Marcos speech, Toluc

Translation by Frank Shulse

Words of the EZLN on March 5 in Toluca, state of Mexico.

Brothers and sisters of Toluca:
Brothers and sisters of the state of Mexico:

We wish to say a few special words for those who struggle and die in the cities: the workers, the employees, the teachers, the students, the slum dwellers, the youths, the unemployed, the market vendors, the itinerant vendors, the chauffeurs, the truckers, the housewives, the boys, the girls, the women, the men, the old ones.

We wish to greet with affection all Mexicans, except, of course, those who are getting fat on the blood of those below.

To those who are on top crushing those below, we don't bring greetings, we bring you our disdain.

Brothers and sisters of Mexico:

You and we have both suffered.

You and we have been the butt of jokes.

They make fun of us for our color, because we are dark, because we are the color of the earth.

They make fun of us for the way we speak, because in our blood and our tongue live our indigenous fathers and mothers.

They make fun of us for the way we amuse ourselves, because our ancestors are in our dances and songs, in our games.

But mostly they make fun of us because we are poor.

They make fun of us, they exploit us, they hold us down, they fool us and they humiliate us.

They put you and us down if we protest the violation of our rights.

Because in this country the only right that we have as poor people is to be poor.

All the rest they deny us.

They deny us a decent place to live. For the rich good houses and great gardens. For us a cardboard box and garbage.

Ownership of land they deny us. For the rich, the best lands, credit, technology, markets. For us a pile of rocks and just enough land to fit under our fingernails.

They deny us jobs and a just salary. For the rich great profits. For us unemployment or a few coins. We search long hours for work and can't find it, and if we try to find some way to make a little something to sell, then the police jump us, the government and its regulations and corruptions, and the little bit that we manage to put together goes right into the pocket of some petty bureaucrat.

We spend long hours in the factory, behind the counter, the steering wheel, behind the plow, on the tractor, in the home, in the school, in the hospital, in the government office, in the street, at the stoplight, in the workshop, in the store whether it be big, medium-sized or little, in whatever corner of the Mexican state. Long hours and so little money that it disappears before we can even buy food for our families, our shelter, our health, our education.

And the next day its the same old story.

They deny us health. For the rich, great and modern hospitals, knowledgeable doctors, competent nurses, the newest medicines. For us neither hospitals nor doctors nor nurses nor medicine.

They deny us food. For the rich the most nutritive food and scientific diet. For us, chaff, a forced and endless diet of left-overs.

They deny us education. For the rich great schools, modern pedagogical techniques, scientific laboratories, specialized teachers, high-falutin' degrees. For us, half-destroyed schools, badly paid teachers, torn books full of lies, degrees from crummy institutions.

They deny us justice. For the rich, judges and police "at your service", pardons for sale for a few dollars each. For us, persecution, jail, "disappearance", death.

And they deny us peace.

For the rich, peace creates a concert with special effects and lots of publicity, in prime time with greetings from the government. [A reference to a TV media-sponsored and media-hyped event set to coincide with the Zapatista march.] For us a dark corner, threats for the march, news coverage in the middle of the night.

They tried to buy peace and now they realize that it was a bad buy, that the product they paid for cannot be found, that it is just another fraud like the many frauds done by their businesses.

They are just beginning to realize that peace with justice and dignity, where you and we may live without fear, the only peace possible, is priceless.

It is not bought with money, not even a lot of money, neither is it bought with threats or blows.

It comes from fighting with truth, not doublespeak.

Because it turns out that the concert for their peace has already ended and we, the lowest of the low, are not finished yet.

The truth is that the fancy lights have already gone out but we are still shining.

The truth is that the applause is over but we haven't finished.

The truth is that the concert and the commercials are over but we continue on.

The truth is that these lies have been told but we are still here.

Brothers and sisters:

Just a short while ago we finished reading the declarations of a few of the great men of money in Mexico.

They are afraid of the March of Indigenous Dignity.

They are afraid of the march of the color of the earth.

They are afraid of what we have to say.

They are afraid because they say that the poor are going to rise up to join our march and are going to settle accounts.

They are afraid because they recognize that the conditions of life for the majority of Mexicans, - and not just the indigenous - are very bad and that this can provoke a rebellion.

They are afraid, they say, because the class struggle could intensify.

