By: Elio Henríquez
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas
Women commanders and coordinators of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) reported that women from that grouping will join the protests and strike programmed for March 8 and 9, called by the Brujas del Mar (Witches of the Sea) collective.
“On March 9, the compañeras who have the responsibility for autonomous authority, for organizational or military command, for commissions of education, health, media and for all the work that we do as Zapatista women, won’t show up for our jobs,” they said.
They explained in a communiqué that on March 8 they would meet “in our caracoles, we’ll talk about the pain and rage that we heard in the two encuentros that we have had. We’ll also discuss the struggles, ours and yours, compañeras and sisters who read us, and we will wear a black mark on our clothes.”
The Zapatista leaders pointed out that on March 9 “many of us will not leave our villages, in the early morning we will turn on thousands of lights. The light of women will shine in the Caracoles and in the Zapatista villages.”
“That will be our way of telling you that we support that idea of a ‘March 9 without women,’ as one more initiative of women who struggle for life. And as we are the majority in Zapatista autonomy, then that day it’s going to be paralyzed,” they added.
The Zapatista women approved the initiative because “we look at it as something valuable, good, noble, honest and legitimate. And we will support it according to our ways. Because any woman, whether one or many, who struggle for life, must know that they are not alone.
“We think it’s a good idea, because on March 8, you are going to look at and feel our pains and our rages. And on March 9, the patriarchal macho men are going to worry about what we think, plan and feel, because they won’t know,” they said.
The Zapatistas commented that: “with so much killing we just go from one mourning to another, from one pain to another, from one indignation to another. Maybe that’s the damn system’s plan: to be killing and disappearing us so that we don’t have the time or way to organize and struggle against the patriarchal and capitalist model.”
“Just like we are not asking permission from commands and authorities, nor from fathers, sons, boyfriends, husbands or lovers, but rather we are going to do it [the women’s strike] because we didn’t rise up in arms in vain since January 1, 1994,” they pointed out.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Monday, March 2, 2020
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee