Mexico – December 30, 2012
To the People of Mexico:
To the Peoples and Governments of the World:
Brothers and Sisters:
Compañeros and compañeras:
This past December 21, 2012, in the pre-dawn hours, tens of thousands of indigenous Zapatistas mobilized and we took over, peacefully and in silence, 5 municipal seats in the Mexican southeastern state of Chiapas.
San Cristobal, Chiapas. December 21, 2012
In the cities of Palenque, Altamirano, Las Margaritas, Ocosingo, and San Cristobal de las Casas, we watched you and we watched ourselves in silence.
This is not a message of resignation.
It is not one of war, death, or destruction.
Our message is one of struggle and resistance.
After the media-driven coup d’état that exalted a poorly concealed and even more poorly disguised ignorance to the federal executive branch, we made ourselves present so that you would know that if they never left, neither did we.
Six years ago, a segment of the political and intellectual class went out in search of someone to blame for its loss. At that time we were in cities and communities, struggling for justice for an Atenco that was not fashionable at that time.
On that yesterday first they defamed us, and then they wanted to shut us up. Too incapable and dishonest to see that within themselves they had and have the seeds of their own destruction, they tried to make us disappear with lies and complicit silence.
Six years later, two things remain clear:
They don’t need us to fail.
We don’t need them to survive.
We never left, even though media from all over the spectrum have dedicated themselves to making you believe that, and we are reemerging as the indigenous Zapatistas that we are and will be.
In these past years we’ve strengthened ourselves and we have significantly improved our living conditions. Our standard of living is superior to that of the indigenous communities that are linked to the governments in power, that receive charity and squander it all on alcohol and useless things.
Our homes improve without hurting nature by imposing roads upon it that are foreign to it. In our villages, the land that was previously used to fatten estate owners’ cattle is now used to grow the corn, beans, and vegetables that brighten our tables.
Our work has the double satisfaction of providing us with what we need to live honorably and to contribute to the collective growth of our communities.
Our boys and girls go to a school that teaches them their own history, that of their fatherland and of the world, as well as the sciences and techniques they need to grow without no longer being indigenous.
The indigenous Zapatista women are not sold as merchandise. The indigenous PRI members go to our hospitals, clinics, and laboratories because in those provided by the government there are no medicines, nor equipment, nor doctors, nor qualified personnel.
Our culture flourishes not in isolation, but rather enriched by contact with the cultures of other peoples of Mexico and the world.
We govern and we govern ourselves, always seeking agreement before confrontation.
All of this has been achieved not only without the government, the political class, and the media that accompanies them, but also while resisting their attacks of all kinds.
We have demonstrated, yet again, that we are who we are. With our silence, we were present.
Now, with our word we announce that:
First: we reaffirm and consolidate our membership in the National Indigenous Congress [CNI],a space for meeting with the original peoples of our country.
Second: we will resume contact with our compañeros and compañeras who are Adherents to the Sixth declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in Mexico and around the world.
Third: we will try to construct the necessary bridges towards the social movements that have arisen and will arise, not to lead them or take their place, but rather to learn from them, from their history, from their journeys and fates.
For this we have achieved the support of individuals and groups in different parts of the world who comprise the support teams for the EZLN’s Sixth and International commissions, so that they will become communication links between the Zapatista Support Bases and the individuals, groups, and collectives that are Adherents to the Sixth Declaration in Mexico and around the world who still maintain their conviction and dedication to the construction of a leftist non-institutional alternative.
Fourth: our critical distance from the Mexican political class will continue; they have done nothing but prosper at the cost of the necessities and the hopes of humble and simple people.
Fifth: regarding the federal, state, and municipal bad governments–executive, legislative, and judicial–, and the media that accompanies them, we say to them the following:
The bad governments from all over the political spectrum, without exception, have done everything they can to destroy us, buy us, and make us give in. The PRI, PAN, PRD, PVEM, PT, CC, and the future RN party have attacked us militarily, politically, socially, and ideologically.
The corporate media tried to make us disappear, first with servile and opportunistic slander, later with cunning and complicit silence. Those whom they served and whose moneys breastfeed them are no longer around. And those who have taken their place won’t last longer than their predecessors.
As was evident on December 21, 2012, they’ve all failed.
It remains to be seen if the federal, executive, legislative, and judicial government decides to once again resort to the counterinsurgency policy that has only achieved a rickety farse clumsily based on media management, or if it recognizes and fulfills its duty and raises indigenous rights and culture to constitutional ranking as established by the so-called “San Andres Accords,” signed by the federal government in 1996, which was ruled by the same party that now controls the executive branch.
