Sunday, July 30, 2006


Welcome to Occupied Mexico!

[Image from La Jornada No kidding, folks. This is big news. I almost choked when I read it. AMLO said (my paraphrase): Thank you [etc.] We are reunited here again, free citizens from evey class and social condition, men and women, Mexicans of all colors, ages, races, and languages that populate our great nation. Indians, workers, farmers, entrepreneurs, middle class people, employees, professionals, artists, intellectuals, businessmen, students, teachers, doctors, nurses, university teachers. I especially want to note the presence of many of the poor, who are the foundation of our country and our movement. Their presence here is my main source of pride as a human being and leader. [Charles: Imagine ANY American politician saying this.] There are whole families, old people, kids, joined to form a single common will to defend democracy. We are united, proving by our deeds that we seek a just nation, free, democratic, tolerant, and diverse. We are here because we want a new economy, a new way of doing politics, a new social compact, more humane and egalitarian. We are here because we want a new nation. [This is a historic moment.] Let us recall that at another historical moment of democratic transition, Francisco I. Madero told an American newspaperman: "When I rise to power, I will incarnate two principles: first, as ordered by the Constitution, not to seek re-election. The other is the right to vote. For the latter, electoral law reform, motivated by the public, is needed. I will be the primary guardian of that popular right and will consider my primary debt to be to facilitate the expression of the common will. I will be the main friend and defender of the people's liberties. I regard everything else is secondary." Vicente Fox never understood that lesson. Instead of serving as the guardian of a meaningful vote, he betrayed democracy. For this reason, democracy is again the central issue of out nation. We must see that democracy is not just the best system of human governance, it is the must effective means to guarantee social harmony. It creates equilibrium and counterbalances, favors dignity, and prevents any group from acting as a dictator. But more, in a country like Mexico, with its extremes of privilege and want, democracy acquires a fundamental social dimension. It makes it a matter of survival. Democracy is the only option for millions of the poor, for most people to improve the conditions of work and life. If the democratic gates are closed, there is nothing except repression or violence. Let us never forget that so many Mexicans have sacrificed so much for this cause, losing even their lives. We are here to reject electoral fraud which attempts to falsify the result of the expression of the citizens's will as expressed on the second of July at the ballot box. [Charles: Imagine Al Gore of John Kerry saying any of this]. [General description of the allegations of fraud] It is not much to ask, that they count each ballot, precinct by precinct. [Charles: except in corrupt electoral systems, where maintaining power depends on making sure the fraud is never exposed.] Mexico does not deserve to be governed by a fake president, without legitimacy, without moral or political authority [Charles: unlike the US, which deserves exactl that.] We hope that the electoral court may clean up and make transparent out election, ordering the votes to be counted. We know the members of the court are subjected to intense pressure from the powerful, who believe they are the lords of Mexico. It is not we who lack respect for our institutions. Our nation, sadly, lacks a tradition to assure that those who run the institutions act justly. Historically, the Constitution and the laws have been obeyed only in form, and have been violated in substance. So, while we can't discount the possibility that the court will behave like free men and women, we can't sit with arms folded hoping for that result. Let us remember that liberty, justice, and democracy have never been won except by organization and struggle. [Hidalgo and Morelos kicking out the Spaniards. Then Villa, Zapata, and many nameless heros.] Democracy is not handed down from above. One does not beseech it to come, one obtains it by conquest. Let's await the result of the court in a state of mobilation, attentive, and filled with pride. To our opponents, I apologize for the annoyance that our movement may cause you. I hope that some day, you will understand that this struggle is necessary, not just for us, but so that Mexico can be a respectable and respected nation, living democratically and in harmony. Let's wait until the court rules, in a permanent assembly, night and day, until they count the votes. [Charles: Holy smokes! They are occupying the city indefinitely!]
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