’re gambling that you are going to come through, as you have before, with a contribution that, along with those of other readers and colleagues, will make this coverage possible. Please, if you can make a donation of any size, do so today, either online via credit card to The Fund for Authentic Journalism:
Or by mailing a check today to:
The Fund for Authentic Journalism
P.O. Box 241
Natick, MA 01760, U.S.A.
We’d like to see you at either of the border meetings or at other stops along the way. Your contribution today can make the difference in whether we make it that far north to receive you.
And, again, as I explained in a previous letter, we welcome the participation of those of you who report, do video, or can bring your car or vehicle along part of the tour (the draft itinerary is posted online). If you can do any of that, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It would be a shame if the lack of resources prevents us from reporting to you one of the biggest stories in years – the saga of how the rebel spirit and know-how of the Mexican people leaps across the border into the US (which is how, we believe, this moment in history will be seen in retrospect), among others – but, as you know, the Commercial Media won’t be covering it (or if they do, they won’t want to tell you the truth). That’s why we’re here, and about to go on the road again.
The page of history turns anew. Your collaboration today can make sure that that page is not blank tomorrow.
From somewhere in a country called América,
Founder and Publisher, Narco News
Coordinator, Road Team, the Other Journalism with the Other Campaign
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and making a contribution today.
- The Fund for Authentic Journalism
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