Zapatista delegation to meet with women, trans, inter and non-binary people at The ZAD in France

Voices in Movement
June 23, 2021. Written by Ñaní Pinto at Avispa Midia, translated by Shantal Montserrat Lopez Victoria.

The “Squadron 421”, the maritime brigade of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), composed of four women, two men and a non-binary person, left Isla Mujeres, Mexico on May 3 in an old sailboat named “La Montaña”. At 6:10 p.m. (European time) on June 22, they landed in Vigo, one of the main ports of Galicia.

The delegation from La Montaña were greeted by representatives of the so-called “Xira pola Vida” (Tour for Life), made up of several groups from Spain and other delegations from Italy, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Portugal, Euskalerria, Catalonia, Andalusia, France, Belgium and Mexico.

A welcoming ceremony was held, which included a collective greeting to the rhythm of traditional Galician music. At this event, Marijose, the non-binary member of this brigade, renamed Europe. “On behalf of the women, children, men, elders and, of course, other Zapatistas, I declare that the name of this land, which its natives now call “Europe”, will henceforth be called: SLUMIL K’AJXEMK’OP”, said Marijose, which means, “Tierra Insumisa”, or “Insubordinate Lands” or “Land that does not surrender or falter. ”

The delegation tried to disembark on the Galician coast last Sunday,

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World Report 2019: Breaking the Buzzword Fighting the “Gender Ideology” Myth

Love it or hate it, ‘gender identity’ is now at the front line of Class War, along with prisons, homelessness and mental health. In former times it was antisemitism, witch-hunting, slavery or land enclosure. We don’t always choose where we fight, only how hard.

-ed

Human Rights Watch

This month we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To mark the occasion, we have asked Human Rights Watch experts to reflect on some of the key human rights challenges in their area of specialty.

Like its buzzword brother “fake news,” “gender ideology” hasn’t taken long crossing borders into nationalist lexicons. The vacuous but dangerous term was adopted  by the Holy See decades ago to refer to a supposed gay and feminist-led movement to subvert traditional families and social values, a reaction against the rights of women and expanding protections for sexual and gender minorities.

Since then, it has developed into a catch-all phrase and short-hand for various anxieties about social change—a Hydra-like global conspiracy myth that, despite being mildly ridiculous and readily exposed, has significant traction.

In recent years, “gender ideology” has been used as a secular rallying cry against same-sex marriage in France, an alliance-building initiative between nationalists and religious conservatives in Poland, a boost to anti-Muslim groups in Austria, a popularity enhancer for Costa Rican presidential hopeful Fabricio Alvarado, and a mobilizing tool against the recent peace accord in Colombia.

Which is a lot. How can one concept have so many purposes?

In France, anti-gender activists tried

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France: Everyone in solidarity with the Black Feather

Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement

La Plume Noire, a UCL bookstore in Lyon, was attacked on Saturday March 20 by a fascist commando. It is an attack against the entire UCL, but, beyond that, against all the forces of progress and against our social camp. An attack that takes place in a nauseating climate where racist controversies are linked in the media, driven by the highest summit of the State.

The UCL took the initiative of a national appeal for support, broad and united, which received numerous signatures from unions, political organizations and parties, associations and collectives. A national event is planned in Lyon on Saturday April 3.

On Saturday March 20 at 2 p.m., the La Plume Noire bookstore located at 8 rue Diderot on the slopes of Croix-Rousse, was attacked by around fifty

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Collectives prepare for historical visit of Zapatista movement in Madrid

Voices in Movement

Written by Miguel Muñoz on February 1, 2021, translated by Shantal Montserrat Lopez Victoria.

On February 2, 2001, a march called La Marcha del Color de la Tierra set out from Chiapas, Mexico. On March 11 after thousands of kilometers it arrived to the capital Mexico City. The mobilization of the  Zapatista delegation proved symbolic and had a strong resonance with a whole generation of social movements throughout Europe. After two decades, another historic event will take place. Several Zapatista delegations will visit the European continent in July, August and September. In Madrid and other territories, different social movements are already preparing for the meeting.

