New York, september 7, 2012.- I will start with some verses from “The cool fluttering” by Jim Morrison: Who called this dead […]/ I called you up to/ anoint the earth./ I called you to announce/ sadness falling like/ burned skin,/ I called you to wish/ you well […]/ Now I call on you/ to pray.
For all the dead that this absurd war against drugs has left, but have come with us from far away; for the dead that this terrorist imbecility of the 11th of September left behind, and whom at the side of these victims of violence have been summoned here by the verses of Morrison to “anoint the earth”, “to announce the sadness” that overcomes us and to pray with John Lennon to “give peace a chance”, I ask for a minute of silence.
The world is going through a profound, civilizing breaking point that almost 20 years ago was evinced by the Zapatista Movement uprising in Mexico, when it made visible the enormous amount of excluded ones in the world: the indigenous people and, with them, the millions of poor that the logic of money has excluded and rendered miserable. Very few understood this, and these people were forced to build a world in the mountains in the south of Mexico, assailed by incomprehension and war.
Almost 20 years later it was here in downtown where, paradoxically enough, the clash between the culture of the world and the barbarity of finances was once again evinced by the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the 99% Movement. “We are the 99%” was their endless cry, and when addressing this they referred not only to the 99% of those excluded by the United States, but to the whole world: poorly paid wage-earners, weighed down by taxes and debts, unemployed, people excluded from education and decent housing, immigrants, young people who will never have access to a job, children who survive in the most abject misery in hopeless shacks because their lands and their economies of mutual support have been destroyed in the name of money.
Modern economy, that was born around the 17th century, and which –with many nuances- is a product of capitalists, socialists and communists has found itself amidst a crisis that evinces its inoperability. Not only has it swept away cultures, peoples, territories and the environment, but for the same reason it is leaving millions of human beings utterly defenseless while also setting our society towards destruction. This economic logic has to shift to an economy of limits, as Gandhi showed us, an economy of proportions and decent poverty.
There is, however, money that emerges from this economy and that is even more terrible and perverse: the money of war against drugs.
This war has not diminished at all the demand for drugs, but has instead increased its consumption of bad quality and synthetic drugs. It has increased violence, criminality, robbery, extortion, kidnapping and human trade exponentially. It has murdered thousands of innocent human beings, it has generated immense populations of displaced people and has corrupted many other thousands that, subdued by misery and the ill logic of money have become a reserve army for either delinquency or the army itself that in turn through banks and corrupted bureaucrats launder dirty money.
It has increased the number of counterproductive businesses, such as gun production, police, armies, military intelligence, jails, judicial bureaucracy, and clandestine factories for drugs, bureaucratic structures and organized crime. It has generated, also, an immense accumulation of capital that exceeds that of great corporations.
In summary, this war against drugs has exacerbated brutality, as in the 20’s the production of alcohol did, and is putting in danger the human culture, destroying democracy and making way for authoritarianism, the police and military states and their counterpart, criminal violence.
This is why Leon Bloy and Giovanni Papini defined money as “the blood of the poor” and the “manure of the devil”.
If the Zapatista Movement, the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the 99% Movement made visible all those excluded from this land and evinced that modern economy, “the blood of the poor” and the “manure of the devil” has brought with it misery and pain. In turn we, who are part of that 99%, have come from far away to make visible through our pain that this economy and the war against drugs that president Nixon declared to the whole world 40 years ago is generating the deepest misery, the deepest brutality, the deepest suffering and the deepest and most perverse accumulation of capital.
In each of those fallen in this war, in each one of the dead of this violence which the verses of Jim Morrison has summoned – a man who had the inalienable right to choose his destiny – there are the worldwide victims of the economic speculation that this war is charging in an atrocious way.
These dead – who pray today with us and demand in their prayer to “give peace and opportunity” – look with indignation at the money laundering that is performed by banks under the shelter of governments and factual powers. They look with indignation at this war which only serves to increase death, corruption, crime and money amassed through pain, the lack of justice and the loss of freedom. They look with indignation at the governments that, against all sense of truth, nourish it from here while neglecting social improvement. For all this, stemming from this indignation, in the middle of this great city, of this capital city that simultaneously shelters the greatness of culture and the brutality of the financial atrocities that feed the war, the dead demand us to “give peace a chance”.
This is a peace that will only arrive when we set human life and its freedoms above all prejudice and money, when we become concerned about the social improvements and not merely about the capital and its multiple and perverse uses, when we subdue drugs and guns to the control of the market and the government, when we learn to create limited economies, poor, healthy and just, that are founded upon mutually supportive processes and creative freedoms that weave the lives of the communities and the neighborhoods, when we decide to save the democracy that the Fathers of this nation passed on to the American continent and which this war is destroying. When we all together, finally, demand our government and ourselves to make ours the words of Martin Luther King – another victim of the prejudice and interests that unleashed this war – “hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Let us not turn into a generation that becomes immersed in the dreadful silence of indifference, and has regret afterwards for accepting the war policies of its governments, which have not ceased hosting crime. We will never solve the problem of drugs by creating a war that has granted millions of dollars to criminals and that threatens to turn everything into a world of misery, despise and death where only criminals will rule.
“Let’s give peace a chance”.