Category Archives: May/June 2005 (4/15/05)

Not to Command or Obey

Indigenous people defend their autonomy in Oaxaca

I am a wild being, a child of nature, because of this I feel any atack directed at my freedom. My soul is animated by the pulse of the mountains that watched my birth, a vigorous beat, a pure beat. — Ricardo Flores Magon

Right now the government of Oaxaca is conducting a low-intensity war against indigenous peoples who have organized to defend their traditional way of life. The state’s jails have been filling every day with social fighters, activists, indigenous people, and campesinos. It is also common to find people grieving for compañeros or family members who have been killed by despotism and governmental tyranny.

CIPO-RFM

Constant aggression, persecutions, detainment, jailing, intimidation, and raids bring suffering to the members of the Indigenous Popular Council of Oaxaca- Ricardo Flores Magon (CIPO-RFM). CIPO is made up of 20 communities and about 2000 members in Oaxaca’s seven regions. In the face of constant struggle, the position of this organization has been to radically oppose the destruction of the forests and the presence of paramilitary. The paramilitary want to infiltrate the communities because the people oppose privatization of their lands and they recognize that political parties are only for greed—that politics can only divide, trick and maintain oppression through paramilitary power.

Due to CIPO’s well-organized, anti-authoritarian resistance, the government intensified the campaign of repression against CIPO in April 2003. Members were threatened with psychological torture and death, if they continued to struggle for the indigenous communities against the interests of the government and the rich.

In response to the innumerable injustices, the indigenous people of the CIPO decided to start an indefinite rally in April 2004 and occupy the Zocalo (central plaza) of Oaxaca City. Under the banner “For Reorganization and Free Association of the People– Not to Command or Obey,” they denounced the repression and demanded a cease of hostilities, the destruction of the forests, and the punishment and murders of their people.

Five months later, very early in the morning and without prior warning or any justification, the occupation was brutally evicted. More than 150 “Executors of the Law”, including federal uniformed and undercover police armed with batons, poles, pistols, high caliber guns, tear gas, and dogs savagely beat the people. The police pulled them by their hair, destroyed their belongings, broke their cameras and sound equipment, and threw away their food and art.

Finally police stuffed people into two unmarked trucks where they continued beating them saying they were going to rape the women and kill everyone. Various active members who were injured and tortured are now prisoners in Oaxaca prisons, including the prison of Ixcotel.

Now the CIPO-RFM does not exist; only dreams remain. What once was CIPO-RFM is now AMZ (Alianza Magonista-Zapatista), a mix of pro-Magonista and pro-Zapatista organizations.

January 2005, Xanica, Oaxaca

Using the tactics of the Dirty War of the 60s and 70s, more than 230 police have established martial law in the indigenous Zapoteco community of Santiago Xanica, making raids and arbitrary detentions.

It’s been 6 years since the town of Zapoteca, in the southern mountains of the state, began a struggle to defend their collective rights to automomy, mainly the right to elect their own government according to tradition. In February 1999, the state government imposed an authority and since then, the community has not had peace or freedom. It took 2 years of struggle to get the illegitimate municipal president to quit.

In August 2004, the government, with help from rich agribusiness ranchers, appointed Sergio Garcia as municipal president, violating indigenous election codes. Two-thirds of the indigenous election assembly walked out, demonstrating Garcia’s illigitimacy. The election assembly sets requirements for election elegibility, including community service requirements, which were ignored by Garcia.

The Committee for the Defense of the Indigenous Rights of Santiago Xanica (CODEDI) then began the impeachment of Sergio Garcia. Since the government broke the customs and practices to fraudulently impose an authority complicit with Oaxaca’s government, the brutality of the repression has increased. This endangers the lives of CODEDI members and other Santiago Xanica residents. CODEDI resolved not to do community services or assist tequios (community work days) called by Sergio Garcia after January 1, 2005 .

On January 15, a few minutes before noon, the (Federal) Preventative Police, lead by the impostor president, with 2 patrols of local cops, surrounded indigenous workers who had formed a tequio and began shooting. In the crossfire more than 80 people of Xanica were injured. Among them were Abraham Ramirez Vazquez, director of CODEDI Xanica, who was critically wounded, and 2 youths, Juventino and Noel Garcia Cruz, who were under arrest in the hospital and afterwards transferred to Oaxaca’s penitentiary.

On January 16, undercover and State Police with high caliber weapons harassed compañeros from the region under the orders of Sergio Garcia and the community’s priest. Since then more than 250 ministerial and state police have been working to choke out the popular discontent. This has a cost of blood and violence, cancels out guarantees of basic rights of freedom of movement, freedom of expression and demonstration, and violates the most fundamental human rights.

