On this day, 8 August 1879, Emiliano Zapata, indigenous revolutionary and leading figure of the peasant army which helped overthrow Porfirio Diaz in the 1910 Mexican revolution, was born. Of Nahua and Spanish descent, he organised alongside local Indigenous communities to fight against land seizures by wealthy hacienda owners, and occupy seized land. With the outbreak of revolution, he led a revolutionary militia, took part in many battles, and under the slogan “Tierra y Libertad” (“Land and Liberty”) kept fighting for the original goals of the revolution, most crucially land redistribution. After Zapata was assassinated, his followers kept up the struggle, and today, after an uprising in the 1990s, modern day Indigenous Zapatistas control a sizeable autonomous territory in Chiapas.
photograph- Working Class History