Are there any similarities between human and animal prisons?

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We will never be able to pit in the same level of suffering between humans and animals, but this text reflects a little the implications of prison on any individual that values its freedom…

To answer this question we must, without doubt, answer many more, such as:

What similarities are there between the behaviour of humans and animals similar to him?

Does it condition the captivity in equal ways to certain traits in the human and animal counterpart?

Hence, this search shouldn’t fall into anthropomorphism differentiated by typical human traits of animals and the influence of society over them. Avoiding dualisms, the contamination of thought with the desire to achieve a useful result or the collapse of the simplification of the analysis.

We understand that the comparison of the captive subject – animal or human- has been practically impossible until the penetration of libertarian ideas in the field of animal rights. Generally the detained is analysed, human, from a psychological or sociological approach whilst the animal prisoner is attempted to be understood through zoology –or its branch called ethology that specifically studies the behaviour of animals-. These disciplines rarely cross theirselves and this is how they are written about animal behaviour in zoological captivity are extremely careful in comparing its results with prison for humans, for obvious reasons. Comparing a human being to an animal is still considered to be an insult, along with animal behaviour. It is not compared to ours to justify the consequent exploitation.

To speak about the similarities between the prison environment and the zoos in the first place we must break the big taboo, the taboo of jail, that place which nobody wants to see, that place where supposedly the scum of society is found. Where they surely have a bad time, but we continue believing that it is necessary to reform them so that they fit into society or to simply punish them. Let’s see then, how this punishment is and if we can draw anything to light by comparing them to captive animals. We must remember that “the animals” are composed by all living beings with certain alimentation and cellular structure, however here we are going to particularly refer to the animals with clear similarities to us like mammals, birds, vertebrates in general that are more used for zoological exhibitions. These animals share with us many behaviours and senses, let’s see how they react to these traits in incarcerated life:

I will base here the work from “THE EFFECTS OF JAIL ON THE PRISONER: CONSEQUENCES OF PENITENTIARY DETENTION” by Dr. Jesús Valverde Molina

In his work the doctor tells us that “All human conduct is adaptable” and that “the conduct is adapted to the environment in which the person is living in”. Here, apparently there would be no significant difference with animals, as their behaviour is adaptable and connected to their surroundings. On a zoological level the inevitable question arises: adaptable on an individual level or species level? Here is the point in which vertebrates that we analyse are effectively influenced by the surroundings of the zoo.

The Dr. Continues with “what is formulated as personal characteristic that bring the unequipped behaviour are not “healthy” mechanisms of adaptation in jail, strategies of survival. This is significant in the comparison with the conduct of animals. Let’s reflect a second on this. The “sick” behaviour could be a “healthy” adaptation to the sick conditions from their surroundings? The same Dr. tells is then: “What is “crazy” is the context of the jail, not the conduct that is adapted to that environment”. To understand the conduct we must understand the surroundings. Here we will think of both cases: prison and zoos.

How is the architecture?

– Based on the function of security

– Differences in the “existing space” and the “available space” wild captive animals in small cells see, effectively, a big space in front of them, a space that they can’t access, destined to human beings

– Restriction of mobility

– The physical overcrowding (jails are big, but not for the prisoner)

– The Psychological overcrowding

– De-personalized space (standardized, without any possibility to count on material outside of the place for the construction of tenements, nest, bed, a non-place or in the best cases of zoos a built place with the criteria of a professional human in charge)

How is the use of time and space?

– Inhospitable, reduced and dangerous space (we must ask ourselves if for the animals their stay in the zoos is considered by them constant danger. Surrounded by human beings, noises and a modified environment which makes many of the wild animals feel threatened. It is something that leaves as time passes or do they continue in this state of constant fear all the time?)

– Nothing to do and not being able to do anything

– The participation of strangers in the prison

– “In jail you don’t like 365 days each year, but a day 365 times”

– Life in the yard (and the life in the enclosure for wild animals)

– The absence of activities (walking or sitting down)

– Consequences of the stay in the yard:

– A general feeling of emptiness (we don’t know what the wild animals are feeling because they can’t explain to us things that happen, through their behaviour we can predict certain things and we find common grounds between human animal captive behaviour we can understand better what happens)

– A constant state of anxiety (observed especially in zoos)

– Obsessive thoughts and conversations (can we suppose the existence of obsessive thoughts in the case of wild animals who show clear signs of “zoocosis”? Moving from one side to another, trying to exit the compound? Obsessive conducts are known in animals and are generally linked to life in captivity

– Definite loss of decision-making skills

– The personal staff (the uniform, defence and punishment methods)

– The efficacy (things must be done in a certain way to not allow any chance for escape)

– The formation (equal through the personal in prisons and zoos: security rules, treatment with the captive – it’s best not to engage on an emotional level with any captives-, a work routine: feeding hours, cleaning, sleeping timetables)

– The relationships between officials and prisoners (them vs us, an important dualism in the case of prisons due to what is considered criminal and a differentiation between man-animal- negating the physical and psychological suffering of captive animals)

– The volunteer staff (visitors in the case of zoos)

Therefore, there are similarities in the regulation for the prisoners:

– The regulation as a restriction of life

– The regulation as a system of domination

 

CONSEQUENCES OF PRISON ON THE PRISONERS

 

  1. SOMATIC CONSEQUENCES.-

 

1.1. SENSATORIAL PROBLEMS

 

1.1.1. Vision.

– Rupture of the space

– Lighting contrasts (sunglasses)

– Scarce contrast of colours (absence of warm colours)

– Consequences:

– Headaches

– Deformation of visual perceptions

– Special perturbations

– Impoverishment of life (a world in black of white). In zoos it was very common to see cement precincts, practically without vegetation for the captive animals. In these conditions it would be possible for alterations in their vision. These aspects are not easy to perceive in animals and rarely does a zoo know the terrible states in which their animals live in.