It remains to be seen if the state government will decide if it continues its dishonest and despicable strategy of its predecessor which, in addition to being corrupt and deceitful, used the Chiapan people’s money for his own enrichment and that of his accomplices and set about openly buying voices and pens in the media, while he heaped misery upon the Chiapan people, at the same time that he was using police and paramilitaries to try to stop the organizational advance of the Zapatista villages; or if it will instead, with truth and justice, accept our existence and the idea that a new form of social life is blossoming in Zapatista territory, Chiapas, Mexico. Blossoming that draws the attention of honest people all over the planet.
It remains to be seen if the municipal governments decide to keep swallowing the millstones that the anti-Zapatista or supposedly “Zapatista” organizations use to extort them to attack our communities, or if they instead use that money to improve the living conditions of their constituents.
It remains to be seen if the people of Mexico who organize themselves in electoral struggle and resist decide to continue viewing us as the enemies or rivals upon whom they can unload their frustration about the frauds and attacks that, in the end, all of us suffer, and if in their struggle for power they continue to ally themselves with our persecutors; or if they finally see in us another way of doing politics.
Sixth: in the coming days the EZLN, through its Sixth and International commissions, will announce a series of initiatives of a civil and peaceful nature, to continue walking together with the other original peoples of Mexico and the whole continent, along with those in Mexico and around the whole world who resist and struggle down and to the left.
Brothers and sisters:
Compañeros and compañeras:
Before, we had the good fortune of honest and noble attention from various media outlets. We thanked them for it then. But that was completely erased with their later attitude.
Those who bet that we only existed in the media and that with the siege of lies and silence we would disappear were wrong.
When there weren’t cameras, microphones, pens, ears, and looks, we existed.
When they defamed us, we existed.
When they silenced us, we existed.
And here we are, existing.
Our pace, as has been demonstrated, does not depend upon our impact in the media, but rather upon the world’s and its parts’ understanding, upon the indigenous wisdom that dictates our steps, upon the unflinching courage that comes from below and to the left.
From now on, our word will begin to be selective in its recipient and, with the exception of a few occassions, will only be understood by those who have walked and walk with us without giving in to the media and current trends.
Here, with not a few errors and a lot of difficulties, another way of doing politics is already a reality.
Few, very few, will have the privilege of knowing it and learning from it directly.
Nineteen years ago we surprised them by taking over their cities with fire and blood. Now we’ve done it again, without weapons, without death, without destruction.
That is how we differentiate ourselves from those who, during their administrations, delivered and deliver death to their constituents.
We are the same from 500 years ago, from 44 years ago, from 30 years ago, from 20 years ago, from just a few days ago.
We are the Zapatistas, the smallest, the ones who live, struggle, and die in the last corner of the fatherland, those who don’t give up, those who don’t sell out, those who don’t give in.
Brothers and sisters:
compañeros and compañeras:
We are the Zapatistas, and we send you a hug.
From the mountains of the Mexican southeast,
For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee — General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico. December 2012-January 2013.
Translation: Kristin Bricker
In a hate crime against Hindus and Muslims, a New York City woman pushed an Indian man in front of an oncoming subway train, causing him to be crushed to death in the second such murder to occur this month.
Erika Menendez, 31, is now being charged for the death of Sunando Sen, 46, who was killed by a 7 train in Queens last Thursday. The woman told police she shoved the man onto the tracks because she believed he was a Muslim or a Hindu. She then fled from the scene.
“I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers. I’ve been beating them up,” Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney, quoted the woman as saying.
In an interview with the New York Times, Brown said the victim was “allegedly shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself.” Sen, who was born in India and was raised a Hindu, never saw the face of his attacker. According to the district attorney’s office, Menendez and Sen had never met, and it was unclear to tell what the victim’s religious background was.
“The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter’s nightmare: Being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train,” Brown said.
Menendez fled from the scene on Thursday, but was arrested after a witness tipped off the authorities on Saturday. The passerby recognized her from the sketch and surveillance tape released by police after the incident.
“It will be up to the court to determine if she is fit to stand trial,” he added. If convicted, Menendez faces 25 years to life in prison. Menendez also has a history of violence and multiple arrests. The 31-year-old was arrested once for cocaine possession and twice for attacking two other strangers. Over the past 12 years, she has had 14 encounters with police. Five of those times, her mother called the police, while two other incidents resulted in assault charges, the Wall Street Journal reported. In 2003, she attacked a retired firefighter as he took out his garbage in Queens.
“I was covered in blood,” Daniel Conlisk, 65, recalled to the Times. “She was screaming the whole time.”
Two months prior, Menendez was accused of hitting and scratching a man in Queens. The woman has repeatedly been institutionalized for mental health problems and was discharged from Bellevue Hospital Center earlier this year. The woman was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and never received any jail time.
“People get well and then they get sick again,” said Ana Marengo, a spokeswoman for New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corportation.
