A Universal No to the War of
Say Death to
(Communique from the EZLN which was read
during the demonstration in Rome, Italy, on February 15, 2003. It
was read by Heidi Giuliani, the mother of activist Carlo, who was
assassinated by the Italian police in Genoa in July of
Brothers and Sisters of Rebel
Greetings from the men, women, children and
old ones of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Our word is
made cloud in order to cross the ocean and to reach the worlds
which are in your hearts.
We know that today demonstrations are being
held throughout the world in order to say "No" to Bush's war
against the people of Iraq.
And it must be said like that, because it
is not a war by the North American people, nor is it a war against
It is a war by money, which is represented
by Señor Bush (perhaps in order to emphasize that he is completely
lacking in intelligence). And it is against humanity, whose fate is
now at stake on the soil of Iraq.
This is the war of fear.
Its objective is not to defeat Hussein in
Iraq. Its goal is not to do away with Al Qaeda. Nor does it seek to
liberate the people of Iraq. It is not justice, nor democracy, nor
liberty which drives this terror. It is fear.
Fear that the entire world will refuse to
accept a policeman which tells it what it should do, how it should
do it and when it should do it. It is fear.
Fear that the world will refuse to be
treated like plunder.
Fear of that human essence which is called
Fear that the millions of human beings who
are mobilizing today throughout the world will be victorious in
raising the cause of peace.
Because the victims of those bombs which
will be launched over Iraqi lands will not only be Iraqi civilians,
children, women, men and old ones, whose deaths will be merely an
accident in the headlong, arbitrary path of he who, from his side,
calls on God as an alibi for destruction and death.
The person leading this stupidity (which is
supported by Berlusconi in Italy, Blair in England and Aznar in
Spain), Señor Bush, used money to buy that power which he is trying
to hurl upon the people of Iraq.
Because it must not be forgotten that Señor
Bush is the head of the self-proclaimed world police, thanks to a
fraud which was so immense that it could only be covered up by the
shadows of the twin towers in New York, and by the blood of the
victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Neither Hussein nor the Iraqi people matter
to the North American government. What matters to it is
demonstrating that it can commit its crimes in any part of the
world, at any moment, and that it can do so with absolute
The bombs which are to fall in Iraq seek
also to fall on all the nations of earth. They would also fall on
our hearts, and thus universalize that fear which they carry
This war is against all humanity, against
all honest men and women.
This war seeks that we should know fear,
that we should believe that he who has money and military force
also controls what is right.
This war hopes that we shall shrug our
shoulders, that we shall make cynicism a new religion, that we
shall remain silent, that we shall conform, that we shall resign,
that we shall surrender...that we shall forget...
That we shall forget Carlo Giuliani, the
rebel of Genoa.
For the zapatistas, we are the men who
dream our dead. And today our dead are dreaming a rebel
For us there is but one dignified word and
one conscientious action in the face of this war. The word "NO" and
the rebel action.
That is why we must say "NO" to
A "NO" without conditions or
A "NO" without half measures.
A "NO" untarnished by gray
A "NO" with all the colors which paint the
A "NO" which is clear, categorical,
resounding, definitive, worldwide.
What is at stake in this war is the
relationship between the powerful and the weak. The powerful is
powerful because he makes us weak. He lives off our work, off our
blood. That is how he grows fat while we languish.
The powerful have invoked God at their side
in this war, so that we will accept their power and our weakness as
something that has been established by divine plan.
But there is no god behind this war other
than the god of money, nor any right other than the desire for
death and destruction.
The only strength of the weak is their
dignity. That is what inspires them to fight in order to resist the
powerful, in order to rebel.
Today there is a "NO" which shall weaken
the powerful and strengthen the weak: the "NO" to war.
Some might ask whether the word which has
convened so many throughout the world will be capable of preventing
the war or, once it has begun, of stopping it.
But the question is not whether we can
change the murderous march of the powerful. No. The question we
should be asking is: could we live with the shame of not having
done everything possible to prevent and stop this war?
No honest man or woman can remain silent
and indifferent at this moment.
All of us, each one in our own voice, in
our own way, in our own language, by our own action, must say
And, if the powerful wish to universalize
fear through death and destruction, we must universalize the
Because the "NO" to this war is also a "NO"
to fear, a "NO" to resignation, a "NO" to surrender, a "NO" to the
forgetting, a "NO" to renouncing our humanness.
It is a "NO" for humanity and against
We would hope that this "NO" would
transcend borders, that it would sneak past customs, that it would
overcome differences of language and culture, and that it would
unite the honest and noble part of humanity, which is also, and it
must not be forgotten, the majority.
Because there are negations which unite and
Because there are negations which affirm
men and women in the best of themselves, that is, in their
Today the skies of the world are clouded
over with warplanes, with missiles - which call themselves
"intelligent" merely so that they can conceal the stupidity of
those who are in charge of them, and those who, like Berlusconi,
Blair and Aznar, justify them - with satellites which point out
where there is life and where there will be death.
And the land of the earth is tarnished with
machines of war which would paint the earth with blood and
The storm comes.
But dawn shall come only if the words made
cloud in order to cross borders is turned into a "NO" made stone,
and they make an opening in the darkness, a crevice through which
tomorrow can slip.
Brothers and sisters of rebel and dignified
Please accept this "NO" which we, the
zapatistas, the smallest, are sending you.
Allow our "NO" to unite with yours and with
all the "NO's" which are flourishing today throughout the
Viva the rebellion which says
Death to death!
From the mountains of the Mexican
By the Comandancia General of the
Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista
Army of National Liberation.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Translated by Scott Handleman
(with minor revision, A. Deck)