“We have decided: That it is time for hearts to dance again, and that neither their song nor their steps should be those of lamentation or resignation. Diverse Zapatista delegations, men, women and other colored people of our land, shall go out to travel the world, we shall walk or sail to remote lands, seas and skies, seeking not the differences, nor superiority, nor offense, much less apologies and pity”. This is one of the paragraphs from  A Mountain on the High Seas communique announced last October by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN-Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) and endorsed by its current spokesperson, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

“After 20 years we set sail and march to tell the planet that, in the world that we perceive within our collective hearts, there is room for all of us, everyone, all of them. Simply and sincerely because this world is only attainable if all of us, all women and men, all together, fight to build it”, says another part of the text.

As a result of this declaration, the entire movement began organizing to receive the Zapatista delegation, which will not only be made up of the EZLN but also members of the National Indigenous Council and the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (Consejo Nacional Indígena o y del Frente de los Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra) . This past week the first assembly was held among the collectives that will be participating in the preparations.

“There have been collectives supporting Zapatismo all over Europe for years,” Danaé, a member of the Y Retiemble collective, created in 2017, tells Cuartopoder. In addition, coordination and networks have taken place all over Europe. “People in Madrid were already getting organized through a network called Europa Zapatista in order to join together and connect with Mexico,” he adds.

A member of Y Retiembre explains that one of the messages that has been very clear from the Zapatista movement is that they have to “mobilize and organize”. The first date for activities are August 13, with a gathering in Madrid for the anniversary of the arrival of Hernán Cortés to Tenochtitlán. This is a proposal of the Zapatista community itself. Next, the “Meeting of Struggles for Life” (Encuentro de Luchas por la Vida) is scheduled for September 6-19.

“It is a meeting in the traditional Zapatista style. We are using the term meeting in the context used by the Zapatistas. It’s not the usual forum type format but rather a meeting about all the struggles that are going on. To meet each other as people,” explains Danaé.

To achieve this, a framework of 7 main themes of struggles has been devised: social rights, feminist and gender identities; anti-racist struggles, internationalist and decolonial struggles; defense of  land and territory; historical memory and freedom of expression; work and migration; art, culture and media. In addition, more activities will be held between now and September to the extent it is possible due to the health situation.

“The Zapatistas come to listen to us and narrate their struggles,” explains Danaé. For that reason, it is also intended that through specific visits, they get to know different collectives and specific struggles in the city of Madrid. From now on, groups will be created by topic and planned activities will be announced. Some initiatives are already underway, such as the distribution of a board game on Zapatismo, which can be purchased online. The collected funds will be used to finance activities. More than 2,000 copies have already been sold. For support groups this is a “historic meeting”. “Normally the Zapatistas have received many people in Mexico, but a tour at this level has never happened before,” says Danaé.

However, there is a gap in the memory of a whole generation within the Zapatista movement. For many years the main figure of the EZLN was Subcomandante Marcos who was very present in the social and political struggles of our country. “There is a generation that is very aware of what Zapatismo is. That is exactly why we are having this meeting. The goal is to organize here, we want to say that we are fighting for life.  We are setting up this meeting hoping to restore these messages because we are aware many people don’t know about the Zapatista proposal. It is very important that these messages resonate with the struggles here because there are many things that coincide”, concludes Danaé.

Dear Arthur – A Message to the Gender Police

The background to this is an exchange between some wobblies and a character called Arthur Brick in comments under Martin’s New year video, it can be found here: https://youtu.be/irNeK4DIgyg – ed.

A couple of months ago – Long enough for me to have already forgotten about it, I lightheartedly posted a simple phrase “If I can’t dance and be non-binary it ‘aint my revolution”. That’s it. I then forgot all about it. I think Emma wouldn’t mind after all she wanted nice things for everyone and sure embracing yourself for who you want to be is a nice thing.

I was reminded of my post this morning by a person by the name of Arthur, Arthur Brick bless you my dear you clearly feel threatened by the thought of me. I say the thought because you don’t know me and I don’t know you. Arthur wrote under my post “Non-binary? Fucking hilarious” (thanks for that Arthur, I actually think I am sometimes).

Don’t worry Arthur I’m not upset or hurt, my fragile masculinity has taken a lot of knocks over the years from people I actually love and care about, so it’s toughened me up 😊

What I found interesting about it though is that Arthur clearly is so threatened by the fact that I don’t fit into their view of what’s right and wrong in the patriarchy, that Arthur has decided to take it upon themself to police my gender. To be clear Arthur has never met me so that makes it a bit easier, Arthur has a picture in their minds eye already about who I am and wants to belittle me and make sure that I am aware that I’m not as good as Arthur. Arthur is a better revolutionary than me.