Well now, wasn't there already class warfare?

Didn't they criticize the left because it didn't understand that the Berlin Wall had fallen?

Does this mean that the most powerful people of the country are still living in the sixties and the seventies?

Why is it that they are using a language and assuming an attitude that does not correspond to the world that they are selling in their propaganda?

Why are they so afraid of a peaceful march, and unarmed march of indigenous marginalized people who are not asking for the fall of the government, nor the expropriation of factories, nor the nationalization of the banks, nor that the businesses become controlled by the workers, nor that the federal army surrender, nor even that Fox have an actual plan of government?

Because the only thing that we are asking for with this march is that they recognize us as indigenous people and as Mexicans.

It is right-wing hysteria that is converting this movement into a revolution.

And for this reason they are in a hurry to get out of the country or shut themselves up in their fortresses.

Because they are afraid of the color of the earth.

So [we say to them] -Stop the hysterical shouting. Understand once and for all that the country has already changed and will never go back to being what it was.

It is a new Mexico and in this new Mexico we want a dignified place for the indigenous.

Everyplace we have been we have been welcomed and have received offers of help, not only from the lowest of the low, but from the middle class, and more than a few who belong to the highest echelons of Mexico.

And each man and woman has made it clear that they are for the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture. Nothing more, and nothing less.

So we say to the powerful of this country that they should calm down, that they should listen attentively, study, and make a real effort to think with their heads and not with their wallets or their credit cards.

If they want a left that is modern, then learn to be a right that is modern.

Its been a long time since those who have struggled together have addressed each other as "comrades", now we call one another "brothers and sisters".

There is a remedy for this little earthquake. Tell Mister Fox to fulfill the three signals. That way the dialogue can be reopened, and the doorway to peace will not be lies nor fear.

Tell him to learn to govern with the people and not in place of the people.

Brothers and sisters:

Yes, it is certain that the earth is trembling and that it is felt.

But it is not in fear.

It is because we are walking, we indigenous, we who are the color of the earth.

And it is law that there be shaking when the earth walks.

Democracy!
Liberty!
Justice!

From Toluca, state of Mexico.

Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee-General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army
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Translation by Frank Shulse




Words of the EZLN on March 5 in Toluca, state of Mexico.

Brothers and sisters of Toluca:
Brothers and sisters of the state of Mexico:


We wish to say a few special words for those who struggle and die in the cities: the workers, the employees, the teachers, the students, the slum dwellers, the youths, the unemployed, the market vendors, the itinerant vendors, the chauffeurs, the truckers, the housewives, the boys, the girls, the women, the men, the old ones.


We wish to greet with affection all Mexicans, except, of course, those who are getting fat on the blood of those below.

To those who are on top crushing those below, we don't bring greetings, we bring you our disdain.

Brothers and sisters of Mexico:

You and we have both suffered.

You and we have been the butt of jokes.

They make fun of us for our color, because we are dark, because we are the color of the earth.

They make fun of us for the way we speak, because in our blood and our tongue live our indigenous fathers and mothers.

They make fun of us for the way we amuse ourselves, because our ancestors are in our dances and songs, in our games.

But mostly they make fun of us because we are poor.

They make fun of us, they exploit us, they hold us down, they fool us and they humiliate us.

They put you and us down if we protest the violation of our rights.

Because in this country the only right that we have as poor people is to be poor.

All the rest they deny us.

They deny us a decent place to live. For the rich good houses and great gardens. For us a cardboard box and garbage.

Ownership of land they deny us. For the rich, the best lands, credit, technology, markets. For us a pile of rocks and just enough land to fit under our fingernails.

They deny us jobs and a just salary. For the rich great profits. For us unemployment or a few coins. We search long hours for work and can't find it, and if we try to find some way to make a little something to sell, then the police jump us, the government and its regulations and corruptions, and the little bit that we manage to put together goes right into the pocket of some petty bureaucrat.

We spend long hours in the factory, behind the counter, the steering wheel, behind the plow, on the tractor, in the home, in the school, in the hospital, in the government office, in the street, at the stoplight, in the workshop, in the store whether it be big, medium-sized or little, in whatever corner of the Mexican state. Long hours and so little money that it disappears before we can even buy food for our families, our shelter, our health, our education.

