THANK YOU III.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE BUILDING IN THE WORLD.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés. Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
Eve. Predawn. The cold bites under the clothing of the shadows. On the table which, solitary, furnishes the hut (which has no sign at all but it is known that it is now the general quarters of the Zapatista command), is the wrinkled piece of paper with handwriting where the accounting for the school-clinic’s construction in La Realidad Zapatista is detailed. The voice sums up looks, silences, smoke, rages:
The accounting isn’t complete. The life of any Zapatista is worth more than Peña Nieto’s White House and than all the houses of all the rich people in the world put together. Not even the entire payment which it costs to make the huge buildings where the powerful hide to do their frauds and crimes, is enough to pay for even one drop of Zapatista indigenous blood. That is why we feel that this building is the most expensive which there is in the world.
So of course we have to say that what doesn’t appear in the payment accounting, is compañero Galeano’s blood. Even all the paper in the history of the world would not be enough to write out that accounting.
And so, do put it like that when you put your lists in the media, which say who richest, where poorest. Because the rich one has a first and last name. Lineage, pedigree. But the poor only have geography and calendar. Do put then that the most expensive building on the entire planet is in La Realidad Zapatista, Chiapas, Mexico. And that the Zapatista indigenous girls and boys attend the most expensive school in the world. And that the men, women, girls, boys, elderly, indigenous, Zapatistas, Mexicans, when they get sick in La Realidad, go to the most expensive clinic on earth to be treated.
But the only way of completing the accounting is fighting to destroy the capitalist system. Not change it. Not improve it. Not make it more human, less cruel, less thuggish. No. Destroying it completely. Annihilating each and every one of the Hydra’s heads.
And even like so it will be necessary, as we here want, to raise up something new and more better: building another system, one without masters, without bosses, without head honchos, without injustice, without exploitation, without contempt, without repression, without plunder. One without violence against women, childhood, that which is different. One where labor has its just payment. One where ignorance does not command. One where hunger and violent death are bad memories. One where no one is above at the cost of others being below. A reasonable one. A more better one.
Then, and only then will we the Zapatistas be able to say that our accounting is complete.
Many thanks to the others, men, women, girls, boys, elderly, groups, collectives, organizations, and whatever-they’re-called of the Sixth Declaration and not-Sixth Declaration of Mexico and the world, for the support which you gave us. This clinic and school are yours too.
So you now know that you have an autonomous health clinic and an autonomous school in La Realidad Zapatista.
We know that it is a bit far away, but one never knows, the world is round, it spins around and it could be, maybe, who knows… what if one ordinary pre-dawn morning you understand that, fighting to complete the accounting, is on your tab too.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés. Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
La Realidad Zapatista, Chiapas, México.
SECTION “FROM THE CAT-DOG’S NOTEBOOK”:
Notes on gender:
.- (…) That is why, as women in this country, we need to organize, because we see that there are many disappearances. Those of us women who are mothers are many, those who are suffering the pain, this great sadness for our disappeared sons, our dead daughters. Because now, this evil system, aside from the fact that we are humiliated, are despised, are exploited, aside from all this, they still come to kill and disappear our children. Such is the case of ABC and now with the 43 disappeared from Ayotzinapa, the disappeared women from Ciudad Juárez, the case of Aguas Blancas, and all this is the system. It is not going to resolve our problems, we will have no response from this current system. That is why brothers and sisters, we need to organize because it is there in the people itself where we are going to decide, where we are going to see the path that we want as peoples. As peoples of men and women, not only those from the countryside and the indigenous, also you sisters who live in the city, because it is among ourselves that we are going to govern, and it is there together with our men, between men and women, that we are going to build the new system, where we as women are really taken into account and maybe there compañeras, sisters, we will encounter the relief for the pain which we now have and for that collective rage which now unites us.
(…) Now that we are in the 21st century, just a few women who benefit from wealth, in other words just the wives of the rich, just the wives of the presidents, of the governors, and just the female representatives, senators, but in our case as indigenous women we continue suffering from pain, sadness, bitterness, rape, exploitation, humiliation, discrimination, imprisonment, contempt, marginalization, torture, and many other things, because for us women, there is no government. It is because of this that for the rest of the woman in the country it remains the same, just as women before lived, as in the times of the ejidos, of the colonies, our grandfathers dragged along that bad culture which they lived with their bosses, they commanded, as if they were the little boss of the house, he still says: “I give the orders” and that is the father. And he ordered around his wife and that is how the most horrible thing arose, that women, that is the daughters, the compañeras earlier on were forced to marry because the fathers were those who chose the one which suited him as his son in-law. They chose whoever gave the most booze or most money and that is how it happened in the time of the ejidos, that women were never taken into account, like when the men organized, like when they were organizing for the work, but there women were never taken into account.
(…) How many disappeared, dead, raped, exploited women, and no one says anything for them. Because those rich women, are only a few who benefit from the wealth of other exploited women. Those rich women do not suffer, do not feel the pain, the humiliation of being exploited for being poor. But not because of this are we going to stop organizing and fighting as women, because the women in the system there is only pain, sadness, imprisonment, humiliation, rape. Like the mothers of the 43 disappeared students, the ABC daycare, and the Pasta de Conchos mine. Just the same in Acteal, but not because of this are we going to stop organizing and fighting, from the country and from the city. That is why we are sharing with you for the first time in history.
(…) just as in the system, there are men who do work which women do but it is not for the good of a new society as we do, as Zapatistas; we have an example then in some places in the great restaurants that there are such elegant men doing the work that well, what women do, but there men and women are exploited and while the women who occupied that position are taken to other places to give them another use, like a commodity, take photos of them to put in magazines, on movie covers, in Internet publications; just as we see then that life in this system in which we are well it is harder like 520 years ago, because the situation well what the evil government does to us they are the same grandchildren they are the same children of the landowners who continue exploiting us well now in this country and as we see that there is never a change in the system and the sisters and brothers continue bearing in this suffering in this pain from what the evil government now provokes in us. (Notes taken from the Zapatista contribution in the First Global Festival of Resistances and Rebellions Against Capitalism. Complete version in “Rebeldía Zapatista. No. 4,” forthcoming)
.- In this system being born, growing, living, and dying a woman can be like the elongated crawl through a tangle of barbed wire. But that pain is one of the many stains on history. What alleviates it is those women, more each day, who decide to stand up and like so walk upright. Not as if the barbs were flowers, but as if the scrapes, even the deadly ones, made them stronger… To go along opening the path. Not to change domination’s gender, but for there to be no more domination. Not in order to like so have a place in the history of above, but for the history of below to stop being an unhealed wound. Neither top dog nor bottom dog. Neither queen nor commoner. Neither Khaleesi nor Jhiqui. Neither boss nor employee. Neither master nor slave. Neither owner nor servant. But the terrible thing is not that each female-born being does it with that fraud of a calendar to come, in any political geography. The frightening thing is that those who raise up the cry for a better world, more than a few times weave with their own hands those wounding traps. But each while reality, which in Spanish is feminine, slaps the calendar of above and all the geographies of below. I attest.
Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.
Originally published on March 8, 2015.