For more information, contact:

Colectiveo Autonomo Magonista camadf@yahoo.com.mx

www.nodo50.org/cipo

Guatemalan Femicide

the struggle for a life without violence

It’s been 3 months since I first saw the banner Nunca Mas! in Chihuahua, Mexico with photos of women gone missing, then found violated and dead. Mexico felt safe, but the more I traveled south, the more posters I saw, the more stories I read. The zine, Femicidio, reports that more than 340 women in Juarez City alone have been brutally murdered since 1993—right next to El Paso, TX, the third safest city in the US. Once I crossed the border to Guatemala, similar stories appeared of women mutilated, raped, and murdered daily. According to the feminist newspaper, La Cuerda (11/2004), in the past 2 years, more than 700 women in Guatemala have died from femicide, what Femicidio describes as the mass slaughter of women. And since 2001, 1,188 women have died from femicide (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights No. 20/04). Below is some of the information I gathered while in Guatemala for 2 1/2 months, in the hopes that you will read this and tell others, tell the government of Guatemala, tell your country, your media, that enough is enough. Ya basta.

A History of Violence•why is this happening?

The 36-year brutal war in Guatemala killed some 200,000 people, mostly indigenous. Since the Peace Accords in 1992, senseless murder has not disappeared. Most Guatemalans are afraid to walk at night, especially in Guatemala City, in fear of growing maras, gangs. On average, 2 people die a day in Guatemala City alone (La Hora, 2/2005), and the wealthy 3% own 64% of the land (Agenda Maya, 2005). Peace hasn’t exactly prevailed. Violence has bred a culture of violence, compounded by the war. According to Rigoberto Menchu, 1992 Nobel Prize winner, the assassinations of so many women is one of the echoes of the war that Guatemala lived through and that left footprints of violence and deep resentment (Entremundos, 10, 11/2004). In 2002, 184 women were killed; in 2003, 250 women; and in 2004 more than 300 women (AP, 8/28/2004). And while many murders are stranger related, more incidences of domestic violence have been reported. One third of all female homicides have been related to domestic violence. While violence affects all sectors of society, the femicides are almost always accompanied by sexual assault and/or mutilation. According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, this sends a message of terror and intimidation that women should leave public space and end their role in the development of their own country, leaving it to the perpetrators.

The women

Most of the victims have had two things in common; they were poor and had a low social status. Most of the women were ages 18-30, but all ages have been affected (CONAPREVI). Murders have happened in rural areas and in the cities. One third of femicides related to domestic violence have happened in Guatemala City alone (AP). Boyfriends, husbands, gang members, and strangers have committed the violence. There is no conspiracy; there is no one person or group to blame for the crimes.

Government Response

Vice-president Eduardo Stein says that the Guatemalan government is getting a bad rap for the statistics piling up about sexual violence. He reasons that the same level of violence exists in other Latin American countries (Prensa Libre, Lorena Seijo). The major response is that the violence is general, not misogynist. Maya, from Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres (GGM), said “the government is doing very little other than an investigation going on now, but it’s only in the capitol and it’s not very functional.” For indigenous women dealing with sexual violence, they are confronted with a racist penal system and little bilingual support. When women seek help, they have few places to go to. In Guatemala city, GGM has one safe house for women and in Xela, Nuevos Horizontes has one. Two shelters are hardly sufficient. Many women fear that speaking out will make matters worse for them. When women do find the courage to speak out, the investigations are usually short-changed and nothing comes of it. Lack of proof means that women must endure the recurrence of violence or retaliation.

Ni una muerte mas! Response from Guatemalan Women’s Groups

“Not even one more death!” women yelled at the National Palace of Culture this year as CONAPREVI and other groups gathered to denounce the rise in sexual violence and the government’s complacency. “Enough of good intentions and little action already!” CONAPREVI has been active in creating laws to help make women’s voices heard. They have just created a ten year plan to address sexual violence. Most of CONAPREVI has made sexual violence a public issue by raising funding for research and investigations necessary to make people believe this is a real issue. One member, Maya talked about the actions that GGM and others do. “We write about the issue, report on it, and on a governmental level CONAPREVI is helping to make laws. We also do sit-ins, demonstrations, vigils, and marches.”

International Support

When I mentioned to Maya and the women at CONAPREVI that foreigners would be interested in supporting their efforts, they were delighted. The women at CONAPREVI kept saying, “Welcome! Welcome!” and that any support would be appreciated. They seemed to especially like the idea of speaking about these issues, writing about them in the US and putting pressure on the Guatemalan government to intervene. Volunteer opportunities are open for both groups, in translating or other work. You can reach GGM at ggms@intelnet.net.gt, and CONAPREVI at conaprevi@intelnet.net.gt.

Overall, people felt that the government was ignoring sexual violence, leaving women like Maya afraid to walk alone at night; afraid her daughter won’t make it back from school or work. However, stopping at this conclusion alone leaves one a victim. I admire that despite the bureaucratic walls they are up against and a culture of misogyny, the women I spoke with are fighting together and making the media and the government listen to them. Little by little they are transforming their society into a more equitable one. I am grateful for the hard work of so many Guatemalan women and all the information they shared with me.

To Contact the US embassy in Guatemala: guatemala.usembassy.state.gov.

