Zapatista rally

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Mar 12 08:23:32 MST 2001

NY Times, March 12, 2001

2-Week Trek Culminates in Rally for Indian Rights in Mexico City


MEXICO CITY, March 11 - The Zapatista rebels took their cry for Indian
rights to the heart of Mexico's capital today, as roughly 100,000
supporters filled the city square for an act of political theater that has
transfixed the nation.

After a two-week procession from a jungle hideout, the rebels' leader, who
calls himself Subcommander Marcos, stood in the huge square, his back to
the colonial facade of the national palace, raised his fist in the air and
proclaimed, "We are here to shout for and to demand democracy, liberty and

"The government thinks that today marks the end of an earthquake," the
rebel leader said. "They think that we are just a photograph, an anecdote,
a spectacle.

"Those in high places know it but do not want to say it," he said.

"After today, the people who are the color of the earth will never again be

The Zapatista movement demands that the government stop mistreating its
minority Indian population. Some 10 million people of indigenous descent
live among Mexico's roughly 100 million people. They are disproportionately
poor, illiterate, malnourished and disenfranchised, and traditionally have
been treated as second-class citizens.

"It is time that this country stop being an embarrassment, dressed in the
color of money," Subcommander Marcos said.

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Louis Proyect
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