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Part three: The mission [EZLN]

Chiapas. After Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee of the EZLN: Part Six: A Mountain in the High SeaPart Five: The Gaze and the Distance to the Door and Part Four: Memory of What Is to Come, we now republish part three. The statements are released in the opposite direction. The first was part six, the second part five, the third part 4, this is part three and, like the trip, it will continue in the opposite direction. That is, the second part will follow, then it ends with part one.

Originally published by Enlace Zapatista. Translated by Enough 14.

Part three: The mission

About how Zapatista Defense tries to explain to Hope what the mission of Zapatism is and other happy reasoning

“Well, I’m going to explain something very important to you. But you can’t take notes, you have to keep it in mind. Because you leave the notebook thrown anywhere, while you have to keep your head on all the time.”

Difesa Zapatista walks from one side to the other, as he says the good soul did when he was explaining something very important. Hope is sitting on a log and, prescient, has placed a nylon on the damp wood blooming with moss, mushrooms and dried twigs.

“Are we about to see where we’re going to go with the struggle?‘” she kicks off Zapatista Defense by pointing with her small hands to a vague spot.

Hope is thinking of an answer, but it is clear that Difesa has asked a rhetorical question, that is, one whose answer she is not interested in, but rather the questions that follow from the first question. In its own opinion, Difesa Zapatista is following the scientific method…

“Therefore, the problem is not to arrive, but to create a path. That is, if there is no path, then you have to do it, because otherwise how do you do it,” the little girl brandishes a machete that who knows where it came from, but surely in some hut they are looking for it.

“So, the problem is how to change, and the very first thing is the path. Because if there is no path where do you want to go, so it becomes a useless concern. So what are we going to do if there’s no path to where we’re going?”

Hope responds with satisfaction, “We wait for the rain to stop so we don’t get wet when we make the path.”

Defense runs a hand through her hair -and ruins the hairdo that cost her mommy half an hour to fix- and shouts, “No!”

Hope doubts and ventures, “I know: let’s tell a lie to Pedrito that there’s candy there where we’re going, but there’s no path and let him see who makes his own path first, and fills his pockets with candy.”

Defense reacts, “Are we going to ask the fucking men for help? Never. We’ll do it as the women we are.”

“Sure,” says Hope, “and maybe there’s chocolate.”

Defense continues: “But what do we do if we get lost in paving the way?”

Hope replies, “Do we shout for help? Do we shoot flares or play the shell so they can hear us from the village and come to free us?”

Defense realizes that Hope is taking the matter literally and, moreover, is gaining approval from the rest of the audience. For example, the cat-dog is now licking his chops imagining the pot full of chocolate at the end of the rainbow, and the one-horse suspects that maybe there is also corn with salt and the pot overflowing with plastic bottles. Calamity rehearses the choreography that SupGaleano has designed for her, called “pas de chocolat”, which consists of balancing herself like a rhinoceros on the pot.

Elías Contreras, for his part, from the first question has pulled out his file and sharpens his double-edged machete.

Further on, an indefinite being, extraordinarily similar to a cockroach, carries a banner that reads “Call me Ishmael”, discusses with Old Antonio the advantages of immobility on land, and argues thus: “Yes, my dear Queequeg, there is no white whale that comes close to port”. The indigenous and Zapatista elder, the unintentional teacher of the generation that rose up in arms in 1994, takes a cigarette with the machine and listens attentively to the beast’s arguments.

The Zapatista Defense child realizes that, like the sciences and the arts, she is in the difficult condition of being misunderstood: like a pas de deux waiting for the embrace for pirouettes and the support for a porté; like a film locked in a pizza waiting for a look that will free it; like a port without a boat; like a cumbia waiting for the hips that will give it meaning and purpose; like a concave Cigala without a convex; like Luz Casal going to the meeting of the promised flower, like Louis Lingg without the bombs of punk; like Panchito Varona looking, behind a chord, for a stolen April* (*references to Diego El Cigala’s flamenco “Cóncavo y convexo”, to Luz Casal’s album “Como la flor prometida”, to the band Louis Lling and the Bombs, to the song “¿Quién me ha robado el mes de abril? ” by Joaquín Sabina, of which Pancho Varona was the guitarist, Ed); like a ska without a pogo; like a hazelnut ice cream without a Sup to honor it.

But Defense is defense, but it is also Zapatista, so that there is none for anyone: resistance and rebellion, and with his eyes he seeks the help of Old Antonio.

“But the storms respect no one: it is always the same on sea and land, in the sky and on the ground. Down to the bowels of the earth humans, plants and animals writhe and suffer. It doesn’t matter the color, the size, the way”, says Old Antonio in a dull voice.

