– 24th of May, 2014, Caracol I of La Realidad, Chiapas
A belt of balaclava-wearing Zapatista militants surrounded more than 2,200 Zapatista support bases who had arrived in the first capital of peaceful, civilian Zapatismo – La Realidad – to pay homage to their murdered comrade, Galeano.
Over a thousand adherents of the Sixth, pupils from the Freedom School, members of the free media, and members of civil society organisations from Mexico and around the world soon arrived in La Realidad in convoy. They were met with absolute silence.
Six banners next to the Caracol’s basketball court revealed slogans calling for justice for Galeano. One of them repeated Marcos’ words from “Pain and Rage”, insisting that it is that pain and rage which “are once again forcing us to lace up our boots, put on our uniforms, strap on our guns, and cover our faces”.
The insurgents wore black eye-patches over their right eyes, pink ribbons close to their hearts, and black ribbons of mourning on their left shoulders. They symbolically formed a protective fence around their support bases, maybe to insist that the EZLN will always be around to defend them.
Around 12pm, the song La Cigarra (by María Elena Walsh) played as SCI Marcos rode into the crowd with his characteristic pipe. After meeting with the leaders of the Zapatista Army (EZLN), who gave military salutes to the civil society groups and the Zapatista support bases, Marcos then said goodbye with the middle finger of his left hand raised.
After his withdrawal, his voice could be heard from the speakers. From Radio Insurgente, he saluted the free media (“independent, autonomous, or whatever you call them”), who would “soon have internet access and be able to upload their work”. SCI Moisés then reported on the progress of the investigations into Galeano’s murder. He spoke of women, for example, who had also been involved in the act, cutting his body with machetes and dragging his body along the ground. The adherents of the Sixth present were then asked to “remember that our struggle is civilian and peaceful” and to not allow themselves to be provoked “in spite of [their] anger, pain, and rage”. Moisés insisted on using that rage against the system, and not “against those unstable people who don’t know that they are simply carrying out the orders of the Bad Government”. Reaffirming that such provocations and threats have existed in the Caracol for a long time, he insisted that “if they provoke us, let them do it, not us, [because] we are fighters”. He finished by saying “they are listening to us and we want them to listen to us, because they never wanted to enter into dialogue with us before”.
Marcos’ voice was then heard once again, affirming that the memorial ceremony for Galeano would begin at sunset and reminding the independent media that they could connect to the internet to upload their work and “let their families know they [had] arrived ok”.
“We are all waiting for the beginning,
Listening to their silence,
Observing what they are observing.
We are all here,
United by our pain and rage,
And by our desires for justice and our right to peace.
We are all here for Galeano.
We are here, and here we will stay. That is who we are:
One heart full of strength, love, dignity, and rage.
More will come.
Each time, there are more them.
But each time, there are also more of us.
The new ones,
And those from before.
We are all here, with them, and with each other.”
In the memorial act for Galeano, the EZLN affirmed that “We know who beat and killed comrade Galeano”. The first part of the tribute saw “Como la cigarra” by Mercedes Sosa and “Latinoamérica” by Calle 13 played.
Marcos and other military leaders were there, and they marched and saluted their support bases. Moisés later assured those gathered that “we are not like those paramilitary soldiers who murder”. He emphasised that “we are sure that you also feel rage as a result of the comrade’s murder, but we must use that rage against the system, not against those who have been manipulated”.
Translated and adapted by Oso Sabio from http://www.cml.lunasexta.org/archivos/2014/05/24/primeros-reportes-desde-la-realidad-galeanovive/#.U4Et3VL7nqc.twitter, originally posted at http://sancristencia.org/