Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Revolutionary Women

Fear not, loyal fans and adversaries. I will return with some original (is such a thing even possible?) thoughts soon, but I had to share this. The following is an excerpt from the Twelve Women in the Twelfth Year, March 11, 1996 (from the book, Our Word Is Our Weapon, selected writings:

Meanwhile, on the other side of the blockade, she appears.

She. Has no military rank, no uniform, no weapon. Only she knows she is a Zapatista. Much like the Zapatistas, she has no face or name. She struggles for democracy, liberty and justice, just like the Zapatistas. She is part of what the EZLN calls "civil society" - a people without a political party, who do not belong to "political society," made up of leaders and political parties. Rather, she is a part of that amorphous yet solid part of society that says, day after day, "Enough is enough!"

At first she is suprised at her own words. But over time, through the strength of repeating them, and above all living them, she stops being afraid of these words, stops being afraid of herself. She is now a Zapatista; she has joined her destiny with the new delirium of the Zapatista National Liberation Army, which so terrorizes political parties and Power's intellectuals. She has already fought against everyone - against her husband, her lover, her boyfriend, her children, her friend, her brother, her father, her grandfather. "You are insane," they say. She leaves a great deal behind. What she renounces, if one is talking about size, is much greater than what the empty-handed rebels leave behind. Her everything, her world, demands she forget "those crazy Zapatistas," while conformity calls her to sit down in the comfortable indifference that lives and worries only about herself. She leaves behind everything. She says nothing. Early one dawn she sharpens the tender point of hope and begins to emulate many times in one day, at least 364 times a year, the January 1 of her sister Zapatistas.

She smiles. Once she merely admired the Zapatistas, but no longer. Her admiration ended the moment she understood that they are a mirror of her rebellion, of her hope.

She discovers that she is born on January 1, 1994. From then on she feels that her life - and what was always said to be a dream and a utopia - might actually be a truth.

In silence and without pay, side by side with other men and women, she begins to knit that complex dream that some call hope: "Everything for everyone, nothing for ourselves."

She meets March 8 with her face erased, and her name hidden. With her come thousands of women. More and more arrive. Dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions of women who remember all over the world that there is much to be done and remember that there is still much to fight for. It appears that dignity is contagious, and it is the women who are more likely to become infected with this uncomfortable ill...

This March 8 is a good time to remember and to give their rightful place to the insurgent Zapatistas, to the women who are armed and unarmed.

To remember the rebels and those uncomfortable Mexican women now bent over knitting that history which, without them, is nothing more than a badly made fable.

Tomorrow...If there is to be one, it will be made with the women, and above all, by them...

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos


At 8:48 PM, Blogger Lahalawuts'aat said...

I did a comparative analysis of "Our Word is Our Weapon" and Wasase, I found the words about the Zapatista women very empowering. especially at the end of that segment when Marcos says,"In war each loses what they charish most so I added my regrets to hers"...

At 5:58 AM, Blogger Chiinuuks said...

This very section of Our Word is Our Weapon inspired me the most. Kousa haa-huu-pah tells us we are the foundation of our people, and that if our women are hurt then the future of our nations are bleak. Today, in klanada, we reside in close proximity of the Settler society; some of us living within its stranglehold of consumerism. At the same time, there is not one woman in my family, in many of our families who has not suffered from violence, either by the state or by the insiduouss nature of colonilism that has a stronghold on our men. Here,in klanada we must wake up to the lulling liberalism that numbs us to reality of the lives of our sisters and brothers.

At 12:29 AM, Blogger Siaaqup said...

Yes this is true.....Thinking of our Nuuchahnulth Women we held the knowledge and voices have been silenced for some time. Our roles as respective People have just begun to be heard again in our governance. The ones that remember it was the life givers that held the knowledge. Our place must be honored. This reminds me of where spoken language came from in the orgin story amongst our people it was a woman that recieved this gift... And she was to warn the people of the power and strength of this ability to speak. Nuuchahnulth value, "One word is powerful enough to kill a human being"... We are all accountable for when we witness things going very wrong. As a child Nan encouraged me to speak when I knew something was wrong and reminded me if I did not speak I was as responsible for the consequences of the mistake or wrong doing if I did not speak. Use your words everyday to lift the people. be well people!

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Na'cha'uaht said...

A small point perhaps but I think its SO cool that three comments have been left by 3 Indigenous women all signed off with their "quu'as" names. :D


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