June 23, 2021. Written by Ñaní Pinto at Avispa Midia, translated by Shantal Montserrat Lopez Victoria.
The “Squadron 421”, the maritime brigade of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), composed of four women, two men and a non-binary person, left Isla Mujeres, Mexico on May 3 in an old sailboat named “La Montaña”. At 6:10 p.m. (European time) on June 22, they landed in Vigo, one of the main ports of Galicia.
The delegation from La Montaña were greeted by representatives of the so-called “Xira pola Vida” (Tour for Life), made up of several groups from Spain and other delegations from Italy, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Portugal, Euskalerria, Catalonia, Andalusia, France, Belgium and Mexico.
A welcoming ceremony was held, which included a collective greeting to the rhythm of traditional Galician music. At this event, Marijose, the non-binary member of this brigade, renamed Europe. “On behalf of the women, children, men, elders and, of course, other Zapatistas, I declare that the name of this land, which its natives now call “Europe”, will henceforth be called: SLUMIL K’AJXEMK’OP”, said Marijose, which means, “Tierra Insumisa”, or “Insubordinate Lands” or “Land that does not surrender or falter. ”
The delegation tried to disembark on the Galician coast last Sunday, but did not succeed, due to some logistical and bureaucratic constraints, among them, tests to corroborate that none of the crew was infected with Covid-19.
The tour kicked off in Europe, where it is scheduled to visit at least 30 countries. It will then proceed to the rest of the five continents. This delegation will be joined by other brigades from the EZLN and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) that will fly there in the coming days.
Several European cities have already prepared for their arrival. In France, “the European gender commission” is organizing a meeting exclusively for women, trans, inter, and non-binary people, from the 10th to the 11th of July 2021, in the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Nantes-France).
This event is open to everyone, even though the organizers are following a strict attendance policy. Therefore, it is necessary to fill out a registration form in order to attend this event. Also, if you want to participate with a proposal, you must fill out a different form.
The organizers announced, “we are living beings, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, women, trans, non-binary people who fight from our different realities. We are feminists, migrants, non-migrants, precarious, from lower-income sectors and today we call for an intergenerational, intercultural, interethnic, intergalactic dialogue among a diversity of genders based on the knowledge of multiple struggles and their different geographies, from the countryside, the city, the factory, the neighborhood, as well as all the possible spaces of political activism.”
This European gender commission affirms “we want to support the Zapatista Tour from a feminist, decolonial and intersectional perspective and are open to other expressions of struggle for women, trans and non-binary people who speak out against all kinds of discrimination.”
The commission express they have been inspired by shared concerns, “moved by the affection, pain, joy and rage that go through our struggles in our territories and our diverse bodies; we are committed to uplifting and revitalizing ancestral practices and also knowledge the current struggles and resistances that sustain life in all its expressions.”
In this meeting between the Zapatista brigades and the CNI, we encourage people to value words and the diverse expressions, “to listen and learn from what everyone has to teach each other from our experiences”, states the proposal for this event, of which a website muchasluchasparavivir.noblogs.org has been created.
Topics and contents to be addressed in this event aim to “create alternative approaches to those we know, using all types of language that decentralize the spoken and written word to enhance the (re)creative expressions of our bodies, of art, of playing, of enjoyment, of sports, of other imaginaries worlds that bring us closer to other horizons and futures for all,” the gender commission shared.