Nearly five months have passed since the Other Campaign held its National Forum Against Repression. With everything that continues to unfold, from Plan Mexico to the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act" and New Zealand's attack on the Maori (among them former convenors of the Zapatista-inspired Peoples' Global Action network and current Zapatista solidarity activists), the relevance of the ideas shared that Forum has only increased.
In many cases the responses of our networks seem to be pretty successful, such as the recent release of imprisoned Kuna (another former Peoples' Global Action convenor) in Panama due to outside pressure, and some are still in motion, such as the campaign to defend the Zapatista communities currently being carried out by Vía Campesina and other groups and networks throughout Mexico and the World.
As the Other Campaign in the Forum recognized the connections between the forms of control being forced upon the people of Iraq and those forms being imported into Mexico from the US, it seemed to me that translating this proposal into English may be useful to a wider audience as well...
Organizational Proposal of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation for the National Instancia Against Repression
delivered by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos on June 10, 2007
at the Other Campaign's National Forum Against Repression
It’s name could be the National Forum Against Repression, or the National Coordinator Against Repression, or the National Front Against Repression. With regards to the name, we will not favor any one of those proposed or of those that have been thrown out at this meeting. We only say that the name is something that will gain its place and its legitimacy in the actions that it takes.
This national instancia should include, we think, in addition to those that govern our movement of the Other Campaign, at least the following PRINCIPLES:
1. INCLUSIVE IN ITS DEMANDS: To assume a political position of solidarity with all the prisoners, disappeared, exiled and deported, even though we do not work directly with all, that is to say, whether or not they are part of the Other Campaign. To denounce and to mobilize against the repression or threat of repression that exists anywhere in our country, even when it does not affect adherents to the Other Campaign.
2. INDEPENDENTLY SUSTAINED: To maintain this fight with dignity, maintaining no bonds with the electoral parties, groups related to them or with electoral pretensions, neither with groupings of power whether they be syndicates, states, social or business mafias.
3. HONEST IN ITS WORK: To not supplant the prisoners, disappeared and exiled as their spokespeople, to not benefit politically or economically from the prisoners. To not conditionalize solidarity based on political, ideological or organizational affinities.
4. DIRECT IN ITS RELATIONS: To seek direct links with the prisoners, the exiled, and the relatives of those disappeared in the fight for freedom, with the people and movements who are victims of repression, and with those that face threats, persecution and exile; including them in the thinking, actions, and decisions of the national instancia against repression.
5. FOCUSED ON ITS PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: Theoretical discussion, debate and sharing political analyses and reflections are necessary and important, but the instancia (FNCR, or CNCR, or FNCR, or whatever it is called) has to define the places and times for these questions, so that they do not impede our joint actions against repression.
6. NATIONAL: and not focused on one city, region, movement or organization. Constructed from below, from each locality and each region.
7. HORIZONTAL AND PARTICIPATORY. That it is not entrusted to the “specialists”; that a management does not form, however collective it may be or seem to be; that we do not permit the division between those that give orders and make declarations on one hand, and those that work and make activism on the other. That it be, then, a space of encuentro, a network of organizations and actions, truly national, against repression.
8. WITH HISTORICAL MEMORY: That it recuperates and documents the experiences that have occurred in our country in this struggle, as well as the current affairs of its demands. And I am thinking of Mamá Corral, of Juárez City, Chihuahua, who, along with many other relatives of the disappeared, continue in the struggle for the presentation with life of their loved ones. That the recovery of our history, that is to say, of our memory, be from all the localities and from where it happened and happens, is something essential for all of us. And here I want to point out the privilege that we have to count on and see at our side the Union of Mothers with Disappeared Children of Sinaloa and the Committee of Mothers of the Political Disappeared of Chihuahua.
In addition to the principles, the OBJECTIVES should be clear (and I return to the reflections of those that convoked this Forum and others who joined it with their proposals).
1. FREEDOM and JUSTICE for ALL PRISONERS and the FREE RETURN OF THOSE EXILED and DEPORTED FOR THEIR SOCIAL COMMITMENT
2. PRESENTATION WITH LIFE OF THE DISAPPEARED
3. STOP the HARASSMENT and PERSECUTION OF SOCIAL FIGHTERS AND POLITICAL ACTIVISTS
4. DENOUNCE AND MOBILIZE TO STOP THE REPRESSIVE AND MILITARIST TENDENCIES OF THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT
5. PUNISHMENT FOR THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REPRESSION, AND JUSTICE FOR THE MURDERED, DISAPPEARED, EXILED, DEPORTED AND IMPRISONED.
The principles and objectives are what will give identity and direction to this national instancia against repression.
And, with identity and direction, we are able to specify a plan of action.
PLAN OF ACTION
1. TO PARTICIPATE, ALONG WITH OTHER FORCES, ORGANIZATIONS AND MOVEMENTS, IN THE REALIZATION OF A CENSUS OF POLITICAL PRISONERS.
2. TO WORK NATIONALLY, REGIONALLY AND LOCALLY ON THE OBJECTIVES, RECOGNIZING THE FUNDAMENTAL ROLE OF THE LOCAL. THAT WE BUILD IT FROM EACH LOCALITY AND EACH REGION SO THAT IT WILL TRULY BE NATIONAL.
For this we propose that, following the experiences of the work of the Other Campaign in each place it's been carried out, stable and constant working groups form (note: not bureaucracies) in order to respond, when needed, to....
1. The repression in each locality, region, zone.
2. Solidarity with the others.
3. Take propagandistic measures of prevention.
That they are a bridge, a permanent one, of support and solidarity between the victims of the repression, across the national instancia.
3. SHARING OF ADVICE IN LEGAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS WORKSHOPS.
4. PERMANENT CAMPAIGN OF PUBLIC PROPAGANDA, THROUGH ACTIONS, MEETINGS, POSTERS, LETTERS, MURALS, VIDEOS, RECORDINGS, INFORMATION TABLES, PERFORMANCES, CINEMA, THEATER AND ALL THE CULTURAL AND ARTISTIC WEALTH OF THE MEXICO OF BELOW.