For Life and Humanity, Against Capitalism

By Gilberto López y Rivas

Multiple initiatives of organization and resistance are being deployed on the front lines of the peoples’ struggle, despite the health emergency of a pandemic that exacerbates, extends and deepens the systemic and civilizational crisis of capitalism. On the the first of January, the 27th anniversary of the rebellion of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, hundreds of collectives of diverse identities, causes and latitudes made public a transcendent document addressed to the people of the world — to the people who struggle on the 5 continents — in which they emphasize that despite all the possible types of differences, antagonisms and distances, the pains of the earth unite them: violence against women, persecution and contempt for those who are different in their affective, emotional, and sexual identity; the annihilation of children; genocide against the indigenous; racism; militarism; exploitation; plunder; and the destruction of nature ( 2021/01/01/primera-parte-una-declaracion -por-la-vida/).

They also coincide in the understanding that it is a system responsible for these pains. The executioner is an exploitive, patriarchal, pyramidal, racist, thieving, criminal system: capitalism. A system that is not possible to reform, educate, attenuate, polish, domesticate or humanize. These premises carry a commitment of struggle, “in all parts and at all times –everyone on their own terrain— against this system until it is completely destroyed. The survival of humanity depends on the destruction of capitalism. We will not give up, we are not for sale, and we won’t give in.”

The writing signals a certainty that gives dimension and reach to the movement in progress: the struggle for humanity is global. Just as the ongoing destruction does not recognize borders, nationalities, flags, languages, cultures, races; the struggle for humanity is in all parts at all times.

They [the Zapatistas] express their firm conviction in respect for difference, given that there are many worlds that live and struggle in the world. Humanity’s similarity lies in its diversity, which is why all pretension of homogeneity and hegemony goes against the essence of being human: freedom. What allows us to advance is not imposing looks, steps, company, paths or destinations, but listening and looking upon the other who, distinct and different from us, has the same vocation of freedom and justice. 

Because of these coincidences, and without ceasing to be what they are, they agreed, first of all, to hold meetings, dialogues, exchanges of ideas, experiences, analysis and evaluations among those who find ourselves committed, from different conceptions and from different terrains in the struggle for life. Secondly, they decided that these gatherings and activities will be carried out on the 5 continents, starting with Europe, during the months of July, August, September, and October of this year, with the direct participation of a Mexican delegation made up of the CNI-CIG (National Indigenous Congress -Indigenous Governing Council), the Peoples’ Front in Defense of Water and Land of Morelos, Pueblo, y Tlaxcala, and the EZLN.

Finally, the conveners invite “those who share the same preoccupations and similar struggles, all the honest people and those ‘from below’ who rebel and resist in the many corners of the world, to join, to contribute, to support and participate in these gatherings and activities; and that they sign and make their own this Declaration for Life.

In the fifth Assembly of the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council that happened at the end of January, a pronouncement was issued in support of the Declaration for Life, committing to strengthening their struggles in defense of life in their territories, and opening the spaces of listening, the organization and the word with our sisters and brothers of Mexico and the world that fight against the patriarchal, capitalist system with the objective of disappearing it. Likewise they agree to: 1. Participate in the tour of Europe, and in that of Asia, Africa, Oceanía and America 2. Carry out actions against the megaprojects in memory of Samir Flores Soberanes, on the second anniversary of his death 3.Demand the end to the attacks and harassment of the Zapatista communities, such as demanding the immediate freedom of their political prisoners in several states and the return alive of 43 students of Ayotzinapa.

For their part, those who joined the Civil Association that supported Marichuy in her candidacy as an independent to the Presidency of the Republic, made up the collective of support to the CNI-CIG-EZLN: The Time of the Peoples has Come, which seeks to accompany the actions in defense of life with peace, justice and dignity, due to the continued process of territorial recolonization through megaprojects, militarization and paramilitarization ( La Jornada, 1/2/21).

The ghost of Chinameca1 appeared in Huexca, Morelos.

This article was first published in Spanish in La Jornada on February 5th, 2021. This English interpretation has been re-published by Schools for Chiapas.

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  1. Chinameca is the site of the betrayal and murder of Emiliano Zapata. The reference to the ghost alludes to continued legacy of the peoples’ struggle.
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