Summer 2021 will be hot and challenging
We are Zapatistas
Carriers of the virus of resistance and rebellion
As such, we will go to the five continents.
The Zapatista Movement
Indigenous rebels in Chiapas, in southern Mexico, began organizing quietly in 1983 to mount an uprising against neoliberalism, capitalism and racism in 1994. Since then, they have been organizing under their own rules, independent of the state.
For 500 years they have resisted colonialism, for 27 years a low-intensity war waged against them – on military, psychological, economic, administrative and media levels. 1000 times they were declared dead – but they are alive and rebellious until today. In their autonomous structures they organize all areas of life themselves according to grassroots democratic principles – and the struggles of women play a central role in this.
Again and again they have pushed worldwide for a networking and connection of the struggles from the left and below. Starting with Mexico-wide meetings in the rebel area and the “Intergalactic Meetings” – which were an important starting signal for the anti-globalization movement and the formation of structures like People’s Global Action or independent media.
In 2001, they mobilized millions of people with a delegation trip through Mexico. In recent years, they have hosted international women’s gatherings and shared their experiences of self-management with thousands of people from around the world in the “small Zapatista school.” Their movement has continued to grow, they have expanded their autonomy, sown seeds of rebellion throughout Mexico, and collaborated closely with all of Mexico’s resistant Indigenous Peoples through the National Indigenous Congress (CNI).
In 2021, they will leave Mexico for the first time and begin a journey to all five continents.
In the summer of 2021, a delegation of Zapatistas – the majority of them women (compañeras) – will arrive in Europe. We don’t know yet when, on which routes, with which ships, nor with what money.
But we do know: On this continent from which so much destruction and annihilation has emanated – and still emanates, on this continent on which we live – we want to welcome them. In a way that does justice to the persistent rebellion for life with which the Zapatistas have taught so many of us, again and again, that giving up is not an option.
And that way is to build rebellious relationships with each other. We want to connect the Zapatistas with all the resistances and rebellions that exist on this continent. With the resistances and rebellions that fight for life and against destruction, for human equality and against oppression and exclusion. So we want to connect with you, to build relationships with the people who are struggling, from the left and from below. And by that we mean really relate to each other, because that is truly revolutionary in this cold, individualized, distanced world.
This task is big – and yet it is only a small step on the path that lies ahead of us all. We invite you to get involved, in whichever way you want and can.
What issues and struggles are so close to your heart that you keep at them despite COVID19? Relate yourself and your issues to this journey, because the Zapatistas are coming to fight with us the struggles that are too important for a pandemic to stop them.
How we want to organize
We have decided to use and build local structures to organize the trip in Germany. We are also thematically joining forces nationwide, working on migrant self-organizing, queer*feminist organization, patriarchy, nature destruction, climate & environmental struggles, decolonization, practical internationalism, mental self-defense, anti-racist & anti-fascist networking, militarism, agriculture, agrarian turnaround, and more.
We have a bunch of ideas: A tribunal against Bayer/Monsanto, a decentralized Europe-wide day of action in memory of all those murdered because of racism and sexism, a Europe-wide women* meeting, and many more. What will be implemented, we will decide together. What is clear is that we want to make a rebellious meeting in Germany, a camp where all struggles, issues and people come together to connect with each other and to move forward!
One thing is for sure: Besides courage and commitment and fire and patience and perseverance and foresight and wisdom and fun and joy and creativity and everything else we need – it will also take a lot of money to realize this journey. Therefore: Please consider supporting this trip if you can afford it. Collections will be made in Germany via:
Zwischenzeit e.V. (non-profit association)
IBAN: DE91 4306 0967 0033 5767 00 / BIC: GENODEM1GLS
Keyword: “Donation Delegation Zapatistas”.
Current info and contact:
www.ya-basta-netz.org / ya-basta-contact[ät]riseup[.]net
Excerpt from the announcement of the Zapatistas
First: We see and hear a socially sick world, fragmented into millions of people estranged from each other, doubled down in their efforts for individual survival but united under the oppression of a system that will do anything to satisfy its thirst for profit, even when its path is in direct contradiction to the existence of planet Earth.
Second: We have seen and heard a nature which is gravely injured and yet, in its agony it is warning humanity that the worst is yet to come.
Third: We see and hear the powerful retreating and taking cover within the so-called nation-states and their walls.
Fourth: The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated not only the vulnerabilities of human beings, but also the greed and stupidity of the national governments and their supposed opposition groups.
Fifth: We have also heard and seen the resistances and rebellions that, even when silenced or forgotten, do not cease to be vital indicators of a humanity that refuses to follow the system’s hurried pace toward collapse.
These are resistances and rebellions that teach us Zapatistas that the solutions may be found below, in the basements and corners of the world, not in the halls of government or the offices of large corporations.
They are resistances and rebellions that show us that if those above destroy bridges and seal borders, then we’ll just have to navigate rivers and oceans to find each other. They show us that the cure, if there is one, is global; it is the color of the earth.
We saw and heard all of this and more. We saw and heard ourselves as what we are: a number that doesn’t count. Who cares if a small, a tiny group of originary peoples, indigenous peoples, lives, that is, struggles? Because it turns out that we do live. Despite paramilitaries, pandemics, mega-projects, lies, slander, and oblivion, we live. And by that we mean, we struggle.
Sixth: We have decided that: It is time for our hearts to dance again, and for their sounds and rhythm to not be those of mourning and resignation.
Thus, various Zapatista delegations, men, women, and others, the color of our earth, will go out into the world, walking or setting sail to remote lands, oceans, and skies, not to seek out difference, superiority, or offense, much less pity or apology, but to find what makes us equal.
It is not just our humanity that unites our different skin, our different ways of life, our different languages and colors. It is also, and above all, the common dream we have shared as a species as of the moment, in a seemingly distant Africa, from the lap of the very first woman, when we set out on the search for freedom that guided our first steps and which continues its path today.
We will set sail and journey once again to tell the planet that in the world that we hold in our collective heart, there is room for everyone [todas, todos, todoas]. That is true for the simple reason that that world will only be possible if all of us struggle to build it. The Zapatista delegations will be constituted principally by women, not just because they want to reciprocate the embrace they received in earlier international gatherings, but also and above all to make clear to the Zapatista men that we are what we are and we aren’t what we aren’t thanks to them, for them, and with them.
This is our pledge:
In the face of the powerful trains, our canoes.
In the face of the thermoelectric plants, our little lights that the Zapatista women put in the care of the women who struggle all over the world.
In the face of walls and borders, our collective navigation.
In the face of big capital, a common cornfield.
In the face of the destruction of the planet, a mountain sailing through the small hours of the morning.
We are Zapatistas, carriers of the virus of resistance and rebellion. As such, we will go to the five continents.