1.1.2. Hearing.

– High level of noise

– Permanent noise

– Consequences:

– Auditive problems.

– Concentration problems.

– Monotony of sounds (The majority of zoos in the world are in the big cities, metres away from roads, with hundreds of people that visit it daily)

1.1.3. Taste.

– Insipid food (this is common in zoos with little resources and budgets – mainly in Argentina – and all its jails)

– Poverty in the diversity of flavours (how many flavours can be perceived by animals that live in captivity? How many would be capable of perceiving in their natural environment?)

1.1.4. Sense of smell.

– Jails smell (zoos smell, generally, even worse)

– Lack of smell

 

1.2. PERSONAL IMAGE ALTERATIONS

1º) Deficit in the perception of their own body.

– Two types of phenomenon:

– Loss of the image of their own body

– Lack of intimacy has grave consequences for everybody’s identity. (Many zoos are built so that animals can’t hide from visitors or have any privacy)

– Effects on their own body image (avoiding looking into mirrors). It is known that some animals identify with the first individual they see when they are born, so what happens when animals in zoos have more contact with humans than with their own species?

– Can’t measure distances (confusion between the limits of their own body and surroundings, especially those closed in isolation). Lots of captive animals in zoos are condemned to solitude.

2º) Lack of personal care

– Lack of personal hygiene

– Deficiency in installations

– Loss of motivation to clean theirselves

 

1.3. MUSCULAR TENSIONS

– Stiff muscles

– Causes:

– Excess fat in diet

– Scarce mobility (reduced space to assure the spectacle and entertainment)

– Anxiety (typical in captive animals)

– Feeling of danger (by being surrounded by humans constantly)

– Consequences:

– Frequent muscular contractions

– Pains

– Sleep alterations (common in captive animals)

– Rigid movements (symptom of “zoocosis”, an illness in zoos)

 

  1. PSICOSOCIAL CONSEQUENCES.-

 

2.1. EVERY DAY LIFE.-

– “Total context” (all life is structured around the jail)

– Consequences in jail:

– Exaggeration of situations (relevancy of little things)

– “living the jail”

– Previous consequences:

– “Stuck in time” (liberating a wild animal from a zoo with relative success is a very hard task. Unless rehabilitation is provided these animals would simply not be able to have a natural life: submissive or too aggressive in their pairs, incapable of reproducing. It is very necessary to expand studies to understand the drawbacks for their free lives after captivity. Dependency on somebody? The inability to handle their lives? These are huge parallelisms to human beings. Maybe we will find more answers forward one…)

– Difficulty to elaborate future projects

 

2.2. AGRESSIVE SELF-AFFIRMATION OR SUBMISSION

FACING THE INSTITUTION.-

– Power structures on jail (perception of vulnerability for the inmate)

–Necessity for self-affirmation to maintain self-esteem

– Jail as a form of annihilation (wild animals can’t understand human motivations. They don’t know why they have kidnapped them, so there is constant tension)

– Choice between extremes: confrontation vs submission

1º) Confrontation:

– Diagnosis: mechanisms of survival, adaptation to the penitentiary system. (We are all guided by circumstances: if the puma doesn’t show its teeth it won’t be feared)

– Confrontation as an indicator of mental health (In animals this is observed all the time: when they are captured they resist a lot, bit, try to escape, and after – as their mental health declines- they begin to domesticate theirselves and lose a lot of the capacity for confrontation.)

Consequences:

– In jail: institutional hardening

– In freedom: no recognition of the damage (captive animals normally show theirselves more aggressive with their captors and with their own pairs. This conduct can persist unless there is a proper rehabilitation)

 

2.3. ALTERATIONS ON SEXUALITY.-

1º) Sexual relationships:

– The “vis a vis” (intimate relationships)

– There are no times for subtleties (“fast, fast”). A very interesting study in “Interpreting animals” from Temple Grandin describes how rescued chickens from factories were incapable of appropriately courting hens and they raped them. The idea that everything is instinct in animal life is a thing of the past, we now know how complex the world is and what we have in common: learning from pairs, socializing in a natural environment.

– Bedrooms (animals are all the time visible for the public)

Consequences:

– In jail:

– Brutalization of sex (In the case of chickens it should be noted that the real test of a free animal is being able to reproduce – and find a couple- as in the world of natural selection anything they have missed in captivity can cause their inability to reproduce)

– Frigidity in the couple

– In freedom:

– Sexual poverty – sexual rigidity (absence of fantasies)

– Problems with couples (of course we are not going to talk about sexual fantasies in animals, but it is clear that courting is fundamental and animals don’t learn this in zoos, in fact, it is difficult for them to reproduce in captivity. Lack of desire? Maybe the high level of stress that they constantly are exposed to prevents them from reproducing.)

 

2º) Masturbation.-

– Absence of fantasies

– Constant relief for the absence of pleasure (This is often seen in captive animals. They masturbate all the time due to lack stimulation, it is a behaviour described as “zoocosis”)

 

ABSENCE OF CONTROL OF THEIR OWN LIVES

– A powerful institutional situation, violent and normalised and hierarchized relationships centred on domination.

– The prisoner has practically no control over their own lives.

 

2.4. PERMANENT STATE OF ANXIETY

– In prison they are always in danger

– Constant state of anxiety, which will be generalized in all types of situations

– This leads them to live with more anxiety in permanent situations in their lives in jail, increasing risk situations.

 

2.5. LOSS OF VINCULATIONS (Comparable with kidnapped animals in their natural habitat)

– The entrance in prisons means immediate isolation

– Consequences in jails:

– Restriction of personal relations

– Gradual loss of connections

– The time of jail as empty time content.

– The notion of exterior reality will be loss.

– Memories will slowly distort and idealize.