“No one monitors if they are taking their medication or follows up to see if they are in danger to themselves or others,” said D. J. Jaffee, executive director of the Mental Health Policy Organization. Relatives of Menendez claim the defendant frequently failed to take her prescribed medication.
The judge in the case of Sen’s death ordered that Menendez be held without bail and undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Conlisk believes that if Menendez had a weapon when she attacked him, he would have been killed. The most recent subway murder brings further attention to the mental health system of the United States, which has already been scrutinized this month after 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 26 people in an Elementary School earlier this month.
The death of Sen also marks the second time that a man was pushed to his death from a subway platform this month. On December 3rd, a homeless man pushed a man into the tracks at the Times Square subway station. The New York Post published a photo of the man, clinging to the edge of the platform before being crushed to death by the oncoming train, sparking an uproar about the photographer’s decision to flash the camera rather than help the man back onto the platform.
In a speech on Friday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg discussed historic lows in the city’s yearly homicide and shooting totals, but also encouraged residents not to forget Sen’s death.
“It’s a very tragic case, but what we want to focus on today is the overall safety in New York,” he told reporters.
The incident also sheds further light on lingering racism faced by Hindus and Muslims in the US. According to Sen’s roommates, the victim was kind and respectful of other people’s religions. He opposed war and violence, especially those prompted by religious intolerance.
“He was so gentle,” one of Sen’s roommates told the Times. “He said in this world a lot of people are dying, killing over religious things.”
Are they STILL pushing this absurd line? The Jewish Chronicle is propagandising again. In its recent article “Britain’s anger with Israel over 1982 Lebanon War,” the JC states the attempted assassination of the Israeli Ambassador to the UK in June 1982 “provided the spark for Ariel Sharon to spearhead Israel’s incursion into Lebanon.” The JC states that the ambassador was “shot in the head by Palestinian terrorists,” and that the “invasion of southern Lebanon” demonstrated “Israel’s determination to stamp out terrorism from its northern border.” NOT BY A LONG SHOT, GUYS.
In case you missed it, the ambassador was shot by a Jordanian who was working within the Abu Nidal Organisation (ANO)—which in turn was run by a Palestinian who had been based in Jordan, Syria, Sudan and Iraq . . . but not in Lebanon. The ANO was characterised by its international, mercenary approach. The Jordanian gunman was accompanied by a cousin of Abu Nidal. . . and an Iraqi intelligence operative.
At best, the JC is being disingenuous. The 1982 military invasion of Lebanon was simply an escalation of Israeli aggression dating back decades—the aim of which was to eradicate the Palestinian resistance. The 82 invasion targeted the PLO, with whom the ANO were enemies. Thus the attempted assassination has long been widely acknowledged to have been a thin pretext. Yet the JC laments that, when the ambassador was shot, Israel had had to defend itself by running over Lebanon—a tired and feeble excuse.
As stated at the 7th emergency special session of the UN General Assembly (16 August 1982):
“For more than two months now the international community, as a whole, has focused its attention on Lebanon, where one of the most lethal wars of aggression the Middle East has ever known throughout its history is going on. The capital of a member nation of the United Nations [Beirut] has been besieged by the armed forces of a neighbor State [Israel].
This premeditated operation, which has already resulted in thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian civilian victims, was planned well in advance, designed to bring about a final solution to the Palestinian problem. At the same time, acts of intimidation and terrorism towards the Palestinians on the West Bank of the Jordan and in the Gaza Strip are increasing, leaving the victims convinced that the only way, to survive is to submit to domination.
Thus the military operations conducted by Israel in Lebanon replicate the political war against the PLO . . . . the Israeli leaders continue to flout the fundamental principles contained in the Charter and to violate numerous resolutions of the United Nations which, however, presided over the creation of the State of Israel. The most recent and most flagrant example of this attitude was Israel’s rejection of resolutions 508 (1982), 509 (1982), 512 (1982), 513 (1932) and 516 (1982) of the Security Council, and resolution ES-7/5 of the General Assembly, which all required Israel to put an end to the hostilities and to withdraw its forces behind the internationally recognized frontiers of Lebanon. The diplomatic efforts which have been undertaken here and there have always been met by the same Israeli reaction. That is, an escalation of violence.” 
The platitudes of the JC are routine. This article does serve, however, to draw attention to one disheartening reality. The attitude of far too many—not just Israelis, but also Americans, Arabs and Europeans—has been to view the Palestinians as nothing more a problem. Send them here, send them there, blast them into oblivion, just sort it. But the Palestinians are not a problem, they are a people. They deserve neither scorn nor pity; they deserve simple human equality. Was Britain “angry” with Israel for stampeding Lebanon in its attempt to eliminate the Palestinian “problem” and to pave the way toward a greater Israel? In retrospect, it seems they were not angry enough.
