More than 500 people gather in Vigo to welcome the Zapatistas

On Tuesday, June 22, “Squad 421” with the seven Zapatistas (4 women, 2 men and 1 non-binary other) finally disembarked at “Praia de Bouzas”, next to the city of Vigo in Galicia, Spain.

Their trip with the boat “La Montaña”, which started on May 3 from Isla Mujeres in Mexico, finally ended after almost 50 days at sea. Now a new trip begins for them and for all of us!

Despite the difficulties that they faced during this period, before and during the trip, and the extremely complicated obstacle of the pandemic, the Zapatistas managed to “invade” and “rediscover” Europe.

They proved once again that whatever they decide to do, they do it no matter what, even when circumstances and conditions are perceived to not be mature enough. They waited 500 years for this “invasion”. Nothing would stop them from fulfilling their perfectly designed plan, not even the pandemic

This is only the beginning

This is just the first group of the Zapatistas to arrive in Europe by boat in a symbolic action that is connected with the “invasion and the rediscover” of Europe 500 years after the invasion of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) from Hernán Cortéz, back in 1521: a symbolic action that proves that the Europeans never really conquered them, despite all the massacres, endless genocides and the extreme racism seen till today against indigenous peoples, who have managed to continue to resist and rebel, to fight and win back their dignity.

But there are many more groups and hundreds of Zapatistas who will come over the next months, but by plane this time. They will visit each and every European territory. From the Iberian Peninsula to Siberia, from the Balkans to the Nordic region and from the British Isles to Cyprus. But instead of invading or taking revenge, they are coming to listen, talk and interact with progressive movements in an attempt to learn from each other’s struggles.

Collectives and people from all over Europe responded to the Zapatistas’ call and came to Vigo to welcome and receive them. They began organising last October in order to welcome the “compas” in their geographies, as soon as the Zapatistas informed them of their ambitious plan.

More than 100 people gathered in Vigo during the last week to prepare the welcome events, together with the hospitable comrades from Galicia. Eventually around 500 people gathered on the day of their arrival (June 22) to welcome “Squad 421” and to participate in the welcoming events that included Galician traditional music with bagpipes and Mexican cumbias, as well as poetry and rock and hip-hop concerts.

DiEM25 was also there to welcome the Zapatistas

One week of intense emotions, of unique experiences, of countless hours of assemblies, preparations, meeting and mingling with some of the most progressive and healthy parts of our societies. How couldn’t we be there, since the Zapatistas are representing the other alternative that we in DiEM25 believe in?

How could we not participate in an initiative, and be absent from an event, that has gathered and united so many progressive collectives and individuals with different backgrounds?

I can say now with certainty that the Zapatistas have already managed to do something that hadn’t happened for so many years: to bring together and unite fragmented progressive movements of Europe. To make Europeans believe that another world is possible, a world where many worlds fit.

DiEM25 is inspired by this and also tries to inspire through this, in order to create the strong and united progressive front in our society which now is more necessary than ever. I can assure you that we are one step closer!

Bienvenid@s compañeras, compañeroa y compañeros!

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