The Ocean no longer seperates us

Speech read at the demonstration against racism and the Northern Leagues held in Venice on 13 september 1997

Mexico, 13 September 1997

To the Zapatista people,
To the rebel peoples of Europe

Brothers and sisters, today, 13 September 1997, two rebel marches have come together. In the Americas, in a country called Mexico, our brothers and sisters of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation from the mountains of the south-east to the Mexican capital.

In the territories of Europe, in this nation called Italy, we Zapatistas walk side by side with your. Two continents, Europe and America, are once again united in struggle.

Here in Italy and there in Mexico we struggle against racism and separatism. There in Mexico and here in Italy we struggle for a community of freedom and mutual aid. Here and there we clash with a world system that has made a new religion of racism. There and here the rich and powerful are the greatest fanatics of intolerance against those who are different.

Here and there neo-liberalism destroys nations in order to possess them. There and here it displays its cynicism and cruelty. Here and there it persecutes those who espouse freedom and mutual aid. There and here neo-liberalism offers us only dejection.

For this reason, from now on, we'll no longer speak of "here" and "there". For this reason we'll think no longer that this ocean separates us and makes us different, because the lack of freedom makes us equal. Because we are united by the racism that we suffer, inside and outside of borders, because the war that they impose upon us makes us comrades.

In America and in Europe, the oppression that we suffer is the same. Colours, language and cultures can change, but oppression is the same. This is why we Zapatistas are here today with you. This is why you are here today with us.

Because we no longer want this world. Because we no longer want crime to be celebrated. Because we no longer want falsehood to be a virtue. Because we no longer want others to impose their forms of being and thinking upon us.

We want to be free. And the only way to be free is to be so together. This is why we want to be free and in solidarity. We won't enter this world. The rich and powerful want to hunt us down because we trouble them. But we won't go. We won't remain silent. We'll hold firm. We'll struggle.

We'll build another world. A better one. Bigger. Better. One in which all worlds can enter.

Rebel brothers and sisters, brothers and sisters of Europe, Italian brothers and sisters, all of you have taught us much. We had the honour of being with you at today's march. We want to thank you for giving space and voice to the Zapatistas. The bridge that you have built with your hearts has overcome this ocean.

Brothers and sisters, crying out is a form of dreaming. And your dreams are heard far away. We echo them, all who struggle echo them, because, throughout the world, everyone shares them.


From the mountains of the Mexican south-east

Comrade Maribel
Insurgent Sub-commandante Marcos
Comrade Mesias

reprinted in _il manifesto_ 14 September 1997

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