Please send comments to the author at kindlady76@ hotmail.com

Bridging the Gap

Radical activists with family in the military

My brother is twenty-one years old. Since October of 2002, he has been in the US Army, a decision which I, as an anti-imperialist, have naturally had a really hard time with. This decision inevitably found him fighting in Iraq for a year and a half, just like the tens of thousands of other US soldiers being used to wage this obscene war. It was not until I was talking to a friend of mine who also has a younger brother in Iraq did it really hit me that there are bound to be thousands of others like us- anarchist/ anti-capitalist activists with family and other loved ones serving in the military. This is not an easy position to be in; I personally have struggled with trying to balance my feelings of loyalty and love for my brother (and cousin, and all the others in my family for that matter) with my absolute horror and disgust with the job he is currently performing. Talking to others in my situation, I realize that our position also poses problems not only in how we relate to our families (who are often conservative or have a hard time understanding our beliefs), but also within our various activist communities.

Because this topic is so closely interwoven with issues of class, I feel that it’s important to address this first. Many of us are finally starting to understand that for a lot of soldiers, their decision to enlist has a lot more to do with a lack of other viable options than a desire to go and hold citizens at gunpoint in 120-degree weather. Combine that with what is often the working-class family expectations of military service, social expectations around masculinity and contrived notions of “honor” and “courage,” and it’s not hard for most people to see why military enlistment can seem okay to an average, middle-America kid without a lot else on the horizon. The mainstream (and often even leftist) media, however, would never dare open a discussion around this, and is also quite adept at overlooking those of us from these same backgrounds who have chosen to dissent.

One of the reasons I’m writing this article is because there seems to be a belief in this country that there are two kinds of people: “liberals” and “conservatives,” both replete with their own sets of stereotypes; i.e. you believe the government should pay for everything, or you want to sit back and count your money while waging war on anyone who isn’t American. The reality of the situation, of course, is that nobody actually fits into these crazy stereotypes completely. My Mormon, Republican mother, for instance, could give a lot clearer analysis of why people are boycotting Wal-Mart than most of the anarchists I know, and I am aware that it continually surprises conservative adults when they realize that I do not support banning gun use and ownership (although as an anarchist, I don’t exactly believe in banning anything)…But I digress.

The point is, the right wing of Amerikkka has painted our myriad movements of anti-oppression as being the whining of a few disenchanted white, upper middle class college kids with too much time on their hands. This makes it incredibly easy for the rest of the country to brush off what we’re saying by declaring us elitists or by assuming that what we are fighting for and against has nothing to do with their lives. While it is true that many with the time, access to information, and privilege to actively participate in radical politics do fit the stereotypes, there are also many, many people who do not- those of us who are working class, and/or people of color, and/or queer, and/or disabled, and/or…the list goes on and on. Allowing outside forces to put a specific face and label on our movements completely denies visibility to all of us “others,” and if we don’t rail against the assertions thrown our way, our movements will continue to alienate, rather than empower those people who would benefit the most from the world we are trying to build. The fact that the working class of this country is increasingly embracing right-wing values is, to me, an indication that we are doing something wrong; and one of those things is believing the hype of “us” vs. “them.

All of these thoughts have made me wonder where I can start to find some common ground with those who I personally often feel so different from. It is clear to me that there can be no real discussion of the ramifications of war and our families who are fighting it without looking at the reasons why we live this way in the first place. When my friend and I first began having this discussion, I realized that although I was aware of several friends in the same situation (siblings or close relatives in Iraq), none of us had ever really talked to each other about it. It has been really strange and challenging for me to navigate my feelings around wanting to support my little brother while he’s in this incredibly intense situation, and yet still trying to help him understand why I think that the whole idea of this war, and even this country as it stands, is disgusting. It is odd to me that this is not something that is really being discussed in radical circles, at least not the ones that I inhabit.

One of the first ideas my friend and I came up with was to try to put together an anthology of stories from other radicals who are dealing with this same situation. There is a lot to be said here- about upbringing, about class, about race, racism, our internalized issues with all of these things and most of all how we each handle the nuances of dealing with our families (each of which, of course, comes with its own set of beliefs and experiences). I want to know how each person is handling this, what their unique experiences have been, and I think that having this insight can help a lot of other people, too. I am hoping that this project can help both activists who are not experiencing this type of situation and people who would generally have a hard time accepting radical viewpoints to see that we are all humans, after all, each of us with our own complex ways of seeing the world and moving in it. I want to help break down these invisible barriers and bring people together around the things they can agree on: namely, we love our families and want them to be safe and do the “right” thing.

Even more than putting together the book, though, what we are hoping is to help start a dialogue that will eventually lead to more understanding between both ourselves and the communities we come from, as well as the new communities we have created for ourselves. Bridging this gap is often perilous and many of us have experienced the alienation of feeling like we don’t fully belong to “either” world, but that we are still undeniably a part of “both.” We want to help inspire conversations among friends and loved ones about this, and we are even planning a forum here in San Francisco where people can come together to share their stories and build a tangible system of support around this.

