Interview with Foxy 6 Defense Team about Repression against Zapatista Supporters in LA

On November 14, 2012, six individuals were beaten and arrested across the street from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, where the ex-president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, was speaking. Of those protesting for an end to violence against indigenous Zapatista communities, six demonstrators were arrested. Four of those are facing multiple felony charges, while two have misdemeanor charges. The “Foxy 6″ are all currently fighting the unjust charges together, united in continuing their struggle for justice wherever it takes them. One of those arrested was held in jail for two months on $100,000 bail before being bailed out, and money is currently being raised to meet the continuing payments for his bail, as well as for the costs of legal representation. The Foxy Six bail and legal defense fund’s wepay page can be found on their website: foxysix.tumblr.com

A few weeks ago, we met up in Oakland with some members of the Foxy 6 Defense Team from Los Angeles to hear about what happened that day and to learn about the case.

Listen to the interview by clicking HERE

Check out these videos about what happened:

 

Foxy 6 Defense Team: Statement of Facts

In the fall of 2012, supporters of the indigenous communities affiliated with the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, Mexico, released a worldwide call to action in support of the autonomous communities. Paramilitary groups long protected by the Mexican government had once again launched violent attacks against the Zapatista peasant farmers, displacing entire communities from their collectively farmed lands.

The struggle of the Zapatista base communities to defend their dignity, culture, and right to autonomy as indigenous peoples has served as an inspiration to people throughout the world.  When the call for solidarity, or ‘Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas’ was issued, it drew the attention  of many activists from around Southern California. The ‘Wordwide Echo’ asked supporters to call upon representatives of the Mexican government to end the violence against the indigenous communities of Chiapas. In response, the activists in Los Angeles planned two actions, one flyering a speech by former Mexican President Vicente Fox, the second a gathering at MacArthur Park near the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles.

On Wednesday, November 14th, about thirty people gathered to demonstrate outside of the speech of former Mexican President Vicente Fox at the Pasadena Civic Center. The demonstrators distributed fliers detailing President Fox’s role in perpetuating violence against the indigenous peoples of Mexico. While Vicente Fox had vowed to implement the San Andres Peace Accords respecting the rights of indigenous communities, he had instead gutted those agreements and dramatically escalated military presence in the indigenous communities. Most tragically, Mr. Fox protected those responsible for the massacre of forty-five Christian pacifists, mostly women and children, who had supported the Zapatistas’ calls for justice.

Unfortunately, the Pasadena Police did not seem to value the demonstrators’ right to speak freely on this topic. Immediately upon the arrival of the first activists to the scene, the police began selectively excluding people who they identified as protesters from the public sidewalk in front of the Civic Center, claiming that a last minute permit closed the sidewalk to anyone except ticketed guests of Fox’s speech. In practice, this meant that anyone who seemed like they were there for purposes besides exercising their first amendment rights was allowed to pass through, loiter and mingle on the supposedly closed sidewalk, including some of those who were actually participating in the demonstration. As soon as the police could identify anyone on the sidewalk who seemed to them like a demonstrator, they proceeded to threaten that person with arrest if they did not stay off of the public sidewalk in front of the Civic Center.

Immediately after Fox’s speech had begun and the last of the crowd had entered the auditorium, the police made their first arrest, handcuffing a young demonstrator who had been waved into the ‘closed’ area by an officer who claimed to have not realized she was a demonstrator. It seems likely that she was allowed to pass, while her companions she was walking with were stopped, because her white skin made the officers feel that she was someone who belonged in that space. One of the commanding officers, Sergeant Crees, then began following one of the other demonstrators back towards the main group on the other side of the road. Upon entering the unsuspecting crowd, Officer Crees and other officers who were supporting him, began to strike the demonstrators with fists and batons, and pull out demonstrators for arrest. Numerous demonstrators were hurt by the blows, including a father and his young daughter, and a pregnant woman.

Of those protesting for an end to violence against indigenous Zapatista communities, six demonstrators were arrested. Four of those are facing multiple felony charges, while two have misdemeanor charges. All are currently fighting the unjust charges together, united in continuing their struggle for justice wherever it takes them. One of those arrested was held in jail for two months on $100,000 bail before being bailed out, and money is currently being raised to meet the continuing payments for his bail, as well as for the costs of legal representation.

The Foxy Six bail and legal defense fund’s wepay page can be found on their website: foxysix.tumblr.com

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