12/31/07: Bilingual coverage of the Womyn's Encuentro at Indymedia Chiapas
12/23/07: Information, themes and schedule for the encuentro here
Womyn of color here in NYC are organizing to attend the Third Encuentro of the Zapatista Peoples with the Peoples of the World "Comandanta Ramona and the Women Zapatistas," also known as "The Womyn's Encuentro". One of the groups leading the effort is Casa Atabex Aché. Below is a call out with dates for organizing here in NYC and, below that, an interview that Casa members conducted with Zapatistas this August, which they distributed as part of their participation in last week's "The Zapatistas and the World" event.
Also, the Center for Political Analysis and Social and Economic Investigations (CAPISE) has concluded that the Zapatistas are facing the worst government offensive in 9 years - read the English translation of their report for details and stay tuned here for updates and calls to action. And although the Zapatistas have canceled their upcoming Other Campaign tour of Central and Southern Mexico in order to organize peaceful actions in defense of their communities, they are sending delegates to the Yaqui town of Vicam, in Sonora, Mexico, to participate in the Indigenous Encuentro of the Americas. In fact, the first of four regional pre-meetings for the Encuentro begins in Oaxaca today to gather those delegates coming from indigenous groups in South and Southeast Mexico.
Casa Atabex Aché : Womyn's Encuentro
We are going to speak, us women Zapatistas, with compañeras from Mexico and the world and you will be able to ask questions of how we organize ourselves, the women Zapatistas, more directly with women. We are going to ask the compañeros men Zapatistas that they help us with logistical questions. Compañeros from Mexico and the world may also come to hear us, but remain silent, same as our compañeros men Zapatistas. -Compañera Everilda announcing the Womyn's EncuentroCollaborate with Casa Atabex Aché, Coatlicue Theater Company, Estación Libre & womyn of color from NYC to organize a delegation to the Womyn’s Encuentro in Chiapas (Dec 28, 2007 – Jan 1, 2008):
- October 9th: First delegation meeting 6-8pm bring fundraising ideas, questions and art/theme for delegation flyer. Come hear us speak about the summer in Chiapas. During the summer Casa Atabex Aché had the opportunity to organize a second delegation of women of color and attend the 2nd Encuentro. Below you will find our conversation with the community and the Clinica de Guadalupe as Casa embarks on a journey to create a sustainable autonomous healthcare cooperative in the South Bronx. The meeting will happen at Casa's space at 471 East 140th St.
- November 2nd: Fundraiser from 8p to Midnight celebrating Dia de los Muertos with a performance by the Coatlicue Theater Company on the Zapatistas
Goals for the delegation:
- Explore Womyn Zapatistas strategies of autonomy and self-determination.
- Identify commonalities and differences in our practice of social transformation & spirituality.
- Discuss demands that Zapatista womyn made which challenge patriarchy and violence against womyn within their movement.
- Self-healing work in community: How do womyn of color heal from internalized oppression and strategize collectively to create the world we want to live in and make sure we are at the forefront of our movements?
During our delegation we will speak about Zapatista women's collective strategies of resistance, the creation of cooperatives (development of alternative economies), rotating leadership, collective community governance, community health clinics and community schools. In addition, we will discuss how communities of color can come together and use some of these principles to create autonomous communities in NYC, challenging the non-profit industrial complex & patriarchy, sexism within our movements. Promote a sustainable model of community organizing itself within a spiritual and political framework. Discuss the leadership of womyn & people of color in organizing and self-sustainability.
During the summer Casa had the opportunity to organize a second delegation of women of color and attend the 2nd Encuentro. Below you will find our conversation with the community and the Clinica de Guadalupe as Casa embarks on a journey to create a sustainable autonomous healthcare cooperative in the South Bronx.
Casa Atabex Aché - A Conversation with the Zapatistas
August 19th, 2007
ON HEALTH - Health is not only the services that hospitals and clinics give. It is also the nutrition of a community, the education of a community, the well being of a community and all of the needs of a community being met at the same time.
NUTRITION/ALIMENTACIÓN- People think that malnutrition comes from not having something to eat. But that is not it…. It is also about the quality and the conditions of the food not just about having or not having something to eat. We want the community to change consciousness from “ I am producing these foods to economically sustain myself and sell it” to “ I am producing this to eat and feed my family. It is not about what we think people should eat or us telling them--we want the community to get this themselves. We want community to look at the problem and then make their own decisions, their own change. Example: Look at capitalism and its effect. It’s not about you stopping the drinking of Coca-Cola its about you understanding the bigger impact that Coca-Cola has a cooperation and what it is doing to the people and the land, the role it plays in capitalism.
ON BUILDING ALTERNATIVE CLINICS - Indigenous communities don’t have access to services and hospitals. That is why we started our clinic. The Clinica de Guadalupe provides basic services, there is only one coordinator, 300 health promoters - they are still building strength, have many difficulties and necessities, and are still building the infrastructure of the clinic. The difference between their clinic and the government hospitals is that they give adequate healthcare while the government just gives a service. Adequate healthcare includes earning community trust and providing “JUST” service. That is why we are focusing on developing clinics for autonomy that the community has control over.
This clinic is many years in the making from communities that are in resistance. This is a war because we are looking for change - change not only overall but within the person, family and community, to sustain something bigger than us. Little by little (it’s big work) it’s years in the making. It’s about community participation in creating the world they want. Unity and consciousness is not easy. Changing fundamental consciousness is our primary goal and economic resources are secondary.
ON BUILDING AUTONOMOUS, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES - Health is integrated in the development of the communities and in the process of autonomy. If a community is sick they are not capable of organizing themselves and focus on what's important.