Chiapas in Dublin, Schools for Chiapas in Europe II

On August 20th, Schools for Chiapas was honored to be part of a solidarity event to stop the war against Zapatista communities at the historic autonomous commune of Christiania in Copenhagen, Denmark. This was an important event for us in terms of expanding our outreach program, raising awareness about the current situation in Chiapas and building global solidarity networks. (

Sadly, just one week later, the community was victim of a violent clash between organized crime gangs, which left a toll of one dead and four hospitalized. The pattern of violence that currently plagues Chiapas repeats itself in Europe. Similarly, the Danish government is attempting to take advantage of the situation to infringe on the autonomy of Christiania. As Schools for Chiapas, we lament the loss of life, condemn the criminal activity and stand in solidarity with the people of Christiania.

Some days later on August 31st, Schools for Chiapas was once again present at another solidarity event which we helped to organize in Dublin, Ireland. This marked yet another step in a new direction for Schools for Chiapas in establishing links with the continent of Europe, Slumil K’ajxemk’op (Unsubmissive Land) as the Zapatistas called it in the first chapter of their Journey for Life. Indeed Slumil K’ajxemk’op could well be used to refer to the island of Ireland given its long history of resistance and struggle against imperialism. The country became a reference point for anti-colonialist movements across the globe and its influence and the presence of some of its citizens and diaspora have also been felt throughout Latin America, including the San Patricio Brigade in the case of Mexico, which fought against the US invasion there between 1846 and ’48.

The event in Dublin attracted a large and lively public, eager to show their solidarity with the Zapatista communities under attack. It brought anarchists, communists, radicals, socialist republicans and various other tendencies of the left together under one roof and for a common cause. Apart from Ireland and Mexico, there were people present from various other European countries, as well as Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, the US and Turkey.

Music was provided by Irish and Mexican musicians, who raised our spirits with a range of musical styles from our common tradition of rebel songs. Schools for Chiapas gave a presentation on the current situation on the ground in Mexico, the attacks on the Zapatista communities, and ways of building and demonstrating solidarity. There was an entertaining quiz which also acted as a springboard to provide information about Ireland and especially Chiapas. Goods from Sendas, the cultural center in San Cristobal de Las Casas which we collaborate with, were on sale, and the participants showed their generosity which Ireland is renowned for in their donations. More signatures were collected for a letter of solidarity and protest which is circulating and will promptly be delivered to the Mexican Ambassador in Ireland. We continued with the music, we sang along and an uplifting night was had by all.

The event itself and the process of organizing it were both important factors in reestablishing contacts between Ireland and Chiapas, building links between resistances, and hopefully laying the groundwork for future acts of solidarity and global action when called upon by the Zapatistas or CNI to do so. Schools for Chiapas was delighted to be part of this process. Thank you Ireland!

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