And the next day its the same old story.

They deny us health. For the rich, great and modern hospitals, knowledgeable doctors, competent nurses, the newest medicines. For us neither hospitals nor doctors nor nurses nor medicine.


They deny us food. For the rich the most nutritive food and scientific diet. For us, chaff, a forced and endless diet of left-overs.


They deny us education. For the rich great schools, modern pedagogical techniques, scientific laboratories, specialized teachers, high-falutin' degrees. For us, half-destroyed schools, badly paid teachers, torn books full of lies, degrees from crummy institutions.

They deny us justice. For the rich, judges and police "at your service", pardons for sale for a few dollars each. For us, persecution, jail, "disappearance", death.

And they deny us peace.

For the rich, peace creates a concert with special effects and lots of publicity, in prime time with greetings from the government. [A reference to a TV media-sponsored and media-hyped event set to coincide with the Zapatista march.] For us a dark corner, threats for the march, news coverage in the middle of the night.

They tried to buy peace and now they realize that it was a bad buy, that the product they paid for cannot be found, that it is just another fraud like the many frauds done by their businesses.


They are just beginning to realize that peace with justice and dignity, where you and we may live without fear, the only peace possible, is priceless.

It is not bought with money, not even a lot of money, neither is it bought with threats or blows.

It comes from fighting with truth, not doublespeak.

Because it turns out that the concert for their peace has already ended and we, the lowest of the low, are not finished yet.

The truth is that the fancy lights have already gone out but we are still shining.

The truth is that the applause is over but we haven't finished.

The truth is that the concert and the commercials are over but we continue on.

The truth is that these lies have been told but we are still here.

Brothers and sisters:

Just a short while ago we finished reading the declarations of a few of the great men of money in Mexico.

They are afraid of the March of Indigenous Dignity.

They are afraid of the march of the color of the earth.

They are afraid of what we have to say.

They are afraid because they say that the poor are going to rise up to join our march and are going to settle accounts.

They are afraid because they recognize that the conditions of life for the majority of Mexicans, - and not just the indigenous - are very bad and that this can provoke a rebellion.

They are afraid, they say, because the class struggle could intensify.

Well now, wasn't there already class warfare?

Didn't they criticize the left because it didn't understand that the Berlin Wall had fallen?

Does this mean that the most powerful people of the country are still living in the sixties and the seventies?

Why is it that they are using a language and assuming an attitude that does not correspond to the world that they are selling in their propaganda?

Why are they so afraid of a peaceful march, and unarmed march of indigenous marginalized people who are not asking for the fall of the government, nor the expropriation of factories, nor the nationalization of the banks, nor that the businesses become controlled by the workers, nor that the federal army surrender, nor even that Fox have an actual plan of government?

Because the only thing that we are asking for with this march is that they recognize us as indigenous people and as Mexicans.

It is right-wing hysteria that is converting this movement into a revolution.

And for this reason they are in a hurry to get out of the country or shut themselves up in their fortresses.

Because they are afraid of the color of the earth.

So [we say to them] -Stop the hysterical shouting. Understand once and for all that the country has already changed and will never go back to being what it was.

It is a new Mexico and in this new Mexico we want a dignified place for the indigenous.

Everyplace we have been we have been welcomed and have received offers of help, not only from the lowest of the low, but from the middle class, and more than a few who belong to the highest echelons of Mexico.

And each man and woman has made it clear that they are for the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture. Nothing more, and nothing less.

So we say to the powerful of this country that they should calm down, that they should listen attentively, study, and make a real effort to think with their heads and not with their wallets or their credit cards.

If they want a left that is modern, then learn to be a right that is modern.

Its been a long time since those who have struggled together have addressed each other as "comrades", now we call one another "brothers and sisters".

There is a remedy for this little earthquake. Tell Mister Fox to fulfill the three signals. That way the dialogue can be reopened, and the doorway to peace will not be lies nor fear.

Tell him to learn to govern with the people and not in place of the people.

Brothers and sisters:

Yes, it is certain that the earth is trembling and that it is felt.

But it is not in fear.

It is because we are walking, we indigenous, we who are the color of the earth.

And it is law that there be shaking when the earth walks.


Democracy!
Liberty!
Justice!

From Toluca, state of Mexico.

Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee-General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army

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