Pockets of Resistance (clips)

Les Schaffer schaffer at SPAMoptonline.net
Fri Apr 6 20:19:50 MDT 2001

I should have posted the excerpts which Jim Craven originally sent
along. here they are.

les schaffer


a supplement of Dark Night field notes - march 2001


A March the Color of the Earth
The Zapatista Caravan February 24, 2001-March 29, 2001


Brothers and Sisters:
We who are the color of the earth, the string in history's bow,
When slack are a bowstring that watches and waits,
When drawn are the bowstring that will let fly the arrow we are.
The hour has come to draw, for everyone to draw together.
Only so can our desire reach far enough, so far - there! - to the morning.
                        - Marcos, March 7, 2001, Cuautla, Morelos


A March the Color of the Earth
The Chess Match Ain't Over Yet, by John Ross
February 2001 communiqués
A world the color of humanity (San Cristóbal)
The false god of dried-up dung (Juchitán)
March 2001 communiqués
Hone your hope (Nurio)
A troublesome number (Nurio)
Let money tremble because we move (Milpa Alta)
Chess games and the morning's bare feet (Mexico City)
The tale of the little beat-up car (Mexico City, Isidro Favela neighborhood)
Up to here and that's it! (Mexico City, National Polytechnic Institute)
Approach the dawn by looking down (Mexico City, UNAM)
Hope is come (Juchitán)


Commentary: A March the Color of the Earth

Recent events in Chiapas have catapulted the Zapatistas back into
front page news in Mexico and around the world. This POR brings you a
selection of the words the Zapatistas offered their supporters during
their February 24 - March 29 caravan as they travelled 2,000 miles
through 12 states along the route of Emiliano Zapata. John Ross
describes the unfolding drama in Mexico City leading to Mexico's
Chamber of Deputies' close vote allowing the EZLN to address the
nation from the tribune of the Congress on March 28th. They made their
case for passage of the COCOPA bill with people from the National
Indigenous Congress (CNI), which represents 57 distinct Indian peoples
across Mexico.

To the surprise of most, Marcos was absent that day. Comandanta
Esther, who received a standing ovation after her address and speaking
first on behalf of the EZLN, explained:

Some of you may have expected Sup Marcos to be standing in this
tribune, that he would be the one to give this main message of the
zapatistas.... Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos is just that - a
subcomandante, a lieutenant. We are the Comandantes, the majors, a
joint command; we are the ones who govern our peoples by obeying.We
gave the Sup and those who share his hopes and dreams the mission of
bringing us to this tribune.... Now it is our hour.... Those who
represent the civil part of the EZLN are here, the political and
organizational leadership of a legitimate, honest and consistent
movement are here....

My name is Esther, but that's not what's important now. I am a
zapatista, but that's not what's important at this momemt,
either. This tribune is symbolic....And it's also symbolic that I - a
poor, indigenous zapatista woman - have the first word, and that my
message is the main message of our zapatista word.

Speaking of the 7 special EZLN guests who were invited but not

Here in this Legislature, are 7 empty places corresponding to the 7
indigenous who could not be present.... Of the 7 absent, one died in
the first days of January, 1994; two others are imprisoned for
opposing the felling of trees; another two are in jail for defending
their fishing livelihood and opposing pirate fishermen; the remaining
two have arrest warrants out against them for the same reason.

By now she had the full attention of the Delegates attending this
session.  She went on to announce that it would be Marcos' job to
maintain their current position in the mountains while ensuring no new
EZLN military actions would be made. Also, Fernando Yañez, the EZLN's
COCOPA liaison, would travel with peace commissioner Louis Alvarez to
Chiapas to certify that the Army had withdrawn from 7 military bases
named by the EZLN as one of three conditions for renewing peace
talks. She explained that Yañez would work with Alvarez to insure that
the remaining two conditions - release of all Zapatista prisoners and
passage of the COCOPA bill - be fulfilled as soon as
possible. Finally, she requested that the Congress offer a place for
the first meeting between the government and the EZLN liaison Yañez.

For several hours, while Comandantes Esther, David, Tacho and Zebedeo,
and three CNI delegates spoke, much of Mexico, transfixed, tuned in
via radio and TV hookups. In the end Marcos - who like thousands of
supporters had been listening by radio outside the building - gave a
short farewell speech. They were ready to go back home, he said:

...we're done now. Tomorrow we're going to pack our knapsacks and
leave on our return journey back to our place.

But we're not leaving with empty hands. We're leaving with hands
filled with all the hands we reached out for. The hands we saluted
close up or from afar, the hands that entwined themselves into
security cordons to protect us. The hands that made great efforts to
prepare our food, the hands that built and furnished the places we
spent the night in. The hands that wrote us letters and words of
support and encouragement. The hands that cared for us during the
nights and in the dawns, the hands that were lifted high on that March
11 this year in the capital Zócalo. The hands that clenched in
indignation when the stubbornness of a few tried to close the path of
dialogue. The hands that voted yes in the March 22 sessions in the
Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The hands we did not see but that
grew tense sharing our anxiety and that now clap sharing our joy. Our
hands are filled with your hands, and - as everyone knows- hands are
the shape hearts take when they meet.

So pull down the attached document, print it out and take it with you
to read when you have the moments to savor it slowly. With it, you
will join the march the color of the earth through the quirky tales,
the exalting speeches, the outrageous and possible dreams that are the
word of the EZLN, the world of the living and the dead, the world the
color of humanity.


Thanks for reading Pockets of Resistance. With each newsletter, our
mailing list has grown. If you are a reader who signed on before
January 2001, you will continue receiving Pockets of Resistance
through number 12 for free.  For all readers who sign on after January
2001, we are suggesting a donation of $12.00 a year, or a dollar a
newsletter to help us cover our expenses.  You can send your donation
to Dark Night Press, P.O. Box 3629, Chicago, IL 60690-3629. If you
like Pockets of Resistance, you should know that it is a supplement to
our print journal Dark Night field notes. If you are already a
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Pockets of Resistance. If you are not, you can get an even better deal
by subscribing to the journal and newsletter. Check it and us out at
our web site: <http://www.darknightpress.org>

...resistance against neoliberalism does not only exist in the
mountains of the Mexican Southeast. In other parts of Mexico, in Latin
America, in the United States and Canada, in the Europe of the Treaty
of Maastricht, in Africa, in Asia, in Oceania, pockets of resistance
multiply. Each one of them has its own history, its own differences,
equalities, demands, struggles, and accomplishments. If humanity still
has a hope of survival, of improvement, that hope is in the pockets
filled with the excluded ones, the leftovers, the ones who are
disposable.... There are as many shapes as there are resistances, and
as many worlds as there are in the world. So draw the shape you
prefer. As far as this thing about pockets goes, they are as rich in
diversity as the shapes resistance takes.

- Subcomandante Marcos, "Seven Loose Pieces of the Global Jigsaw
Puzzle," Mexico, June 1997

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