MEXICAN CONSULATE SHUTS DOWN IN FACE OF PROTEST FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN NEW YORK DEMANDING FREEDOM FOR POLITICAL PRISONERS OF ATENCO
On the third anniversary of state repression against the people of Atenco, the Mexican Consulate in New York was “taken over” by the pro-zapatista group Movement for Justice in El Barrio.
Authorities decided to close down the Consulate for the entire day.
During a press conference the Consul, who was very angry, denounced and blamed the members of The Other Campaign New York.
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN NEW YORK
MOVEMENT FOR JUSTICE IN EL BARRIO
To our sisters and brothers from the People’s Front in Defense of the Land:
To our Zapatista sisters and brothers:
To our compañer@s of the Other Campaign:
To our compañer@s from the Zezta Internazional:
To our compañer@s who are adherents of the International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio and our allies from all over the world:
Receive this greeting in solidarity from the women, men, and children, those marginalized in society who belong to the Other Campaign New York, Movement for Justice in El Barrio, in Zapatista East Harlem.
Today, May 4, 2009, the Other Campaign New York took over the Mexican Consulate in New York to demand the liberation of the 12 political prisoners who have been brutally repressed for resisting neoliberal urbanization projects that are destructive to human life and culture, specifically the construction of an airport in Atenco, and for protecting displaced flower vendors in Texcoco.
Today, on this third anniversary of the repression, the arrests, the violations, the torture, and the breaking and entering made by the military police in Atenco, a delegation of members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio succeeded in entering the offices of the Consulate of Mexico in New York despite the fact that these offices have been under strict and tightened security since precisely 3 years ago when Mexicans of The Other Campaign New York with real heart and memory, demanded the liberation of the political prisoners of Atenco. We succeeded in entering the offices to hold a non-violent protest demanding the immediate release of the prisoners of Atenco.
Once inside, the compañer@s of the Other Campaign New York, amongst the clamor of: “Freedom for political prisoners (Presos politicos, libertad)!, Liberty, liberty, to those prisoners for fighting (Libertad, libertad, a los presos por luchar)!, We are all Atenco (Todos Somos Atenco)!”, along with other chants, and with our signs, some with prison bars to look like a cell, and also with bandanas, gave out to our fellow country men and women at the Consulate DVD’s of the video "Breaking the Siege", about the repression in Atenco, and informational flyers where we explain our main demands.
Later, we demanded to speak with the consul Ruben Beltran in order to give him a letter of demands. First, they told us that he was not there because he was in Mexico, but we knew that this was a lie, since the day before the consul was in El Barrio at an event proselytizing for PAN during the imposed Cinco de Mayo celebration.
After a while, the authorities of the Consulate told us that the Consul was in New York but that he could not be found in the Consulate, and they closed consular services to the public, asking all of their clients to abandon the offices. By the end of our action, the consul arrived. We gave him a giant size letter on a poster-board with the following demands:
1. Liberty for the political prisoners in Atenco.
2. Cancel the arrest warrants for those 2 who are being persecuted.
3. Revoke and appeal the sentences.
4. Complete respect for the human rights of the detained and the persecuted.
5. Punishment for those responsible for the violations of human rights.
The consul, Rubén Beltrán, first told us that he was open to engage in dialogue with all Mexican people in New York and listen to all opinions, but then blamed us – and our cause, the liberation of the prisoners in Atenco – for having closed the services of the Consulate and for having left so many people & unattended.
We consider that the consul’s reaction is an act of great injustice and cynicism, since ifthe Mexican government would not torture, kill, rape and unjustly incarcerate its people for resisting its doing business with huge transnational companies that turn everything even water into merchandise, these things would not have to happen.
Nonetheless, we are satisfied for having done this successful protest for the liberation of the martyrs of Atenco, and now we know that many Mexicans in New York will be able to inform themselves through alternative media like the DVD "Breaking the Siege".
Afterwards, in the afternoon of this same day, the press was convened to gather at the Consulate for another event, and the consul took advantage to denounce us, and say that because of us the Consulate had to close for the entire workday. In this early evening event, the consul showed the press photographs of us from distinct angles. In this respect it was clear that our demonstration was peaceful. If he had retaliated against us for having exercised our right to freedom of expression in Mexican territory (as is in whatever representation of the Mexican government in other countries), this means that the Consulate’s authorities would have been violating our rights, just as they don’t respect the rights of the people of Atenco.
It brings us much pain that dignified fighters for social justice, the real defenders of our land and our country, remain in prison. We will not rest until they are liberated. Human beings are not merchandise. They can’t move us & place us anywhere they wish so that they can build airports and hotels, not in Atenco, nor in Agua Azul, nor in our Barrio in East Harlem.
From the Other Campaign New York, fraternally:
¡WE ARE ALL ATENCO!
¡FREEDOM FOR POLITICAL PRISONERS OF ATENCO!
Movement for Justice in El Barrio, New York, May 4, 2009