Vamos por ellos
Twelve years ago Mexico was set to enter the “first world” with the implementation of NAFTA (North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement) January 1, 1994. Then president Ernesto Zedillo had made multiple free trade deals, NAFTA being the most comprehensive and important, Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution protecting ejidal, or communally-held lands had been changed to allow for their possession as private property and thus their availability for sale or appropriation through debt. As businessmen and politicians celebrated their new capitalist tract, guaranteed to reap large profits for large companies and to leave farmers and peasants helpless in front of a global market, the indigenous Zapatista Army for National Liberation was coming out of the jungle and down from the mountains, armed with weapons that would successfully enable them to take seven major cities in the state of Chiapas and words that would catalyze not only a new politics in Mexico but a new global movement. When Mexico’s political and business elite woke from their hangovers January 1, the country and the world, with its eyes on the masked rebels in Mexico, was other.
The favorite, in polls and press, to win this year’s presidential elections in Mexico is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, (AMLO) candidate of the PRD, Mexico’s mainstream so-called “leftist” party. What AMLO promises for Mexico is a new management of capital, a more efficient and productive relationship between multinational capitalist interests and the national political class, a more complete and seamless integration of global capital into the work and lives of the people of this nation labeled Mexico. At the National Assembly of Adherents of the Sixth Declaration/Other campaign May 29th, representatives from every state in the Republic, the EZLN, and hundreds of groups, organizations, and individuals, met to organize what is now, as the EZ recognized at the assembly, a national anticapitalist organization. [photo: May 28, 2006 Free the Political Prisoners rally in the Zocalo, Mexico City] After hearing the reports from each state about the mobilizations held May 28th in demand of freedom for the political prisoners taken May 3 and 4 in San Salvador Atenco, proposed that the next national mobilization be held July 2, the day of the presidential elections.
In many stops on the Other Campaign the EZLN has said, “vamos por ellos,” or “we’re going after them.” We will not wait here anymore for them to come rob us of even our poverty. We are going after them. The July 2 proposal for mobilizations is in part this—they want us to stick to small protests and actions; the day of their “party” July 2, when they think no one can bother them, that is the day we will rain on their parade. But it also something else. Those that abstain from voting July 2nd do not abstain because we convinced them too, the EZ clarifies, but because the political class convinced them. We propose the 2nd of July, the EZ continues, “to present an Other Alternative for organization and struggle for our people, the people that will be once again cast aside July 3rd,” an alternative that goes against the system, not just against the government. The EZ recommends that each state, region, zone of the Other Campaign consider the proposal and decide if they concur. Because it is a very different thing, the EZ says, to close streets or occupy government buildings, to mobilize on the 2nd of July, then on any other day: if we do this, they warn, we have everything against us—the media, the political class, the people inconvenienced—“and the only thing we have going for us is our duty to our companeros prisoners, and our duty to our country to construct an alternative, an anticapitalist alternative.”
So as the political class and elite of Mexico excitedly prepare themselves to be the newly efficient managers and administrators of capital, to refine neoliberal policies into a more compatible and profitable relationship with the nation, once again their party will be interrupted desde abajo, by those from below.