EZLN: “Whatever colour you vote for, it’s going to get worse”
Subcomandante Moisés holding his radio in a La Realidad Mural
By: Isaín Mandujano
SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, Chiapas– The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) assured that it will not promote abstaining, but neither will it call for voting next June 7, “because whatever colour [party] you vote for, it’s going to get worse,” he said. What all the peoples must do, he emphasized, is “to organize.”
According to Moisés, in these days “there is this thing that they call the electoral process, we hear and we see that they’re coming out with saying that the EZLN calls for abstention (…) That and other foolishness from those who in vain have a big head, because they don’t even study history.”
Within the framework of the seminar named “Critical thought versus the capitalist hydra,” which is being held since yesterday at the University of the Earth and will conclude next Saturday May 9, the Subcomandante set the EZLN’s official posture about the elections next June 7.
“As the Zapatistas that we are we do not call for voting or for not voting. As the Zapatistas that we are, what each of us does is tell people to organize to resist, to struggle, to have what is necessary.”
As native peoples of these lands, he added, they already know the actions of the political parties, “which have been weaving a bad history with bad people.”
According to the Zapatista Subcomandante, those political parties have only been used for dividing the peoples and communities in the whole country. The political parties, he insisted, confront, use those below to obtain positions and afterwards, now above, they forget about them. They only give them crumbs in order to use them, and it’s that way until the next electoral process.
“Here below, be it whatever colour, red, yellow, green, blue or discoloration, the political parties are not what they say they are: that the politicians that come are like ‘saviours;’ that they are going to take you out of poverty. They only come to use you in their petty interests of winning the political positions to which they (the politicians) aspire.”
He continued: “The politicians and their parties only use poverty for coming to give crumbs, for taking the photo of how they are helping the most fucked, the poorest, the dispossessed. Nevertheless, they only use you to come and take the photo.”
For many years, the Zapatistas have decided to organize themselves better, and he that wants to vote can vote, but the vote will not lift anyone out of poverty, what’s better is collective organization like the rebels have done, organizing for going forward, not waiting for others to arrive with deceit and false promises, he said.
“We don’t tell you to vote. Nor do we say don’t vote. We don’t tell you to enter the Zapatistas, because we know well from our history that not anyone has the strength of heart to be a Zapatista.”
He added: “We’re not joking. We tell you, plain and simple, to get organized!”
When they ask us what to do, we simply tell them: “There you are going to see for yourself what to do, what comes into your heart, into your head, and no one else comes to tell you what you have to do.
“We don’t tell you lies, don’t give you big rolls or discourses. We only tell you the truth: it’s going to get worse,” he maintained.
And it’s that those above just live to deceive the people, and therefore it is necessary to organize below, because the people make the solutions, not the leaders, or the parties, he specified.
Later he let out: “If (Manuel) Velasco gives hand slaps, those party members give slaps with their poorly hidden racism.”
He explained that they know perfectly well what the elections are, but the Zapatistas, he added, have another time, another geography, another calendar of how to do elections in rebel territory, with resistance.
“While there above they spend millions of pesos on electoral propaganda, on tons of plastic waste, on canvas with photographs of rats and criminals, in Zapatista territory we have found another way of doing the elections without false promises or deceit.”
In the autonomous communities, the slogan is made effective that says: “Here the people command and the government obeys.”
That, he added, is now the Zapatista life in the peoples. It is a culture of truth. “We have certainly made many errors, many mistakes. We will surely make more, but they are our mistakes. We commit an error and we pay, while there above are the parties and their leaders that commit those mistakes, but at the end of accounts those below are the ones that pay for it.
“What comes of the elections in the month of June, doesn’t go to us or come to us. Nor do we call to vote or not to vote. It doesn’t matter to us. Moreover, it doesn’t worry us. For us Zapatistas what interests us is knowing more about how to resist and confront the many heads of the capitalist system that exploits us, represses us, scorns us and robs us.”
The elections that the capitalist system organizes only serve to perpetuate those up there above in power, he pointed out.
“If you already thought that you are not going to vote, we say that’s okay, we don’t say that it’s bad. We’re just saying that we believe that it’s not enough; we have to organize. And, clearly, get ready because they are going to blame party members of the Institutional left for the misery.”
He closed: “We, the Zapatistas, don’t get tired of saying: organize, let’s get organized, each one in your place, let’s struggle to be organized, let’s work to get organized, let’s think about organizing and let’s find each other to unite our organizations for a world where the peoples govern and the government obeys.”
Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso
Translation: Chiapas Support Committee
Monday, May 4, 2015