So! Write us your story, come to the forum, or if you’re not in the Bay Area we hope you will start your own networks. Solidarity begins with understanding and building real alliances- as friends, family, and fellow human beings. Hope to hear from you soon! Pike On A Bike.

To write or submit a story for the book, you can email: common_bonds@riseup.net, or snail mail to PO Box 460-412, San Francisco, CA 94146.

Suction Yer Own Cunt

It’s not crazy to want to participate in the fate of your cunt. And—surprise!—choosing to have an abortion doesn’t have to mean paying a wealthy HMO to do it. For those of us unhappy with inviting chemicals or surgery into the abortion scene, menstrual extraction (ME) is an alternative option that can be safe, effective & cheap.

While herbal abortion may be the most visible abortion option in radical culture, menstrual extraction provides another clear alternative to participating in the “health care” industry. And, despite what the medical profession, the church, and the state want you to believe, reclaiming this low-tech reproductive technology is possible, and it can be safe.

The first time this anarcha-feminist got pregnant, she also got a little confused. I didn’t want to be pregnant. But I also didn’t want to call some receptionist at a Planned Parenthood clinic, schedule an appointment, meet a doctor, fall asleep, and wake up groggy & un-pregnant, problem solved! I wanted to participate in my abortion, and I didn’t want to be separated from the physical & emotional sensations of it. Amazingly, I was lucky enough to have access to an experienced menstrual extraction practitioner, and I had the privilege of turning what could’ve been one of the most traumatic experiences in my life into one of the most empowering.

In the ME procedure, the contents of the uterus (i.e. the fetus) are manually suctioned out using equipment you can gather in your own kitchen and a science supply store for under $100. It usually lasts 15-30 minutes, and the pain is like experiencing a regular cycle worth of menstrual cramps in a few minutes. Yeah, it hurts, but I could take it. There’s no anesthesia, no painful & traumatic dilation of the cervix, and no high powered vacuums involved.

Oh yeah, and it’s illegal. A menstrual extraction performed on a woman without a confirmed pregnancy is legal, and can be used to get rid of an inconvenient period. But as soon as a fertilized egg is present, whoever’s performing it can be charged with practicing medicine without a license & lots of other bullshit. Obviously, anything that provides women with easy access to reproductive control should be outlawed.

The procedure was developed underground in 1970 by Los Angeles feminist activists, & was all the rage till ’73 when Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. The legal availability of surgical abortion pretty much squashed the ME movement, despite ME’s potential to serve as a low-cost abortion option for poor folks. There was somewhat of a menstrual extraction revival in the early 90’s, when the Supreme Court granted states new leeway to regulate abortion and fear was once again struck in the hearts of the pro-choice masses. Activists toured the country doing menstrual extraction workshops, selling ME kits, and showing the video “No Going Back” which demonstrates the specifics on how to perform an extraction.

That was the last time menstrual extraction surfaced into the public spotlight. Underground, though, the body of knowledge surrounding menstrual extraction still exists, as do networks of experienced women who’ve been performing them for 30 years—but these practitioners are few and far between. It’s amazing how many anarchist ladies & reproductive rights activists have never heard of this technique, which has the potential to change the way women experience abortion. It’s amazing that in 2002—30 years after the legalization of abortion—I found myself making a secret phone call and using code words to obtain an abortion. Roe v. Wade may have granted women the legal right to obtain publicly acceptable forms of abortion, but it didn’t grant me access to the low-tech, empowering abortion I wanted. Rebecca Chalker’s book “A Woman’s Book of Choices: Abortion, Menstrual Extraction, & RU-486” offers specifics on the procedure & equipment. But don’t be fooled: this is not a self-abortion technique, and not something you can do hastily. Menstrual extraction needs to be researched and practiced in the context of a women’s self-help or gynecological self-care group, under the guidance of a skilled practitioner. I am not a health care provider or doctor, but I am an anarchist, a feminist, and someone really grateful for having had access to a menstrual extraction.

EDITORS’ NOTE:

The SlingShot Collective would like to add that Menstrual Extraction can ONLY be performed in the earliest stages of pregnancy, sometimes up to 7 weeks if you dilate the cervix. Also. anytime you extract things from the uterus there is a risk of infection, so insuring absolute cleanliness throughout the process is a necessity. Additionally, taking a pregnancy test is advisable, especially after an ME, to make sure that everything in the uterus was indeed extracted.

Avoiding Activist Burnout: a crazy critique

I have been active in the radical/anarchist community for a pretty long time now, and through my interactions with that community as a crazy person some things have become obvious to me. I have noticed that most of the folks active in the anarchist community hold themselves up to a standard that most cannot achieve. This leads to activist burn-out, and says something about how accessible and accountable we are to people who cannot achieve this ideal. There are many reasons that the activist community at large needs to deal with the problems that this paragon of revolution presents.

