The assassination of Basil al-Araj is a tremendous loss to a huge number of people. Reflecting on what he went through, I am filled with enormous admiration, pride and rage.
By Scott Campbell
Shortly after arriving in Palestine in 2012, a comrade invited me to a demonstration in front of al-Muqata’a in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank. It was a significant symbolic event, being the first protest against the PA directly in front of its headquarters with about 100 people holding signs on the sidewalk condemning PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to hold negotiations with Israel. Nothing much happened, but that nothing much clearly irritated the PA.
Following the protest, several people met at a nearby café. That was the first time I met Basil al-Araj. Similarly, nothing much happened, but the more time I spent in Palestine, the more and more frequently I found myself in Basil’s company. He spoke passable English, and aside from translations by others, that was how we communicated given that I embarrassingly managed to live there for more than a year and not learn Arabic.
Last March 4th, the Caravan for a Fair Wage and Decent Life began with a blockade of the Transpeninsular Highway by the day laborers from the fields of the San Quintin Valley. The workers then went on to cover 3,000 kilometers, arriving in Mexico City on March 17th.
Two years ago, the strike of thousands of farm workers brought to light the appalling conditions in which at least 80,000 men, women and children toil as day laborers in Baja California agribusiness. The hours are long, up to 14 hours a day with no rest on the weekends at a deplorable wage, with no vacations, no social security and no decent housing with basic services. Striking workers denounced human rights violations, and especially sexual abuse and harassment of the mainly indigenous women workers by the foremen.
In response to a call sent out by the National Democratic Independent Farm Workers Union (SINDJA) and the Alliance of National, State and Municipal Organizations for Social Justice, this year’s Caravan was organized to protest non-compliance of agreements reached with federal and state government officials in Baja California. The struggle continues for decent wages and benefits, the right to social security and an end to the sexual harassment of women.
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In February 2017, elenemigocomun.net celebrates its 12 year anniversary. I say celebrate but we don’t really celebrate as we are not the celebrating type. So in fact our 12 year anniversary will pass unannounced. For 12 years we have been churning out independent media from Mexico in English and Spanish. For 12 years our independent journalists have published investigative articles that continue to be relevant today. For 12 years elenemgocomun.net has not asked our readers for any direct monetary support. All we asked was that you read us, reference us, repost us, and use our work to call out and counter the often-disgraceful corporate journalism about Mexico and the Mexican people.
One of the greatest barriers to community-based self-defense has been a very powerful shift towards pacifism and non-violence as a primary means of political expression in Europe and the USA.
By: el pinche simón
January 30th, 2017
Patriarchy and white supremacy have been the forerunners and continue to be the underpinnings of the economic, military and political system of U.S. imperialism, which is devoted to making money by any means necessary, including brute force and the legitimized use of violence. Its imposition is exposed by a glance at those who have money, power, and influence and those who do not. The price of things, places, food, labor, and people are all glaring pieces of evidence exposing the cruelty of a failed global economic model and the decline of the U.S. Empire.
We live in a military-political economy that has consistently overvalued the lives of white men above all other lives. As a matter of fact, the natural resources that are extracted from this earth to maintain white and male dominance over the planet, are considered more valuable than all lives. Most human life has become just another disposable variable in this economic equation.
This is a special IGDCAST with Sofi, an anarchist compañera from Mexico City who is deeply involved in a variety of solidarity and organizing efforts with anarchist prisoners in Mexico. The audio interview is in Spanish, while below is an English transcription, along with two song MP3s you can download separately. If you want to see more in depth reporting on what is happening in Mexico, be sure to support our Mexico trip fundraiser.
We start off this episode with a recorded greeting from the Cimarrón Collective in North Prison in Mexico City. Then Sofi discusses the persecution and repression facing the anarchist movement in Mexico City as well as a review of the situation of four anarchist prisoners currently being held by the Mexican state. We look at the corruption, exploitation and neglect that occurs in Mexican prisons and what compañeros on the inside are doing to fight back. In particular, there is a focus on the Cimarrón Collective, a formation started by anarchist prisoner Fernando Bárcenas that has autonomously reclaimed space inside the North Prison and self-manages a variety of initiatives. For listeners, perhaps the most intriguing one will be their punk band, Commando Cimarrón. A couple of their songs are included in the podcast.
Members of Chanti Ollin are calling for those who stand in solidarity across the globe to deliver the below statement to the nearest Mexican Embassy.
Chanti Ollin, a well-known okupa and autonomous cultural center in the gentrified financial district of Mexico City, was violently evicted on November 22nd, 2016. 800 riot police, 2 helicopters, and an armored car executed the operation, illegally breaking into the building and detaining 26 individuals without so much as a judicial order. This eviction takes place against the backdrop of Mexico City’s new constitution, which seeks to privatize land and resources, increase the surplus value that governments extract from property, and suppress any political or cultural activity that disrupts this profit-making program.
This week, members of Chanti Ollin are calling for those who stand in solidarity across the globe to deliver the following statement to the nearest Mexican Embassy, either in person or by e-mail. Find your embassy’s e-mail address here.