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Jailed Students Strike Austin Unknown to most of the world some hundred students and a few teachers began a hunger strike in a Mexico jail on December 10. They consider themselves political prisoners, arrested during the repression of 1968. The strike was begun when the prisoners found that they had been tried without being given what they would consider an adequate opportunity to defend , themselves. Their statement, written by one of their number, was smuggled out of the Lecumberri Prison and is dated Nocember 26, 1969. 44. . The venality of all the Mexican judiciary, and their complete dependence on the executive power, was evident when the judges decreed formal imprisonment for groups of 80 or more students during the months of conflict: formal imprisonment was decreed not for each individual, but for the whole group. Later, when the jails were no longer sufficient to contain such a high number of .prisoners, whose average age was between 18 and 23 years, the government freed in a few months more than half of the young prisoners. But during the rest of the year 4 The Texas Observer George Washington George Washington Where are you George? They are killing your boys in The Danang Valley They are napalming the 4 yr. olds With yellow skin and the funny eyes Courtesy the biggest child-cide mfg. of Them all E. I. duPont de Nemours Co. In Saigon the hugest-throated general Of the Arvins has his five swimming pools Full of Johnny Walker Red Label and Begs with tears on his tongue The newest U.S. Four-Star to Stand fast and not allow a Communist take-over of his Country The Vice President winds his Mickey Mouse watch with infinite care Tracking down traitors to the country in Armbands moratorium faces and demonstrator Colored clothes in the streets and On the campuses of America With his M16 mouth and his Super-X-Scope Infinitely penetrating eyes With the advice and consent of The Big Boss 1969, on different dates and different pretexts, new groups of students and workmen were jailed. In this manner the number of prisoners grew again during the year to the number of 120. Some have been in jail since July 26, 1968; others since October 2 of the same year, the rest on different dates. “We prisoners are the same people who demanded freedom for the political prisoners of Mexico during the great marches and rallies of August and September, 1968. The prisoners whom we referred to then, for whom we fought, are still in jail, and are approximately 40 in number. Some of them are held in other prisons, in different states of the Republic of Mexico.” THE STATEMENT then asserts that due process has been ignored in the prisoners’ cases what trials there were being held on inadequate notice so as to preclude adequate defense. “The attitude of the press was what might have been expected; a laconic note informing that the proceedings had been closed, but without making it clear that there had been no trial, and after that an In Austin, Tex. The pockets of Mr. Frank Erwin’s Orange jacket, the one he never misses A game in, Are full of Mace and If I were at UT I couldn’t take My little old granny into the Chuckwagon Because She ain’t no student George Washington, Make us a popcicle from The ice and snow of Valley Forge in the only Revolution they tell us that Ever worked So we can know what Freedom Really tastes like George Washington George Washington George Baby With your long hair Come Back We need you! RICHARD RUSSELL San Antonio Mr. Russell is on the faculty of St. Mary’s University. He read this poem during the November Vietnam War Moratorium observance at that school. which cannot be broken even by paid insertions, since these are refused. It is difficult to imagine a more lightless, airless, soundless fight, smothered by all the information media . . . but [it is] latent, still there, as if floating in the spirit of the population, and especially in the spirit of the students. “And who are the terrible conspirators accused of as many as 20 crimes, who merit this summary trial just terminated? Not more than 30 of them are members of the Mexican Communist Party; another few represented our schools in the Consejo Nacional de Huelga \(central Strike Committee representing all the students on strike during the student movement of The rest are boys apprehended in some rally, or . . . arrested at, a market while distributing propaganda, or the speaker at a . . . meeting who lagged behind his companions; and a large number of simple passersby who had the misfortune to walk by a recently burnt trolly bus or other vehicle. . . . The only requisite for arrest was to be young; after that the police, by tortures, beatings, electrical shocks applied to the tongue or to the testicles, extracted the necessary `confessions’.” THE STATEMENT goes on to express wonder that the demands of the students could so have shaken the nation; the explanation given is that there is widespread dissatisfaction at the nature of civil liberties in the country. “\(A111 that was asked for was the destitution of two chiefs of police, the elucidation of responsibilities of certain functionaries for the events which were the initial cause of our protests, etc. . . . “. . . [T] hese summary trials are not carried on against a revolutionary organization, nor against urban guerrillas; but against the leaders of a democratic movement which had as its banner the Constitution of its country, and with that alone provoked a wave of popular approval which paralyzed schools in the whole country, and even attracted people from the government, who asked that the demands be solved. [The movement] conducted itself with such care and discipline that it was possible to make a completely silent march. This march, in spite of the difficult conditions posed by threats of the government, the military patrolling of the city, and the gangster-like groups which machinegunned schools at daybreak, and a wide campaign destined to intimidate the population, nevertheless poured through the main avenues of the city, and, once more, filled the Zocalo, heart of Mexico City and of the country too, with half a million citizens. In absolute silence.” Where Are You, George? 0