From: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, Chiapas, Mexico
"- Look Sir - replied Sancho - what appear before us are not giants, but windmills, and what appear to be their arms are only the sails which, rotating in the wind, make the millstone turn.
- So it may seem - replied Don Quixote - for you are not well versed in these adventures: if you are afraid then move aside and spend your time in prayer while I enter into fierce, unequal battle with them."
Brothers and Sisters,
I write to you to warn you of a grave danger that looms over the inhabitants of the planet. Our modern,intergalactic, military intelligence services ( which like everything military has in fact very little to do with intelligence) have detected unusual signs of movement in the territory some call the "Spanish State", more particularly under the skies of Madrid, Catalunya, Aragon and Andalusia. Our neoliberalised computer has rejected the possibility that this din might be made by the noise of the cooking utensils with which the natives of these lands prepare their dishes (which we will not describe here as one's body and one's imagination would only make impossible demands of one's pocket) Neither are we dealing with some kind of post- or pre-modern dance. The possibility has also been eliminated that it might be a march of protest or of support, a march to demand something or to express thanks. Neither does cybermodesty admit the possibility that it might be an amorous encounter (easily confused with a 'quake of 8 degrees on the Richter scale). In fact our computer has declared itself cybernetically disconcerted and has opted to play a chess match against the Mad Hatter and the March Hare (I am not sure who is winning, but they seem to be having great fun, drinking tea and declaiming poems).
But don't become upset, we have had recourse to a special satellite in order to take a detailed photograph of what isgoing on down there (the spy satellite is marvellous, it even tells what your shoe size is, as well as your sign of the zodiac, psychological profile, political tendency and musical taste). We now have an impressive array of data to be processed. Let's see: you take half a kilo of beans, a little butifarra sausage, onion to taste, a little of this, a little of the other...
Right, we know have the first results of the satellite analysis: as far as can be appreciated both generally and in detail, those responsible for these signs of agitation are... human beings! ... and there are quite definitely men, women, children and elderly people among them; we can affirm that they are all different and that the only thing that makes them all equal are the aforementioned signs of agitation (the intergalactic computer takes a break from its chess/tea session and proposes "rebelliousness" as a synonym of "agitation") and that what is going on in these lands is at once cooking, dancing, marching and an amorous encounter.
Since there are no more data available, we have laid our hands on a pamphlet which threatens the celebration - yes, "celebration", the word confirms that condemnable tendency among the people down there to throw a party at the least provocation - from the 25th of July to the 3rd of August, of the II Intercontinental Gathering for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism in the self-styled "Spanish State" and in five different venues, these being Madrid, Catalunya, Ruesta (in Aragon), and Almunecar and El Indiano (in Andalusia). The topics which they will be cooking, dancing, marching and encountering (the pamphlet doesn't put it that way but it is evident this is the way it will be) are stirring ones: they range from "Neoliberal economics against humanity" (for which recognition the world of finance capital is modestly grateful), through to "Against all forms of exclusion" (the elites will protest at the way this topic marginalises them), as well as "Our world and their worlds" (here "they" choose to differ, and argue that ours are not worlds but asteroids), "Struggles against patriarchy" (Macho Men of the World, unite against this topic!), "Struggles for land and ecology" (the neoliberals disagree: for them "rubbish" means everyone but themselves). The pamphlet also bears a disturbing, subversive 5-pointed star as a symbol of the food, sorry, the dance, sorry, the march, sorry, the encounter.
No, we have found no reference at all to toothbrushes, slippers, combs or travel bags. Yes indeed, we agree that this is a grave omission. But everything leads us to believe that the dish that is cooking will take the form of a network, that the people will dance as they should dance, ie cheerfully, that the march will be for humanity, (which is another way of saying "against neoliberalism"), and that the encounter will be by those who resist.
In short, we just wanted to draw your attention to what is being prepared down in that corner of the rebellious Europe, we wouldn't like you to be caught unawares and have to pack everything in a rush: your dancing and marching shoes, plates and spoons, and the libido necessary for any encounter. We'll look after the toothbrushes, the slippers, the combs and the travel bags.
OK. Cheers, and, of course! everyone has to go so that we can cook, dance, march, and above all, meet each other.
From the mountains of South East Mexico. (Signed) Subcomandante Insurgente MARCOS. Mexico, July 1997