EZLN: the government of Chiapas is losing the media war against the CNTE
Parachicos march in support of the teachers. Photo: Eduardo Miranda.
By: Isaín Mandujano
Proceso, Friday, June 17, 2016
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) said today that through the mobilisation and protest actions of the peoples, communities, organizations and activists in Chiapas, the government is losing the media war against the teachers’ movement that challenges the education reform.
“We don’t know about the rest of the country, but, at least in Chiapas, those above are losing the media war. We have seen entire families, in rural and urban surroundings, supporting the teachers,” the EZLN asserts in a public communiqué.
And this is not referring to support of the type summed up in “see this fist,” “the people united, will never be defeated,” and the slogans that despite the distances in calendars and geographies, continue to be the same –says the guerrilla group– “because below there continues to be the fundamental principle of solidarity.” If in previous mobilizations of the rebel teachers the “citizenry” appeared fed up and disturbed, it continued, now things have changed.
“There are more and more families all the time who assist the teachers, support their journeys and marches, are distressed when they are threatened, offer them food, drinks and shelter. These are families who, according to the taxonomy of the electoral left, should be ‘stupefied’ by television, ‘eat sandwiches,’ ‘be alienated,’ ‘be carried’ and ‘have no conscience.’ But apparently, ‘the enormous media campaign’ against the teachers who resist, has failed,” the writing points out.
It adds that now the resistance movement against the education reform has been converted into a mirror for more and more ‘people-people’ all the time, in other words, not people from the social and political organizations, but rather common people.
“It is as if it has awakened a collective feeling of urgency before the tragedy that is coming. As if each blow with a club, each gas canister, each rubber bullet, each arrest warrant, were eloquent slogans: ‘today they attacked her or him; tomorrow thet will go after you.’ Perhaps because of this, behind each teacher are entire families that sympathize with their cause and with their fight.
“Why? Why does a movement that has been ferociously attacked on all fronts continue to grow? Why, if they are ’vandals,’ ‘lazy,’ ‘terrorists,’ ‘corrupt,’ ‘opponents-of-progress,’ do many people from below, not a few in the middle, and even some of those above, salute, though it may be at times in silence, the teachers who defend what any person would defend,” the armed group that rose up in arms on January 1, 1994 points out.
Later it lets loose against the media, in particular against the Chiapas newspaper “Cuarto Poder,” which it labels as being a media nostalgic for the epoch of fincas (estates) and Lords of the manor.
“Reality is a lie,” the EZLN says, should be the title of its note when “it denounced” as false the popular (cultural) fiesta that was celebrated on 9th June in the streets of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, in support of the teachers in resistance.
“Parachicos, dancers, folk musicians, people in traditional dress, persons in wheel chairs, marimbas, drums, whistles and flutes, the best of Zoque art and thousands of people greeting the resistance of the teachers,” the subversive group relates.
And it stresses that the “success” of the media war against the CNTE explains that day the sight of a handmade sign which said: “Thank you, teacher, for teaching me to fight” and another one that read: “I am not a teacher, but I am Chiapan and I am against the education reform.”
More than three years after promoting the alleged “education reform,” the EZLN lashes out, “Mr (Aurelio) Nuño still cannot present any educational argument, be it even the minimum, in favour of his ‘staff adjustment programme.’
“Its arguments have been, up to now, the same as any overseer from the Porfirio Díaz epoch: hysterical cries, beating, threats, dismissals, imprisonments. The same ones that would be used by any sad and grey aspirant to the post-modern police,” it emphasizes.
And it stirs things up
“They already beat them, gassed them, incarcerated them, threatened them, dismissed them unjustly, slandered them and ordered a de facto state of emergency in Mexico City. What’s next? Do they disappear them? Do they murder them? Seriously? Will the ‘education’ reform be born in the blood and dead bodies of the teachers? Are they going to substitute the teachers’ occupations with police and military occupations; blockades of protest with blockades of tanks and bayonets?”
Later it refers to the Secretary of Education, as a “terrorist” for taking hostages, “for the arrest of members of the CNTE’s leadership is that and nothing else.” In any kind of terrorism, whether that of the State or that of its fundamentalist mirrors, the EZLN says, (hostage taking) is a way to force dialogue and negotiation.
“We don’t know if up there above they have realized it or not, but it turns out that the other part (the teachers) is the one that is seeking dialogue and negotiation. Or is the SEP now affiliated with ISIS and so takes hostages just to sow terror?” the armed group ironizes.
The Zapatistas point out in their communiqué that they don’t know much about the communications media, “but in our humble opinion, it is bad business to put, at the front of the media campaign about a shameless privatization, a sad and grey overseer who wants to be a police agent,” they say in reference to Nuño.
“Initiating the children into the first steps of science and art, that is what the teachers do,” the communiqué concludes.
Slightly adapted from an English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee