Two Indigenous Comandantes Will Travel to Live in Each State; Later, “We Will Travel To Every Part of the United States and Canada”
By Simon Fitzgerald
The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign in Baja California
October 21, 2006
On the night of Thursday, October 19, at the end of two days of meetings, rallies, and events with the Other Tijuana and the Other Campaign on the Other Side, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos explained in more detail how the Other Campaign will function after the current tour around the country ends in Mexico City on November 30.
In the MultiKulti Theatre in downtown Tijuana, Marcos clarified that his trip around the country was to make first contact with adherents to the Other Campaign, “to see who is getting close to us just for the photo-op and who is really working in their communities.” Afterwords, larger delegations of indigenous comandantes – with at least one man and one woman from the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee – would spread out across the country. Each of these delegations would move to a single region of Mexico, meeting with adherents for private conversations “with more time and without the pressure” of the current tour, which has traveled across four states in under two weeks since the reinitiation on October 8.
The first piece of work that Marcos has asked adherent individuals and organizations to carry out is to define what aspects of the struggle they think are essential to the Other Campaign. Marcos gave the example, “if violence or marginalization of women is tolerated, or if differences in sexuality like homosexuality are not respected in The Other Campaign, then I am out.”
The comandantes would also ensure that adherent individuals and organizations in each part of the country travel out to the most marginalized segments of the population, to speak with the people who might be interested in a non-electoral anti-capitalist movement but do not have the resources to attend meetings or use a web page. The comandantes and the adherents would work these communities to create a national plan of struggle from the perspective of each community. For example “the national plan of struggle for the indigenous farm laborers of the San Quintin Valley will be different from the national plan of struggle for maquiladora workers in Tijuana,” even though they are in the same state of Baja California.
In laying out these duties of the comandantes as delegates of the Other Campaign and of the adherents, Marcos specified how The Other Campaign plans to carry out “a new form of politics.” In addition, by using the military structure of the EZLN to carry out nationwide community organizing, the Zapatistas are challenging the definition of an “army of national liberation.”
This process will also be a long one that may see many different electoral campaigns come and go. Illustrating this point, Marcos also offered some clues as to how the Other Campaign would be internationalized. “If we would have said ten years ago that we would travel into every small corner of Mexico, people would have said ‘You´re crazy!’ Maybe I will sound crazy now, but I am going to say here, we will travel to every part of the United States and Canada to speak with the Mexican compañeros there.”
It remains to be seen if a movement in North America will be ready a year from now or even ten years from now to receive the Zaptistas or to change the continent, from below and to the left.
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