Wake up, people of Mexico and the world! We, Zapatistas — we, who say your pain is our pain, say: join us! If they touch one of us, they touch all of us!
«The big capitalists are brutal murderers, they are savages. In their hands they have the power to destroy humanity and our Mother Earth. If they touch one of us, they touch all of us!»
«The big capitalists […] are savages.
In their hands they have the power to destroy humanity, and our Mother Earth.
If they touch one of us, they touch all of us!»
– Zapatistas against all capitalist wars, March 2022
«Wake up, people of Mexico and the world!»
⏳ 6 minutes
Thousands of adherents to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation protested, across six municipalities of Chiapas and their caracoles. They congregated to condemn all capitalist wars in the world, that is, those bellicose conflicts motivated by the thirst for accumulation and profit.
On December 19th of 1994, the EZLN announced that as a result of the campaign “Peace with Justice and Dignity for Indigenous Peoples,” and with the support of the local population, they had achieved the expropriation of 38 municipalities in the state of Chiapas. The seize of land was conducted free of confrontation, respecting the “cease-fire” agreement that ruled at the time.
As Raúl Romero reports1, from this historic transformation, the Zapatista Rebel Autonomous Municipalities (MAREZ) exercise the functions of sovereign regulation, without intervention from external authority, facilitated by their autonomous councils. The EZLN, it was agreed, would only be responsible for offering protection against military or paramilitary attacks.
The Juntas de Buen Gobierno (Good Governance Boards) operate through the dynamics of membership rotation, recall, and accountability. Their governing model is focused on the implementation of power-from-below. The principle is rooted in weaving the suitable conditions in which rulers become servants, and those governing do so by obeying the people.
The rotation model allows constant accountability, access and distribution of information, and the development of leadership across multiple political actors, confronting the impositions of the division of labor, in other words, the separation of tasks in an economic system that breeds the artificialities of specialization. It aims to prevent those enacting the labor to experience alienation from the process of production2, allowing them instead to flourish without identity constraints as social beings.
The foundation upon which "leading-by-obeying" is grounded fosters a communalist idea, based on seven main principles: serve and not self-serve, represent and do not supplant, build and do not destroy, obey and do not command, propose instead of imposing, convince instead of subjugating, and go downwards and not upwards: the proposal to remain on the same level as all members of society, thus avoiding the entrapments of ranks, class, domination, and hierarchy, social arrangements that immediately corrupt the communization achievements.
On March 2, 2022, the Sixth Commission of the EZLN expressed its position regarding the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. They stated unequivocally: “As Zapatistas, we do not support one State or the other, but those who fight for life against the system.”
Their subsequent communiqué, released on March 9, expressed:
It is not only in Ukraine.
It is also in Palestine, Kurdistan, Syria, against the Mapuche people, the indigenous peoples all over the planet, and so many libertarian, autonomous processes under attack, persecuted, slaughtered, silenced, distorted.
In agreement with some individuals, groups, collectives, organizations and movements of SLUMIL K'AJXEMK'OP, the Zapatista communities have agreed to call for mass protests and solidarity gatherings against ALL CAPITALIST WARS, currently underway in several corners of the planet.
With their faces concealed with balaclavas, responding to the call for action, the Zapatista voices clamored: "We are against the wars of the bad capitalist governments”. Elio Henríquez3 for La Jornada, noted that the Zapatistas had not demonstrated publicly for three years until yesterday.
They marched through the cities of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Yajalón, Palenque, Ocosingo, Las Margaritas, Altamirano, and in the communities at the foot of the highway as well as in their caracoles.
"The big capitalists are savages, they will destroy our Mother Earth; that is why today we are organizing," they said.
"Resist!", "long live the peoples of the world who struggle!" read their signs.
As Elio Henríquez reported4, the march began at approximately 9 a.m. in the north of San Cristóbal.
In their speech yesterday, as recorded by Radio Zapatista5, they declared:
«Wake up, people of Mexico, and people of the world!
It is urgent that we raise our voices, and mobilize to stand up for the survival of the peoples of Ukraine and Russia, who are fighting to save their lives.
Today they need us and we will need them.
We are millions of brothers and sisters in the world who suffer the same unjust war, the war of capitalism.
Let's organize! So we can say: if they touch one of us, they touch us all.
We oppose and resist the war of capitalism, the war that murders and subjugates the people of Ukraine for economic, political and ideological interests.
Wake up, people of Mexico and the world, because one day — sooner or later — they will also unjustly wage war against us. It is necessary to organize all together.
No to war! Stop the war! Stop it! Because it is so cruel, because it only leaves horrible destruction of human lives: casualties, widows, widowers, deceased, orphans, shortages, hunger, diseases. And all for the interests of capital.
Stop the wars, no to this murderous war, because it is not ALL FOR ALL — it is only being conducted for capital’s benefit.
We, we Zapatistas — we, who say your pain is our pain — call on the people of Mexico and the world to demonstrate, to protest, in praxis.
People of Mexico and the world, we, Zapatista women say that your pain is our pain. We call on us, as women, to organize our peoples, to mobilize each one of us according to our respective geographies and calendars to stop the unjust war — since the most affected tend to be us, the women, the mothers.
The big capitalists are brutal murderers, they are savages, who do not feel and do not have a heart. In their hands they have the power to destroy humanity and our Mother Earth. Recognizing this is why we must organize ourselves. If they touch one of us, they touch all of us.
Wake up, people of Mexico and the world! Join our struggle of organization for true peace. Stop the war that only brings the disintegration of the human family.
Across the country, and in Slumil K'Ajxemk'Op, voices in solidarity congregated to protest the wars. In their demands, they joined the condemnation of the mega-projects funded by transnational capital, particularly the one led by Danone’s Bonafont, the plastic-bottle plunderer of potable water, and French extractivist swindle.
Citing the analysis by comrade Luis Hernández Navarro, Bonafont’s unquenchable thirst for profit and its transformation of the natural resource into a commodity has extracted 1,640,000 liters of water per day, the consumption of a community of 18,000 inhabitants.
In solidarity, taller ahuehuete joins the communities in struggle. We invite you to join us in our clamor: in the face of the capitalist hydra, a common cornfield!