Categories
Culture Education Repression

The Racist and Imperialist History of the Police

By Duncan Riley and Marco Dávila

The great problem with the police is not the supposed “bad apples,” rather, it is that the police exist as an institution to maintain a political and economic order that is profoundly racist and unequal. The first police departments in the United States were founded during the 19th century, growing out of two primary sources. In the large cities of the north, during the epoch of emerging industrialization and the subsequent massive increase in inequality, the big capitalists needed a regular and organized force to watch for signs of discontent and repress strikes. On the other hand, on the plantations of the south, slave owners needed patrols and guards to control their slaves and chase after runaways. As such, from these two economic necessities of the ruling class, distinct but interrelated, the police were born (Vitale, 37-39; 45-46). Considering this, when we talk about the police it is impossible to separate them from their role as the violent enforcers of the hierarchies of race and class in current capitalist society.

Categories
Culture Repression Solidarity

Unpacking the Chicago race war during the George Floyd protests

By Maya Zazhil Fernández

As Chicago makes international headlines with its images and stories of extreme turmoil, it is imperative that we examine the history and context that led to the events which transpired from May 30–June 1, 2020 in the historically Mexican neighborhoods of Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards, and in Cicero, IL. While it may be painful to acknowledge that members of our community took part in the violence we’ve been experiencing the past few days, we must always remember that the central culprit has and will always be white supremacy and all of the systems that support, protect, and perpetuate it. We must also all step up to the task of unpacking what happened, who was impacted, who benefited and why it was able to occur in the manner it did.

Categories
Autonomy Culture Indigenous Land Defense

On the Coast of Oaxaca, Afro and Indigenous Tribes Fight for Water Autonomy

By Samantha Demby

At dawn on March 14—celebrated internationally as the Day of Action against Dams and in Defense of Rivers—Afro-Mexican, Indigenous, and mestizo peoples met on the shores of the Río Verde to participate in a ritual of gratitude and resistance.

They were gathered for the Río Verde Festival, organized each March by the Consejo de Pueblos Unidos en Defensa del Río Verde (Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Río Verde, COPUDEVER). This water protector movement was formed in 2007 when dozens of communities organized to stop the Federal Electricity Commission from building a hydroelectric dam on their river, which they say would flood their homes and contaminate their only source of water.

Categories
Autonomy Culture Indigenous Media

Solidarity with Radio Totopo in Oaxaca, Mexico

Radio Totopo is a community radio that has transmitted from the city of Juchitán in Oaxaca, Mexico for more than 10 years. Totopo’s work in the community has earned it the respect and backing of local residents, who recognize the radio as a space that uses their diidxazá language to reflect their ancestral culture as Binnizá, or Zapotec, people. Totopo has also established itself as a vital cultural and community space that serves as a physical meeting point for community members. There children take academic classes; a gallery space features paintings and photographs, documentary screenings, concerts, and the sale of traditional food; and the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People holds regular meetings.

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Categories
Autonomy Culture Repression

Chanti Ollin Denounces Violent Eviction

x carolina

Have you ever visited a community space in Mexico City called the Chanti Ollin? Its name means “House in Movement,” and there’s always movement of different kinds here: workshops on urban agriculture, bici-machines, alternative health, massage, video creation, painting, theater, production of educational and artistic materials, and transmission of free and alternative media collectives. It’s a space for playing and enjoying great music and painting incredible murals, for baking bread and giving classes on vegetarian cooking, for screening documentaries and organizing forums on past history and current reality. Members of collectives and peoples in struggle from communities like Atenco, Xochicuatla and Ayotzinapa are invited to tell about their resistance against the plunder of their lands and efforts to eliminate their people. And ongoing resistance is organized at the Chanti Ollin. Maybe you’ve had the good fortune to participate in some of these activities, or if you come from another city or country, maybe you’ve found a place to stay for a while.