Regeneracíon Radio: Current attacks against free speech and community radio in Mexico City

In the first days of May 2007, what had been brewing for the best part of a year came to light at a senior high school in northern Mexico City, the College of Sciences and Humanities Vallejo, part of Mexico’s largest and most prestigious public university, the UNAM. We began to see hegemony flex its muscles in an attempt to crush grassroots, leftwing organisations. It began with a campaign of lies, defamation in the mainstream media, threats of legal action and jail sentences, academic corruption and a false referendum, all of which were designed to prepare the terrain for the destruction of Regeneracíon Radio.

Our collective has been an active member of the Other Campaign, which began in 2005.  We transmit live events and provide audio recordings, images and reports via our webpage and facilitate the radio programs of students every day on two humble speakers located in the school quadrangle, where the current attack against the collective is directed. The strategy of those in power is to destroy the radio, symbolically attacking the autonomy fought for, won and defended by Regeneracíon Radio and the student community for over 7 years.

The principal of the school Lucia Laura Muñoz Corona is actively promoting the demolition of the radio booth and threats of jail for members of the collective. Referendum ballots were filled by a corrupt sector of academics, teachers who forced their students to participate by offering them extra credit or by threatening them with failing grades. The bureaucracy orchestrated a media war that clearly displayed the false origins of the conflict and bring us to the real objective: the criminalisation of social movements. “The machine is ready and its going to crush you” said the Administration, “its better that you give in.”

Today we make public that we will resist the UNAM administration’s decision to destroy our radio. We also want to say loud and clear that our resistance doesn’t begin today or tomorrow, but that it began in 1999 during the 9 month long university strike, when the first steps of Radio Pacheco were taken towards what is known today as Regeneracíon Radio, a respectful tribute to the anarchist publication Regeneracíon that the Magon Brothers circulated throughout the Mexican Republic and Latin America during the Mexican Revolution. Today we engage in one of our fiercest battles, but we recognise that it isn’t our first and wont be our last.

Today like any other day resistance lives and makes us conscious women and men with sensitive ears and wide-open eyes, with strong feelings and humble, honest words.

The space we´re defending feels like our own because we built it with our own hands, but most of all we will defend it because the radio booth stopped belonging solely to us a long time ago. From our speakers our collective voice of resistance is heard: the voices of our Zapatista brothers and sisters, comrades from Atenco and Oaxaca and from so many corners of this globe where rebellion is born with the dignity to struggle for a more just and anticapitalist world. To us, there is no difference between these struggles.  Although some people might think that certain struggles are more important than others due to the number of people involved, to us it’s the just nature of our demands and the dignity of our struggle that unites us all.

Regeneracíon Radio’s booth, its mixer, its basic equipment belong to all our comrades, all those that want to express their collective or individual struggle whose essence is to change this capitalist system that exterminates cultures, identities, sexualities, indigenous peoples and so on. All of whom, from the grassroots and anticapitalist left have found and will continue to find in Regeneracíon Radio a space where their voice and music have the freedom to exist and be heard.

Everyday the capitalist system tells us that we are in touch with each other, with mobile/cel phones, with commercial radios, with huge television companies, but these commercial forms of communication don’t reflect our differences, our unique identities. If we are indigenous, lesbian, youth, to give but few examples, our customs, songs, music and our faces are absent in their so called “communication”.

Capitalism seeks to impose conformity through its mass media apparatus, a world where no one bothers the interests of capitalists, no one questions, everyone goes along without resisting, and consumes without questioning, that we understand what is left in the political spectrum according to their definition of “leftwing”, that we never hope for anything outside their elections, that we are unable to dream of or build a new social organisation. We are against this imposition that seeks to destroy everything different and we respond by creating alternatives: spaces where we can tell each other about our dreams, where workers can speak freely of their wins and losses, where indigenous peoples can proudly say who they are, where each and everyone of us can continue creating new worlds outside capitalism.

What the administration says is true, we never asked them for permission to take back a space that belongs to the public, to all of us. It is true that we never applied for, negotiated, or paid for a permit from the government or a political party. To us communicating is natural, as natural as breathing or blinking. For this right we will never ask for permission.

Our humble radio booth was constructed over a series of Saturdays in 2005, from a cement floor that formed into cement walls, walls that transformed themselves into expressions of freedom, sweaty Saturdays, sweat that transformed into energy, energy that each day transformed into hope, so many Saturdays of tired women and tired men, weariness that became a fertile seed, seeds that grew into a reality, a reality constructed by a small number of hands that day by day saw desires and emotions flourish into concrete achievements. Our autonomy is constantly growing, pushing up the concrete.

Regeneracíon Radio exists in order to express voices, generate organisation, struggle, dance, listen, walk together, to be anticapitalists and shout it loud, without censorship.

Regeneracíon Radio doesn’t transmit the voice of our collective; we transmit the collective voice of all of those in resistance and struggle.

A long time ago Regeneracíon Radio stopped being “me” and became “us”.

The beauty of words will never die

Regeneracíon Radio

Communication is our weapon

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