Words of the EZLN at the Xochimilco Unit of the Autonomous Metropolitan University


March 20, 2001

Brothers and sisters of the UAM-Xochimilco:
Students, teachers and workers of the SITUAM:
Brothers and sisters from the neighborhoods of Mexico City:

Thank you for waiting for us, for receiving us and for listening to us.

Here, at the UAM-Xochimilco, we would like to thank the entire community of the Autonomous Metropolitan University, above and beyond the divisions which they paradoxically call "units."

It is not the first time that the UAM community has opened its ears and heart to the zapatistas. Since the first of January of 1994, we have known of your unselfish and unconditional support for the struggle of the zapatista peoples.

We would especially like to express our gratitude to the SITUAM, for the support they have lent throughout this time.

We took pencils, erasers and pencil sharpeners to the UAM-Azcapotzalco. For the UAM-Iztapalapa, it was books, libraries and silences. For the UAM-Xochimilco, we have come to deliver flags, glue and hands.

And, in order to do so, we have invited a genius of modern communication, a sublime artist, the unreachable dream of the "headhunters," the greatest exponent of knight errantry, the most pompous of beetles...

"Stop!" Durito screamed. "I didn't dictate that part to you..."

"Which?" I asked him, with feigned ingenuousness. "The part about the sublime artist?"

"Very funny," he said, putting all his multiple hands on his hips.

And here I, the Sup, stop writing, because Durito has taken the word by force.

(Durito speaking)

"What's up bro?

How's it going?

Ah, no. Ahem. Ahem.

Damsels and knights:

As Don Diego has decreed the return to feudal times, it is imperative that all of us enlist in order to make the clock of history run once again. And there shall be none of that wherein the knights prepare for combat whilst the damsels wait sighing. To the devil with conventions and let us off to making mountains and slam the door on history.

And so, attention! Lend an attentive ear and an open heart to what the etcetera Don Durito has come to tell you:

A cloth is a cloth, and it will not cease being a cloth, unless the wizard lends a hand and turns it into a flag. In order to do so, one must have colors, which are around us, but which we do not see until we find them inside ourselves.

The hand thus takes the colors and, with affection, weaves the cloth, and the cloth is no longer cloth, but nor is it yet flag.

And it is here where glue comes into action. Glue, contrary to what might be thought, does not paste, does not separate, does not distance, but it glues, it joins, it unites, it brings closer. Glue is a bridge. But glue alone can do nothing if there is not something to glue and somewhere to glue.

And then the wand makes its appearance. Yes, I know that the big nose which preceded me in speaking said quite clearly: "Flags, glue and hands," and wands were nowhere to be found, but that was his doing, because I quite clearly told him "Flags, glue, wands and hands."

Ergo, do not believe him, but me.

Now then, to continue:

The wands thus appeared, and the glue could now glue the colored cloth to the wand, and some might say that it was now a flag and tan-tan, basic unit finished and onto the next trimester (that is, if they don't put subjects in instead of units), butÖerror! There is still no flag. The hand is missing which, after cutting the cloth, painting it in colors and gluing it to the wand, holds it up high. Then, and only then, will there be flag.

But a flag by itself can only be lonely, even if it has many colors, even if it is raised very high, even if the generous wind flutters its form.

Because the important thing about a flag, as is obvious, is not the cloth, nor the colors which adorn it, nor the wand, nor the glue, but the hand which makes it flag when it takes it up and raises it.

And one hand alone is incomplete. It needs another hand and another and another and many, and, when many hands raise many flags, much beauty can be seen, much color, much movement, much joy, much tomorrow.

But the hands which raise them cannot be seen, even though they are many.

And in the flags, in the color, in the movement, in the joy, and in the tomorrow, what really matters are the hands, even if they are not seen.

Thank you very much."

(End of Durito's interruption. The Sup retakes the word).

Now then, brothers and sisters of the UAM, what we have come to tell you is that we can be, or not be, flags, but what really matters is you, who are the hands which lift us up and brandish us.

And yes, there will be color and there will be movement and there will be joy and there will be tomorrow, but not because of the flag which we sometimes resemble, but because of the hands which you are.

Thank you UAMeros! Do not let them take away from you what makes you different, because then you will lose dignity, and there will no longer be hands, even if the flags are seen. And that is what the powerful want: to blot out and to silence the hands, because without hands, there are no flags.

Salud UAM.

>From the Xochimilco Unit of the Autonomous Metropolitan University.

Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee
- General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Mexico, March of 2001.


Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN _____________________ Translated by irlandesa


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