EZLN: “22 years later we are showing that we don’t want to use these weapons, that it isn’t necessary. ”
Dance performance at CompArte in Roberto Barrios
From the Desinformémonos Editors
Subcomandante Moisés, commander and spokesperson of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN), stated that: “the soldiers should not have to kill us because we have not wanted to kill them.” As an example, he said, “the compañero support bases have demonstrated it (because) for 22 years we have kept our weapons stored, like tools.”
During the closing of the CompArte Festival in the Caracol of Roberto Barrios, in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, the Zapatista leader thanked the support bases for the demonstration of their art: “They have given us something great. For now, we want to tell you that we understand that the word war is using a weapon, but here we are demonstrating, 22 years later, that we don’t want to use those weapons, that it isn’t necessary. We are demonstrating that there is [another] way to achieve freedom, justice and democracy; that it isn’t necessary to kill the soldiers that the rich, the capitalist has, with which he is defended.”
The CompArte Festival, according to reports from the alternative communications media that had access, toured the five Zapatista regions (Oventik, La Garrucha, La Realidad, Morelia and Roberto Barrios), in Los Altos (the Highlands), the Lacandón Jungle and the Northern Zone of Chiapas, with demonstrations of poetry, dances, songs, paintings and other artistic activities in which Zapatista support bases and organizations and collectives from Mexico and from many parts of the world participated.
Below is the whole comunicado published by the Free Media:
“Good afternoon bases of support, the Sixth, brothers and sisters who listen to us!
We really can’t find the words to say to you because of the big surprise that the EZLN’s bases of support artist compañeros have shown us.
You have given us a lesson, an instruction, a class; that’s how we, our comandante and comandanta compañeros, feel.
We are representing our Caracoles, you have helped us a lot; you have taught us a lot; you give us strength and, well, power. We have a big task that you have given us, a big job that you have given us, and because of our practice we have to think it through collectively with our compañera comandantas and compañero comandantes.
You have given us something great. For now we want to tell you that we understand the word war is to use the weapon, but here we are demonstrating, 22 years later, that we don’t want to use those weapons; it isn’t necessary. We are showing that there is a way to achieve freedom, justice and democracy; that it’s not necessary to kill the soldiers that the rich, the capitalist has, with which he defends himself.
The soldiers would not have to kill us, because we have not wanted to kill them. The example the support base compañeros have shown, for 22 years we have preserved our weapons like tools.
We want to construct our autonomy and we are showing our brothers of Chiapas, Mexico and the world, but you aren’t going to stop, because you won’t like capitalism. You oblige us and we have to look for the way in which that doesn’t happen, but if it’s necessary to defend, one must defend oneself.
We are able to understand without killing and without dying. To finish with capitalism we need to get organized, to construct a new house or to set capitalism aside. But for now that lesson that you have given us, there is a lot of work to do and to think about.
Here in Mexico they have us so divided, into the countryside and the city, they have us so distracted so that we don’t realize how we are subjected in manipulation, but this class that you gave us, EZLN support base compañeros from the five Caracoles, we are not able to say more right now, because it was more what you told us and presented to us.
It’s really recharging the battery for us and for the comandante compañeros. We are seeing the fruits of the labour of our compañero representatives that is the EZLN’s structure.
What would happen if the thousands of Zapatista artists from the five Caracoles were seen? Something much greater would come from it. There are many types of weapons, but not the ones that kill, but rather the ones that change the life, the thinking and the idea. In all the Caracoles that we have passed through, we have met and we didn’t find the words because we need to get deeper into it, but with that material that the compañeros from the tercios compas  are making, that will help us a lot.
For now, we have enough material to get to work, to think about it and to concretize it so that if the bases approve it, it will be a real practice. That is the wisdom that we hear, see and later think about to put into practice, that is the spark of the art of seeing, of the art of listening, so that later it will be seen in practice for the benefit of one’s own people.
Art and science are really necessary to be able to destroy capitalism. We don’t know how, but we must think about it. There is no reason that we will see things differently, we are of the same original peoples in the countryside and also in the city. Our job is to think of how to unite because capitalism is going to destroy us.
And that is the importance of art and not only for Mexico. So, the instruction that you gave us hasn’t fit in our head, we have to go over it again, that is what we feel.
Thank you to the bases of support from the five Caracoles and the invitees for accompanying us. Our thinking about what we are going to tell you will arrive soon and you will decide if it’s so or not. We will look for the art of how to reach consensus on what will emerge in the practical work of what we said in this art of struggle.
Thank you brothers and sisters bases of support and compañeros of the Sixth.”
 The tercios compas – the Zapatista media team
Originally Published in Spanish by Desinformémonos
Monday, August 15, 2016
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee
Posted with minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity