: In Magdalena, Subcomandante Marcos Speaks of the Border
"In the story we are telling -or that we were sent to tell you- the
earth protected us after the Spanish invasion, and allowed us to
survive and resist the North American invasion, and we continued to
live. And then came the invasion of money, or Big Capital. And the
earth allowed us to survive, but now it is at the point of death
precisely because of the people 'up above'.
If you think that they will be contented to see us poor, without
schools, without medicine, you are mistaken: they want us to disappear
completely." - Subcomandante Marcos
That is something that many Maori are failing to comprehend.
Systematic assimilation is thorough, persistant and ongoing. Today it
is not brutal and up front and personal as is with the peoples of the
Chiapas, nevertheless it was at one time, and is still there in much
more subtle forms, methods and strategies.
The greatest tool working for the system is actually the complicency
of many of our own people.
We are fast coming to a cultural precipice, a saturation point from a
mix of the Treaty settlement process, academic revisionism of history
and culture, radical educational, health and legislative assimilation
policies and the compounding affect these subtle yet determined
routing techniques are having particularly on the majority of Maori
who are living out their lives in urban areas in this country and
I think some where along the way, somewhere between the transition of
the rifle musket to the pen, somewhere shortly after that we let our
guards down. Somewhere in the period just following the passing of
Eva, of Matiu, and the passing of our belief that one day we will be
free, that one day we will at least have an autonomous area which we
can live as free people, we began to believe the colonial, and
capitalist lies that we are indeed already free, free to determine
ourselves within this corporate dungeon, this haven for vulture
capitalists, as the greate subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatistas put
it, Big Capital.
If for a moment I can indulge everyone is a little history:
- that from first invasion of the anglo-saxons to conquer and
assimilate all of old Briton, till the official formation of the
United Kingdom was 1700 years...
- The attempted conquest of Ireland by the peoples of Britain began in
1169 and is still going on today...we bare witness to a phase of the
struggle of the Irish people for their liberation from invaders, a
fight that has persisted in wax and wane for the good part of 1800 years.
These are lessons and a stark reminders to us to not be swept away by
what I would term, the grand illusion, that neo-serfdom status offered
to us in a gold and silver lined kete mostly by Maori who have become
accustomed to, and spiritually and mentally recruited into the system.
This system, this misdirection, in this small segment of the war for
our complete annihilation is the greatest tool in the kete of the
The war for our 'complete disappearance' began a few seconds after the
arrival of the capitalist expansionists, the sealers, whalers and land
barons, it began long before the ink first began to flow onto the
parchment that we hold to dearly called the Tiriti o Waitangi and we
need to be constantly reminded that it has in no way ended or is even
This spell of sorts, of the queen of the snowflakes that holds the
belief in our minds that we are to be content to be Maori with just
the components of the expression of our culture, haka, reo, toi,
wairuatanga etc etc, become fluent in those components and you will be
The stark reality is that we are 10% of the way into the war of either
our liberation or total destruction. In order for Maori to move to the
next level, to begin breaking this pseudo-spell, if we so desire it,
then many of the ideas we have formulated to 'be' Maori within this
western capitalist paradym are going to have to be re-evaluated. New
ideas need formulation based around the concept-reality of the
formation of an autonomous state/states, first option to initiate
within the zone of one of the more 'geographically sound' rohe potae.
Never have we ever faced such a determined campaign of destruction.
Look back at any record of war, where has there been one that lasted
as long as this one will last. We do not have a corporate memory of
any war lasting more than a few generations.
Kotahitanga? For a short while in order to achieve the objective of
the guarantee of our political autonomy and our mana motuhake.
The tuakana, the Irish, the Zapatistas, the Cubans, the southern
Lebanese, those indigenous peoples willing to pay the ultimate price
for their freedom, and last but not least, our tupuna who saw the
eventuation of this war, and saw that the battle would be long and
arduous, yet were willing to pay the ultimate price for us and for
those to come after us.
The cost? Everything but your soul.
He mihi kauana ki a koutou maa oo Mehiko, Amerika ki te tonga, ki nga
tuakana, ara ko Subcomandante Marcos tera, ko Ernesto Guevara tera, ki
to tatou tupuna hoki kua whakairotia hoki te ara tika, te ara pono
hoki ma tatou onaianei, o te wa ka haramai.
Kaati noa ra kaore e mau te rongo, me mau tonu ra tatou ki te kawau
maro, a, kaua e ware, ka whawhai tonu tatou mo ake tonu atu e!