 

2.6. LANGUAGE.-

– Language as an element of exclusion:

– Exclusive verbal terms from jail

– Peculiar intonation

– Different gesticulation

These are only some ideas, vague notions of what happens in jail and in zoos with prisoners. It is necessary to investigate doing funded comparisons, more scientifically corroborated, as those who write are simply amateurs that wants to raise attention on these similarities so that we try to understand better prisoners and animals that are captive.

https://semilladeliberacion.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/existe-alguna-similitud-mas-alla-de-las-evidentes-entre-los-zoologicos-y-las-carceles-para-las-humanas/

The facts were taken by the work of Dr. Jesús Valverde Molina http://www.me.gov.ar/curriform/publica/valverde_efec_carcel.pdf and internet in general, I recommend this page to understand more about zoocosis or zoo illness: http://www.infozoos.org/comportamientosaberrantes.php

Translated by Pietro Casati

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The youth of the Paris banlieue

We regularly hear the same tall tale about the youth of the Paris banlieue: the teenagers out demonstrating and “burning bins” supposedly don’t even know why they’re even doing it, other than for the fun of wreaking havoc… because they’re supposedly “depoliticised”.

During the 2005 banlieue revolts, we already heard the same old tune of “depoliticisation”, chanted by practically all the political and union “leaders”, by all the televised “experts” and other licensed (and, above all, subsidised) imbeciles, from the far right to the far left (including certain “libertaires”, for instance those of Alternative Libertaire).

Those who, today as in the past, in all their great “wisdom”, give such disdainful and peremptory speeches, would do well to take a long hard look at the truth rather than gaze down at their own navel.

The truth is that many banlieue teenagers, many of those who protest, have seen, often from birth, their parents slave away to make it the next paycheck. They know (because it’s a fact of daily life for them and those around them) what “employment” means in our society. They know that it means mothers forced to work nights “cleaning offices” for three quid six pence, that it means fathers going off to the temp agencies, for nothing of for insecure, dangerous, underpaid jobs. They know that it means brothers, sisters forced to humiliate themselves to “prove” they applied for jobs when everyone knows full well that there aren’t any. They know all that. They know that there’s a huge amount of children living in poverty in France (2.4 million in 2011, probably many more in 2016!), [1] because many of them do too. They know, first hand, that hundreds of thousands of children and teenagers can’t eat their fill every day, [2] to quasi-general indifference. And the poorest among them live (and have sometimes done so for years now) in “social hotels” and other dumps… And all these young people supposedly have no reason to revolt? Do you think that when their hear all the El-Khomry-esque gibberish, that they don’t understand, one might say “instinctively”, that things are going to get worse? Not just for their “future”, but even for their day-to-day existence!

Yes, their perception of society’s is confused. Yes, they’re caught up in contradictions (but they’re hardly alone to be). Yes, they dream the dreams that they’re fed by the media (earn lots of money, fast). Yes, they’re laboured by reactionary ideologies, by conspiracy-theory beliefs… Yes, but there are also many “political” things that they experience every day and that they understand, sometimes “in depth”, even if they don’t have the “right words” to put on them. “It is monstrous to pretend that those who haven’t spoken have nothing to say”, argued André Gide in an antifascist meeting in 1933. [3] Because just as our banlieue teenagers, those who don’t “speak up” are often those who would have the most to say, even if they don’t have the “means” to do so.

Besides, among all the “negative” things we can find in the banlieue youths, they’re perhaps not so different from the the town-centre ones (who are also brimming with conspiracy theories and reactionary ideologies…). However the dominant discourse doesn’t accuse the latter of being “depoliticised and lost”. Such a difference in characterisation between them raises questions. There is, of course, several reasons for this. The most important is probably that those in power don’t want a junction to form between these two worlds, that the youth of the banlieue “descend upon” Paris. The denigrating treatment they receive is meant to keep them in place, to keep them far from the capital city.

CNT-AIT Paris-Banlieue

http://www.cntaittoulouse.lautre.net/spip.php?article808

Translation notes: Banlieue : suburban area (here specifically, low-income housing projects). Libertaire : libertarian, but in the original sense, that means left-libertarian (unlike the way the word libertarian is sometimes used in the US, “libertaire” cannot be used to described so-called ancaps).

Notes:

[1] Figures from the 2011-2012 report of the Observatoire National de la Pauvreté et de l’Exclusion Sociale

[2] Before accusing us of miserabilism, take a moment to think over these words from someone in charge of the Secours populaire : “Each year, we enable children from families experiencing financial difficulties to go on holiday. Upon their return, we ask them what they liked best… The colour of the Mediterranean Sea or the heights of the Eiffel tower that they had never seen before? No, many among them tell us that what marked them most was the fact that they received three meals a day! This lack of food in their daily lives is alarming!”  (Reference:http://education.francetv.fr/matiere/actualite/ce2/article/en-france-des-millions-d-enfants-ne-mangent-pas-tous-les-jours-a-leur-faim)

[3] André Gide, Littérature engagée, texts collected by Yvonne Davet, NRF Gallimard, 1950.

Special report on Fracking

Fracking-A-Look-Back_hero

What is fracking?

Fracking or hydraulic fracture is an unconventional method of extraction of natural gas, also known as “shale gas”. This gas, fundamentally composed by methane, is found stored in small pores or impermeable rock bubbles, normally of schist or slate, located thousands of metres below the surface. “Unconventional gases” are denominated to those that for their cost or difficulty of extraction are less profitable. However, with the advance of extractivist technologies, these gases can be catalogued as conventional in a short period of time.

The hydraulic fracture consists in “breaking” or “fracturing” the mother rock that contains the gas for its extraction. For this a perforation technique is used: firstly the surface is drilled for up to 5000 metres vertically and after that several horizontal kilometres are also perforated (from 1, 5 to 5 km). After this water with sand are injected with great pressure (98%). It should be noted that this water and sand also contain a series of chemical additives (2%). This provokes small explosions that fracture the rocks and liberate the gas, which ascends from the surface through a pit. The sand mixture is in charge of keeping the fracture open in order to constantly keep obtaining gas. Part of the injected mixture returns to the Surface (between 15 to 85%¹), whilst the rest ends up in uncertain places.

