Zapatista women and thousands of women from around the world listen to the opening address kicking off the first International Political, Artistic, Sporting, and Cultural Gathering of Women who Struggle in the Zapatista Caracol in the Tzots Choj region, Chiapas, Mexico, March 8, 2018. Photo by Heather Gies

“Don’t Surrender, Don’t Sell Out:” The Zapatistas’ First International Gathering of Women Who Struggle

Women insurgents wearing the Zapatista’s iconic black balaclavas greeted thousands of women from over four dozen countries at the entrance to the Zapatista Caracol in the highlands of Chiapas under a vibrant banner reading “Welcome women of the world.” Kicking off the first International Political, Artistic, Sporting, and Cultural Gathering of Women Who Struggle surrounded by murals celebrating women’s resistance, Zapatista compañeras invited women from around the globe to commit to organizing to rise up and fight capitalism and patriarchy.

Aquilina looks at Nassar during a survivor’s statement. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Voices of Sexual Assault Survivors Were Amplified by Judge Aquilina

For four days in mid-January, women filled a Michigan courtroom to testify in the hearing of Larry Nassar. An abuser first and doctor second, Nassar ruined the lives of 256 women gymnasts under his medical care, many of whom came forward in court to give testimonies. The testimonies were empowering and tragic. They also highlighted how the outcomes of sexual assault cases often depend on how the judges handle them. In this courtroom, survivors found a rare ally in Judge Rosemarie Aquilina.


Marching Forward: Women, Resistance, and Counter-Power

"I think all of us are involved in struggles that seek to make our society – and ourselves – more human. There are no set formulas for counter-power because we are all different, but we share the unity of moving forward together, in a consistent and interconnected way, for humanity. We can pass on what we have learned to each other, knowing we stand together in a struggle for life, and that our struggles can bring us closer and make us stronger." - Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, Coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular Indigenous Organizations of Honduras