Update and Letters from Anarchist Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Mexico

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Mexico: Anarchist Prisoners End Hunger Strike but Remain Fasting
From Anarchist Black Cross – Mexico
Translated by Scott Campbell

Day 15 of the anarchist prisoners’ hunger strike.

After two weeks on hunger strike, due to the health of some and in order to avoid serious complications, anarchist prisoners Fernando Bárcenas, Luis Fernando Sotelo and Abraham Cortés, as well as activist Jesse Montaño, have decided to continue their collective struggle inside the prison with indefinite fasts and have ended the hunger strike.

We are reposting the text signed by Fernando Bárcenas.

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Mexico: Let the Storm Begin! Luis Fernando Sotelo Sentenced to 33 Years

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Originally posted to It’s Going Down
From Anarchist Black Cross – Mexico
Translated by Scott Campbell

On Tuesday, September 20, after one year and nine months of proceedings, our compañero Luis Fernando Sotelo Zambrano was given a sentence of 33 years and five months in prison and a fine of 519,815.25 pesos, for the crimes of attacks on public thoroughfares, first-degree attacks on public order, and first-degree destruction of private property.

This sentence is in line with the Mexican state’s policies of repression and criminalization, starting with Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera, who sought to condemn our compañero without any evidence and to place a ridiculous and disproportionate sentence on him.

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Fernando Bárcenas, Anarchist Political Prisoner in Mexico, Calls for Solidarity with September 9 Prison Strike in US

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From Anarchist Black Cross – Mexico
Translated by Scott Campbell

Open letter to compañerxs.

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…

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“I was born to be free” – Nestora Salgado

Originally posted on El Enemigo Común.

nestora-salgado-rifle-prison-releaseTranslator’s note: After seventeen months in prison and following a national and international campaign for her release, political prisoner Nestora Salgado was released from Tepepan prison in Mexico City on March 18, just days after the below essay was published. The commander of the Community Police in Olinalá, Guerrero, Salgado was charged with three counts of kidnapping. When those charges were dismissed, the state filed three more charges for kidnapping, theft and murder. Again, those charges were dismissed for lack of evidence.

Upon exiting the prison, she was received by dozens of community police officers from Olinalá and other towns in Guerrero. Handed a rifle and addressed as commander, she said, “We are going to keep struggling so they don’t keep repressing us. If this is needed [raising the rifle], then this is where we will go, but we won’t allow them to keep trampling on us.” At a press conference later in the day, she committed herself to fighting for the freedom of Mexico’s 500 political prisoners, in particular those jailed for carrying out their duties as community police. Joined by members from the Peoples Front in Defense of the Land from Atenco, those resisting the construction of the La Parota dam in Guerrero, and family members of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, she led the count from 1 to 43. “I don’t represent any political party,” she said. “I only fight for my people. Sometimes they ask me if I’m afraid. And yes, I’m afraid, but I’ll die fighting for our people’s dignity. It doesn’t matter what I have to do, I am going to win freedom for our prisoners. I will be present in all of the struggles, as long as they need me.”

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This Week in the Prison Industrial Complex (August 18)

Hugo-Pinell-poemA short-lived experiment, this will be the final “This Week in the Prison Industrial Complex” entry. When it began, I suspected I may have assumed too intensive of a task. At present, it has turned out to be too difficult to maintain this weekly chronicle. I hope that it was helpful while it lasted. I will continue to examine the prison industrial complex (PIC) and related issues in other posts, as well as sharing more timely PIC news on Twitter.

  • A recent report by Canada’s prison ombudsman’s office found “admission to administrative segregation increased by 9 per cent between 2005 and 2015 [and that] the number of Black individuals in solitary has doubled over the past decade, rising by an alarming 100.4 per cent while Aboriginal individuals sent to solitary also disproportionately increased by 31.1 per cent. In contrast, admission to segregation for White individuals declined by 12.3 per cent.” Howard Saper, the Correctional Investigator, stated the report showed Canada’s use of solitary confinement was “out of control.”

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This Week in the Prison Industrial Complex (August 11)

A weekly roundup of news and action alerts about political prisoners, prison struggles, and organizing against the prison industrial complex (PIC), both nationally and internationally. If you’ve got something you’d like to see included, leave a comment or send me an email.

  • U.S. political prisoner Abdullah Majid is requesting support in the form of donations to his legal defense fund.
  • The Industrial Workers of the World has published the second edition of The Incarcerated Worker, “featuring news on prisoner revolt, organizing on the inside, letters, and articles.”
  • Meanwhile, the second issue of Wildfire, an anarchist prison newsletter, has been published, with news and texts from anarchist prisoners around the world.

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This Week in the Prison Industrial Complex (August 4)

Freedom for Political Prisoners

Freedom for Political Prisoners

A weekly roundup of news and action alerts about political prisoners, prison struggles, and organizing against the prison industrial complex (PIC), both nationally and internationally. If you’ve got something you’d like to see included, leave a comment or send me an email.

  • From July 15 to 29, Israeli occupation forces arrested 95 Palestinians, including 25 children and two women, in the occupied West Bank.
  • On August 7 and 8, organizations in Mexico will be holding the country’s first National Gathering for the Freedom of Political Prisoners, in the city of Puebla.
  • New York Times article featured a twenty-year-long study on the effects of solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Penitentiary in California, finding that those isolated for such a long period undergo “social death.”

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This Week in the Prison Industrial Complex (July 28)

end-aetaA weekly roundup of news and action alerts about political prisoners, prison struggles, and organizing against the prison industrial complex (PIC), both nationally and internationally. If you’ve got something you’d like to see included, leave a comment or send me an email.

  • A Los Angeles police officer was sentenced to 16 months in prison for kicking and striking a handcuffed woman who later died in the hospital.
  • The Move organization is holding a community town hall on August 1 in Philadelphia and all are invited to attend. The occasion marks 37 years of imprisonment for the Move 9 and discussion will revolve around working to win parole for the Move 9.

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This Week in the Prison Industrial Complex (July 21)

end-solitary-confinementA weekly roundup of news and action alerts about political prisoners, prison struggles, and organizing against the prison industrial complex (PIC), both nationally and internationally. If you’ve got something you’d like to see included, leave a comment or send me an email.

  • From July 9 – 14, Israeli occupation forces arrested 28 Palestinians, including seven children, in the occupied West Bank.
  • Four political prisoners in Mexico have been on hunger strike since June 27 against abuse and maltreatment they have faced inside. The prison has refused to respond to the prisoners’ demands. More information in Spanish is available from the Anarchist Black Cross – Mexico.
  • Actions against the use of solitary confinement are happening around California and elsewhere in the U.S. on July 23. Similar events are held on the 23rd of every month in response to a call by prisoners and their supporters to build an ongoing campaign against solitary confinement.

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This Week in the Prison Industrial Complex (July 14)

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Palestinian political prisoner Khader Adnan upon his release from Israeli prison on July 12.

A weekly roundup of news and action alerts about political prisoners, prison struggles, and organizing against the prison industrial complex (PIC), both nationally and internationally. If you’ve got something you’d like to see included, leave a comment or send me an email.

  • Professor and former political prisoner James Kilgore wrote a piece reflecting on “Why Dylann Roof’s Racism Will Only be Nurtured in Prison.” A second piece by Kilgore this week discusses the current political climate regarding mass incarceration in the U.S. and the opportunities and pitfalls it poses for social justice organizers.

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