The usual step in these types of exploitations is to build platforms that contain between 6 and 12 pits of extraction, in order to allow the surface of the terrain that occupies the platform to be composed by tens of hectares. To this we must add that the pits have a very useful brief life, which allows the occupied surface by the platforms to occupy a huge area of a territory.

WHY FRACKING?

Currently, even though natural gas consumption is booming, electrical energy (primarily generated thanks to petroleum and the own consumption of fossil fuels) represents around 80% of the global energy consumption. On the other hand, the extraction of conventional natural gas possesses an energy return on investment (EROI) of between 1 to 6 and unconventional or “shale gas” between 0, 7 and 13, 3. These are ridiculous numbers compared to the current energy return on investment of petroleum, which can have rates of 100.

Then, why invest millions of euros in its extraction? This is easy to explain if we analyse the current energy crisis. There are many studies, books and publications that have invested their efforts into demonstrating and studying that we have achieved the peak oil process and that the new petroleum pits discovered possess less fuel of worse quality, bigger cost of extraction and, therefore, less EROI. This theory is easily predictable by simply analysing the spectacular increase of the price of fossil fuel.

We survive in a system completely dependent on fossil fuel and electrical energy generated by the these same ones, which also base their system of social domination on energy control. It would be stupid or ingenuous by our part to think that the big defenders of this social domination system, which include huge petroleum companies, were not going to reinvent theirselves so that the end of cheap petroleum doesn’t suppose a threat to their businesses, privileges and social control power. It is here where fracking serves as a tool to delay the discovery of new alternative energy sources. By improving extractivist technologies and conducting explorations in many places of the planet, the gas reserves will be able to be maintain their energy system for a short period of time and prevent the explosion of a true energy catastrophe, which doesn’t benefit in the slightest big petroleum multinationals.

WHY OPPOSE THE HYDRAULIC FRACTURE?

There are many varied motives to oppose the extraction of unconventional gas. It is obvious that such an aggressive extractivist method will provoke a series of environmental problems.

On the one hand it is of vital importance to highlight the contamination of aquifers and subterranean waters, created due to the filtration of the mixture that is injected in the pits for the extraction of gas. These 600 chemical substances injected into the surface, many of them carcinogenic, end up in subterranean waters and will consequently be consumed by all human beings and animals, thus generating a chemical contamination on all the affected ecosystems. These human beings will be affected by this consumption of contaminated water. This has already been demonstrated through the analysis in cow livestock in several areas of the United States, where many animals suddenly died after consuming water close to the gas platforms. The effects towards the human race will take longer to appear, but can go from stomach infections to cancer, along with provoking death after constant consumption.

Another type of contamination that fracking provokes that isn’t well known is the emission of radioactive substances to the atmosphere. Substances that are found naturally in the depths of the ground and contaminated water can also reach the atmosphere. One of these chemical substances is radon-222, which is the second declared cause of lung cancer.

The small explosions generated by the injection of pressured water are also capable of causing seismic movements into the ground, as demonstrated in places like England or the United States. This could explain, along with popular opposition and French colonialism in Mali and Niger, the prohibition of this method in France, where the huge quantity of nuclear plants combined with earthquake risks could cause huge catastrophes.

Extractive platforms generate a series of environmental and pollutive consequences that hard to list. It is not only about the visual impact of the platform, the waste in concrete, gas pipelines, etc. But also the creation of roads, transportation of materials, the canalisation of water into the platform, the large water waste, the deforestation of the terrain, the erosion, the creation of residual ponds and many more problems that would require a lot of paper to write down.

These ecological and health consequences should ideally be the main reason to face and stop these projects if we truly valued the health of our surroundings. However, these are not even the most important reasons to stop fracking: If companies were truly interested in investing into improved extractivist technologies in order to guarantee that no health dangers existed there would still be enough factors for us to oppose these projects. Fracking opposition, from our part, should include the fact that it is a new method of exploitation of natural resources that only contributes perpetuating an anti-ecological, exploiting, unfair and inhuman system. We don’t only express our opposition to fracking as an aggressive method to extract gas, but also to the opposition of any type of extraction of gas.

PERMISSIONS, LICENSES AND BUSSINESSES

Currently there are over 30 permits of exploitation conceded in the peninsula, concentrated around the north, primarily. These numbers are ever-changing due to the approval of new permissions, as there are already more than 50 solicitations; but also due to the opposition and resistance from some communities to allow these projects (albeit the latter is improbable and abstract).

These exploitations will be conducted, if we don’t stop them, by businesses like SHESA (Society of hydrocarbons of Euskadi); BNK Petroleum, with its Spanish counterpart Trofagas, Heyco, R2 Energy and San Leon Energy.

 

THE FALSE OPPOSITION TO FRACKING

From the arrival of the plans of exploration of shale gas in the State, there are many voices (from individuals and collectives) that have risen up to try and prevent these exploitations of gas. For this reason, it is important to analyse determined strategies and alternative methods of fighting presented by numerous ecologist groups which, in our opinion, aren’t effective or coherent and are even capable of benefiting the enemy that they intend to destroy.

