ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION
July 27, 2015
To the National and International Sixth:
To the former students of the Zapatista Little School:
The date for the second grade (only for those who passed the first) of the Zapatista Little School is approaching.
As we had previously announced, the dates are July 31 and August 1 and 2 of 2015.
No, don’t rush. This time it isn’t about coming to Zapatista territory. Rather, this time it is about not coming here, at least not for the Little School. The second grade will be everywhere, outside of Zapatista territories.
Let us explain:
As we have already said, we see that the economic situation is really difficult. Well, not just the economic situation. The government repression against the originary peoples, including the Yaquis (in Sonora) and Nahuas (in Santa María Ostula, Michoacán, and in Ayotitlán, Jalisco), and against the democratic teachers union (first in Oaxaca, later it will come in other states) reminds us all that those above do not honor their word and betrayal is part of the way they do politics.
With respect to the economic situation, we know that it is not easy to get together the money for daily things, much less for frequent travel to spend a few days here.
We Zapatistas know very well that if we say come to the Little School to continue learning how to really see us, well there will be people who can.
But the majority of those who passed the first grade are compas who do not have the money to do so or have to comply with work responsibilities in the geographies where they struggle. That is, they can’t just be coming here every so often. This isn’t because they don’t want to, but because they can’t. There are those who did everything they could to get here for the seminar/seedbed this past May, and it’s really difficult for them to come again this year.
And the Little School should not be only for those who don’t have problems with the calendar or the funds for travel. What we Zapatistas want is for our compas of the Sixth to see us directly, to see us and hear us and, as it should be, take what they think will be useful to them and leave aside what isn’t useful or is bothersome.
Taking all these things into account, we have to think about how to continue talking to you and mutually learning from each other.
So we have organized the next grade levels (2 through 6) so that you don’t have to come so frequently, but rather let’s say once a year. Of course, we will give you sufficient notice when there are possibilities to receive you here.
Given that, we want to let you know that for Second Grade there are no classes in Zapatista territory. Of course, if you want to come to the festivals in the Caracoles,[i] that’s fine. But you don’t have to come for class.
But there is going to be class, and of course, exams.
This is how it will work:
- Those who passed the first grade will receive, as of July 30-31 and August 1 of 2015, an email (if you have email that is; if not, we’ll send notice via the person who contacted you for the first grade). This email will have a link to a site with a video. In this video, a group of special Zapatista teachers will explain what is to be explained. In order to see this video you will need a password, as they call it, which will be included in the email. Now, the video doesn’t have to be viewed alone. You can get your collectives, groups, or organizations together to watch it. You can do this in the spaces that the EZLN’s Sixth Commission Support Teams have across Mexico, or in spaces belonging to the groups, collectives, and organizations of the Sixth throughout the world. There is no problem with any of that. Be it individually or collectively, you will see and hear our compañeras and compañeros explain to you a part of the genealogy of the Zapatista struggle. You all have already heard, seen, and even lived with Zapatista bases of support, with your Votanes,[ii] with your families. But this is just one part of the struggle for freedom according to Zapatismo. There are others.
It is as if we had only given you one part of the puzzle. Or as if, as they say, what is missing is yet to come.
You will also have to study Chapter 1 of the book “Critical Thought Versus the Capitalist Hydra,” the sections titled: “Some of what has changed”; “Toward a Genealogy of the Zapatista Struggle”; and “Notes on Resistance and Rebellion.” Don’t worry if you don’t have the book, because these sections are already on the Enlace Zapatista webpage, but it’s better to get the book because that’s where you get the whole picture.
- After you see, hear, and study what our compañeras and compañeros say in the video, and after studying those parts of the book, you will INDIVIDUALLY write 6 questions. You will send these 6 questions to an email address that will be included in the email that you receive. The date for sending your questions can be any day and time between August 3, 2015, and October 3, 2015.
- We will not respond to your questions individually, but rather collectively. That is, we are going to put all of the questions together here and then create texts, videos, and recordings where we respond. When you read a text from the [EZLN] Comandancia or listen to a recording from the votanes, you will know that they are answering your questions. If you don’t hear a response to your question, don’t despair, that just means that there are more words coming that will respond to you. There won’t be any individual answers, only general and collective ones.
- The questions are important. As is our way as Zapatistas, the questions are more important than the answers. And it is the questions that will be evaluated to decide whether you pass and move on to the third grade.
- The idea is that you realize that what interests the Zapatistas is not the certainties, but rather the doubts. Because we think certainties immobilize; that is, they leave one content, satisfied, sitting still and not moving, as if one had already arrived at or already knew the answers. In contrast doubts—questions—make one move or search. They don’t leave one at peace, but rather non-compliant and dissenting, as if there were neither night nor day. And the struggles below and to the left, compas, are born in disagreement, in doubts, in restlessness. If one is satisfied and in agreement it is because they are waiting to be told what to do or they have already been told what to do. If one is discontent, it is because they are searching for what to do.
- So we’re telling you right now what we are going to use in order to decide if you proceed to the third grade: the 6 questions that you put forward individually. This is what the votanes will evaluate to see whether to put you on the list for “Continues on to Third Grade.”
Well compas, that is all we wanted to tell you for now. In any case, through the Little School and everything else, we will continue supporting each other and supporting those who struggle for truth and justice, like the Nahua people of Ostula who demand justice for the attack on their community in which the child EDILBERTO REYES GARCÍA was murdered by the federal army; like the Nahua people of Ayotitlán, attacked by guardias blancas[iii] and police working for the transnational mining company Ternium; like the families of the 47 absent students of Ayotzinapa; like the families of the children of the ABC Daycare (just because the media doesn’t report on them doesn’t mean they no longer struggle for justice); like the families of the political prisoners and the disappeared all over the world; like the rebellious teachers’ union; like the Greece from below and to the left that never bought into the story of the referendum; like the prisoners that continue to challenge Power and the State even from behind bars; like those who challenge Power from the streets and countryside in all geographies; like the originary peoples who keep up their defense of the Mother Earth; like those who do not sell out, do not give in, and do not give up.
Because resistance and rebellion are what break the geographies and calendars above. Because when above they predict defeat, discouragement, and surrender, there is always one [uno, una, unoa] who says “NO.” Because, look at how things are, at the roots of freedom there is always a “NO” that clings to the earth, nourishes itself and grows from her.
Okay then. And let’s not forget today nor yesterday, so that tomorrow we will remember what’s yet to come.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés
Little School Director
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
Little School Concierge
[i] Anniversary parties for the Good Government Councils, usually celebrated between August 8 and 10.
[ii] “Guardians” assigned to each student of the Little School during the First Grade in Zapatista territory.
[iii] Armed private militias.