Rob van Kranenburg on Fri, 29 Jul 2005 14:35:40 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure.


Thought people might be interested in seeing this--a letter from members
of the NYC chapter of Critical Resistance ( in
response to the new initiative coming out of the Zapatistas 6th


Dear Zapatista Sisters and Brothers,

         Thank you for sharing with us your story of struggle and resistance in the
Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. We send you greetings and are writing to
express our solidarity, and would like to share with you a little bit of our
story=97some of which we are sure you already know.

     Critical Resistance, our organization, is currently a national network with
ten chapters throughout the country.  We are a young organization, less than five
years old. We are all inspired by the dignified struggle of the Zapatistas and
many of us have worked to inform others in the U.S.A. of your word.

         We live in a settler country where the "Indian Wars" are still being
fought--on the reservation, in the cities and in the prisons. We live in a country
built by enslaved African and indentured migrant labor. And it is still this way,
although sometimes with a different face. And this is not disconnected from the
pain and suffering that the bad government of the U.S.A. gives throughout the world
as part of a global Military Industrial Complex almost half of which is fueled with
the taxes from our labor.

         Many in the United States rose up in rebellion, mass movements, and
national liberation struggles of people of color in the 1960s and 1970s. These were
met with increased funding and power for police organizations Our prison population
has grown from 200,000 in the 1980=92s to over 2.1 million today, which means that
one quarter of the prisoners of the world are held in the U.S.A. These prisons are
a way to control "unwanted populations": people of Indigenous, African, Latino,
Asian cultures, queer folks, and poor/working class people of all races. Black and
Latina women are the fastest growing population of prisoners in the U.S.A.

         This system is a system of profit and we call this the Prison Industrial
Complex =96 the relation of large multinational businesses and government that
profit off the construction, maintenance, and labor of jails and prisons.  Prisons
are places where a form of slavery is still practiced, and protected by the courts,
the lawmakers, and the businesses.  To end this system, we continue the proud
tradition of struggle in the U.S.A., as "new abolitionists" who continue to seek
liberation, self-determination, and the kinds of safety that do not rely on caging,
controlling, and killing.

         Knowing that our actions and labor within the U.S.A. have global
consequences, we continue to stand in solidarity with the EZLN as you move into
your new national and =93intergalactic=94 initiatives. We hope we will be able to
participate and share struggle in this new initiative. Many of us have visited you
already thanks to the hard work of Estacion Libre and other organizations. We hope
that in this new initiative, we will find a way together to create a dialogue about
how we all can resist policing and imprisonment.

         As only a few of us from the New York City chapter of Critical Resistance
are able to work on this letter, we have included our mission statement here so you
can see some words that we have all written together:
         Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the
Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling
people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and
freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of
global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement
requires that it reflect communities most affected by the PIC.

Con Cario y Solidaridad,
Members of Critical Resistance - NYC

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