In regards to the methods of fighting: The first thing that we must clarify is that fracking is a global problem originated by a global energy scheme. It is not only about a project in a specific area. Due to this it is important to conduct the fight against fracking on a global level and not only focus it on a specific platform, valley, etc… (No Fracking, not here or anywhere)

The town halls and autonomous communities belong to a state that encourage and support this global plan of energy development based on the hydraulic fracture. Due to this it lacks sense, from a logical perspective, to use or beg these institutions to stop fracking. On the one hand, it is obvious that if we intend to stop fracking, any type of dialogue with the state contributes towards an anticipated defeat. On a moral level it is a lost battle. It is true that in some cases the collection of signatures and pressure from political groups have managed to stop some local projects. However, these are underwhelming victories, as no global opposition is ever presented, only local. On the other hand, if the governments indeed stop specific projects it is only because these are not fundamental projects for their energy development. In the case of fracking in the state, several specific permissions can be obtained this way, because there are countries with enormous levels of poverty that exist, with bigger gas reserves and less popular pressure, allowing businesses to easily extract gas from those places. Therefore, the only way to oppose these mega-projects effectively and coherently is through a real fight, not collaborationist, that at the same time develops a global criticism towards capitalism.

In regards to alternatives: This is probably the most delicate and controversial point. The only proposal by “eco” friendly parties, NGO’s and ecologist collectives against fracking are renewable energies, accompanied by a light decrease in the levels of consumption.

Renewable energies can suppose, with a big economic investment in investigation and development, an alternative to the extraction of gas through hydraulic fracture, but they will never be an alternative to capitalism. The ideal world that these groups offer need more roads, industries, trucks, primary resources, big factories, video surveillance and electricity cables passing through the woods to fully function. Renewable energy is also completely dependent on fossil fuels (plastics, transportation through roads, vehicles, etc…) and continues forcing human beings to work to produce cars, wind turbines, solar panels, etc; which impedes the liberation of the individual, who are still tied up and trapped in a sick, unhappy and monotonous job and lifestyle.

On the other hand, these groups don’t tend to propose any political change accompanied by their “renewable revolution” in order to continue a capitalist system where the only things that matter are money and economy, thus ignoring values like friendship and nature. This approach not only represents a real alternative to the system of domination, but can also drastically benefit it. In a world where contamination reaches extreme levels, cancers increase enormously and the disasters provoked by petroleum and nuclear energy are part of our everyday lives, the best alternative to maintain the system of domination is through renewable energy. In fact, it’s what is slowly extending the system. Small steps are being taken to improve the profitability of renewable energies, creating electric vehicles, etc… This way the State and businesses clean their image towards the people that they have to exploit, whilst they also pretend to care about the planet’s health without changing the system of domination.

We don’t want a world where the same contradictions are continued to be applied, where people are completely domesticated, robotized and alienated life and where the relationship between human beings and nature is inexistent. We don’t want cities dressed in pretentious green “eco” or a scenery full of wind turbines of more than 100 metres in height. We fight for a free world where people can re-establish their relationship to nature that prevailed during centuries. We fight for a world where capitalism and domination disappear, which is only possible renouncing to the commodities that the energy and technological system provide for us. A world without fracking, or petroleum, or renewable barbarities: a free and wild world.

 

Notes:

¹ The numbers of return of contaminated water are proportioned by the own extractivist businesses, are not validated by any independent study. Therefore it is probable that the percentage of water that isn’t recovered is bigger than as indicated.

² One of the key concepts to understand the gravity of the energy crisis is the EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Investment. The TRE is the relationship between energy that provides us a fountain and the energy that we have to waste to obtain it. Hence, conventional petroleum has an EROI of 20, which means that for each unity of energy destined to the production of petroleum (in the elaboration of materials used in wells, its installation, perforation, operation, the maintenance, etc) 20 unities of energy are obtained. The critical value of the TRE is 1: when the TRE arrives as a unity, lots of energy is renewed as the one invested and the system stops having any sense as an energy source.

³Un amargo declinar: Energía y totalitarismo ecológico. Invierno Editorial, Zaragoza 2012.

http://archivomoai.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/especial-fractura-hidraulica.html

Translated by Pietro Casati (pietrokuyath@gmail.com)

Remembering our young comrade Javier Recabarren

Santiago: The context of the march for “the closure of the metropolitan zoo”

Brief ideas surrounding the “International day of fight to close all zoos, 24th, 25th and 26th July .

The conflict against the culture of domination imposed by the State/Capital means that we have to bring our values and ideological reflections into the fight to strive for liberation.

Our detachment with values like empathy and solidarity are signs of a sick society, whose only aspiration is consumerism. This irrational lifestyle treats each human or animal as exchange goods for the process of production of the world trade.

Power has altered us into a society that views torture and assassinations as a natural aspect of life. This explains why other oppressive institutions like jails are also presented as normal elements, either as a form of punishment or as a way to correct the faults of the productive system. For animals this reality is presented through zoos: Their “social function” is to provide education and entertain humanity. Meanwhile, behind bars the suffering of thousands of animals is regularly maintained by distancing them from their natural conditions and instincts. These animals only gain stress, sickness and death.

This tragic reality remains in front of us, along with the isolation of thousands of animals that wait for their turn to die and continue to give their services to humans through food, clothing or decorations.

And here we are: we are the ones who have to act. Liberation is a path of constant confrontation to stop being apathetic bystanders and take action by abandoning our harmless “lifestyles” that don’t seek any resolution or conflict, whilst millions of lives suffer and end behind the bars of experimentation centres, breeding farms and zoos.

PROPAGANDA AND SABOTAGE FOR TOTAL LIBERATION

We remember the young anarchist fighter Javier Recabarren, who died on the 18th of March this year after being run over by a bus from the company Transantiago.

javier-recabarren

On the 18th of March our comrade Javier Recabarren died after being run over by a bus outside of his school. However, this 11 year old boy was no ordinary kid. Whoever crossed his path noticed his unshakeable desire for freedom.

He was a member of the “Animal collective: Raise your voice” and participated in extensive manifestations for animal liberation initiatives. He also regularly performed anarchist activities that involved practising revolutionary solidarity with our comrades in prison. Naturally, he was also involved in the Street Fights, fearlessly facing the police and burning flags of the United States. These actions led him to be detained by the bastards on several occasions.

