A Letter from Delegate Zero to Adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and the Other Campaign
Comments on the Action Proposal by the Sixth Commission of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
By Subcomandante Marcos
The Other Mexico
June 1, 2006
May 30, 2006
To all adherents of the Sixth and the Other:
Compañeras and compañeros:
As you may already know, in the Assembly of May 29th we presented a proposal for an Action Plan. Because of the weather and that some friends from various states had to get going, we explained it only briefly there. We think it, therefore, a good idea to explain the proposal in a bit more detail, and so we send along here these thoughts. Alright, then.
- We, as the Sixth Commission of the EZLN, appreciate that the mobilizations of May 19th (decentralized) and the march of May 28th (a centralized concentration) show that the Other Campaign has evolved from being just a proposal to becoming a national organization with its own identity.
- In particular, the May 19th mobilizations (and all those that took place all over the country throughout the month of May) demonstrate that the Other Campaign is not dependent on either the Sixth Commission or Subcomandante Marcos. Those present for the National Assembly of Adherents of May 29th [for those not present—the majority of adherents—and who have access to alternative media, we recommend that you connect for example with Radio Pacheco, Radio Sabotaje, Ke Huelga, Narco News, Indymedia, among others, where surely they have the recordings of speeches and so forth of the state delegates’ reports] they were able to see that important things were accomplished in states where the Sixth Commission hasn’t yet passed through (the whole northern part of the country). They could also see that there were plenty of actions that demonstrated ingenuity and creativity. That confirmed what we had pointed out when we let everyone know that the Sixth Commission (and not the Other Campaign, which is a coalition to which we belong) was staying in one place to push for the freedom of the prisoners. With or without the Sixth Commission, the Other Campaign marches on. We could spend a lot of energy reflecting on whatever you like regarding the Sup’s protagonism, devotee-ism, messianism, or other –isms, but the reality is that without him and without the EZLN, mobilizations will happen, and successfully, all over the country.
- With everything going against it, (a disinformation campaign in the media, poor or non-existent organization, adverse public opinion, among other things) members of the “Other” from different states of the Mexican Republic and from the “Other” on the Other Side, organized in their own way and on their own clock, in just one week created a national mobilization with a common aim: freedom for the prisoners of Atenco. All they had going for them was the conviction of a just cause and the certainty of knowing themselves to be part of a national movement—anti-capitalist and from the left. In localities, sub-regions, regions, and states, adherents organized themselves and completed their elemental duty, which we have as friends: to support each other, mutually.
- The May 28th’ march in Mexico City was a NATIONAL concentration, and fundamentally, of the “Other.” The majority of those present were, and are, members of the “Other,” committed and raising the flag. Without set-up transportation, without any support outside the “Other,” against the grain of disinformation, at their own expense, delegates of adherents from all 32 of this country’s states and federal district came together to one place and one time and with one mission: freedom for our imprisoned friends.
- All of this indicates (for the Zapatistas) that the “Other” has passed through, by its acts, the organizing stage. Although there are still some important projects ahead regarding defining its profile, the “Other” already responds as a national organization (in all 32 states), with an ethic (to not leave the fate of the imprisoned to chance), with high morals (to super-impose our selves onto the terror that the governmental action meant to impose in Atenco), and with our capacity to autonomously and independently mobilize (through both decentralized and concentrated demonstrations). We think there is a need to continue the discussion of the six points and, at the same time, to go forward with the organization of our activities (as our friends have demonstrated across the country).
- The aggressive response by the political class overall and by the mighty power of money against the “Other” confirms that we are headed in the right direction. Up above, they see us as the enemy, and that means that our fundamental characteristics are clearly defined: anti-capitalist, from below, to the left, and non-electoral.
- As the Sixth Commission of EZLN, we thought this was going to take some time. The aggressive governmental action against the “Other” in Atenco required us to choose between two options: to retreat or to respond in an organized way. The “Other” chose to respond, organized, and this afforded us a profile that otherwise would have taken more time to establish. We aren’t saying either way would have been better or worse, we’re only pointing out that this is how it happened. Without leaders or heads, the “Other” responded as a single body all across the national territory.
- As the Sixth Commission of EZLN, we salute all members of the “Other” in Mexico and on the Other Side, and we express to you the honor and pride we have to be your compañeros.
- As the Sixth Commission of EZLN, we see that international support in the fight for freedom and justice for the prisoners of Atenco is very important. According to what we have been told by our friends in the Intergalactic Commission, at least 124 actions in 52 cities in 24 countries of the world have taken place. On just the 28th of May, there were demonstrations in cities such as Rome, Berlin, Toronto, Vancouver, Havana, Buenos Aires, Mar de Plata, San Francisco, and in other places that they will tell us of later. As the Sixth Commission of EZLN, we salute the solidarity actions all over the world that are being made to happen by men, women, children, and elders of different cultures, colors, tongues, and ways of life, and we invite the whole “Other” to learn about these actions in the Zezta Internacional section of our web page.
Based on this evaluation, we are proposing to the entire “Other” in Mexico and to the “Other” on the Other Side the following plan of action:
- To maintain the goal of freeing the prisoners and start to move forward in the organization and building of the “Other” in localities (cities), sub-regions (counties), regions (provinces), states, sectors, and zones; and in this way, to go forward in the construction of the “Other Alternative” for the organization of those below and to the left.
