— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) January 8, 2024
The Zapatista movement has set an important example for the entire world, especially for oppressed peoples fighting for freedom and democracy, the Kurdish-led all-female militia Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) said in a video message on the 30th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico.
In their video message, the YPJ expressed their deep admiration for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation’s (EZLN) impressive three-decade commitment to the principles of freedom, self-determination and self-government. They praised the Zapatistas for their progress in building a system of self-government, communal economy and freedom, and stressed the importance of people having control over their lives and organisational structures.
The YPJ paid special tribute to the Zapatistas’ remarkable emphasis on the women’s vanguard and praised their commitment to the advancement of women’s rights and autonomy.
Both the YPJ and the Zapatista women have fought to ensure the survival of their communities while bringing about transformative changes in gender roles. Kurdish women have long been in solidarity with Zapatista women.
The Zapatistas made their first appearance in the impoverished province of Chiapas on 1 January 1994, when they briefly liberated the provincial capital of San Cristobal de las Casas, destroyed property records and made a statement to the world. Since then, the movement has unleashed a storm of solidarity around the world.
On 1 January, thousands gathered in Dolores Hidalgo to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Zapatistas. Subcomandante Moises called for continued organisation in defence of autonomy, freedom and democracy, and stressed the importance of defending communities against violence without resorting to aggression.
The EZLN defends indigenous control over local resources, especially land. Describing themselves as a decentralised organisation, the Zapatistas work with decisions made by community assemblies.