The Narco News Bulletin
August 15, 2018 | Issue #43
narconews.com - Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America
Within the collective heart that we are, the Zapatistas do not know exactly how our words traveled from the Sixth Commission to you. What we do know is that, from the places where you live, with your own histories and within your own struggles, you responded "yes" to the invitation to adhere to the Sixth Declaration and what we would later come to call the Other Campaign. In the heart of each of us, which is sometimes an individual heart, and other times the collective heart that we create as an indigenous community, political or social organization, NGO, collective, group, or as individuals, we decided to take this step that is no longer just Zapatista but now belongs instead to the many, to the everyone that we are.
In the year that passed from that plenary at the Caracol of La Garucha (held on September 16, 2005) to these agitated days, we have seen some people leave, some stay, others still come closer, some are working, while some are doing noting more than "raging" and getting in the way, that some - many - have made this project their own. These fluctuations have not only created "noise" within the Other Campaign, but have also made its face, words and path even more scattered.
As Zapatistas, we believe that this past year has served us well as a time to get to know each other, and to learn who was approaching us just for political gain. Sometimes people approached us to capitalize on the supposed "media impact" of the EZLN, sometimes in an attempt to impose hegemony on the Other Campaign, sometimes to direct it towards an alliance policy that would benefit them, sometimes to see what the Other Campaign was about and then to go to the other side to keep watching, and sometimes to try to homogenize the movement according to their own ideas.
We believe that this has happened not only because of our own errors (some of which we have pointed out and recognized; others that you have pointed out as well) but also because the Other Campaign lacks a healthy dose of definition.
What started out as a virtue, because it allowed us to call together a wide range of the best from the national anti-capitalist movement, has now has started to become a burden.
Although fundamental, the basic definitions of the Other Campaign are too general, above all with respect to the organizational structure, our alliance policy, the place for differences within the movement, and the issue of who is invited to join and who is not.
Additionally, given what we have seen and heard during our rounds of different meetings and assemblies, it has become necessary to decide whether we will limit defining the Other Campaign by the characteristics it now holds. To point out just one example, in many places we have traveled, people have pointed out that it is necessary for the Other Campaign to include an anti-patriarchal aspect as one of its basic characteristics.
Another serious and urgent problem is that we have not defined the process of how decisions are made in the Other Campaign as a movement. This has led, at times, to the position of one individual, group or organization (including the EZLN) being presented as if it were the position of the entire Other Campaign.
In the reflections that we already presented to you, we have explained that we always conceived of the Other Campaign as necessary for a future time. For that reason, we have been able to spend a little time going about getting to know each other, getting comfortable with each other and defining ourselves.
As we also already explained, we believe that the moment of political crisis at the top, at which point a leftist, anti-capitalist alternative becomes necessary, is already upon us. Although it is palpable just how deep the political crisis at the top goes, we Zapatistas know very well that, if there is no alternative coming from below, those from above will just reposition themselves and take another breath.
We believe that the hour of the Other Campaign, the hour of the Nobody that we are, has arrived.
We believe that now is the time to establish direct contact with all of those from below, with our people; and that now is the time to start working together to build a national program of struggle.
We must do more than just get to know each other, disseminate information and build ties between the resistance movements against the capitalist system that exist in our country; we must also, in turn, start organizing that plan, its contents, and its objectives, and laying out the steps and ways we plan to carry it out.
But the Other Campaign still does not have its own face. We think that it is time for all of us to create it together. And it is time now for those who do not identify with the majority opinion of the Other Campaign to leave, and for those who do recognize themselves in this collective face that we are creating to stay and to keep joining us.
We believe that the hour has arrived to solidify the definitions that have been left open.
What we consider to be the main definitions can be grouped into what we call the six points: the characteristics of the Other Campaign; who is invited to join and who is not; the organizational structure (including the mechanism and ways in which we make decisions); the space for differences; our alliance policy; and our immediate tasks.
We detected these issues in the preparatory meetings, and in the first plenary we proposed that all of the adherents go off to discuss and decide. But there was no deadline set, and we did not establish how each of our voices would be taken into consideration in decisions made about these matters.
And taking everyone into account is something that distinguishes us from other political proposals, projects and movements.
We have advanced both a lot and a little in discussing these six points over more than a year. We believe that now we should conclude this stage, each take a position and define the Other Campaign.
That is to say, we should respond, as the Other Campaign, to the questions: who are we? where do we stand? how do we see the world? how do we see our country? what do we want to do? and how are we going to do it?
With regard to everything we are saying here, and everything we have been seeing, hearing and saying over the past year, we propose:
This is our proposal, compañeros and compañeras of the Other Campaign.
By the Revolutionary Clandestine Indigenous Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation.
Sixth Commission of the EZLN.
Comandanta Gabriela (Delegate One).
Comandante Zebedeo (Delegate Two).
Comandanta Miriam (Delegate Three).
Compañera Gema (Delegate Four).
Comandanta Hortensia (Delegate Five).
Comandante David (Delegate Six).
Comandante Tacho (Delegate Seven).
Subcomandante I. Marcos (Delegate Zero).
México, September 2006.