From the United States, the heart of the empire that imposes its laws on the entire planet, thousands of voices of the most scorned and forgotten people are now being raised to show millions of men and women what dignity really is.
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, July 30, 2013
The 30,000 prisoners who have launched a hunger strike in the prisons of California in the United States are our brothers and sisters. All these men and women who refuse to be silent, who are right to rebel, who defend their dignity by defying a powerful government to which the European governments have bowed down, deserve the respect and admiration of the whole world.
The United States is a country where freedom is reserved for the rich and well-to-do classes, big businessmen, financiers, and the political class. They are free to earn as much money as possible through the business of war and prison after having caused people to become obsessed with the danger of terrorism and criminality.
So we see that in the last 20 years, the prison population in the state of California has multiplied by five. Hundreds of new prisons have been built and turned over to private companies that obviously become richer the more men and women they lock up.
The hunger strike of the prisoners in California is a denunciation of a prison system which, through sophisticated torture techniques such as the isolation of people in cubicles for as long as 20 years, through frequent, painful and humiliating rectal inspections, through the Nazi-fascist practice of collective punishment, try to crush the souls and close the minds of the prisoners.
Furthermore, the righteous struggle of the prisoners opens wide the window of a prison system which, as in Mexico and other capitalist countries, is racist and classist. 10 out of every 100 adult African Americans are in prison and 4 out of every 100 Latin Americans. Although non-white people make up only 36% of the United State population, they make up 70% of all prisoners.
We stand in solidarity with the hunger striking prisoners because through their struggle, they are defending and displaying dignity to people outside. We also stand in solidarity with the long list of political prisoners in the United States such as Mumia Abu Jamal, who has been kidnapped for almost 32 years for being an activist for the rights of African American people; Leonard Peltier, held prisoner for 37 years for the double crime of being an Indian and a defender of his peoples’ rights; and Oscar López Rivera, who has spent 32 years in prison simply for seeking the freedom of his country, Puerto Rico, from United States colonial domination. We continue to demand and struggle for their freedom.
We also want to remind the righteous people on hunger strike that they are not alone, that in the neighboring Mexican nation there are also men and women who struggle for Truth and Justice, that in the state of Chiapas there are peoples in struggle for the liberation of all political prisoners such as Alberto Patishtán and other adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, and that the rebellious and autonomous peoples of Chiapas are constructing another kind of justice that even respects the dignity of those who are guilty and doesn’t consider justice a business.
In our small way, we are learning much from these people in rebellion.
From down here, we send you our supportive and combative embrace.
DOWN WITH PRISON WALLS!
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
Work Group, No Estamos Todxs (All of us Aren’t Present)
This post is also available in: Spanish