Women still form a large part of the ranks of the Zapatista guerrilla force and take high positions in its military command. The takeover of San Cristobal de las Casas, the most important city the EZLN captured in the 1994 uprising, was headed by Comandante Ramona, who was also the first Zapatista to be sent to Mexico City to represent the movement in negotiations with the government. The mass involvement of indigenous women in the political project of the Zapatistas is easily compared to the participation of women in the defense of Kobani and in the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) more generally. The bravery and determination of Kurdish women in the war against ISIS is a product of a long tradition of women’s participation in the armed struggle for social liberation in Kurdistan (…) Although both movements have received some bitter criticism from the more sectarian elements on the left, the very fact that the only major and successful experiments in revolutionary social change originate from non-Western, marginalized and colonized groups, should be considered a slap in the face of the white and privileged dogmatic “revolutionaries” of the global North who have hardly been successful in challenging oppression in their own countries but who still believe it is their judgment to decide what revolution looks like. In reality, the struggles in Rojava and Chiapas are powerful examples to the world, demonstrating the vast potential of grassroots self-organization and the importance of communal ties to counter the social atomization wrought by capitalism. Moreover, they are forcing many on the Western left — including some anarchists — to reconsider their colonial mindsets and ideological dogmatism.
Petar Stanchev in From Chiapas to Rojava: seas divide us, autonomy binds us (Roarmag)