In the spirit of Gil Scott-Heron’s powerful rhythm and poetry, “Zapatistas Live” is a song written by Olmeca, inspired by the recent attacks and murder of Escuelita Zapatista teacher Galeano. The song urges us all to to take action and bring attention back to the Zapatista struggle. Olmeca’s efforts have given him a place amongst social justice dignitaries speaking and performing alongside Dolores Huerta, Naomi Klein, Luis J. Rodriguez to name a few.
On May 2nd 2014, paramilitary groups backed by Mexican government, attack a Zapatista school and clinic, injuring 15 and killing a Zapatista. This song is a response to it!
While we stay dormant movement proceeds and prevails
Many find it difficult to recognize a movement with such longevity
They only shortly fought the army in a 12 day war
They didn’t take state power or cease control
They didn’t realize a new constitution
and those who participate in the other campaign only found confusion.
Heartbreak for many they thought they would see Marcos in a pedestal forever
But those of us who know the process know better
Many folks took in media’s sensationalism for many years
and when the lights were out many walked away angry and in tears
No photo ops and no autographs so now you take another path?
Most dangerous than guns is abandonment and believing that no news coverage means no existence.
up until 2012, saying Zapatismo was like speaking of an old band …
“they’re still around?”
And some of us continued to be witnesses …
eyes on the earth soil from which hope grows
I saw them toil work through rain, thunder storm and sun that boiled.
No media, no gatherings, no nonsense, just exercising their right to be free.
But it exposed them to danger…
and for those years, the government responded with advanced tactics we are way too familiar with
government programs surrounding liberated territory
Government building empty structures next to the Zapatistas building autonomy
Tourist attractions next to cultural projects.
one selling culture and the other rescuing it from capitalist exposure.
health clinic with cynical plots mimic death count in metropolitan cities…
while Zapatista clinics treat those who’ve pointed guns at their kids despite their politics
… this perspective is prolific.
As eyes and cameras retreated guns and barrels continue advancing
cops and military uniforms position themselves atop pointing toward the crops!
Helicopters hovering over students, kidnappings, burning homes and food that grows!
Medicine that grows?
The enemy knows the Zapatistas are real and so are their tactics…
For more dangerous to a government isn’t armed conflict but knowing that they can be obsolete.
Obsolete because an entire people created their own good government, schools and clinics
Their own collectives and in the process, came to fully grasp that the only solution to living in dignity is to build it yourself.
Now theres an entire generation of young leaders who grew up…not in a movement, but in a way of life.
The Zapatistas aren’t a thing of the past, but an undeniable present.
the opposition is simply reverting back to 1996 tactics killing teachers the seed keepers…
I hope we all respond back.
Respond with compañerismo, compañerisma
In the love with have shown and the love that hey have Given
I say respond!
At the expense of admitting that some only return when guns are drawn in a time of conflict and media attention
I say this… come back, respond…and show the world
this movement is not alone!