“Yellow Vests” Will Host the Zapatistas

Those from Below

By Gloria Muñoz Ramirez

While up and down and across the Mexican territory the candidates of the different parties tear one another apart in every possible way, within a framework that excludes society and includes the juggling of electoral authorities, other ways of doing politics are being built that make possible encounters between equals that don’t have the quest  for power — call it a bone — between them.

The delegation of seven Zapatistas destined for Europe this spring. Ximena, Carolina, Lupita, Yuli, Marijose, Darío, y Bernal

On April 10th, a group of Zapatista men and women gathered in a space called the “Comandanta Ramona Seedbed.” They make up part of the first group that will leave for Europe in the context of the tour of five continents that the Zapatista Army of National Liberation announced in January of this year. The objective: “To see and listen to the other,” because, they explained, “to know that which is different is also part of our struggle and our commitment, of our humanity.”

The French autonomous movement known as the Yellow Vests, that for two years have risen up in France against the neoliberal reforms of Emmanuel Macron, will be one of the hosts of the Zapatista delegation, which will also have participation from representatives from the National Indigenous Congress and the Peoples’ Front of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala in Defense of Land and Water.

The Yellow Vest movement for economic justice began in France in October of 2018.

In a letter made public by the “Vests,” they assured, with respect to the movement, that “we had not heard the last of them,” and that the arrival of the Zapatistas would be an opportunity for exchange about what they had learned. The meeting with the Mexican delegation, they affirm, “will be a way of sending a message of hope and freedom,” and calling on all the people in struggle to “take back control of their lives,” throughout the world. 

In France and in thirty-some other countries of Europe the collectives in struggle are already preparing tents, rooms, and barns to receive the invited delegation, some of whom are already in quarantine. The virus has stopped the lives of millions of people throughout the world, but not of capitalism.  Nor of those who resist it. The ship sails on.

This article was published in La Jornada on April 17th, 2021. https://www.jornada.com.mx/notas/2021/04/17/politica/los-de-abajo-chalecos-amarillos-seran-anfitriones-de-los-zapatistas/ This English interpretation has been re-published by Schools for Chiapas.