At 7:30 a.m. on Monday, April 4th, the fourth day of the “5 Days of Worldwide Action for the Bachajón 5” campaign, members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The New York Other Campaign, entered and took over the Mexican Consulate in New York City. We executed this occupation as part of this campaign to protest the cruel state repression of the dignified struggle of the ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, México, who are also adherents of The Other Campaign, as they are defending their natural resources against the plundering of transnational business disguised as an “ecotourism plan.”
In our action, like the rest of our fellow Mexicans who lined up to enter to Mexican Consulate, we passed through a pack of guards. We realized that each time we realize actions there, the security increases, and that the number of guards multiplies. There is always more each time we go. At any rate, this did not stop us. We moved forward and firmly entered that tall building located amidst the golden streets that run like veins through the heart of global capitalism.
It is here in this area of one of the world’s most expensive cities, and inside those gray skyscrapers, where decisions are made that not only fill the pockets of greedy capitalists and their policital lackeys, but also impact the lives of all the simple, humble, hardworking, and dignified people of the world.
Upon entering the consulate, we saw that, as usual, it was full of other displaced Mexican migrants like ourselves who were waiting for the government employees – the very entities who compelled us to migrate here in the first place – to assist them.
With signs and fliers in our hands, and with a profound rage in our chests, we chanted loudly. We demanded to see the Consul to read to him our letter, which denounced the violence and injustice that the bad PAN, PRD, and PRI government has meted out to the people of Bachajón and demanding that the Mexican government and its complicit employees immediately free the 5 politiical prisioners of Bachajón and that they respect the compas’ demands.
On multiple ocassions the guards attempted to remove us from the building—even via physical force. The employees tried to silence us, but they did not succeed.
A compañera from Movement read our letter aloud so that all of our fellow compatriots who were present could recognize the bad government’s misdeeds; and we shouted: “No PRI, No PAN, No PRD! The Other Campaign Against Power!” The employees and guards watched our every move and tried to intimidate us by taking out their cameras and photographing and recording our faces. We handed out informative fliers that explained the situation of our brothers and sisters of Bachajón and the grave situation our 5 compañeros are currently suffering. Towards the end of our action, the consulate officials called the police, who also attempted to silence us and get us to leave. Their fear, however, has no dignity. We foiled their intentions and continued to pass out even more fliers.
Afterwards, we returned to our community of East Harlem. Here in El Barrio, like our sisters and brothers of San Sebastián Bachajón, we fight against displacement and for dignity. We fight, also, as part of The Other Campaign so that there is justice in our Mexico, so that our people no longer have to flee the poverty, as we did. Although we are here in New York, our beloved Mexico lives on in our hearts and in our dreams. For this reason, we realized today’s action. They say in The Other Campaign that “an injury to one is an injury to all.” For the humble and simple people of El Barrio, this is not simply a saying, but rather, as we demonstrated today, a practice and action that should be our path towards justice and dignity.
That is all for now, compas. To conclude, we are including here the demands of the ejidatari@s of Bachajón in English, Spanish, and Tzeltal that we delivered to the bad government of Mexico.
We demand the unconditional freedom of our compañeros, political prisoners, who are currently hostages of the bad government of Chiapas and Mexico.
Exigimos la libertad incondicional de nuestros compañeros, presos políticos que están siendo rehenes del mal gobierno de Chiapas y de México
Ya jsutik te ak’a kolok’ ta chukel te mololabtik ta oranax ma’ xu’ ya yich’ k’anbeyel smulta, na’otik te chopol awalil ja’ nax la xchuk yu’un ta spobeyel te lumsk’inal son te sk’ulejal te banti nakal, ta slumal Chiapa ta sk’inal México.
We demand respect for our mother earth, lands, and territories within the framework of our autonomy as indigenous peoples.
Exigimos el respeto a nuestra madre tierras y territorios en el marco de nuestra autonomía como pueblos indígenas que somos.
Ya jsutik te yich’el ta muk’ te jch’ul jmetik ta spamal lum k’inal sok chapanel xkulejal te ja yu’un stalel te bats’il ants winiketik.
We demand respect for our right to administer and care for our natural resources according to our culture as native peoples.
Exigimos el respeto a nuestro derecho a administrar y cuidar nuestros recursos naturales desde nuestra cultura como pueblos originarios.
Ya jsutik ta yich’el ta muk’ te cocheltik sok skanantayel sok yilel te bitik sk’ulejal te jch’ul jmetik lum k’inal jich bin útil xkuxlejal te bats’il ants winiketik.