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Mar 4, 16

Unyielding Before Power and its Repression

From Iconoclasia
Translated by Scott Campbell

On the repressive circus mounted by the Mexican State

…what is condemned about anarchists is not the violence, but their having transcended denunciations and conferences, bringing disobedience, insubordination and the capacity for revolt to this point. What is condemned is precisely the fact of their standing up and walking from the point of a radical critique of power and an intransigent ethic of freedom; and, moreover, to do so until the very end.

Daniel Barret (Rafael Spósito)

When the unyielding have declared war on power with their daily, consistent action, there is not much need for “pretexts” in order to attack the subversives. For power, the fact that anarchists are unyielding to power’s norms, that they can’t be corrupted and don’t make alliances, is enough of a reason to attack them. It’s true, many times those who rule the world have to carry out “criminalization” campaigns in order to attack various struggles, anarchists included. However, other times these campaigns are much more than a campaign to “discredit”; besides, who wants credit? Do we need it? The vast majority of the time, these campaigns are part of a strike of greater magnitude, form part of an overwhelming strike that the State plans to inflict. It is within this context one can place recent events, part of power’s repression of the local anarchist or libertarian landscape, that is to say, in the Federal District [Mexico City].

The subversive struggle in the region has gained in strength and form in the past three years. In years prior, attacks on power were carried out, in general, from the shadows, but they began to happen in the light of day as well. Opposition took the form of possible widespread revolt, disturbances took on consciousness and attacks on the structures of domination spread rapidly. Sabotage and attacks of all kinds spread throughout the territory. In those moments of subversion of the existing order and the destruction of social peace—that is, the peace of the powerful—the repressive responses from the dominators were not lacking. Monitoring, surveillance, searches, arrests, and even attempts at disappearances, were what we lived with in those days, in the years past.

The climate today is not so different and beyond a campaign of harassment, what is happening today is a continuation of the repressive actions the State has directed against anarchists in recent years. Just read the stories about the climate of tension experienced during the Informal Anarchist Symposium; just consult the statements from Okupa Che and take a look at the anarchist websites and independent media to get a sense of these repressive actions.

This year seems to already be highlighted in the calendar of power, and we don’t say that with a prophetic voice, the facts simply make it quite clear to us. For some months now (a little before the start of the new year), the police forces of the Mexican State have been carrying out acts of espionage, intimidation and attacks against anarchist, libertarian and subversive individuals; and also against projects that, for power, constitute a real threat. Messages with a link sent to the telephones of “common people”; emails sent to some anarchist projects with attached links containing a malware product called Da Vinci, acquired by the Mexican State from HackingTeam as a means to infiltrate computers and telephones, are part of these repressive actions, of the continuation of what the State has been doing to subversives for the past two years. But not just that. There is also the constant shadowing of compañeros carried out by police in recent weeks using private cars, the intimidating telephone calls, the constant surveillance outside the home of some compas, the visits from ministerial police at the homes of several compañeros involved in various parts of the anarchist movement, these are part of the same story.

Included in this repressive climate is the arrest of compañero Yorch Punk, one of those who for years have inhabited “Okupa Che” in the Philosophy and Letters Department at UNAM. Last Wednesday night, February 24, around 9:45pm, ten individuals with “military appearances” forced compañero Yorch into a white truck without license plates, threatening the two people who accompanied him with weapons. The morning of the 25th, at around 5am, masked individuals burned an automobile belonging to UNAM Security and built barricades on the interior thoroughfare of the university, in front of the squatted auditorium. Hours later it was finally known that compañero Yorch was being held in the Federal Attorney General’s office located in the historic city center. But the system didn’t hesitate in starting up its manipulative machinery, which forms an important part in the repressive experiment of social pedagogy. In the afternoon, all the news outlets announced the capture of an alleged “drug dealer” in the vicinity of University City, who, to give coherence to their circus, they pointed to as the leader of Okupa Che. Some outlets accused Yorch of possessing marijuana, others of possessing amphetamines, some of diazepam and even cocaine. If Yorch drank, if he took drugs or if he was straightedge is something that should matter little to us, as the strategy of power is more than clear: a campaign of criminalization, possibly preceding a great repressive event. That statement is not for nothing, just look at the context of the compañero’s arrest, which occurred at the end of an activity held at the squatted auditorium in solidarity with imprisoned compañeros. Adding to this the fact that the following day the director of the Philosophy and Letters Department called for the prompt eviction of the squat, the suspension of intra-campus transportation, and in the afternoon of the 25th, the announcement of a meeting between the President of UNAM and the police to arrange the eviction.

But this is not the first time they’ve tried to do their worst to Yorch. Two years ago, in 2014, Yorch was viciously beaten by a paramilitary group when they tried to retake the squatted auditorium, a group that was beaten back by a large group of anarchist compañeros in December 2013. On this occasion, they severely beat Yorch, burned him with a blowtorch, opened up his head, and embedded metal pellets in his skin. To the misfortune of those “reds”, the following day a large group of compañeros again retook the auditorium, so their “failed assault” did not last long, as we say.

In any light, what has happened to Yorch is nothing more than part of a plan to evict a space that in some way is uncomfortable to power, hence the criminalization in the news, as a way to have a minimal justification for students and society “in case of an excessive use of force.” But this is not a separate issue, as it is indisputably linked to all of the monitoring, the visits by the federal ministerial police at compañeros’ homes, the harassment, the sending of messages, making clear what they are preparing. Repression, like any other method, has a before, has its central moment, and has an after. The repressive strike is being prepared, practiced and justified, although all this is done in order to maintain a façade, as the State does not need to justify anything, it simply makes use of its authority. But repression is not just the repressive strike itself, nor the arrest of compañeros, nor the kettling of a demonstration. The State practices repression in everyday ways, through the classroom, through the television, through the family; at work, in the jails, in the psychiatrist’s office; the repression the State practices is also in the power relations that prevail in society, therefore, a fight against repression is a fight for the destruction of power. Without abolition and without mediation, a precise attack against the structures, the representatives and the social relations that sustain this domination.

The tiger does not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep; this is how we should move forward, without the opinions of others about us as anarchists impeding our ability to realize our dreams, as we do not seek prestige; this is how we should advance against the wind, without the repression of the State (selective or daily) being able to paralyze our struggle or keep us inactive or in constant weariness; as such, like the tiger who doesn’t lose sleep but stays wide awake, that is how we should advance in the face of all adversities, generating projects of freedom capable of subverting the relations of domination, capable of contributing to the spreading and intensification of the conflict against authority. Determination is what we have, though many become disheartened and everything seems difficult.

There is nothing left but to send a greeting of support to compañero Yorch Punk. All our solidarity to the compañero and to all compañeros facing repression, imprisoned, and those who are on the run, transgressing the laws of power.

Against power and against all authority, social war without agreement or mediation!

Some anarchists from the Mexican region, February 26, 2016

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Scott Campbell is the author of the "Insumisión," which was a featured column on It's Going Down and currently writes news and analysis on social movements and struggles, with an eye towards Mexico.

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