Zapatistas arrive in Galway to mark 500 years since colonialism

Events to take place at the Spanish Arch this evening from 6pm

The flag of the Zapatistas.

The flag of the Zapatistas.

The Zapatistas - a leading Left voice of Mexico's indigenous peoples - will be in Galway this evening for the first leg of their Irish tour.

Members of the Zapatistas - the indigenous peasant rights movement from Chiapas in southern Mexico, home to c13.5 per cent of the nation’s indigenous population, and is also one of the poorest regions in Mexico - will be in Galway to mark 500 years since Spanish conquistadors took over Mexico from the native peoples.

There will be events at the Christopher Columbus monument at the Spanish Arch, from 6pm this evening [Wednesday October 13], involving music, poetry, sharing stories, and discussions around decolonisation, women's movements, housing, Travellers' and migrant rights, and indigenous languages.

The monument commemorates Colombus’s visit to Galway in 1477, 15 years before setting sail to the Americas in 1492, and, like any history retold from the perspective of the coloniser, rarely delves into the murder, exploitation, rape, disenfranchisement, and spraeding of disease, which usualaly accompnaies colonial enterprises.

In Galway, the Zapatistas are seeking to meet with people and groups who are “to the left and below”, to foster dialogue on how “another world is possible”. Also taking part in the event will be the Galway Feminist Collective, One World Centre, and Talamh Beo. The Zapatista delegation will also visit Gort and Kinvara.

To find out more about the Zapatistas, Galway Feminist Collective and Promedios Mexico have produced a five-part podcast, The Zapatista Podcast - Lessons and Stories from Chiapas, which can be listened to via


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