What I find disturbing about this little banging of heads is how easy it is to attack a person you don’t know. Am I to presume by this that Arthur would not want me to fight on their barricade, after all if they can’t control my behaviour with their simple gender stereotypes they may find they are no longer the boss. What next? Will Arthur be refusing to fight alongside women, gays, blacks? This is how the class is kept divided and this is why we are in the mess we are in today. The people of my class hail from all corners of the rainbow. We are all different but our strength lies in those differences being united against the ruling class. Those who wish to sow division are doing the class war no favours. Of course the sad thing is that Arthur will probably scream and shout that it is I who wants to divide the class by not pretending to be the person that Arthur says I should be. 😊

Bless you Arthur I’m sorry I had to pick on you there are lots of Arthur Bricks who feel they are the boss of my class war.

– Peregrin

Red and Black Telly roundup.








Delayed puberty for trans kids – part two – by Mal Content

Response to critics of my last, and the one by our correspondent Jack Collins, here’s another from gal-dem.*

* be careful to reject the trackers on this, unless you know who all those “partners” are and what they’re up to.

My disdain for law is not up for grabs. Most of the postulates in answer to this point have been facile and unworthy – of course we must agree codes of conduct to live by. I think it inarguable that autonomous communities would have injunctions against rape and murder, but I doubt they’d want to get involved in endocrinology. Medicine is a sphere of trust between patient and practitioner, and such a relationship can only be entered into freely. Similarly I think the suggestion that children at Tavistock were being experimented on by mad scientists belongs in the tinfoil hat section.

There’s always a whiff of metaphysics in the ‘appeals to nature’ from the other side. Children should undergo puberty when their bodies are ready, really? Puberty, like arthritis, comes along whether you’re ready for it or not. I’ve heard of girls having menses at nine years of age. A woman I knew well had her first period at nineteen; both are within the natural range. There are other factors that can delay puberty, starvation being the most common, and this is often resorted to by youngsters desperate to avoid the development of secondary sexual characteristics and the social pressures that attend them.

I’ve written about Stefan Kiszko, who suffered a spectrum of health problems including a rare intersex condition (XYY). He went through a medically induced puberty in his twenties and that was only the start of his problems. Was he ready? We’ll never know, as he was then maliciously prosecuted and convicted of a crime he was physically incapable of committing.

The argument has been made that physical and emotional maturity can, and should go hand in hand. This flies in the face of everyday experience. Children in their teens hold families together in war zones, balancing work and school. Here they often care for younger siblings and sick parents, while adults have children ‘by accident’ and walk away. We’ve got forty-year olds who fight at football matches! In fact, the infantilisation of the citizen by government and law makes it virtually impossible for some people ever to grow up, which as a minimum requires thinking for yourself and taking responsibility for your actions.

What is sexual maturity? Respect for personal boundaries, not spreading disease or unwanted pregnancy, a bit of care for others’ emotions. None of these things comes bundled with breasts or facial hair. Is it so terrible that the intellect might develop ahead of the body? I don’t think so, that nineteen-year-old was a highly intelligent woman who knew her own mind, when last I saw her she was an optometrist.

You can join the army at sixteen and leave your private parts overseas; that’s one way of doing it.

Last of all was the outrageous suggestion that children should be left to fuck up their own future – isn’t that their parents’ job? We’ve all been doing that for millennia. Adults who blew their own chances live vicariously through their offspring, and the habit of gender stereotyping, plus the grand separation of productive from reproductive labour narrows the field. You can join the army at sixteen and leave your private parts overseas; that’s one way of doing it. I set a trap when I referred to all the living Jan Morris had done before her transition. If you read her book you’ll see she made up her mind at four years of age.

The one point not in dispute is that this judgement will lead to an excess of suicide, and children being torn away from their families because they refuse to eat, or otherwise harm themselves, more fodder for your justice system.

Thoughts on the Divisional Court ruling preventing the prescription of puberty-blocking medication to transgender children – by Mal Content.

Now I’m not in the least interested in the law, being simply the manifestation of the state’s monopoly on violence. I don’t believe it actually serves anyone, least of all those who only ever butt up against it in times of personal crisis.

