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Anarchists Unite! The kids are alright.

15 April 2008

I don’t know if any of us know what was behind the anti-emo outbreaks. Daniel Hernandez did some very good reporting on the weirdness of it all, Burro Hall was bemused and John Ross tried to fit it into some class-conflict straight-jacket.

All of them (as did I) took it for granted that the punks were somehow involved… the prevailing sense being that either the emos — as apolitical bourgeois kids — were an affront to the grittier, politicized punks, or that the punks were the tools of the right wing, and used to justify gay bashing.

If nothing else, the fact that this manifesto was printed on a website for the gay bourgeois changes the way we need to think about the incident(s). They were not some simple “Sharks v. Jets” rumble, nor teenage hormones run amok, nor class warfare… at least not the class war we thought. I can’t say I understand the situation — but it seems that what the punks and anarcho-punks are claiming is that they too are victims of conformist attitudes and the same conservative forces that have always wanted to control Mexican culture and life… and the kids may be right.

My inadequate translation (apologies… I did this at one in the A.M., after a very long day that started at 7… and I didn’t get a siesta) is from the original posted on Ser Gay On Line (9 April 2008):

BECAUSE WE EXIST… WE ARE A THREAT

We, the several groups, collective and individuals of the punk and anarcho-punk movement, wish to reaffirm the authenticity of our position in the fight against the state and the neo-liberal capitalist system. We are anti-capitalist.

We deny the reports in La Jornada (Sunday, 9 March 2008), local newspapers and on television, of our participation in the attacks inflicted by the young people connected to the “EMO” culture, and while we reiterate that we attacked no one; we defend the right to be different, to select one’s style of clothing, of thought, and of sexual preference.

The photograph in La Jornada is at odds with the headline, in that punk, metalero, ska, and darkeo youths do not appear in the photo; but one does observe a group of adolescents in fashionable clothing watching the fight, and in the film, and adult striking an “emo”.

We punks and anarcho-punks have always have been stigmatized, isolated, rejected and repressed by different governments: in our own society, as much in Querétaro, in México [City] as in the rest of the world. We are an anti-authoritarian group searching for a free society, we are against no other group, and we do not seek power.

La creación de diferencias y provocaciones entre los diferentes grupos culturales y estilos musicales, siempre han sido actos de Gobierno apoyados por grupos burgueses; no debemos olvidar que Querétaro es uno de los estados donde opera el Yunque como lo pueden constatar la preparación paramilitar de jóvenes en la zona serrana denominados “Aves Azules” (Diario Monitor, 16 de agosto 2006).

The creation of differences and provocations among different cultural groups and musical styles, have always been acts of Government supported by the bourgeois; we should not forget that Querétaro is one of the states where “el Yunque” [a shadowy group of wealthy reactionaries, tied to Opus Dei and fascism] conducts paramilitary training for young people, in the mountainous “Aves Azules” region (Diario Monitor, 16 August 2006).

We have several doubts about what happened:

  • This incident was not the only time such incidents have occurred, especially when youths appropriating space in the central city is involved. The difference this time was that . ON other occasions, especially when youths are appropriating space in the central city “municipal guards” were not used to dislodge the youths, and to push them to the peripheries of the central city, because they give a bad image to the tourists. In time, they have pushed out the darkeos, the punks, the ska, and indigenous vendors and artisans accustomed to selling their wares in these areas.

  • What is new is that mass communications – the most powerful of the day – are playing a major role in bombarding the public with lies, when they should be telling the truth: it is a failure of professionalism and ethics in line with the saying, “If it bleeds, it leads.”. The newspapers and the television stations, local and national, competed for impact. Some said there were 200, others 100, and still others mentioned 2000 persons involved in the attacks. Unable to agree even on the numbers, we are not sure that they had the least idea of what a punk is, or what their struggle is about.

  • Authorities now claim they knew of the planned assaults before Friday, 7 March. If this is so, then why did they not mount a “preventive strike” instead of allowing the situation to come to a boil? We know the area is heavily monitored on weekends.

  • We know that among the groups with power, there are those who have decided to use human rights issue to justify new laws, and propose constitutional change. Were the recent actions provoked by officials to sway public opinion?

Y así nos podríamos ir haciendo preguntas sobre lo ocurrido. Pero éste documento solo es para mencionar que los punk no caemos en esas provocaciones, pensamos que estos hechos deben pensarse y analizarse más a fondo, la reflexión debe ir más allá de comprendernos o hacer proyectos para que los chavos tengan un lugar en la sociedad, lo ocurrido trae un origen político y sus consecuencias se desprenderán para reforzar la exclusión, la represión, el hostigamiento y la vigilancia, al final de cuentas estas condiciones son la única alternativa para los jóvenes que denuncien lo jodido de la sociedad y se avientan a cometer el peor de los delitos del mundo, en el país y en Querétaro, el ser diferentes y críticos.

And thus we have our questions about what happened. But the single document that mentions punks did not provoke them. Upon reflection, and after thought and analysis we have concluded that the plans for youth in our society have a political origin, the results of which are exclusion, repression, harassment and monitoring, which in the end leaves youth only one alternative: to denounce society as fucked-up and commit the worst crime in the world, in the country, and in Querétaro: to be different and critical.

We are not as Violent as they believe, nor as peaceful as they want!!!

A people who do not know their history are condemned to repeat it.

Que la cultura y la enseñanza aspiren al aprendizaje de la libertad y no de la sumisión y la división de los de abajo, ser libre es el verdadero camino, solo hay que construirlo para caminarlo.

For culture and learning to aspire lean liberty and not submission and division among the lower classes, the only thing necessary is to learn to be free.

Groups, collectives and individual punks and anarcho-punks.

2008

COPY AND DISTRIBUTE

The actual wording was “la nota más alarmante y amarillista es la mejor”, which makes no sense. I substituted the cynical TV news cliche instead.

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