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.
The combative march brought together more than 400 libertarian, anarchist, and antifascist compañerxs who were able to get to Tlatelolco to remember the fallen from October 2, 1968 and to demand freedom for political prisoners.
Forty-eight years after the Tlatelolco massacre we continue demanding justice for the murdered, disappeared, persecuted, tortured, defamed, and imprisoned, as even though the killers and masterminds have not been tried and punished, those compañeros who fell in the militant struggle remain present in the popular and social struggles today as part of our memory, solidarity, guidance, dignity, strength, inspiration, rage and courage. Today, no one doubts that IT WAS THE MEXICAN STATE who planned and carried out that mass murder, just as it did with the disappearance of 43 teaching college students on September 26, 2014, as from Tlatelolco to Ayotzinapa one can trace a historical continuity that affirms the totalitarian character of the state that today we can characterize as “narco and terrorist.”
A rally and march around the Santiaguito prison in Almoloya de Juarez closed out a series of Activities for the Freedom of the Defenders of the Water and Life of San Pedro Tlanixco.
“¿Quién dice que todo está perdido? (Who says all is lost?)” sang the Taller del Sur at the cultural festival held last September 25 as part of the Activities for the Freedom of the Defenders of the Water and Life of San Pedro Tlanixco.
And five days later, as the round of activities closed with a rally and march around Santiaguito prison at Almoloya de Juárez, the answer was clear. Nobody. In spite of the vicious repression brought down on this Nahua town by the State of Mexico’s (in)justice system, there’s no end to the struggle to free the eight guardians of the territory of San Pedro Tlanixco. On the contrary, as of 2014, the movement is rebuilding and getting stronger.
During a press conference on September 28, anarchist prisoners announced the beginning of an indefinite hunger strike. They are compañeros Fernando Bárcenas and Abraham Cortés, prisoners in North Prison, Luis Fernando Sotelo, prisoner in South Prison in Mexico City, and Miguel Peralta, prisoner in Cuicatlán Prison in Oaxaca. The strike is in rejection of the 33 year and five month sentence given to Luis Fernando Sotelo, to mark three years since the arrest of compañero Abraham Cortés on October 2, 2013, and in solidarity with the prison strike underway in the United States against the exploitation of prisoners’ labor and in support of the revolts against the killings of African-Americans by police in the U.S.
The three compas in Mexico City have gone on hunger strike, while Miguel will go on fasts.
The face of the 43 missing and the tenacity of their families and compañeros are the other 43 dispatches on war and resistance. To them we add the pain, rage, and resistance of the originary peoples and the rebellions of millions all over Mexico and around the world.
To the alternative, free, autonomous, or whatever-you-call-it media:
To the National and International Sixth:
War and Resistance Dispatch #44
And what about the other 43? And the ones that follow?
This country has not been the same since the bad government committed one of its most heinous crimes in disappearing 43 young indigenous students of the teaching college Raúl Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, two years ago. This event forced us to acknowledge the profound darkness in which we find ourselves today, stirring our individual and collective hearts and spirit. The rage, pain, and hope embodied in the families and compañeros of the 43 illuminate that darkness and shine on the faces of millions of people of every geography below in Mexico and around the world, as well as among a conscientious international civil society in solidarity.
As originary barrios, tribes, nations, and peoples, we begin from the collective heart that we are and turn our gaze into words.
This is a call for revolutionary solidarity against the slavery and extermination imposed by economic plunder…in north america, latin america, the middle east, europe and all other places touched by civilization, know that we are preparing ourselves within these Mexican prisons, but that will be shown through action…
Note: The use of the word prison in this text refers to all artificial environments that domesticate us so as to insert us by force into the capitalist system of production; this is a contribution to deepen the reflection of all living beings in the hands of economic powers and the technological project…
Compas, I greet you with insurrectionary love, that these words of war may reach you; greeting as well the coming days of insurrection, as ideas bloom in the fields like flowers we should not stop tending.
We do not know if there will be a victory, but what we do know is that they will not occupy our dreams and our lives…
Six Palestinian youth, arrested as part of the Palestinian Authority’s “security cooperation” with the Israeli occupation, are currently on hunger strike and imprisoned in the PA’s Beitunia jail, demanding their freedom.
Basil al-Araj, Mohammed Harb, Haitham Siyaj, Mohammed al-Salamen, Ali Dar al-Sheikh and Seif al-Idrissi have all been held by the Palestinian Authority’s intelligence agencies since late March and early April 2016. Their detention has been extended repeatedly and indefinitely and their lawyers and families are now urging international action and solidarity for their freedom. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network has consulted directly with the families of the six imprisoned Palestinian youth, who all urge international action and support by Palestinian communities and friends of Palestine for the freedom of their sons.