Everyone maintains a silence halfway between respect and terror.

Old Antonio continues: “The women and men come from sheltering themselves from winds, rain and broken soil, and wait for it to pass to see what is left and what is not. But the land does more because it prepares for later, for what follows. And in its shelter it begins to change. Mother Earth does not wait for the end of the storm to see what to do, but from before she begins to build. That is why the wisest say that the morning does not arrive just like that and suddenly appears, but is already lurking in the shadows and, who knows how to look, finds it in the cracks of the night. That is why men and women of corn, when they sow, dream of the tortilla, the atole, the pozol, the tamale and the marquesote. There aren’t any yet, but they know there will be, and that’s what commands their work. They look at their work and they look at the fruit even before the seed touches the ground.

Men and women of corn, when they look at this world and its pains, also look at the world that will have to be built and become one with their path. They have three glances: one for the above; the other for the present; and the other one for what follows. So they know they sow a treasure: the gaze”.

Defense nods enthusiastically. She understands that Old Antonio understands the argument that she cannot explain. Two generations distant in calendar and geography build a bridge that comes and goes… like the roads.

“Right,” the girl almost screams and looks lovingly at the old man.

She continues: “If we already know where we are going, it means that we already know where we don’t want to go. Then at each step we are moving away from one side and approaching another one. We are not there yet, but the path we are taking is already marking our destination. If we want to eat tamales, we won’t be planting pumpkins.

The whole audience makes an understandable gesture of disgust, imagining a horrible pumpkin soup.

“We weathered the storm with what we know, but we are already preparing what follows. And we are preparing it now. That’s why we have to take the word away. It doesn’t matter if whoever said it is no longer there, but what matters is that the seed reaches good soil and that, where it already exists, it develops. In other words, support. That is our mission: to be a seed that seeks other seeds,” states the Zapatista Defense and, addressing Esperanza, asks: “Do you understand?”

Esperanza stands up and, with all the solemnity of her nine years, responds seriously:

“Yes, of course I understood that we are going to die miserably.”

And, almost immediately, she adds, “But we’re going to make it worth your while.

All applaud.

To reinforce Esperanza’s “worthiness”, Old Antonio takes out a pack of the chocolates they call “besitos” from his backpack.

The cat-dog is made of a good quantity with a paw and the choco horse prefers to continue with its plastic bottle.

Elias Contreras, member of the commission of investigation of the ezln, repeats with a low voice: “we are going to make it worthwhile”, and sends his heart and his mind to brother Samir Flores and to those who face, with only their dignity, the noisy thief of water and life who hides behind the foreman’s weapons, the one who hides in his words the blind obedience he owes to the Mandón: first money, then money, money at the end. Never justice, neither freedom, never life.

The little bug starts to talk about how a chocolate bar saved him from dying in the Siberian steppe while he was going, coming from the Sami lands -where the Yoik sang-, to the Selkup territory to honor the Cedar, the tree of life. “I went to learn, that’s what journeys are for. Because there are resistances and rebelliousness that are not so far away in calendars and geographies, they are not less important and heroic”, he says while, with his multiple little legs, he releases the chocolate from his prison of shiny aluminum paper, applauds and takes a piece, all at the same time.

For her part, Calamity has understood well that one must think about what comes next and, with the chocolate muddy in her little hands, she enthusiastically declares: “Let’s play popcorn!”

From the Zapatista Maritime-Land Training Center

The SupGaleano giving the workshop “The Internationalist Gómito”.
Mexico, December 2020.

From the cat-dog’s notebook: Treasure is the other thing.

“When he finished, he slowly looked at me with his only eye and said: ‘Don Durito was waiting for you. Know that I am the last of the true pirates living in the world. And I say “real” because now there are an infinite number of “pirates” who steal, kill, destroy and plunder from the financial centers and the great government palaces, without touching more water than that of the bathtub. Here is their mission (he gives me a file of old scrolls). Find the treasure and put it in safekeeping. Now excuse me, but I have to die. And in saying this last, he dropped his head on the table. Yes, he was dead. The little parrot flew up and out of a window saying, “I’m going to the exile of Mytilene, I’m going to the bastard son of Lesbos, I’m going to the pride of the Aegean Sea. Open your nine doors, fearful of hell, for there the great Barbarossa will rest. He has found someone to follow in his footsteps and is now sleeping. Who made just a tear from the ocean. With Black Shield the pride of the true Pirates will now sail. Beneath the window the Swedish port of Göteborg stretched out and in the distance a nyckelharpa cried”

Don Durito from La Lacandona. October 1999.

Section: Three deliriums, two groups and a mutineer.
If we follow Admiral Maxo’s route, I think we will arrive faster if we walk through the Bering Strait

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