Words of the EZLN at the National School of Anthropology and History


March 18, 2001

"Canek said: - When the word came, it did not come alone. It came accompanied by its echo scattered throughout the earth. And the word and its echo created all things: from the few things of down here below, to the infinite things of above. In time, worm, man and star were joined. And it could be seen that the three beings had light, which was an emanation from what had been placed deep within them. Very few know this, and almost no one feels it. Happy is the person who is at least able to divine this mystery."
Canek. Ermilo Abreu Go'mez

We do not wish to express our appreciation to the National School of Anthropology and History community for several things:

Not for being a community of workers, students and teachers.

Not for turning around to see us, beyond the book, the blackboard, the research project or the study trip.

Nor for having opened this space, which has meant work, sacrifice, misunderstanding and criticism for you.

Along with our brothers from the National Indigenous Congress, we have marched from the Indian mountains of Mexico, and we have arrived here.

The Indian peoples, who are the voice, and we, who are the echo, have raised up the world we are. Not better than other worlds. Not worse than other worlds. Just ours, the one we are.

The community of the National School of Anthropology and History has generously and unselfishly allowed the voice and echo which we are to rest here, and, from here, to meet with other voices and echoes.

You, the workers and students and professors of the ENAH, have listened to us, and you have made yourself echo and voice of what we are.

Perhaps because that is what anthropology and history is about, listening and making oneself echo and voice of what has been heard.

Perhaps because our irreverent leap out of the books, out of the shards of clay, out from the codices and engravings, has invaded, in all senses, this educational building.

Perhaps because it was impossible to remain on the sidelines, defenseless, in the front of a trembling which had, and has, room for everyone, not as victims, but as travelers.

Perhaps for any of those things, or for all of them, or for others which are not here.

But as far as we, the zapatistas, are concerned, you listened to us, and you made yourselves voice and echo of what we are, because each one of you, individually, is noble and good.

And each one of you, individually, decided, with no other reward than pride, to listen and to make yourselves echo and voice of what we are.

Perhaps the fundamental decision, the very first one, took place there, in that complex bridge which joins the head and the heart, thinking and feeling. In that bridge which has first and last name, and a face, and its own history, and a restlessness which is more than stellar charts and atoms.

Perhaps, beginning at that point, when the ENAH community decided to listen and to make themselves voice and echo of what we are, it was not making a collective decision which subjugates and erases the individual.

Perhaps the only thing it did was to organize what each one had decided, to listen and to make themselves echo and voice of what we are.

It would be very easy to say "thanks" to the ENAH community.

It would be facile, and false and flabby and fatuous and flummery and frightful and foul and funicular and fusty and, fon of a bitch, I'm out of "F's".

Since the zapatista way is to do everything possible to complicate existence, we are not saying "thanks" to the ENAH community, nor to the workers, nor to the students, nor to the professors.

And we are not doing so because we are ungrateful. In any event, it might be said that we are untoward, but not ungrateful.

No, we are not doing so because we are thanking only you, and it does not matter to us if you are a worker or student or teacher, if you are a man or a woman, if you are young or old, if you got good grades or just scraped through or failed or owe something, if you put books away or read them, if you scrub floors or streets, if you wash windows or look through them.

No, what matters to us is that you, who call yourself what you call yourself and have the face you have, has decided, as part of your history, to listen and to make yourself voice and echo of what we are.

And so I left a space here which should be filled with the payroll list of the manual and administrative workers, the list of professors and the list of students.

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The zapatistas of the EZLN, who are, by times, worms, by times men, and by times stars, thank you, only you, and no one else.

And, in the name of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN, I do so bear witness.

Grateful in the patio of the National School of Anthropology and History, Cuicuilco, Mexico City.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Mexico, March of 2001.


Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN ______________________ Translated by irlandesa

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