Many of my ilk think that a Working Class anarchist militant should not concern themselves with such matters as “identity”, “gender” or “gender identity”. Nevertheless, as a fifty-plus male of simple tastes and relatively mundane proclivities I find this goes to the heart of my anarchy, and what makes me an anarchist, so I’m moved to comment yet again.

Why, they ask, did we pick this hill to die on? Keeping the military analogy, you don’t always decide where the front line is! Sometimes it’s where the enemy puts it and you either stand or fall. If transgender people were foxes or badgers, we wouldn’t even be having these conversations. Sure enough our enemies are ranged against us: the tabloids, tories, Bolshevik-apologists and god-botherers, who use the coercive state as a stick to beat their chosen scapegoats. This court case is the outcome of a long-running battle between these people and the Tavistock Hospital.

Many people spend their lives seeking an identity they are comfortable with; I congratulate anyone who finds it. Some of us just give up and amuse ourselves by alternately playing up to other people’s impressions, and confounding them. I learned early in life that your acquaintances ‘tie’ you with their thoughts. If you usually act in a particular way their own cognitive dissonance will pounce on any deviation causing them to flap like wet chickens, so it’s less hassle to give them what they expect. This is especially true if like me you are borderline autistic and easily slip into a rut.

When I was a kid I read an excerpt from Welsh journalist and historian Jan Morris’ book ‘Conundrum’ concerning her transition. I believe it was in the Sunday Times, in the era when the same publication’s scientific supplements listed ‘transvestism’ and ‘homosexuality’ alongside bestiality and necrophilia as sexual deviations, among the mental illnesses. I didn’t understand it, but it seemed reasonable to accept the conscious, informed decision of someone who had already climbed Everest, reported from war zones and the trials of Eichmann and Powers, interviewed Che Guevara and had five kids. I was already on my way to being an anarchist.

My conversations with transgender adults and the parents of trans and gender-curious children have led me to the conclusion that no one would go through these tribulations unless it was mandatory. It isn’t necessary for an anarchist to understand why an individual follows a given path, or maybe selects it as their least worst option, only to accept it as an exercise of free will. I read of Sarah Jane Baker who removed her own testicles in prison, because no-one was listening.

In this case inaction is action and I’m in no doubt that a decision not to delay puberty can be life-threatening and as potentially life-changing as the alternative. Add in the confusion that comes with the spectrum of intersex conditions, which are a lot more common than you might imagine. Thank Durruti I shall never have to make such decisions on my own, or anyone else’s behalf.

I had a fair childhood myself, I wasn’t abused, never went hungry nor feared for my life, but my one lasting impression was hatred of adult ‘authority’, those who knew better than I what was good for me. They turned out to be the same folk who were busy wrecking the planet, poisoning the air, water and soil, and plotting the annihilation of half the human race in defence of their moral superiority. I liked Crowley’s “Do what thou wilt”, even after I learned he was no more than a high class con-artist. He took pains to point out he wasn’t saying do what you like, but be true to yourself – without that you are nothing.

So if a thirteen year old decides to delay puberty, is that any crazier than delaying hair loss or dementia – or death itself? If further down the line they find out they’ve got it all wrong and fucked it up, at least they will have the satisfaction of knowing they fucked it up themselves.

An Attack on Trans Young People is an Attack on all Young People.

Yesterday’s ruling by the High Court pertaining to Keira Bell, Ms. A and the Judicial Review of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust is an authoritarian attack on some of the most marginalised and vulnerable young people in the UK. It has been facilitated by a relentless anti-trans narrative peddled by the TERFs that has permeated through all media outlets.

Puberty blockers are now going to be extremely difficult to obtain for trans young people under the age of sixteen. The ruling states that under-13s will definitely not be able to give informed consent and it is unlikely that 14 and 15 year olds will be able to do so as a result of the hormonal changes that happen during puberty. Transgender young people, unless they have the means to bring a case to medical tribunal, are now consigned to undergo a puberty that they categorically do not want. We already know that suicidality is experienced by at least half of all transgender young people, that 80% engage in self-harm and this will be compounded by yesterday’s ruling.

How many more transgender young people have to die? How many more families will bury their children? Why do transgender lives not matter? The TERFs scoff and laugh when these statistics are mentioned and call them “fake”. Who knew that Trumpian behaviour was going to form the cornerstone of radical feminism in the 21st Century?

