ContraInfo: Nearly two years ago now, we diffused a text in solidarity with antiauthoritarian comrade Diego Ríos, who has been underground since 2009 (because of the arrest warrant issued against him when his mother reported that he had stored material to manufacture explosives in a house she owned). At that time, we shared some reflections about the particularities of clandestinity for antiauthoritarian and anarchist comrades. A similar effort was made three years ago by comrades who wrote and edited the book Al Acecho (Lying in Wait); it was rooted in Diego Ríos’ case as well, and to us, it was the first text originating in Chile to address themes of clandestinity from an antiauthoritarian perspective based on a specific case. Other texts, such as the book Incógnito and the communiqués from comrade Gabriela Curilem also address anarchist/antiauthoritarian comrades’ experiences of clandestinity, a theme that seems to be infrequently discussed in these parts.
Thus, we have already shared the idea of greeting our fugitive comrades and saluting their decision to struggle and evade prison, one more action against the attempts of Power to capture those who combat it.
Today, we want to send special greetings to fugitive anarchist Felicity Ann Ryder, in accordance with the call from anonymous comrades for days of solidarity from February 21st to March 7th, 2013. We’d like to salute our comrade and let loose a few ideas about clandestinity, the fruits of individual and collective learning as we are sharpening our positions on the permanent stage of social war, with the hope of enriching our antiauthoritarian praxis. Continue reading “Chile: Sin Banderas Ni Fronteras: Words for Felicity Ryder, anarchist fugitive from Power, and reflections on clandestinity”
23 April: Vandals defaced a Liberal Party billboard in Perth just hours after it was unveiled by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
The billboard claimed more than 600 “illegal” asylum seeker boats have arrived in Australia since the Labor Party won government.
The number has since been whited out and replaced with a zero.
Also spray-painted on the billboard were the words: “No crime to seek asylum.”
The sign has subsequently been replaced with a previous Liberal Party add.
April 14: PolAir4 was conducting air patrols of Sydney’s west about 12.30am when a laser pointer was allegedly shone at the crew from a car in Hebersham.
The chopper crew alerted Mt Druitt Police, who were patrolling nearby, and they intercepted a Hyundai Elantra on Hyatts Road at Plumpton.
A 19-year-old man sitting in the passenger’s seat was arrested and a laser pointer seized.
21 April: A Papua New Guinea man has died after plummeting from the fifth floor of a southwest Sydney hospital where he was being treated after attempting to harm himself in an immigration detention centre.
Police spent more than two hours trying to negotiate with the 33-year-old, who they say was trying to throw himself out of the window at Liverpool Hospital.
A police spokesman said the man was believed to be from PNG and was in Australia illegally. An immigration department spokeswoman later said the man had been awaiting deportation. He had been taken to hospital from Sydney’s Villawood detention centre where he had attempted self-harm.
The man fell from a ledge outside the window at around 11.30am (AEST) on Saturday and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hidup Biasa: An expression of people’s desire for freedom, cries of “Papua Merdeka” continue to ring out through the cities, mountains and forests of West Papua. The struggle is against fifty years of Indonesian rule, which throughout the last half-century has violently tried to subdue Papua, in its attempts to create a unified nation from the 17,000 islands that once made up the Dutch Empire.
Freedom as expressed by the word ‘merdeka’ is primarily a call for political independence, although the word is imbued with the clear hope that a new national sovereignty would also bring a wider liberation. Even when used outside the context of nations, ‘merdeka’ carries a sense of autonomy or self-reliance; from the same Sanskrit root Indonesian also inherited the word mahardika, meaning wisdom or nobility.
Those cries of freedom are also heard from the cells of Papua’s prisons, where its absence is arguably felt more strongly than anywhere else. The struggle for a national liberation suddenly becomes much more personal and immediate when deprived of your own individual liberty, by means of police handcuffs or a judge’s order.
Prison is used as a weapon against the people and their resistance to Indonesia, and over the years thousands of Papuans have found themselves locked away from the world behind prison bars. Many were arrested for expressing their aspirations for liberation, mostly relatively peacefully, but occasionally also for taking up arms. Others were merely unlucky enough to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in the structural violence of a justice system designed to spread intimidation throughout the entire population.
It is not always straightforward to know whether and how to relate to the macro-politics of nation states and aspirations of would-be nation states, and especially for those of us who are not in Papua and who are not forced into an existence defined by ever-present violence, repression, marginalisation and resistance. But by listening to the experiences of people caught up in that system, we can understand and be inspired by the ways that they have found to withstand oppression and create an impulse for their own freedom and that of their friends, families and communities.
Here are some of the stories from Papua Prison Island, tales of some of the individuals who have felt the full force of Indonesia’s law enforcement in recent years, who have been arrested at random or deliberately targeted as activists, who have been tortured or beaten in detention, whose trials were a farce, who have suffered major illnesses with no access to proper healthcare – but who have in many cases kept their strength, their dignity and sense of solidarity intact. Continue reading “Papua: Prison Island”
18 April: A riot broke out at Pasar Minggu Station, Jakarta, when authorities attempted to evict street vendors on Thursday, April 18. A number of street vendors, aided by students from the University of Indonesia, stood up against roughly 900 officers from PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) who tore down their stalls.
The riot leads to the death of a street vendor who died because of a heart attack. Another street vendor has to suffer a broken arm from trying to stop the officials.
“Why does are our stalls being torn down?” said Tian Novita, a 27 year old street vendor. She claimed that she does not receive any notification about the eviction.
Agus Sutijono, Head of Public Relation at KAI’sJakarta Operational Region One, stated that the street vendors have been notified since December 2012. “It’s not being torn down, it’s being put in order,’ said Agus.