“The Zapatista delegations will be made up mainly of women. Not only because they intend to return the embrace they received in previous international meetings. Also, and above all, so that we Zapatista men can make it clear that we are what we are, and we are not what we are not, thanks to them, because of them and with them”.
Taken from Part Six COMMUNICATE OF THE INDIGENOUS REVOLUTIONARY CLANDESTINE COMMITTEE – GENERAL COMMAND OF THE ZAPATIST ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION. MEXICO. October 2020.
MANIFEST COMMITMENT … FOR GOOD LIVING, WALKING AND SELF-CARE
This is a collaborative, open, inclusive, for some innovative and revolutionary exercise. Commitment because whoever subscribes it acquires a responsibility, commits to do his or her part to fulfil it, joining with others in daily practice in all areas – individually, collectively and in society – as a militant from below and to the left.
Manifesto because it is also a political statement of rebellion and resistance for real equality, which implies deconstructing thoughts, attitudes and actions of domination and discrimination that destroy life in all its forms.
This manifest commitment to good living and self-care is intended as a guide to accompany the Zapatista tour for life before, during and after the coming of the Zapatista delegations. It is a statement against any form of racism, sexism, classism, colonialism, abilism and all kinds of domination. We want to deconstruct patriarchy and make everyone aware of their own privileges.
Bases and general principles that are considered for this Manifesto commitment.
- Active co-responsibility and an environment of respect.
- Organising rage and action from tenderness and love.
- Taking care that identity inclusions are effective.
- It is understood as being/being at home.
- Respecting the needs, expressions and times of each person.
- Create the possible conditions to include and take care of people with disabilities adequately.
- There is no violence and/or aggression that is small.
- Open listening to the word and beyond this, to the feelings, thoughts, doings, and ways of seeing the world(s).
- Within the collectives below and to the left, for the wellbeing of all.
In European ( local/national etc.) meetings and assemblies, gatherings and events
- Have a facilitator and/or a moderator.
- Take turns: ask for the word and wait for your turn.
- Short and equal turns to speak. It is better not to give the word more than twice to the same person out of respect for others’ words. No one’s turn to speak is cut off.
- Active listening
- Feelings are valued
- Set a start and end time for a meeting.
- Be careful in the language you use, including feminine, non-binary, trans etc, without being rigid or losing your own spontaneity.
- Decisions: that they are binding before the end of the meeting. And that this process is from the local to the European and from the European to the local.
- Pay attention to fatigue and dispersion as measures of the meeting’s development.
- Remember that most of the participants are women.
- Think about gender issues, but also decolonial ones.
- Respect the differences that we know we have between various collectives in Europe, that is what makes us strong!
- Participation, speaking and decision-making can be done in a personal capacity or on behalf of collectives, specifying whether or not it is done with a mandate.
For the well being of the comrades, when the caravan arrives
Security can be seen from two angles, a protection towards the “outside” which are those from above, the repressive bodies which is a risk as we know, very present, and the other level is the security inside our “below and to the left”.
- If possible, the delegation will be staying in the same place.
- The Zapatista women comrades and others should have a place to sleep where they feel comfortable, that is to say that they can be together as much as possible and not too far apart.
- Families will not be separated.
- Where the compañeras/was sleep, there should always be at least one woman who speaks Spanish.
- Keep in mind that they speak their mother tongue and Spanish.
- The minimum requirement for them to feel safe is that someone always speaks Spanish when the compas are received.
In the events
- Welcoming and attentive to partners. Taking into account specific needs.
- Childcare. To have spaces, people and places suitable for childcare, so that everyone can participate.
- Language and speech. That there is always someone who can interpret or translate into Spanish.
- Movement. Ensure that travel is safe and at times appropriate to the well-being of the children, including periods for rest and recreation.
On alcohol and other substances
In Zapatista communities there is no alcohol or drug use. That may be different in our struggles: without changing ourselves, we have to adapt in this aspect and limit or moderate in a reasonable way, or agree on a complete cancellation of the sale and/or consumption of alcohol and drugs during our events. The reflection on the elimination of alcohol as an anti-patriarchal tool is specific to each territory and struggle, but we know that alcohol can exacerbate violence, and on the contrary, without this component, it limits it quite a lot. The non-consumption of alcohol and drugs is a call to be conscious and present. Of course, this is not enough to lower our guard.
THIS IS A DOCUMENT IN PROGRESS. THERE ARE STILL MANY THINGS TO BE DEFINED, ABOUT CARE AND SELF-CARE, ABOUT CONFLICT RESOLUTION, FOR EXAMPLE, PERHAPS CREATING MEDIATION COMMISSIONS, HOW TO DO IN CASE CONFLICT RESOLUTION DOES NOT WORK? AND YOU CAN ALWAYS IMPROVE WHAT IS ALREADY THERE! IF YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS OR COMMENTS, PLEASE WRITE TO COMISION-GENERO-EU@RISEUP.NET WITH THE SUBJECT “MANIFESTO COMMITMENT FOR GOOD LIVING”.
WE ALSO REMEMBER HERE THE 7 ZAPATISTA PRINCIPLES:
TO SERVE AND NOT TO SERVE ONESELF
REPRESENT AND NOT SUPPLANT
TO BUILD AND NOT TO DESTROY
OBEY AND NOT COMMAND
TO PROPOSE AND NOT TO IMPOSE
TO CONVINCE AND NOT TO CONQUER;
TO GO DOWN AND NOT UP.