- To deepen the cultural front, the artistic front, and the communications front in the fight for those imprisoned.
- To create a National Commission of Liaison, provisional and with a single marked and defined assignment. One or two people of every “Other” work organizing unity (for example like the sub-regions that organized themselves for the visit of the Sixth Commission) to create a REGIONAL proposal, and also in the sectors as follows local logic and dynamic.
By “work organizing unity,” we understand it as a unity that through its acts has come together for a purpose like the visit of the Sixth Commission, or for the actions of May 19th, or to attend a march; or in other words, that moment in which organizations, groups, collectives, and individuals come together and agree to make an organized action happen. What we mean are coordinations or commissions by city, county, state, or sector. What we propose is that in every state, province, county, city, it be decided with which part of the “other” it is in their best interest to stay in direct communication with, by coordination and actions of mutual support.
For example, perhaps the “Others” in Quintana Roo, Yucatan, and Campeche might decide to communicate and coordinate as a Peninsular Region since they have similar kinds of issues. Other examples: Regarding the “Other” in Morelos, should they coordinate with the southerly states, the easterly states, or the central states? Regarding the Huasteca Potosina Sub-region, is it in their best interest to get together with San Luis Potosi on the state level or with the other Huastecas? Should the Huicholes coordinate with the Jalisco “Other” or with the Durango “Other” or with the Nayarit “Other” or align themselves only when it is convenient (in time), in support of themselves and each “Other” group from all of the states in which their territory stretches? We already saw on the tour, for example, that in a certain part of Veracruz it made more sense to get together with a certain part of Hidalgo than with the “Other” of Veracruz. In the end, what we want to say is that the “Other” has no reason to subject itself to geographical limits imposed from above, but instead for each to follow their own historical orientation and organize that-a-way.
What we propose is that every “Other” work organizing unity discuss and propose with whom it would be in their best interest to create a Region, in which to learn, share, coordinate, and make agreements. If this is allright by everybody, then everybody would analyze, discuss, and come to an agreement where it would be best, and they’d send one or two commissioned people to get together with everybody else in this “Provisional Commission of National Networking.”
The Provisional Commission of National Networking would then make a national proposal of “regionalizing” according to the proposals of each group. So, all the commissioned people would get together and make the proposal of a new “Other” map and send it out all over to see what everyone thinks. And after that the Commission of National Networking will disappear, complying with its Provisional existence. This way, in sum, an “Other” geography would be made, one from below and to the left.
- To reaffirm the anti-capitalist and leftward character of the “Other.” The freedom of the imprisoned is right now the highest flag that the “Other” is flying, but the “Other” is not a solidarity committee with political prisoners but instead a national movement against the system that strips us bare, exploits us, looks down on us, and holds us down.
- To bust into the calendar of those up above with civil and peaceful organization and demonstration. If those up above intend to pretend that nothing is going on and have their “holiday” without freeing our friends, we will put ourselves on their calendar and schedule our demand for that freedom there.
- To put a definition forward in opposition to the electoral process: the alternative isn’t to vote for one or the other or to not vote at all; the alternative is to organize or not, below and to the left. This is to say that we are not within in the electoral logic, but instead we are in that of the construction of a movement that truly opposes the capitalist system.
For the above reasons, it is proposed:
- Local decentralized demonstrations with defined purpose and action.- Art, culture, and communication for the causes of freedom and justice of those who fight for social causes. It is proposed that June 11th be the day that everyone in their own places, in their own ways, does that.
- Regional concentrated demonstrations.- State groups, regional groups, sub-regional groups, and local groups, according to whatever agreement they come to (in following with the proposal agreed upon in the Commission of National Networking formed for that reason, if approved, of a provisional nature.) In other words, get together to look at collective problems and demands in order to analyze, discuss, and in some cases reach agreements on co-ordinations, actions, and support. It is proposed that Regional Concentrations take place the 24th and 25th of June (of course it is understood that if this should happen before the Networking Commission takes place, we already know the proposal.)
- Sectorial demonstrations: Women, Other Loves, Students, Sex Workers, etc. It is proposed that this should happen according to the agreements and plans of these sectors.
- National Concentrated Evaluation and Proposal Meetings: A Plenary of Adherents. This was previously proposed for the 24th and 25th of June, and now it is proposed for Friday, June 30th and Saturday, July 1st. At this plenary, we would not only look at what is going on with the prisoners but also at everything that pertains to the “Other” in tune with the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona, to recognize the construction and struggle of a movement that is national, anti-capitalist, from below and to the left.
- National Mobilization: concentrated National Action, decentralized or combined (a concentrated demonstration like that of the 28th, and simultaneously, concentrations at the level of zone, state, region, sub-region, or city.)
This is proposed for July 2nd, 2006, the date of the federal elections, and this is how we will present the Other Alternative of organization and struggle for our people, being newly created off to one side, beginning from July 3rd.
All other activities already on the program will not be re-scheduled or changed up, and others can continue to happen within this calendar of events.
That’s all, friends. A big hug from all of us.
By the Sixth Commission of the EZLN.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
México, May 30th, 2006.
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