It seems to me that there is an ideal of what an activist should be that exists in the community that I have primarily been a part of since I was around sixteen; the anarchist punk community. I have seen this model both discussed and personified. Most of the people who are revered in this scene are involved in numerous projects and do an incredible amount of work. Most radicals know someone like this; they are the people who volunteer at a space, have six collective meetings a week, are organizing a conference, writing a book, run the local chapter of fill-in-the-blank, and still find time to do all that other stuff like work and eat and sleep, though perhaps not often. There are various differing reasons why these people are capable of doing so much. In no way do I want to negate the valuable contributions of all the people around the country single-handedly running various projects with talent and passion. They are indeed admirable. What I find is that there are many reasons that this model is not sustainable, at best, and problematic at worst.

One thing I have experienced a few of times in my life is activist burn out. There has been a time or two where I have just had to step back from the work I was doing and take some time to myself. Unfortunately, this time was taken after I had reached crisis and was in a very unhealthy space, rather than before I had gotten to that point, when I would have had a chance to maintain stability. When I stepped back, it was frowned upon by other activists. It seemed that the people around me felt I was taking some kind of “easy way out” or that I was being lazy. It was certainly not seen as a positive, healthy decision. In the past, I was embarrassed to admit that I am bipolar and that it greatly affects my life. People’s reactions to my admission of being crazy ranged from mutual embarrassment, to open disgust, to being just plain unsure of how to handle the information. The negative reactions made me feel like a burden to my community and taught me to try to hide that aspect of myself and keep striving towards being the Most Productive Person Ever. There were a couple of people who handled my craziness in an awesome, supportive way. I will always be grateful to them. (xo Sera).

I have seen burn-out in my friends as well. Most friends who have dealt with this agree with my assertion that there is not enough active support in the communities and projects we work with to be able to deal with the incredible amount of pressure we are under. Often, it seems that to complain about workload or to seek support is seen as “weakness.” Dealing with mental health, whether it is being crazy or simply striving to support someone who is having a hard time, has been largely neglected by the one very communities that needs to address it most. Having a radical perspective on society and institutions in this country can be a very tiring and frustrating position! Between the wars abroad; those here at home against people of color, women, trans folk, queers, poor people, disabled people, etc; and the capitalist system this country runs on being the antithesis of mutual aid, outrage can be overwhelming. Without systems of support in place, it is easy to become lost in despair, not to mention floored by the sheer amount of work it takes to make any kind of change. This is a reality that all radical activists have to deal with, so why shouldn’t we be trying to support and help each other deal with the world we live in?

It is especially in the interest of the activist community to deal with these problems. Every time an activist burns out and drops out of whatever work they are doing, we lose a valuable person who cares about things and is willing to work towards change. Within apathetic, mainstream American culture, people involved in the various movements fighting for real change are a minority, and can be taken for granted. Not only are we losing incredible people with a lot to offer by not supporting them, we are also failing them as a community. If our goal is to make the world a better place and forge new societies and communities based on mutual aid and sustainability, what does it mean when we can’t even take care of each other and keep things running? It is incredibly important that we set up systems of support to combat activist burn-out. We need to respect and affirm the need to take breaks, or retire altogether. Self-care is radical! Be sure that not everything that you do is activist-focused. It is okay to take some time for yourself! In order to maintain energy you must have it to begin with; recharge in some way that suits you, whether it be sleeping in till noon, spending a weekend camping, calling in to a meeting and going to a movie instead- take some time off! We should all be working towards a community in which it is possible for people to do this. If one person is in charge of an entire project, how can they ever take time for themselves? Or, for that matter, live their lives? Work forty hours a week? Raise their children? If our project would fall apart if one or two people took time off, then we need to look at the model. That isn’t very sustainable.

This leads me to another problem I see in this model of the “perfect activist.” Not all people are capable of funneling endless amounts of energy into activism. I know that for myself, there are days that I can’t even get out of bed. There is a myriad of reasons why someone couldn’t dedicate the majority of their life to “The Revolution”, whether it be that they are a single mom with three jobs, or they are a bipolar, socially anxious crazy kid (like me); many people can’t maintain that level of energy. This is not to discount the work of the many people who manage to devote boundless energy to projects even while having the cards stacked against them. I just find myself wondering why the activist community holds up this ideal that is not within the capabilities of so many types of people; often times the very people activists claim to be fighting for. Often, progressively minded folks do not recognize this behavior in themselves until it is pointed out to them. Some questions to ask yourself are:

What privileges allow me to be working on this project?

What are my attitudes towards my fellow activists?

What are my attitudes towards the people I am “fighting for?”

Am I contributing to the self-empowerment of people or are my attitudes more paternalistic?

Do I think I am “saving” people?

Do I recognize the work of others, even if it is not how I would do it?

I think this last one is important to note. There are all different types of activism and resistance. There is no “one way” to do things. That mentality is very counterproductive, not to mention ableist and symptomatic of the white supremacy culture that dominates this country*. If we only praise people who do activism “our way,” we are excluding others. We are creating a dynamic that places the “ideal” at the top and implies that other models are inferior or nonproductive.