The war that Javier started is a clear sign to keep fighting against all forms of power and authority, along with continuing the fight for animal liberation and practising revolutionary solidarity in order to ensure that Javier’s vision prevails and transcends… This young fighter inspires us to maintain our chosen path towards total liberation.

¡¡COMRADE JAVIER RECABARREN: PRESENT!!
¡¡Today we will give you a minute of silence… and a lifetime of fighting!!

CLR / 25 July, Santiago 2015.

Santiago: En el contexto de la marcha por el “cierre del zoológico metropolitano”

28th July 2015 |Tags: Latin America, ChileColectivo Lucha RevolucionariaJavier RecabarrenAnimal Liberation, memorySantiago | Categories: Publicaciones – Panfletos

Translated by Pietro Casati (pietrokuyath@gmail.com)

Paraguay: Free the Peasants Falsely Accused of the Curuguaty Massacre

Written by Delia Ramírez

Translated by Jesse Cohn

In Asuncion, Paraguay, the absurd trial for the Curuguaty Massacre is in its final stage. It is a trial riddled with irregularities and connivance between sectors of power. The defendants are Juan Tillería, Alcides Ramírez, Luis Olmedo, Lucía Agüero, María Fani Olmedo, Dolores López, Néstor Castro Benítez, Adalberto Castro, Arnaldo Quintana, Felipe Benítez, Felipe Nery Urbina, and Rubén Villalba. It is on the last of these that all the arbitrary measures have fallen most viciously, mainly for his career of activism in the struggle for land.

In this final stage of the trial, the collectives #AbsolucionYa and Movimiento 138: Colectivo de Resistencia Cultural (Argentina/Paraguay) have launched a new campaign to seek full acquittal for all the peasants who have for nearly four years suffered the consequences of a trial that has kept them imprisoned, uprooted, deprived of medical attention, separated from their families, unable to work or to fully live their lives. Freedom for the survivors of the massacre is a key to make it possible to investigate and determine what really happened on June 15, 2012 on the public lands of Marina Kué.

To this end, public figures from the arts, culture, media, and human rights in several areas have taken pictures with a sign that says “It’s Time for Freedom,” demanding the acquittal of the imprisoned peasants. To see the album, go to https://web.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1202392053118653.1073741837.1139729832718209&type=3&_rdr

Information on the aforementioned campaign can be found by “liking” on Facebook: Curuguaty #AbsolucionYa; Movimiento 138. A report on the contradictions of the trial in progress, along with videos, photos, audio and investigations of the Curuguaty Massacre can be found on the web: www.absolucionya.wordpress.com

Reasons to demand freedom for the peasants in Curuguaty:

– There is no evidence to support an indictment, a trial, let alone a conviction. The peasants are innocent and are victims of the atrocities suffered in 2012.

– The judicial process is fraught with irregularities showing bias on the part of the judges and prosecutors.

– No police have been indicted, only peasants. This means that only the deaths of police are being investigated with lying arguments.

– The power entrenched in the State intends to punish the peasants for seeking land to live on. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the big soy producers can continue plundering the Paraguayan people.

– The peasants cannot be accused of violating property rights because by presidential decree of 2004, the lands of Marina Kué were declared to be the “object of agrarian reform.” The peasants were engaging in regular procedures for obtaining land.

Do you remember the Curuguaty Massacre?

The case known as the Curuguaty Massacre or the Marina Kué Massacre was an atrocity that took place during an eviction in a community in the department of Canindeyú, Paraguay on June 15, 2012: 17 people (11 peasants, 6 police officers) were killed in total. This murky event was used to displace the then President Fernando Lugo in a hasty and illegitimate “political trial” and to intensify a persistent campaign of criminalization and stigmatization waged against peasants fighting for land in a country with a distribution of land among the most unequal in Latin America.

The history of concentration of land ownership in Paraguay is also a history of human rights violations, and in that context, the Curuguaty Massacre occupies a special chapter and represents a very open wound in Latin America.

Article from Venezuelan newspaper El Libertario [Reposted from http://www.sinpermiso.info/textos/paraguay-libertad-a-los-campesinos-y-campesinas-acusados-falsamente-de-la-masacre-de-curuguaty.]

El Libertario, Venezuela: Black Chronicles – Luis Sulbaran

LuisS-Bqto

Black chronicles

Black Chronicles are a series of interviews conducted to different anarchists currently living in Venezuela, narrating the struggles the face living in one of the few socialist regimes. These interviews deal with the everyday lives of men and women and highlight the precarious situations in which they are forced to live in.

Interview with Luis Sulbaran, a young anarcho-punk from Barquisimeto, member of punk band Warsystem, editor of Rebelion Libertaria and part of the collective Acracia. In April he organized anarcho-punk meetings in Guanare.

-How is it being a young anarchist in Venezuela’s current socialist regime? Is it challenging?

Well, for starters, this so called socialist regime is nothing more than a lie. Political revolutions can’t achieve anything if no social revolution exists. It is a lie that has been ingrained into so many Venezuelan people for many years. There are only change of governments, whilst the state keeps accumulating our efforts and riches, uses people with forms of blackmail like patriotism, religion and politics, thus reminding us constantly that these elements are indispensable for our lives in each electoral campaign, and as predicted, the population falls into this trap by believing the game. It’s complicated, like everywhere else, I suppose. The polarization in Venezuela has been in charge of silencing the opposition. And the people in this country are used to being dependent on the state and political parties, it doesn’t matter what slogan or colour they have because apathy distorts humanity.

You play in a band called Warsystem… Can you tell us a Little more about this musical Project?

Of course. The band is a way to enhance our lives. We are a new project that is giving rotten Venezuela D-beat music. For now we are concentrating on recording our first EP, always basing ourselves on the “Do it yourself” motto to be autonomous and make the current punk scene understand that we don’t need bureaucratic spaces to organize our events. That only by brotherhood and mutual support we can make punk a real movement in this piece of land.