 For further reading, the British National Archives documents referred to in the JC article: http://filestore.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/prem-19-824-1.pdf ; CAB 128/74/7 (08 July 1982); CAB 128/74/5 (24 June 1982)
 Massamba Sarre (Senegal) Chairman, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People: UNGA A/ES-7/PV.25 (16 August 1982) http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/6DC9C76A00B3E8E085256A16006D4056. See also further international statements UNGA A/ES-7/PV.27 (17 August 1982) http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/0C46FBC69F3D95F685256A260072FE9E.
- Israel forces Jordan Valley Palestinians from homes ahead of war drill (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Almost 4,000 Palestinians were detained by Israel in 2012 (arabworld360.blogspot.com)
Israeli forces have delivered evacuation orders to around 100 Palestinian families in the northern Jordan Valley ahead of a military training exercise, a local official said Monday.
The evacuation affects around 1,000 Palestinians living in rural communities who reside in Wadi al-Maleh, Ain Hilwa, Wadi al-Faw and al-Burj, local mayor Arif Daraghma told Palestinian media.
They must leave their homes by Wednesday for 48 hours, or they will be subject to penalties, he added.
Israel’s army forced several families from their homes in the northern Jordan Valley earlier this month for a similar exercise.
Hundreds of others were also pushed out their homes for a two-day military exercise in November.
Israel has designated the Jordan Valley a “closed military zone.”
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says Israel has designated around 18 percent of the West Bank as closed military zones, an area roughly equal in size to Area A, the 17.7 percent of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control.
Around 5,000 Palestinians live in Israeli military firing zones in the West Bank, UNOCHA says. Since 2010, Israel has demolished the homes of 820 Palestinians located in firing zones.
- More evictions for Israeli army training in the Jordan Valley (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Rescuing Christians in Pakistan: Another Israeli Project for the Destabilization of the Islamic World?
In order to advance its hegemonic designs, Israel has long exploited ethnic and sectarian differences in the Middle East and beyond. To date, the 2011 secession of South Sudan from Khartoum stands as one of the most successful examples of Tel Aviv’s divide and conquer strategy. Now, the involvement of individuals with intimate ties to the self-defined “Jewish state” in a project whose stated aim is to rescue Christians in Pakistan strongly suggests that Islamabad is also being targeted for destabilization.
Introducing the ostensibly humanitarian project on his website, Walid Shoebat, a prominent figure in the Israeli-inspired and -funded Islamophobia network, writes:
Pakistan is our primary focus for our initial push to save Christians who are suffering from the Blasphemy laws, which are used by Islamic extremists to make up charges against innocent Christians, in order to steal their property and stir up violence against the Christian population.On March 4th the Christian Minister of Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was gunned down by Islamic extremists causing tremendous fear within the Christian community. Even in the short time since his murder, the violence against Christians has increased dramatically.
The Raoul Wallenberg Project is working with people on the ground who are well connected in the Christian community. They have reached out to us for our support to help alleviate their suffering, and in certain situations, help with their escape. For their protection we cannot expose their names publicly. In the future, large donors who are concerned about the transparency of fund ing [sic], we can provide the names and details privately.
The work we do is practical. We will be supplying food, medicine, safe houses, legal help for visa applications, and in extreme circumstances, security details for rescue missions.
Our financial goal is to raise one million dollars a month – solely for the Raoul Wallenberg Project – which will allow us to make a significant impact to alleviate much of the suffering of persecuted Christians and remove them from their circumstances. We are working behind the scenes with members of Congress, in particular the staff of Congressman Allen West, who has kindly offered his help on Capital [sic] Hill. Other members of Congress will be recruited as public opinion puts pressure on them for their support of this real, and dangerous threat to Christians worldwide.
Shoebat’s reference to Congressman West is revealing. While AIPAC ensures that most members of Congress dare not openly oppose Israeli policies, West is particularly eager to please the lobby. In a letter to Florida constituents before his 2011 visit, he wrote:
In Israel, I will get the opportunity to meet with a true Leader, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. At a time when western civilization has no leading voice, I believe the only one that resonates, speaks Hebrew.
As for Shoebat, his purported concern for persecuted Christians appears to be motivated by a similar passionate attachment. According to the description on his website of his alleged conversion from Muslim terrorist to Christian activist,
“He has set out to bring the cause of Christ, the Bible, and the case for Israel to millions throughout the world.”
Given Israel’s dispossession and ongoing oppression of Christians in Palestine, it seems likely that the Raoul Wallenberg Project’s stated mission of rescuing their co-religionists in Pakistan is merely cover for another Israeli project for the destabilization of the Islamic world.
- ‘West waging economic war against Sudan’ (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- South Sudan and Israel discuss bilateral cooperation (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Is South Sudan’s Largest Land Deal a Land Grab? (alethonews.wordpress.com)