On the 3rd and 4th of May, people from organizations and groups adhering to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle gathered in Mexico City’s Zócalo to demand the “immediate freedom” of political prisoners across the country, thus launching the second phase of the Other Campaign’s Our Prisoners First project.
This stage of the campaign’s protest and educational actions commenced on May 3rd, a date selected to coincide with the fourth anniversary of violent state repression in San Salvador Atenco. Regarding the significant date, Our Prisoners First stated in a communique that they sought to bring attention to “the crimes of physical, psychological and sexual torture committed against our compañeros in Atenco in 2006” and repeated “every day” against those who are “unjustly imprisoned.”
On their list of political prisoners from the Other Campaign, Our Prisoners First identified a total of 32 people from Campeche, Mexico City, Mexico state, Guerrero, Nayarit, Oaxaca, and Chiapas – including Alberto Patishtán Gómez, who is a member of the Chiapas-based Voice of Amate (La Voz de Amate in Spanish).
Participants in the Mexico City actions included people from Mitzitón, The Bees, San Sebastian Bachajon, Molino de los Arcos, Voces Inocentes and Costa in Chiapas.
In a statement issued by the Bees (Las Abejas in Spanish) from Mexico City’s Zocalo on the 3rd of May, the group said they “reaffirmed” that “here in Mexico there are two types of justice: one for the rich and one for the poor and below. When politicians, the powerful, public officials and policies that serve the bad government and commit crimes against humanity, they never set foot in jail. Instead they are rewarded with houses and everything they need…However when we raise our voices against any injustice, violation of human rights, in defense of Mother Earth, and so on., The consequences are serious, we are repressed, imprisoned and even killed.”
In a message from Altiplano, political prisoner Felipe Alvarez thanked the campaign for their solidarity and commented on the struggle of political prisoners in Mexico stating, “Compañeros, we need to do many things. We all know that the task is not easy” because “the enemy is big, but we also know that however big, it is not invincible … The dignity of our fighting spirit is stronger than the blows that the enemy deals us. We must not let up in jail. We must not let up in the streets or any place in our country. We can not keep quiet about what is happening in our country.”
Other actions in the Zócalo during the two days included movies, music and conferences.
For more information (in Spanish):
Declaración política del 3 y 4 de mayo (Colectivos, Organizaciones e Individuos de la Otra Campaña en el marco de la Campaña Primero Nuestrxs Presxs; Red Contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad)
Blog de la Campaña Primero Nuestros Presxs
Comunicado de las Abejas sumándose a la Campaña