Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Update from the Mexican Consulate in NYC

NYAccionConsulado2Yesterday, the Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio briefly occupied the Mexican consulate in New York City in solidarity with five political prisoners, members of the Zapatista "Other Campaign," in Chiapas. Later, they released a communiqué (in Spanish) and some pictures from the action. Here's a rough translation:
At 7:30 in the morning, on the fourth day of the campaign called "5 Days of Worldwide Action for the Bachajón 5," members of the Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio, from the "Other Campaign" New York, entered and took over the Mexican Consulate of New York City. We initiated this occupation as part of this campaign to protest against the cruel repression of the State against the dignified struggle of the ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, Mexico, who are also adherents to the "Other Campaign and are defending their natural resources from greedy transnational corporations disguised as an "ecotourism venture."

In our action today, like all the other Mexicans forced to wait in line to enter the Mexican Consulate, we had to pass through a pack of guards. We realize that security is getting tighter and the number of guards is multiplying every time we do actions here. There are always more than the previous time. But in any case, this didn't stop us. We continued with strength, entering the tall building located between golden streets that extend out like veins from the heart of global capitalism.

It's here in one of the most expensive cities in the world, and inside these gray buildings, where decisions are made that not only fill the pockets of greedy capitalists and their political lackeys with money, but also affect simple, hardworking, dignified, and humble people around the world.

On entering the consulate we saw that -- as always -- it was full of other Mexican immigrants, displaced like us, waiting to be helped by government functionaries, who with brutal irony were the ones who forced us to migrate here. With banners and fliers in our hands, and with a deep outrage in our hearts, we shouted our chants. We demanded that the consul come out and listen to us read a letter denouncing the violence and injustice that the bad government of the PAN, PRD, and PRI [the three main political parties in Mexico] has exercised against the community of Bachajón, and demanding that the Mexican government and its bureaucratic accomplices immediately release the five political prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón and respect their demands.

Several times the guards tried to remove us from the building, even physically. The bureaucrats tried to shut us up, but they couldn't.

A compañera from the Movimiento read our letter out loud so that all our Mexican comrades who were in the building would hear what the bad government is doing, and we shouted: "Not the PRI, not the PAN, not the PRD, the 'Other Campaign' against Power!" The functionaries and guards looked at us and tried to intimidate us by taking out their cameras and taking pictures to record our faces. We handed out informational fliers explaining the situation that our brothers and sisters in Bachajón are facing, and the serious abuses that the five prisoners are suffering. Finally, the officials from the Mexican Consulate called the police, and they also tried to shut us up and make us leave. But their fear has no dignity. We overcame their attempts and handed out more fliers.

In the end, we went back to our community in East Harlem. Here in El Barrio, like our brothers and sisters in San Sebastián Bachajón, we struggle against displacement and for dignity. We also struggle, as part of the 'Other Campaign," so justice is done in our Mexico, so that our people from Mexico no longer has to flee from poverty, like we had to do. Although we're here in New York, Mexico lives in our hearts and our dreams. And that's why we did this action. They say in the "Other Campaign" that "si nos toca a un@, nos tocan a tod@s" (if they touch one of us, they touch us all." For the humble and simple people of El Barrio, this isn't just a saying, but, as we demonstrated today, a practice, an action that should be our path toward justice and dignity.

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