One important solution that should be discussed is creating a culture of appreciation. The dominant culture in this country does not teach us to appreciate the hard work and contributions of the people around us. We need to change this pattern. To do so will take commitment; it is unlearning an aspect of our socialization. Next time you are working on a project with someone, take some time out to think about the amount of work that the both of you have put into the project, not how much more you have to do. Recognize and respect the time taken to work on the project and any sacrifices either of you have made in order to get things done. Be vocal! Give praise; don’t just assume that because you aren’t criticizing someone that they know you think they are doing a good job. Focus on constructive criticism rather than destructive criticism. Be sure to be aware of the people who have come before you. Not only is it comforting to know the stories of people who have fought before you, but we can learn a lot from history. No need to reinvent the wheel! Give credit where credit is due.

This problem cannot be solved by one article, and I don’t think the solution is to come up with an alternative ideal. We should each be setting our own standards and not trying to live up to someone else’s. That flexibility is what attracted me to anarchism in the first place: do what works best for you while maintaining accountability and equality. I think that what is important is that we have dialogue on the topics discussed in this piece. How can we support crazy folks? How can we support non-crazy folks having a hard time? How can we prevent crisis or activist burn-out before it happens? It is up to us to create the solutions. The only thing stopping us is an ideal that many of us erroneously hold ourselves up to; it is time we stopped looking up to that person we are trying to be and look to each other instead. We are all valuable, productive and creative people; it is time to scrap the model that tells us otherwise!

* See Tema Okun’s article “White Supremacy Culture” on the Challenging White Supremacy website.

Biscuit Salvage Logging: Activists Stand up to Recovery Plan

The month of March saw an amazing amount of direct action/civil disobedience events in retaliation against the implementation of the aggregious Biscuit Salvage Logging “recovery” plan. This is a complex of many timber sales comprising almost 20,000 acres slated for destruction, or 372 million board feet. Although 95% of the 23,000 comments posted on the sale were against the logging scheme, the forest service proceeded to release the sales, flying in the face of public opinion and fueling a controversy that increases to this day.

Resistance to the destruction of these wild places in the Siskiyou Mtns. has crystallized in March, with nearly 50 arrests occuring in acts of civil disobedience that included 4 technical blockades of eight dollar mountain road (leading to the fiddler timber sale, in land legally designated as an old growth reserve), and the erection of a giant tripod in the streets of portland that blocked traffic in front of the forest service office for nearly 2 hours. These actions build off the resistance generated last summer that included a rope blockade in the Indi timber sale, a tripod blockade halting operations in the Horse sale, and a rowdy costumed rally at the yearly Society of American Foresters meeting where potbanging locals clashed with USFS law enforcement and proceeded to chase US Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Rey out of town!

Visit www.rogueimc.org or portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/03/314311.shtml for more info on how to find us,

Ni Mandar Ni Obedecer

Pueblos indigenes defienden su autonomia en Oaxaca

Soy un salvaje, un hijo de la Naturaleza, por eso siento cualquier ataque dirigido a mi libertad. Mi Alma es Animada por el palpitar de las montañas que me vieran nacer, un latido vigoroso, un latido puro.

En estos momentos el gobierno de Oaxaca está llevando una guerra de baja intensidad en contra de las organizaciones sociales y los pueblos indígenas que se organizan y defienden sus derechos milenarios. Es por esto que las cárceles del estado cada día se han ido llenando de luchadores sociales, activistas, indígenas y campesinos. Así como también es común en estas comunidades llorar por los compañeros y familiares caídos bajo las balas del despotismo y la tiranía del gobierno.

CIPO-RFM

Clara muestra de esta impunidad son las constantes agresiones, persecuciones, secuestros, cárceles, intimidaciones y emboscadas que vienen sufriendo los integrantes del Consejo Indígena Popular de Oaxaca-Ricardo Flores Magón (CIPO-RFM). CIPO fue constituido por 20 comunidades y aproximadamente 2000 integrantes en las 7 regiones del estado de Oaxaca. La postura y constante lucha de esta organización se opone tajantemente a la tala de los bosques y a la presencia de paramilitares que quieren meterse en sus pueblos —porque se oponen a la privatización de sus tierras y porque reconocen que los partidos políticos sólo siguen intereses personales, sirviendo sólo para dividirlos, engañarlos y mantenerlos sometidos ante el poder.

Debido a la fuerza y nivel de organización de su resistencia anti-autoritaria, en mayo del 2003 diversos integrantes de la junta organizadora del CIPO-RFM fueron amenazados de muerte y torturados sicológicamente dejándoles saber que si continuaban luchando con las comunidades indígenas en contra de los intereses de los ricos y el gobierno, los iban a matar.

Ante las incontables injusticias y atropellos, los indígenas del CIPO decidieron realizar un plantón indefinido y ocupar la plaza principal de la ciudad de Oaxaca en abril del 2004. Bajo la bandera de “Por la reorganización y libre asociación de los pueblos. Ni mandar ni obedecer”, el plantón denunció la represión y exigió el paro a los hostigamientos, la destrución de los bosques y el castigo a los asesinos de sus pueblo.

