what she said

or Viva Zapatistas!

a small sample from the author Rebecca Solnit:

The Zapatista rebellion has been feminist from its inception: Many of the comandantes are women — this encuentro was dedicated to the memory of deceased Comandante Ramona, whose image was everywhere — and the liberation of the women of the Zapatista regions has been a core part of the struggle. The testimonies addressed what this meant — liberation from forced marriages, illiteracy, domestic violence, and other forms of subjugation. The women read aloud, some of them nervous, their voices strained — and this reading and writing was itself testimony to the spread both of literacy and of Spanish as part of the revolution. The first language of many Zapatistas is an indigenous one, and so they spoke their Spanish with formal, declarative clarity. They often began with a formal address to the audience that spiraled outward: “hermanos y hermanas, compañeras y compañeros de la selva, pueblos del Mexico, pueblos del mundo, sociedad civile” — “brothers and sisters, companions of the rainforest, people of Mexico, people of the world, civil society.” And then they would speak of what revolution had meant for them.

The Zapatistas represent the single most successful revolutionary outfit of my generation, and give me the most hope that we can enter a new world eventually, where we live in harmony with the environment and where we are not driven to produce and consume every single day of our lives.