Do you queue to buy food or engage in “bachaqueo”?

I despise bachaqueo. Seeing our own people screw therselves further by engaging in this activity disgusts me because the only ones that gain money through this process are the contraband food mafias. I don’t consume anything that comes from animals, so I generally but vegetables, fruits in markets and I also recycle. I try to buy the less food possible because in the big distributor chains lots of food is thrown away and they prefer wasting it rather than simply rendering it cheaper or giving it away for free. But of course, I have queued up to buy regulated food for some relatives, however I personally don’t like queueing because it saddens me to see so much miserable and desperate people that will kill each other for things like flour or a packet of baby nappies.

Have you been victim of any crime? Have they lynched anyone where you live?

This is another factor that shows the lack of consciousness amongst us: to see your own neighbourhood constantly stealing. It is not sufficient that the government and banks rob us, now your own neighbour and other people come and take your possessions by force. Yes, I have been a victim of a crime. The stole my electric guitar whilst I was walking to my house. A motorbike intercepted me with two men and I had to give them my instrument and now I am left with absolutely nothing to play with. I use my friend’s guitars in the meantime.

How is electricity rationing where you live?

Well I think that it is the same everywhere in the country. Nowadays we already have the timetables for when the electricity will shut down. However in my opinion the issue of electricity and water rationing is a hypocrisy by the Venezuelan state. On one hand they declare Friday to be a festive day to entertain people with rumba and alcohol, whist they exploit our land in La Sierra de Perija with the corporation Carboelectrica. This transnational deal based on mining produces a lot of contamination in our most important territories.

How have people reacted to the ticket price increase for public transport?

Here a ticket from the north zone to the city centre will cost you 50 or 70 Bs during the day. However at night-time they will charge you 100 Bs for the same bus. People still pay for it, they have no other option, even though they express their discontent when they are charged. There have been a couple of strikes from both users and transport workers, primarily due to the lack of replacements.

Are you having any problems with the internet?

Lately is has been relatively stable, even though sometimes it shuts down.

What is your opinion on Henry Flacon and his desire to become president?

I mainly see Henry Falcon as a parasite and opportunist. He knows this better than anyone. Just like all politicians, he tries to take advantage of his power in the government to increase his capital. It is a well-known fact that he’s the owner of many big businesses in the city of Barquisimeto. In regards to his management, I have always criticized the fact that he is a shameless scoundrel. Instead of worrying about human necessities like health, he organizes even more pathetic events with pathetic “artists” to keep on distracting the population. For instance stupidities like creating artificial beaches and building an enormous Virgin statue, wasting a huge budget that we have paid for! Our bank Warsystem talks about the wonderful management of Henri Falcon in the track “Barquisimeto stinks of shit”. This all fails to surprise me, any idiot wants to be the president because they know that it pays well.

Do you think people are growing tired of the government and opposition? Where are we heading towards?

Personally, we know that nowadays Chavismo has a huge impact on people. They were forced to vote for Nicolas Maduro with remorse and a lot of emotional blackmail and propaganda that Christians use when they want you to come to their church. Something absurd along the lines of “Chavez died for us so we must vote for Maduro”. The population is confused and cheated thanks to their dependence on religion and the state. However, now it’s an entirely different story: When hunger attacks there is no ideology of political faithfulness that is worth anything. People know that everything is screwed. Many have some hope in left-wing parties. This is ingenuous because the population have trouble understanding that no matter who you vote, they will all arrive to the government’s palace to become bourgeois. And the people? They will keep on being slaves, condemned to consumerism, obedience and death. Where are we heading for? People are hungry, thirsty and fed up. We might be close to a social explosion.

Have you ever thought about running away from all of this by crossing the border and leaving? Or do you have to stay to build and fight?

All patriots are idiots. I consider myself hugely anti-patriotic because that is another form of blackmail and a way to dominate people. The trigger of xenophobia is patriotism. I think that we must build and fight wherever you happen to be located. Given how I am in Venezuela, the fight begins here.

 What do you think about the whole issue surrounding the Arco Minero del Orinoco?

This is one of the things that worries me the most. Especially in regards to all the apathy that exists towards the topic. During the anarcho-punk meetings we talked about the Motor Minero and how we could act against this problem. This program implies the biggest eco-suicide in South-America, along with violating human rights. To obtain a gram of gold, approximately 450 mil of water is used. The water that the state refuses to give us is used in the Arco Minero in Orinoco.

The disrespect to indigenous tribes is particularly tragic. The government has manipulated this issue by stating that there would be no transnational companies working there, despite the fact that 150 transnationals have been allowed to extract gold, steel and other materials of industrial use. We have to act now and manifest our discontent in the streets against this decree which will bring devastation to the earth, fauna, vegetation, water and us.

Did you know that we all must be inscribed in the Compulsory Military registration? How do you view the militarization of society?

Of course I know. In fact, I was sharing this with my colleagues of Provea and Laboratorio de Paz in the city when I attended the workshop of “I am a citizen, not a soldier”. It is an excellent workshop. Look, we now live in a government where the leader of the followers is from the military. We also live in a place where the means of communication are released to the public, but controlled by the military. Several military companies operate in Venezuela, such as Seguros Horizonte and CAMMIPEG. For the government it is necessary to keep the population in a state of constant dependence and this path is achieved through militarisation. It enhances hierarchies and keeps their pawns ready in case they “need to defend the motherland”, or more specifically, defend the interests of power and permanent government.

-What activities are you doing in Barquisimeto? Do anarchist organizations exist?