Keira Bell is a high-profile “de-transitioner”. Bell was prescribed puberty blockers at age sixteen, started taking testosterone in adulthood and had a double mastectomy as a result of formally identifying as a man. Bell ceased transition in 2017 after realising this was not the path she wanted to go down. Bell has every right to live as her authentic self, as do transgender young people, and as a consequence of her experiences will probably need specialist care and support in the medium-term. Bell has seemingly turned to the TERFs for that support and it is unlikely that she will get it. The TERFs have been waging war against the Tavistock for a long time and Bell will be cast aside now she is of no further use to them.

Bell consented to puberty blockers at age sixteen but sought to deny this treatment to younger children. It is baffling that she feels she has the right to take away healthcare options from young people when the ruling would have had no bearing on her case. Ms A. is a parent of a 15-year old transgender child who is currently on the waiting list to receive care from the Tavistock but considering that the waiting lists are approaching two years, the child in question will soon be able to consent anyway. Therefore, this ruling has far more sinister consequences.

Some transgender young people, out of sheer desperation, order hormones from nefarious websites. These sites are not regulated or approved by any healthcare organisation and the people who run them are looking to make a quick buck out of vulnerable young people. Unregulated hormones can have lasting impacts on the body and leave a young person with lifelong health problems. This ruling means that puberty blockers will go down the same route and because the young people wishing to access them are often younger, the damage that could be done to their bodies is potentially catastrophic.

Puberty blockers have been used to treat children experiencing precocious puberty for decades and have a long established history in paediatric medicine. What is going to happen to those children as a result of this ruling? If doctors are reluctant to prescribe, there will be an upswing of cases where six-year-old girls are developing breasts, sex drives and reaching menarche. Precocious puberty robs young children of their childhoods and leads to health complications when they reach adulthood. The TERFs clearly did not think about this possible consequence.

Fundamentally, the most horrific part of this ruling is that it rams a bulldozer through Gillick competency. This is the established legal framework that young people have the right to consent to medical procedures without parental consent. Gillick is the reason young people can access contraception, abortion and mental health services on their own initiative. There are many people out there who have wanted to erode Gillick for as long as it has existed, and this sets a precedent for any group to challenge any aspect of young people’s healthcare. Anti-abortion groups now have grounds to argue young people cannot consent to abortion. Social conservatives have legal grounds to refuse young people access to contraception. Parents who deny their child’s mental health issues now have legal arguments to prevent them having counselling, therapy or psychiatric medication.

Hell has been unleashed upon young people and their autonomy. This is an absolute outrage.

Jack Collins.

The power of naming: on Trans Day of Remembrance

Just heard that Jan Morris passed away, aged 94 -ed.
Freedom news


Content note: this article discusses violence against trans people.

On the 11th December, Eleanor Rykener was brought before the courts in the City of London for the crime of prostitution. She had a long history of sex work having worked in London and in Oxford over a number of years. But she also lived and worked as an embroideress with a group of other women some of whom she confessed were also sex workers. Eleanor first came to attention of modern scholars through the work of David Lorenzo Boyd and Ruth Mazo Karras in 1995. There she was known as John Rykener, as she was listed in court documents. And she was celebrated as the earliest known occurrence in the medieval court records of ‘same sex intercourse’. You see, Eleanor appeared before the courts in 1395 and yet 600 years later, in 1995, the only way she could be understood was a male homosexual because she was, as Foucault might have suggested, understood by the acts she committed and laws she broke not by who she was or how she identified.

The key sentence for us now, in 2020, is not that she lived successfully as a sex worker procuring clients amongst scholars, monks, priests and alderman of Oxford, London and York but that when not working as a sex worker – she lived amongst women as an embroideress. And the use of the female form, embroideress, tell us what we need to know. She was not working as a man embroiderer in amongst women but as a woman embroideress. She was accepted by women and men as a woman doing women’s work – as Eleanor Rykener.

The nature of records in the past is that, for the most part, we only come into contact with non-literate people when they break the law and appear in court. And as a result we don’t hear from Eleanor again but whoever she was and however her life went, on December 11th 1395 she appears in our history as one of our earliest recorded trans woman forebears.

Eleanor’s existence belies the version told constantly by media, police, academia, medical science, all the haters, and above all transmisic feminists that trans* is a modern invention of patriarchy and queer theory.

The problem we have –

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