Red May: 10 years later, Atenco resists plunder again

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Sky-rockets blast off. Machetes gleam. Atenco is in town to head up a march from the Independence Angel to the Mexico City Zocalo. More than a thousand people join in. Chants ring out: Atenco lives! The struggle continues!

The march brings two days of activities to a close –– activities organized by the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) to mark the brutal repression of May 3 – 4, 2006, in San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco, where a struggle in support of local flower vendors was in full swing. The aim of the police terror, incited by the news media, was to punish campesinos who had succeeded in stopping the most important project of the Vicente Fox administration in 2002 ––an airport that would have robbed them of their lands. Continue Reading →

We recently began to walk: ejido Tila

ejido-tila-autonomy-chiapasBy Rata Rey
April 19, 2016

Five months have passed since ejido Tila expelled the municipal government and declared autonomy: five months of self-determination, organizational and community restructuring, of contemplating ways to establish a government where the people command, of making collective decisions regarding the direction of the community. Nearly half a year of beginning to walk in autonomy. “Autonomy is a lifelong process. The struggle never ends. And it’s only recently that we have begun walking towards it,” says an ejidatario* comrade.

Three ejidatario comrades tell us how the process has moved forward, what its accomplishments and obstacles have been. When the community realized that it could not keep waiting for the beating from the local government and the police and paramilitaries that it supports, the residents began formulating a new way of governing themselves and taking charge of their territory. The first decision taken by the assembly was naming security commissioners and placing guards at the entrances of the town. Women and young people also participate as guards. The police rotate, all residents are asked to guard at some point. It is the community that takes care of itself: “On January 16, there was a dance and we named 50 people to protect it but in the end we were 150 people. People were surprised that the dance was so safe. Previously, when the municipality was in charge, children and mobile phones used to be stolen and people were scared. Now, though, nothing happened.”

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179 peoples, communities, barrios and organizations say: ¡State police out of Xochicuautla! ¡Stop the destruction of forest and homes!

On Monday, April 11, 2016, around 800 State of Mexico riot police at the service of Grupo Higa laid siege to the Otomí community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, destroyed the camp set up in defense of the forest, used heavy machinery to illegally tear down the house of Dr. Armando García Salazar, and violently dragged out at least 25 men, women and children who were inside the house, including 64-year-old Isabel Hernández, a member of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla.

During the past decade, the Xochicuautla community has struggled against the destruction of this forest–– one of the country’s most important lungs –– a forest threatened by the construction of the Toluca-Naucalpan Toll Highway by the Autovan company, affiliated with shady businessman Juan Armando Hinojosa.

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“I was born to be free” – Nestora Salgado

nestora-salgado-rifle-prison-releaseEEC note: After seventeen months in prison and following a national and international campaign for her release, political prisoner Nestora Salgado was released from Tepepan prison in Mexico City on March 18, just days after the below essay was published. The commander of the Community Police in Olinalá, Guerrero, Salgado was charged with three counts of kidnapping. When those charges were dismissed, the state filed three more charges for kidnapping, theft and murder. Again, those charges were dismissed for lack of evidence.

Upon exiting the prison, she was received by dozens of community police officers from Olinalá and other towns in Guerrero. Handed a rifle and addressed as commander, she said, “We are going to keep struggling so they don’t keep repressing us. If this is needed [raising the rifle], then this is where we will go, but we won’t allow them to keep trampling on us.” At a press conference later in the day, she committed herself to fighting for the freedom of Mexico’s 500 political prisoners, in particular those jailed for carrying out their duties as community police. Joined by members from the Peoples Front in Defense of the Land from Atenco, those resisting the construction of the La Parota dam in Guerrero, and family members of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, she led the count from 1 to 43. “I don’t represent any political party,” she said. “I only fight for my people. Sometimes they ask me if I’m afraid. And yes, I’m afraid, but I’ll die fighting for our people’s dignity. It doesn’t matter what I have to do, I am going to win freedom for our prisoners. I will be present in all of the struggles, as long as they need me.”

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La OkupaChe: Defending an autonomous space

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There’s a liberated territory on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico – UNAM). It’s called the Che Guevara Auditorium. Known as the Justo Sierra Auditorium half a century ago, its name was changed by students in the 1968 strike, and three decades later, it was taken over in the 1999-2000 student strike. Briefly lost when 2,500 federal militarized police invaded the campus on February 6, 2000, the auditorium was recovered a few months later. Since then, several different groups have taken responsibility for maintaining the space at different times.

The auditorium now named the OkupaChe defines itself as an autonomous space for self-organized work, a space for the people, one that is made up of different collectives and individuals.

Here you can enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal, find something interesting to read in the zine/fanzine library, listen to the latest news on Radio Desobediencia, watch a play put on by the Ollin Company, learn about alternative medicine, debate a socially relevant issue, help paint one of the murals that adorn the walls, grow organic vegetables, take part in an assembly, go to a good concert, or sign up for workshops on free software, dance, drumming, independent media, graphic design, street theater, crafts, or languages, among many other options. Here libertarian and anarchist activities are organized, as well as events in support of the struggles of indigenous peoples, Zapatismo, political prisoners, student struggles and autonomous projects.

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