Well, firstly this neighbourhood was characterized as a main focus of resistance groups, such as the Kiosko Alternativo. After this movement died, anarchist organizations in Barquisimeto started disappearing. There were still groups, but they were anarchists that served as electoral propaganda for the state, and they saw Chávez as “The voice of the people”. Currently, we are starting anarchism again from the bottom, we have several compatriots with common ideas and with my friend Esteban Mejíaz we have been participating in the collective group of action ACRACIA. We are gaining steam slowly, but we are never stopping. The first of our activities was the organization of the Anarcho-punk day in Guanare 2016. We are also organizing a group with the FLIA Barquisimeto with the intention of distributing independent written material on the streets, without permission.

How was the Anarcho-punk meeting in Guanare? Do you think it’s the first time that a libertarian activity was organized in the village? How was the reception from the people?

I can tell you that people quickly came around to the meeting and enjoyed the music and really liked our intention to bring something different to the community, which is only accustomed to the music they hear currently on commercial radios. I am not sure if this was the first anarchist activity organized, but I can assure you that it will not be the last and we hope to count on your support and anybody that wants to participate.

 What should Libertarians attitudes be in these moments?

Affinity and kinship, primarily. We are living in very difficult times and I don’t want to sound too pessimistic, but the worst is yet to come. We must remain united against anything that could come and always support popular fights searching for alternatives, agitating and awaking the crowds. We have to organize ourselves well and build together an anarchist movement that grows every day more. Think globally, act locally.

 -What would you like to add to conclude? What do you recommend to compatriots?

We must never give up. The fight has just begun. In all the places that we find ourselves, let’s fight for liberation, mutual support and anarchy. We must never remain silent against the state. We have to understand our surroundings and inform ourselves constantly. Anarchism, being revolutionary, can never remain motionless, but in constant movement. Let’s form free associations, counter-informative means of communication, social centres. Let’s work together and get rid of traditions based on oppression that limit our liberty. Anarchism is responsibility. Think, act, do it yourself.

Article taken from anarchist Venezuelan newspaper El Libertario (http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com/search/label/Cr%C3%B3nicas%20Negras)

Written by Rodolfo Montes de Oca

Translated into English by Pietro Casati

CALL OUT: MONTH FOR THE EARTH AND AGAINST CAPITAL, JUNE 5 – JULY 5

Call Out  Month for the Earth and Against Capital  June 5 – July 5

Via Contra-Info
Translated by Scott Campbell

“The struggle occurs in a given territory, with very specific characteristics, with very specific enemies and their particularities, to know all these elements is our responsibility.”

It is time to deepen the struggle against the state, against capital, and against the forms they use to continue to perfect their means of dominion over us. Different materials for spreading information and reflection have been developed in recent times. Blogs, magazines, newspapers and countless other materials have been produced by compañeros with different contours but with the same intention: to contribute to the social war from an anti-authoritarian and offensive perspective.

In the same vein, four years ago the “Month for the Earth and Against Capital” began with the idea of promoting various struggles that were taking place locally, regionally and globally against the infrastructure of capital. Getting ahead of the advance of the state and capital involves thinking about what its path is and why, and also involves acting to simultaneously hold up both matters for reflection. The type of knowledge needed by those truly trying to transform reality arises from the struggles themselves and not from information conceived of by and for the imposed order. The domination we suffer is not organized or created in chaos but responds according to a certain logic. That does not mean that the processes and results of domination are entirely transparent but it does mean that it is possible to better prepare and confront their plans.

To strengthen the different struggles, to learn from different experiences and to contribute reflections become, then, a necessity and a real possibility for these times. Today our territories are passing through transformational models with cruel outcomes for freedom and survival. To go on the offensive ceases to be just a dream when transformative choice begins to direct our desires. That was and is the Month for the Earth, another contribution, a specific one, on the path of social revolution. The dynamic has been that of knowing the enemy: its strengths, its weaknesses, how it functions, how it functions in us, etc…

As well, the reflections, writings and other actions of the Month for the Earth have sought to make visible the importance of certain types of struggle, struggles within the same mold that attack the development and supports of capital. The majority of the dead in this social unrest, in the different struggles today against capital, belong to the struggles in defense of territory, struggles against the advance of extractive infrastructure and its world. In these kinds of struggles our stance has always been clear on one point: to revive, to strengthen and to learn from certain forms of existing relationships (such as the many values of community and solidarity) is useful, but our responsibility should be to do away with the very roots of the system of domination and all that supports it. Capitalism continues its restructuring, continues reproducing the values that sustain it, but it encounters resistance. Our responsibility is for that resistance to become the momentum which allows for a move to the offensive, to go forward, that will let us be protagonists of real transformations to new forms of living as the enemies and adversaries of domination and power.

The very development of capitalism, its restructuring, shows us how the powers in the world are leading us to new states of dominion where war is a constant that without interruption threatens large parts of the population. While some live an internal, “soft,” low-intensity war between militarization and impossible norms, others suffer old-fashioned bombings and lootings, though both worlds have more in common than we usually allow. The edges of each are ever more uncertain, people sprayed with pesticides, displaced by disasters cynically called “natural”, the policing of life, the urbanization of poverty, and the dependence on energy and technology mix with militarized neighborhoods, those displaced by fighting or bombing.

Depending on the place we were born, capital reserved a use for us, but we have other options. We can accept the dividing up of the world, their new chains called “crisis” and their predetermined fates, or we can accept that the will knows nothing of fate. The Month for the Earth and Against Capital is not so important. It doesn’t have meaning as a “singular effort,” it belongs to the thousands of synergistic efforts, its work has already been done, reproduced and perhaps surpassed. If it ends, its efforts have already served their purpose. However, again and again a new need arises and we must redouble our strength, must redouble the reflection, information and above all, must redouble the action based around the world we radically want to transform.

Therefore, between June 5 and July 5, the “Month for the Earth and Against Capital” returns, the call is for the development of all kinds of activities, for all kinds of actions. To send posters about events or any other type of information, contact porlatierraycontraelcapital@riseup.net and they will be published on https://porlatierraycontraelcapital.wordpress.com.

Month for the Earth and Against Capital, 2016