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Union Del Barrio In Support of Alex Sanchez & Nativo Lopez

by Union Del Barrio - Comité Central Monday, Jun. 29, 2009 at 8:49 AM

Compañeras and Compañeros of Unión del Barrio, To our supporters, progressives, and the community in general:

Through its community projects Unión del Barrio has maintained aproductive working relationship with Alex Sanchez of Homies Unidos.

As one of the founders of Homies Unidos, a nonprofit/community based organization, Alex has an extensive history of community involvement,working primarily towards ending the violence among raza youth. As a person who grew up under the same conditions as the young people he works with, and through his excellent communication and organizing skills, he has struggled to direct youth away from violence while encouraging them to maintain their dignity, pride, and culture as raza.

It was because of the community work of led by Alex that we invited him to be a speaker at the 2008 Conference on Raza Prisoners and Colonialism, which was organized by the Chicano Mexicano Prison Project (CMPP), a collective of Unión del Barrio. The objective of our invitation was to learn from his experiences and help develop more

Mexicano-Salvadoreño unity that is desperately needed to advance our struggle.

The morning of June 24, 2009, Alex was arrested by agents of the FBI under a so-called “federal indictment”. His detention was one of several under a government claim that the arrested are members of the gang Mara Salvatrucha. Through these=2 arrests and the subsequent use of the media, the FBI has implicated Alex in conspiracy and of “multiple slayings, extortion, and assaults”. This has been a legal lynching against him, and has taken place without further details or explanation from the state. Nor is this the first time the state has used its law-enforcement agencies to harass, arrest, and attempt to deport Alex.

On the other hand there exists an extensive and well-documented history of the FBI, LAPD, and other so-called law enforcement agencies of actively conspiring and participating in slayings, extortion, and assaults. Since it was founded, one of the principle functions of the FBI has been to contain and disrupt independent political struggles.

And this history has been especially aggressive when so-called law enforcement is looking to neutralize effective community organizers such as Alex Sanchez.

Therefore, Unión del Barrio considers this arrest a political act, and Alex as a political prisoner. Furthermore, state repression has been escalated with the recent arrest and wide media aggression against another high profile Raza community organizer Nativo Lopez, with whom Unión del Barrio members have maintained a working relationship as

well. Within the context of these two public detentions there is clear evidence of a broader attack led by federal law enforcement agencies against the organizing capacity of Raza communities throughout Southern California. Pre

cisely because of their extensive histories of community

struggle, the arrests of Compañeros Alex and Nativo should not be considered as indictments against two individuals (regardless of the

charges leveled against them), but must consistently be identified as direct political attacks against political organizers and raza community activism in general.

As such, this letter also represents a public statement condemning any such state aggression. All progressive compañeras and compañeros should remain vigilant of further covert and/or overt political attacks against our movement, and immediately denounce these publicly.

Community organizations should be prepared to raise the alarm as well.

The Comité Central of Unión del Barrio calls on each of its Bases, collectives, and community based supporters to reject these legal lynchings, and actively assist in broader efforts to defend Compañeros Alex and Nativo.

Furthermore, Unión del Barrio holds the state responsible for the physical and psychological well being of Alex until

he is returned to his community.

Unión del Barrio

Comité Central, June 27, 2009

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