★ Bristol ★
On Wednesday 27th, the delegation enjoyed breakfast at the Plough in Bristol, which of course included Kiptik Zapatista coffee! The links between Kiptik, Easton Cowboys/Cowgirls and the Zapatista communities were cemented, then experiences and ideas were shared with ACORN Community Union, Bristol Defendant Solidarity and Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate. This was followed up with a visit to Essential Trading Co-operative where the Kiptik Zapatista coffee is imported.
★ Nottingham ★
On Thursday 28th, the delegates met at the Sumac Centre, where the compas had the opportunity to meet with local activists.
★ Alba ★ Scotland★
On Wednesday 27th, seven Zapatista women landed at Cairnryan coming from Northern Ireland. People from Scotland Zapatista and other local solidarity organisations welcomed them to Alba (the Gaelic word for Scotland).
The delegation then travelled to Faslane Peace Camp, where they were given a tour by a former camp resident who explained the place’s history. Afterwards, the compas enjoyed a Mexican-style lunch. Travelling by bus, they toured the area surrounding the Faslane nuclear base. Local long-time peace activists talked to them about direct-action campaigns to protest the base and the repression they often faced. Likewise, they were explained about the links between the presence of nuclear weapons in Scotland and the demands of the independence movement for their removal. Once finished, the Zapatista women talked about the current situation in Chiapas, the role of women in local decision-making and self-government, and how disputes between different townships are resolved.
An anecdote shows the covert forms of intimidation faced by activists. While at a viewpoint looking over Faslane, police officers who had been following the vehicle since the peace camp questioned the driver about the bus. It is worth noting, though, that they did not request any information from the delegation. Following this, the Zapatistas became interested in knowing how policing works in Scotland.
The compas spent the night in Glasgow and heard the details of the Journey for Life in Scotland. They will work along with several organisations, groups and communities in the next days to continue building a world where many worlds fit!
During the afternoon of 28 October, the delegation of seven Zapatista women travelled to Dundee to meet with participants of Radical Independence Campaign. The compas explained the philosophy and practice of Zapatista autonomy, its processes, and its obstacles. In addition, they discussed the important role of women in resistance and collective work.
The next morning, the compañeras travelled to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Although the heavy rain delayed the start of the meeting, the compas were warmly received by representatives of more than 15 local organisations and projects that share the anti-capitalist values of the Zapatistas. The Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty (ECAP) and the Autonomous Centre at Edinburgh (ACE) gave an initial message to present their work and the focus of their campaigns. Next, a representative from Bridgend Farmhouse, where the meeting was held, explained the importance that the place has as a model to face the abusive and oppressive landownership system in the country.
Then, the compas explained for three hours how the three levels of government work in the Zapatista communities, the challenges they face, and how dignity, solidarity, resistance and rebellion are embedded in all their practices. Like the day before, the role of women was a key part of the discussion. After answering questions from the participants, the compañeras asked local organisations how the participation of trans people is being promoted. In solidarity, at the end of the meeting a Mexican community chef cooked pozole for the Zapatistas and for all the attendees. In the afternoon, the compas made their way to Glasgow for one more meeting.