Dr. Wooo — Zapatista Red Alert

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Zapatista Red Alert: The Other Mexico on the Verge of an Explosion from Below
The Story Behind the Zapatista Red Alert as the Other Campaign Arrives at Zero
By Bertha Rodríguez Santos and Al Giordano
The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign in Mexico City
May 3, 2006
MEXICO CITY: From his first statements early this morning on Mexico City’s
historic Alameda, Zapatista Insurgent Subcomandante Marcos was clearly informed
about — and visibly bothered by — the police riot underway in the nearby city
of Texcoco, where 800 heavily armed riot cops stormed the local flower growers’
market in the dawn’s early light, leading to a violent nationally televised
standoff between the firearms of above and the worktools of below. By the
afternoon — after “Delegate Zero” traveled through downtown Mexico City by
foot, by subway and by motorcycle, through its most working-class
neighborhoods, listening to the grievances of the people — he exploded in the
Plaza of the Three Cultures: The Zapatistas have gone on Red Alert, the Other
Campaign is suspended, and Marcos is heading to the scene of the crime to
confront the Mexican State.
“To the death, if that’s what it takes,” as he said two days ago during a mass
meeting in front of the national palace.
And now, the Red Alert…
The first clue came at 10 a.m. During a gathering with “sexual dissidents” —
gays, lesbians, transvestites, “other loves” and sexual workers who have
adhered to the Zapatista “Other Campaign” — on the historic central park of
this metropolis known as La Alameda Marcos referred to the police raid underway
in Texcoco: “If those above think that they are going to continue repressing
us, they are mistaken. The Other Campaign is not just a movement of words. It
is also a movement of action.” He announced that meeting with campaign
adherents in downtown Mexico slated for six o’clock would be suspended to deal
with the conflict underway, less than an hour from Mexico City.
After all, the compañeros and compañeras in the line of fire in Texcoco were the
Other Campaign adherents of San Salvador Atenco, where, in 2001 and 2002, they
chased out the federal government with machete swords and defeated an
international airport imposed on their farmlands. These are men and women that
Marcos visited on April 25 and 26 and urged to come to the aid of their
neighbors; to show the rest of Mexico how to stand up for, and win, its rights
and autonomy. This morning the men and women of Atenco went to nearby Texcoco
and, together with the local people, drove out the invading police. The
government response: to send more police, and thus what the TV news called a
riot (in fact, a police riot) ensued.
Later, around noon, during a meeting with workers in Mexico City’s largest
marketplace of La Merced, after listening to the complaints of the shopkeepers
and others about how the governments — national, state and local — are trying
to destroy the Mexican market to make room for Wal-Mart and similar shopping
malls and supermarkets, Marcos again referred to the battle underway nearby,
“the attack on the small businesspeople of Texcoco, because they are ugly,
because they are dirty, and if we scratch the surface we will find a municipal
mayor that wants to put a Wal-Mart there. They know that the shopkeepers there
sell the better product, that is better than a damn tomato that looks nice but
is made of plastic like the ones sold in a supermarket.”
All afternoon long, as don Marcos of la Selva found himself in the deepest
corners of the concrete jungle of Mexico City, the country’s two national TV
stations — the duopoly of Televisa and TV Azteca — broadcast, live, horrid
scenes of violence, teargas, blood and death from the market and highway of
Texcoco. At various points during the live broadcasts, women armed with machete
swords forced the TV “reporters” to stop their distortions, at one point
chasing a previously macho — but suddenly terrified, as he gazed at the
sharpened swords of the women — Televisa reporter down stairs as the camera
went dark.
At almost six o’clock, an hour away, the Zapatista Caravan, now at the Plaza of
Three Cultures in Tlalteloco, received a phone call that a young boy had been
assassinated by police in Texcoco. In a speech that will live in history from a
plaza where, on October 2, 1968, more than a thousand young Mexicans were
assassinated by the federal army for the crime of having demonstrated
peacefully against a dictatorship of a government, Marcos spoke with rage and
coherence. It was as if the dead themselves spoke through the voice of the
spokesman of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish
“Years ago, here in the Plaza of the Three Cultures, there was a massacre. The
government said that the army was attacked…. Today the media, including the
radio, don’t ask what the public security forces are doing in San Salvador
He called upon all the Other Campaign adherents to organize “blockades” of
highways and streets, and other actions, beginning at 8 a.m. tomorrow,
Thursday, May 4.
He announced that the guerrilla troops of the Zapatista Army of National
Liberation were now on Red Alert; that the Good Government Councils of Chiapas
were closed for tomorrow; that the events of the Other Campaign were cancelled
until this situation is resolved; and he offered, if the people of San Salvador
Atenco ask, to come physically to their aid tomorrow.
Nobody doubts that the people of Atenco will call him — and the rest of the
Other Campaign — into battle.
In the Plaza of the Three Cultures — where the dead still speak — Insurgent
Subcomandante Marcos called, again, for a “civil and peaceful” rebellion,
starting tomorrow, Wednesday, the Fourth of May.
The following day, the Fifth — El Cinco de Mayo — Mexico celebrates its victory
against French colonialists. (And Narco News — our reporters today released
from jail after two long nights behind bars in Oaxaca, but still seeking
justice for the crime of the Mexican State and the U.S. Embassy against press
freedom — now calls for a demonstration on Friday, Cinco de Mayo, in New York
City, at 12:30 p.m., at the Mexican Consulate in New York City, 27 East 39th
Street -be there and let the world media capital know that Mexico is still a
dictatorship ruling with violence and repression.)
Thunderclouds are clapping above the central region of Mexico tonight, and from
below, too. It’s a Red Alert. What happens from here on out is up to people
like you, and maybe you, too.
To be continued…