Mexican territory: Statement by Indigenous anarchist political prisoner Miguel Peralta to mark June 11th: International Day of Solidarity With Long Term Anarchist Prisoners. Miguel is currently appealing his 50-year sentence in the Third Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of the State of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Originally published by Voices in Movement.
The cell where I live is kind of dark. Fragments of light enter from two directions. On one side, there are the shadows of a fence with four vertical bars and four horizontal bars, all of which are not visible. Next to that, another fence can be seen but in the form of blinds, elongated, not very wide. The other side where the light enters is almost the same, but disfigured. The scarce shadows manage to reflect small figures in the shapes of small squares with different shades. Outside, in the corridor, by the window that has 24 bars covering it, is a wall, recently painted with a blue sign that says: RESTRICTED AREA.
And if you lift up your head and look, behind the wall, there are nine young almond trees, aligned, green almost all year. On more than three occasions they have been pruned, which has limited their growth. If one looks further, behind the almond trees there is an old leafy mango tree. In three years it has only come to bloom once, since the month of January. It has not produced mangos and I do not have the least idea what it needs. Even further, is a very tall coconut palm tree, approximately 25 meters in height. Its fruits are small, you almost can’t see them. Further in the distance you can look at the stars, the clouds, freedom and a bit of the universe.
Very little separates us, don’t you think? Yet we are far away. You might ask how I can see so much? The place where I am located is on the upper floor of the prison (hahahaha).
This time of the year, the heat is unbearable. You sweat at every moment. I try to get air by waving an object, a book or a shirt. Like that the night comes to an end, while I write, trying to remember to dedicate some written lines to the compas that have had long term prison sentences imposed upon them. I remember when I wrote something last year for June 11th, I still had not been sentenced to 50 years in prison. I interpreted time differently. It was like waiting for a bus to travel. I conceived the final court hearing as the correct place, space and time to take back my freedom. But in that moment, it did not happen. I had a hard time imagining, understanding and feeling how the monotonous days, years, and decades in confinement are endured. Then I imagined the compas Da Silva and Sebastián and I asked myself, what have they done to not break down, to be so strong, to endure so much humiliation from the system and its jailers, to endure the ups and downs of the day to day, the loss of loved ones and of compas to which they could not say goodbye. It seems that they only clung on to their thoughts, their actions were derived from this, they believed in what was really right. While in confinement, they preserved their human dignity and rejected humiliation.
Mumia for example, has always spread so much energy to so many compas, both inside and outside the prison. He has not allowed anxiety, sadness, injustice and the machine itself to erase the smiles of rage that come from his resistance.
Another idea that I want to share with you all is the implications of taking a political position inside prison. On the outside for example, it is easy to manifest an idea or thought and publish something on social networks. The question, I think, is how do we transform the raw material into action. Trying to be anarchists while being locked up is very difficult. We know beforehand that we will come up against the rules, the authoritarianism, the imposition of certain behaviors. Because we navigate against the current, we are stigmatized in their attempts to align and individualize us at all times.
On the other hand, there are clear warning shots from the judicial system. The legal processes will be made as slow as possible, filled with irregularities and delays. The penitentiary system has its delicate arrogance to fuck up the prisoner’s daily existence in prison. Sometimes, in the experience of isolation, remaining silent can be a strategy, at least for a certain time. We are limited in our capacities to develop ourselves in a personal and human manner. At all times, little by little, we are trying to free ourselves, the body and the spirit, passing through various emotional stages.
We struggle for water, here on the inside of the prison. Water belongs to everyone, but here it is not sufficient, neither to drink nor for other uses. We struggle against the food that they impose on us, and we struggle in our work, to not depend on the boss. We search to collectivize some of the established processes in the prison. We are against the conditional freedom that people have experienced throughout history. As such, we will continue completing and reconstructing ourselves to be free.
Greetings to all the prisoners, to all the imprisoned compas that are in confinement.
Prisoners to the street!
San Juan Bautista, Cuicatlán
Miguel Peralta , June 2019.
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