“Enough!”: Letter from a Spanish Citizen Forced to Leave Caracol Roberto Barrios by the Zapatista Red Alert
“Please get out in the world and see, with your own eyes, the cost of our comfort”
By Santi Trias Molist
May 7, 2006
My goodbye letter… in other words, my heart will speak louder than ever, the music sounds like it has never sounded, all to break the silence of this social and political center that is Caracol 5, “Roberto Barrios.”
It is 4:15 PM, in God’s time zone. The devil’s time zone is one hour later, if we are talking about the same devil who, a few days ago, ordered the massacre in San Salvador de Atenco. But I won’t talk about that today. The independent media compañeros are already doing that quite well, and I congratulate them, from this rebellious land of Southeastern Mexico.
I only have a few hours left to abandon my temporary home, my workplace, and…I feel a kind of melancholy. Today no guitars are heard. You don’t hear the ball on the basketball court. There are no children here telling me silly things, no classes; the birds are sad… I haven’t heard one all day.
What is happening? Can someone tell me who did something so horrible that we would have to protect ourselves, all of us? What is wrong with a few campesinos organizing their social work? What is wrong with a few men and women selling their products in the street? ENOUGH oppression of the people. What are they thinking? What right do a dozen possessed fanatics have to impose their laws on a population? Don’t they have mothers or fathers or children or anything?
These people don’t steal, don’t practice extortion. They are humble people who get up every day like the birds to make sure they have something to eat. That is a crime? They wake up to three tortillas and a plate of beans, while others eat steak. I am ashamed to have been born, or better said, I am ashamed to be human, because if this is humanity, then the sooner it ends the better. I’d rather be like the only neighbors I have today – a litter of puppies who will stay here alone with their mother.
Tomorrow I leave, even though it weighs heavy on me. It’s what I have to do. There is nothing for me to do here, I guess… I’ll spend some days waiting close to the little house that was lent to me as a place to work and rest, and then I’ll leave for some other country, while I wait for information, and, I’m sure, grow more and more outraged with the devil.
I’m thankful to all the compañeros in Europe who have been mobilizing. Count on me when I get back, because here, as a foreigner, it’s a really bad idea to involve myself in this fucked-up situation. I risk throwing away a year’s worth of work and also put at risk the migratory status of other foreigners who are working here.
Every day my heart tells me that now my place is in Europe again, in the belly of the beast. I know that I could end up in prison if I don’t find a way to contain this rage that every day fills my heart more and more. My only thing left to do is go with Plan B.
As I have said in the past…please get out in the world and see, with your own eyes, the cost of our comfort. There are millions of people suffering in this world. Do something, please!
Each person has to add their little grain of sand. You might think it’s not much, but there’s no point in whining from your spot on the sofa. It’s not enough that, every day a hungry child appears on the TV and you say, “poor thing,” but don’t do anything about it.
I would like these words to make their way around the world, even if they go slowly. We are caracoles, snails, we walk slowly, but… WE WALK.
I propose a GENERAL STRIKE, across Europe, declaring that WE NO LONGER WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN WORLD OPPRESSION. We are all participants, to some degree, in what is happening. It might strike you as ridiculous, but the one little grain of sand we can add, and which costs us nothing, is to stop thinking about our mortgages, our cars and all our material possessions.
This is a call to all collectives and European entities, to come to agreement and start carrying out direct action. In short, at the beginning of the coming year, I will return to Europe, and I don’t care if they lock me up or kill me if that’s what it takes. I’d rather die or go to prison than do nothing.
This letter will be read by people who understand, and by those who don’t understand. It’s all the same to me. My goal is that each day we understand a little more.
I would like to hear back from collectives and European entities who want to sign on to this proposal; individuals who are ready to organize and discuss, in different European countries. Together we can get it together and show this empire of money that the people also exist and we no longer want to participate in this horror.
The proposal is GENERAL STRIKE throughout Europe. The date…you all can propose that. I propose the year 2007. It doesn’t matter how long it takes us, just that we do it. Please propose a day and month.
Join in on this everyone. We are all participants. We will show that the people exist and won’t give up and won’t sell out.
I love you all. From this empty Caracol, where today everything is different, I send you all a big hug.
PS Today a different tomorrow is born.
PPS Send this letter anywhere. Send it to people who understand and people who don’t understand, just do it please. Translate it to whatever language you want. Don’t give up. It’s not that much work.
Thanks so much, and I hope this doesn’t strike you as ridiculous.
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