Cinco meses después, muy de madrugada, sin previo aviso ni justificación, el plantón fue brutalmente desalojado. Más de 150 “ejecutores de la ley” entre policías uniformados y “undercovers” armados con macanas, toletes, pistolas, armas de alto calibre, gases lacrimógenos y perros, entraron salvajemente golpeando a l@s indígenas, arrastrándolos de los cabellos, puteando sus pertenencias, rompiendo las fotos; el equipo de sonido, tirando la comida y las artesanias.

Finalmente, l@s amontonaron en 2 camionetas particulares donde l@s siguieron golpeando, diciéndoles que iban a matarl@s y violar a las mujeres.

Vari@s de sus miembros más activos que fueron heridos, torturados, aún se encuentran presos en el penal de Ixoctel, Oaxaca.

Ante estos hechos de agresión que no han sido los únicos, existen varias denuncias ante la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado. Sin embargo estas no han prosperado debido a la parcialidad y corrupción de este organismo “Investigador.”

Hoy en día del CIPO no queda mucho de lo que fue ayer, sólo los sueños; lo que fue CIPO-RFM es ahora AMZ (Alianza Magonista-Zapatista), un coctel de organizaciones pro-Zapatista y pro-Magonistas.

Enero 2005, Xanica, Oaxaca

¿La historia se repite o la impunidad se esta haciendo eterna?

Utilizando las tácticas de guerra sucia de los años sesenta y setenta, más de 250 policías han establecido un estado de sitio en la Comunidad Indígena de Santiago Xanica, y están realizando cateos y detenciones arbitrarios y de forma indiscriminada.

Hace seis años que este pueblo (Zapoteco) enclavado en la sierra sur del estado inició un proceso de lucha que aún no termina por la defensa de sus derechos colectivos, principalmente el respeto a elegir sus propias autoridades mediante el sistema de usos y costumbres. En febrero de 1999 fue impuesta una autoridad desde el gobierno del estado, desde esa fecha, la comunidad no tuvo paz ni libertad y fue después de más de dos años de lucha que se logró que esa autoridad ilegítima renunciara al cargo de presidente municipal.

En agosto del año pasado, violando los estatutos indígenas que definen los cargos y servicios que deben cumplir quienes el pueblo elige para presidente y síndico municipal, los habitantes de las rancherías (empresarios agrícolas influyentes) impusieron a Sergio García como presidente municipal.

Por todo lo anterior, el Comité por la Defensa de los Derechos Indígenas de Santiago Xanica (CODEDI) inició el proceso de impugnación al usurpador Sergio García.

Desde que el gobierno rompió con los usos y costumbres al imponer mediante el fraude y la fuerza una autoridad ligada al gobierno del estado de Oaxaca, la represión se ha recrudecido poniendo en peligro la vida de integrantes de la organizacion CODEDI y otros miembros de la comunidad de Santiago Xanica.

Por su parte el Comité por la Defensa de los Derechos Indígenas de Santiago Xianica (CODEDI-Xanica) resolvió no cumplir a partir del primero de enero del 2005 los servicios comunitarios y no asistir a los tequios convocados por la autoridad de Sergio García.

El dia 15 de enero del 2005, unos minutos antes del mediodía, en la comunidad de Santiago Xanica Miahuatlán, la Policía Preventiva del Estado encabezada por el actual presidente de Santiago Xanica, conjuntamente con dos patrullas que se ubicaron una a cada lado de los indígenas que hacían tequio (trabajo colectivo) empezaron a disparar a fuego cruzado contra más de ochenta pobladores, dejando varios heridos. Entre ellos Abraham Ramírez Vásquez, dirigente de CODEDI Xanica, quien se encuentra al borde de la muerte y a los jóvenes, Juventino y Noel García Cruz, quienes se encontraban en el hospital en calidad de detenidos y después fueron translados a la penitenciaria de Oaxaca.

El 16 de Enero los compañeros de la región fueron hostigados con armas largas por la Policía Judicial y la Policía Estatal de la mano del presidente impuesto y el párroco de la comunidad hasta la noche. Y desde entonces más de 250 elementos de las policías ministerial y estatal intentan apagar el descontento popular a costa de sangre y violencia, cancelando las garantías individuales de libre tránsito, libertad de expresión y manifestación, violando los derechos humanos más fundamentales.

Para más informacion:

Colectiveo Autonomo Magonista camadf@yahoo.com.mx

www.nodo50.org/cipo

Guadalajarcore

apoyando la liberacion de l@s detenid@s

El pasado 28 y 29 de Mayo del 2004 se llevó acabo en la Ciudad de Guadalajara, México, la Tercera Cumbre de Jefes de Estado de América Latina, el Caribe, y la Unión Europea que buscaban aprovar acuerdos económicos e inversiones por parte de los paises miembros de la Unión Europea. Y al mismo tiempo reforzar y fortalecer la penetración de los dueños del dinero: empresarios y compañias transnacionales al nuestro continente.

