Monday, February 13, 2006

Damn Reds Without the Black

Communist Participation in the Zapatista Rainbow
“The Other Campaign Will Not End Until Capitalism Ends”
By The Party of Mexican Communists

Struggle by struggle, visiting different groups in resistance, listening to the stories of confrontation with the system, “Delegate Zero’s” tour marches on, followed by a caravan made up of alternative media and leftwing social and political organizations who have adhered to this movement that is now shaking the entire country.

Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, Veracruz, Oaxaca… and the struggle continues. But the basis of a transformative process that begins by breaking with the capitalist system now has such an important foundation that it is possible to announce that the people will be victorious. The Indian peoples, the peasant farmers, the agricultural workers, the fishermen, the women, the multicultural youth movement, the working class, the revolutionary left, the environmentalists, all together, little by little, are forming the sociopolitical force that will cause Mexico to be reborn.

In Bekal a Question, In Candelaria the Answer

We had just arrived in Campeche, and the combativeness of the local artisans was showing itself. A demonstration was held under the harsh sun, in the community’s main plaza, which features two giant cement sombreros symbolizing the townspeople’s main product. They weave the hats by hand, spending as long as two days on each but receiving a miserable price from middlemen or “coyotes” who resell them marked up by 150 to 200 percent in the cities. The assembly is participative. Those interested obtain publications from the improvised information booths, be they Revista Rebeldía magazine, the newspaper Machetearte, Marxists books, protest music, communist, socialist or anarchist pamphlets. The people want information; students from a nearby public school ask for books by both Lenin and Che.

One compañero asks why there are parties there, if the Sixth Declaration says it wants nothing to do with them. It is an interesting discussion, which allows us to point out that the Zapatista’s call excludes registered parties. We further clarify that although these are called “parties,” they are really electoral instruments of the ruling class; that the PRI, PAN and PRD are like slot machines that reproduce bourgeois democracy; that all these parties have one single program, the “Chapultepec Pact.” We also explain that the organizations present at the event are revolutionary parties, similar to the Flores Magón brothers’ Mexican Liberal Party as instruments of struggle for the workers, maintained by the voluntary donations of party members and those who buy our newspapers, magazines or books; that we do not accept government campaign funds because that would be like selling our souls to the devil.

Another compañero says that he is a socialist, but that he does not agree with the communists and their foriegn ideas. He says he belonged to the Socialist Workers’ Party in the 1980s. This same compañero asks for the floor during the assembly and speaks out against the presence of red flags with the hammer and sickle. He asks Subcomandante Marocs if he is a communist, because these ideas have nothing to do with the people of Campeche. The EZLN delegate explains that every struggle is associated with a symbol, and that the red star on the Zapatistas’ black flag is deeply associated with the Mayan people – the image of the star that comes to announce the dawn. Marcos gives a powerful description of January 1, 1994, telling of how after the military operations that day had ended, he was called over to deal with someone thought to be a foreign journalist but who turned out to be simply a frightened tourist. As he answered the tourist’s questions about how to get out of Chiapas, members of the actual press began to approach and listen. And that is how he became the spokesman for the EZLN, and how his black ski mask became the most famous symbol of the rebellion. Marcos explained that in the struggle he is only a subcomandante, and that the leaders are the comandantes and comandantas, simple and humble men and women like the late Comandanta Ramona.

In another town, the question asked in Bekal receives an answer. This is in Candelaria, a place where the agrarian struggle is organized by communists. When Marcos arrives he is surrounded by communists waving red flags. These are not the proletarians, factory workers or teachers; they are agricultural workers, fishermen, elderly communal farmers, people who live off the land. For several decades a communist who came from Nayarit had been organizing them and building up a social movement and party. This comrade, Ignacio Magdaleno, died last August. Elderly compañeros explain with pride that they belong to the Communist Party, and that their struggle has been under that banner for years. Workers and indigenous people say the same. A teacher named Gladis presents a number of proposals to move the process forward.


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