Real History in The Other Campaign

Friends, a quick suggestion: If you haven’t heard, or haven’t had an opportunity to notice, the Zapatistas and Subcomandante Marcos have embarked on a 6-month “Other Campaign” in Mexico. This campaign is not an electoral campaign, though Marcos (“Delegate Zero”) is travelling around the country at the same time that the 3-way presidential campaign is heating up down there. He is ultimately intending to visit all the states of Mexico and to contact directly as many communities and organizations and individuals as feasible, who are working in practical and local ways against the status quo.

Marcos: “The Other Campaign is showing that there are those who will not sell themselves. I’m also talking about those fighters, like those that were talking here about ’68, who went through all the experiments in political participation, who were offered a way to give in to the system, that old trick of telling them that they could do more from the inside. There were people who said no, who could have gone over to the other side but stayed. The Other Campaign is a space for those people.When the Other Campaign defines itself as anticapitalist, it says: “˜we fight for our survival by bringing about the death of what is in front of us.’ Not the death of a person, but of a system.

People say, said Marcos, that he “is promoting abstention in the elections. No, compañeros, what has happened is that we have found an abstentionist movement that identifies with us, because it is sickened by the political class. And if in the past abstention was seen as apathy, the Other Campaign is discovering that it really comes from a lack of alternatives.”

“We are seeing effervescence below that doesn’t put its faith in anything from above. There is a great social effervescence that is not looking toward electoral politics and that is making the political campaigns look innocuous. Neither Madrazo, nor Calderón, nor López Obrador is rising, and it is not our fault, it is because of what they have managed to build in all these years. That is not apathy. We are looking at an effervescent movement, one that could explode at anytime with no coordination, no support.”

in response to one young man who said that “we need to break down the walls because we are all human beings.” Marcos replied: “No. We are all human beings, but some are sons of bitches and some aren’t. That is the truth. They built up their wealth on the misery, death and exploitation of others. What we want is to organize, speak and raise the consciousness of that sector in order to fight together. Because if we don’t, if we leave them alone, they are going to end up destroying everything. They have already demonstrated that. If we don’t do something now there won’t be anything left to struggle for,” Marcos concluded.

I recommend the brilliant Mexican journalist Hermann Bellinghausen’s report over at Narco News from which I’ve grabbed these quotes to catch a whiff of what’s happening invisibly just next door.

1 comment to Real History in The Other Campaign

  • joe marraffino

    New College is hosting an event centered on the Other Campaign. John Ross’ _The War Against Oblivion_ was my introduction to the Zapztista Chronicle, and I’m looking forward to hearing him speak.

    Friday, February 10, 7:00 pm
    John Ross speaking on: “Which Way for Latin America’s Indians? – the
    Evo/Zapatista Divide”
    New College Cultural Center, 766 Valencia Street, San Francisco

    Poet/correspondent/author/activist John Ross will speak on Which Way for Latin America’s Indians

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