Opuestos a esta reunión, miles de personas salieron a las calles a manifestar su repudio contra estos planes económicos, políticos, y sociales que tratan de imponer a todo un pueblo una minoría de privilegiados que solo tratan de obtener el mayor lucro a costa del sufrimiento de miles de familias y comunidades. Diferentes organizaciones sociales, campesinas, obreras, estudiantiles, colectivos punks y anarquistas trataron de impedir la cumbre, tomando las calles como una forma de protesta y para informar a la sociedad sobre los impactos negativos que tendria esta reunión en la realidad del país.

La manifestación fue brutalmente reprimida, hubo enfrentamientos con la policía y destrozos de comercios por varias horas dejando como saldo a más de 150 personas detenidas de las cuales 49 fueron transladadas al reclusorio preventivo:

10 personas sentenciadas

5 todavía en la cárcel esperando que se resuelva su situacion jurídica

30 en libertad bajo caución

4 menores de edad que ya cumplieron su sentencia.

Los delitos que se les imputan van desde motín, pandillerismo, portación de armas prohibidas, destrozos en propriedad ajena, robo, y lesiones a representantes de la autoridad.

Además de esto, 8 compañeros de diferentes partes del mundo fueron deportados.

A casi un año de estos hechos, el plantón permanente que parte del movimiento estableció en la Ciudad de Guadalajara pidiendo la liberación de l@s detenid@s, sigue en pie de lucha…

Si te es posible ayudar economicamente para ayudar con los gastos de las fianzas o quieres mas informacion al respecto o ponerte en contacto en solidaridad con l@s pres@s:

BANORTE

Número de Cuenta

4915-6610-3839-0030

Titular Maria Asunción Rodriguez Martines

Más información:

insurreciondelatierra@yahoo.com, vistalibertari@yahoo.com,

Presxs-Kaminando: libresyunudxs@yahoo.com.mx

mauser-ponte-en-pie@hotmail.com

Queeruption Barcelona

¡Queerupción 8 va a ser del 29 de Mayo al 6 de Junio en Barcelona! Q es un encuentro no comercial y autogestionado de radicales queers, un encuentro lleno de talleres, intercambios, arte, sexo, fiestas, comida y politica. Las pasadas Queerupciónes tomaron lugar en Londres, Nueva York, San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam y Sydney. ¡Esta Queerupción va a ser en Barcelona! ¡La primera que no es principalmente de habla inglesa! A lo mejor, el próximo año habrá una en Mexico DF ¿o quizás en El Paso o Ciudad Juárez?

Los Queers del Area de La Bahía están haciendo maravillosas fiestas-beneficio, poniendo nuestra relativamente robusta economía local a trabajar para el siempre gratis encuentro de Q. El dinero va para todo, desde baños portatiles super sexies hasta ayuda económica para ayudar a activistas de paises con desventajas económicas para que puedan ir a los próximos encuentros. El año pasado, una gran parte del dinero fue mandada a Queer Serbia.

Héchale un vistazo a las fabulosas y divertidas fiestas en San Francisco para divertirte y también aportar dinero americano lo mas lejos posible. ¡¡¡¡¡El 28 de Abril habrá Unisexy en el bar Makeout Room, donde encontrarás un juego de Citas Queer con la participación del público!!!!! El 29 de Abril, en la noche, actuará el Cena Teatro extremadamente Elegante y Voraz en el CounterPULSE. Y el 12 de Mayo hay una “Slutty Sleazy Makeout Party” (Juegton@ y Cachond@ Fiesta de Lige) en el Stud, donde habran actuaciones de “Full Moon Partisans” y otras bandas.

¿Por qué Queerupción? ¿Por qué ayudar a consegir dinero? A algunos, es lo único que nos mantiene vivos, viviendo en escenas donde los queers son a veces difíciles de encontrar, incluso cuando hay miles de aliados de queers. Queerupción es autónomo y descentralizado, debemos trabajar en la comunidad para la comunidad queer, haciendo que se expanda y sea más accesible para más y más gente.

La primera Q fue en la primavera de 1998, cuando casi cien Queers en Londres, pasaron una semana juntos en una Kasa Okupa en el sur de Londres. El objetivo era reunirse para tener un encuentro politicamente inspirador y educacional que estubiese abierto para tod@s, e iba a tomar iniciativa, para crear y participar en vez de consumir un tipo de vida que nos ha vendido.

Las discusiones típicas en la comunidad son sobre raza, clase y exclusividad cultural, discriminación a personas incapacitadasm la idea que hay solamente dos sexos, fobia del transexualismo, y la reproducción de normas sexuales opresivas en las comunidades radicales. En el encuentro de Queerupción, l@s queers radicales profundizan sobre maravillosos temas crudos de politica y sobre todo, profundizan entre ellos mismos…¡¡¡Buenísimo!!!