Communiqué to Clarify the Lies About Our Trip Through Oaxaca
By Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Zapatista Army of National Liberation
February 14, 2006
February 12, 2006
To the adherents to the Other Campaign:
To the people of Mexico:
Compañeros and compañeras:
Brothers and sisters:
With the goal of clarifying the lies that are being spread by some media about our trip through the proud lands of Oacaxa from below and to the left, we say the following:
First: Section 22 of the SNTE-CNTE, as its leaders explained, is a pluralistic organization where teachers get together under diverse political positions that cover the whole ideological spectrum, including those who sympathize with the PRI, the PAN, the PRD and other political parties, as well as those who do not sympathize with them. According to what we know, the Oaxacan teachers’ union is, in its great majority, democratic, and has confronted union corruption decisively and bravely. It has demonstrated this in its struggle throughout the years. That is why many teachers have subscribed to the Sixth Declaration and have adhered to the “Other Campaign.” And that is why, as the Sixth Commission of the EZLN, we accepted the invitation to dialog with them and sleep in their facilities the night of February 9, 2006.
Second: That night of the 9th, after a demonstration in the Zócalo (main square) of Oaxaca City, we were in a meeting with the democratic teachers of Section 22 of the SNTE-CNTE. In the meeting we received questions and displays of sympathy, all in an atmosphere of respect. In our speech we responded to the questions by giving a historical background to our critical position on the Mexican political class, especially the PRD. When our presentation was over, many teachers approached us to show their support and interest, and we then retired so that the Section 22 members could continue the assembly they were holding on issues relevant to their union.
Third: Due to problems of disorganization, as we later explained to the leaders of Section 22, our companions from the caravan that is accompanying us in this first tour (and who are covering the words of the “Other” for the alternative media in the different Mexican states), were stranded and unable to get into the place they were staying or to get out of the facilities. When we heard about this, we asked the organizers to let these compañeros either into the building where we were staying or out to their vehicles. As was satisfactorily explained to us, when an assembly of the democratic teachers’ union is held, all doors are shut for security reasons. This is to avoid the infiltration of provocateurs and government spies. Just after midnight, in the first minutes of February 10, after a moment of confusion the doors were opened.
Due to the fact that the assembly was still going on and that the caravan had no adequate space to rest, we decided to leave the place where we were being lodged. This we did as a small show of loyalty to those who have ensured that the voice of the “Other” reaches everywhere and who, in order to do so, have made sacrifices and endured discomforts. Given the absence of the State Coordinator for the Other Campaign in Oaxaca, we asked our colleagues from the Ricardo Flores Magón Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca to allow us stay in the same facilities where we had passed the night of Febuary 8th, and we stayed there that night and the next.
Fourth: At no time was there any kind of row, or blows thrown, or any kind of physical clash between the Sixth Commission of the EZLN and any member of the democratic teachers’ union. No furniture was damaged or destroyed in the union hall. The union members that took care of us treated us at all times with respect and attention. At no time did I say “fuck the teachers,” or “we don’t need the union.” Not just because we do need them, but also because our problem was not with the democratic teachers but rather with the organization of the event. In the plenary meeting of adherents to the “Other” in Oaxaca’s Valles Centrals, the representatives of the democratic teachers’ union gave all the necessary and sufficient apologies for that lack of organization, apologies that were accepted by the Sixth Commission of the EZLN as the comrades in struggle that we are.
Fifth: The lies about what we supposedly said, did, or what happened, come from a few teachers who are sympathetic to the PRD and Andrés Manuel López Obrador; they are surely angry over our critiques of that candidate’s unstoppable slide to the right. Based on these lies, some of the media have put out articles and images that not only are not of our meetings, but also are prefabricated and put together in their newsrooms.
Sixth: We look upon with satisfaction and salute this disinformation campaign that some media are waging. It means that the political parties’ advertising campaigns are failing, that we are growing as a movement of national rebellion, and that they fear us as a real alternative to the political, economic and social system imposed with lies and violence upon our country. It is the best tribute we have received in the Other Campaign – aside from the support for our proposal from the simple and humble people– and represents the growing display of fear among the powerful and those who serve them.
Seventh: To the Mexican people we say, do not believe the lies they tell up above about us. Better you listen to what is growing below and to the left, first as a whisper, then as a scream. To the compañeros of the Other Campaign across Mexico we say, look for the truth about what is happening in the alternative media, and in the few members of the press who do look below.
From the Other Puebla,
For the Sixth Comission of the EZLN,
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, February 2006
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