|Sunday, April 23, 2006
Photos of Autonomy and Fallas Del Sistema in MexiCali
|Photos of Fallas Del Sistema -
|Interview with FALLAS DEL SISTEMA about Punk Rock, Pro Choice and EZLN
1.- Band members, and how did you start out.
The band starts on the last months of 92. It was born as a necessity for self-expression and as a way of supporting
the movement. Since then, the band has evolved into a kind of collective where, besides the band, we do other
activities of libertarian diffusion, resistance and self-education. The line up has suffered a lot of changes, but since
1995 it's kept the same:
Benjamin Q. (Min) - voice,
Yaky - voice
Gil - bass,
Chore - guitar,
James - drums.
Rene (play guitar with us from 1995 to 2004).
2.-You have played several gigs, your a very active band. With which bands have you played, and with which would
you like to play?
Yes, we've been very fortunate in what gigs concerns: we constantly go out to other states, and as of now, we're
preparing a national tour. About the bands, we've played with almost all the ones we know work in the D.I.Y. issue
around the country: Desobediencia Civil, Oveja Negra, Lucha Autonoma, Vida, Disturbio, Coprofilia, Desordenados,
Barra Brava, etc. Besides the bands that have visited us (tours with us) or that we've been able to play with in some
gig outside town: Los Crudos, Sin Dios, Last Chance, Resist and Exist, Subsistencia, Fleas and Lice, Tragedy, Terror
y Miseria, Los Muertos de Cristo, Active Minds, Puagh, @PATIA NO, etc., etc... And about the bands that we'd like to
play with, there are a lot of them. Just to mention a few: Oi Polloi, Subhumans, Conflict, Homomilitia, Dirt, A//Political,
Rudimentari Peni, Intolerance, Doom, ENT, and a large etc. These are bands we respect, and some of them have
been an inspiration for us in our lives and in our resistance.
3. In your tape you have a song that talks about Pro-Choice with very direct lyrics. Why do you think that, in Mexico,
abortion is still a taboo issue, even for wimmin who want it?
The right to chose has been, and still is, a tabooed issue even for "feminist" groups, some parts of the indie scene,
some leftist groups, intellectuals and, sadly, even medical associations. On one hand, there's culture: Mexico is a
highly religious country. On the other hand, there's the large misinformation that deliberately and systematically has
been issued by extreme-right groups, fanatics, clergy, "moralists" like Pro-Life (yes, just like our song says). Various of
these groups are highly related with the government and groups of economic and/or political power. So, the
misinformation is promoted in almost every aspect of social life. Meanwhile, dozens of thousands of wimmin dye every
year, blood is shed, and their supposed "morality" is stained with it, just like their hands and their lies, there sophisms
and all their puritan "good will", which isn't defendable, even from a religious point of view. For us, the right to choose
is a fundamental right for a wommin, because she is not a machine, an incubator, serving the species, the country or
the family. By denying wimmin the right chose over their own bodies, the right to build their own future is also being
denied to them; and in that sense, wimmin still are viewed as incapable of deciding for themselves the conditions of a
happy maternity. This right is an issue of justice and equality. To finish this answer, I'd just like to add that this song is
the one that has inspired more controversy, and the one that most frequently motivates discussions and questions.
So, you could say it has accomplished one of it's objectives.
4. In some of your songs a strong influence from EZLN can be seen, what kind of support do you show for this armed
Some member of the band are zapatistas. We have a "Civil Dialogue Committee" called "La Social" and we're members
of FZLN; besides, zapatistas is our middle name. I mean: we don't just support EZLN, we're also a part of the same
body, a national and international movement called zapatismo, with the same principles and objectives. Anyone who
knows about the zapatista movement will know that it's almost a 80% Libertarian movement, and that the differences
between anarchism and zapatismo are minimum. (2003).
Now in 2006, some things chage since 2003 answear:
1.- The FZLN the civil zapatistas organized, is not longer exist as organization, but there is other ways that the
members of the FZLN get organized with the zapatista movement.
2.- We did a punk version of the zapatista hymn, in the split LP 10" ApatiaNO / Fallas del Sistema.
About the armed struggle issued. Very often we have been posed this question: How can you have a song called "Stop
the violence" and support EZLN? Trying to make and analogy to answer this, I'd like to ask you: Should a wommin on
her walk home try to defend herself from someone, or a few trying to rape her and possibly kill her, even if this means
using violence? For us, the answer is a big YES. We think that the right to defend oneself is undeniable. Even more,
it's a sacred right and a duty. A lot of times, it's necessary to use some kind of violence that, in essence, is totally
opposite to that first violence that tries to impose itself and that has been historically used to oppress, exploit,
depredate and tyrannize. Violence is only justifiable and moral when it's used in legitimate defense, seeing it from a
social point of view. We don't even like to call this violence, simply Self-Defense. We, as anarchists, reject violence,
because it clashes with anarchism. But, precisely because of this, we recognize every individual's right to reject this
violence, even in the case that it would be necessary to use it also. But, we have to make clear that the central idea of
anarchism is to eliminate violence in EVERY aspect of social life, and this is one of the most important trades that
distinguish us from other ideologies or philosophies and that get us near to zapatismo, because we are not only for the
elimination of violence that is physically exercised in immediate attack, we're also against the one that exists in the
smallest of aspects of life, like family, couple, school (whether it be moral, psychological, of cultural violence)... up until
the biggest institution of them all, the one that inflicts permanent violence and systematic imposition. The one we call
government. For our part (because not all anarchist are like this) we're also against the violence that is exercised
against other animal species. That which today is called speciesism. .
5. There's a lot of confusion with the word Punk amongst the youth. Many believe it's about those pretty boy bands like
NoFX, Green Day, Offspring or Blink 182. What do you think about these bands and what do you understand by Punk
When we speak of punk rock, we're not just talking about music, we're talking about a way of life; we're talking about a
conglomerate of ideas, attitudes, dreams and principles. We're talking about a large stream of moral values, ethics,
and of an important emotional and artistic fortune. We're talking about a revolutionary movement that was born from
the ashes of various other counter cultural currents, like the beatniks, part of the most politicized and activist hippie
movement; as well as from the incorporation of other activists and individuals who belonged to several philosophical
and "contestatarias" currents, like the situationists and the movements that happened in the 60s; as well as the pacifist
movement and the struggles for world disarm, the environmentalists, y and many other ists. Of course, without
forgetting about the anarchist movement, which was perhaps the most important of them all, and the one who found
more followers among the punk movement.
Aside from the ashes of counter cultural movements, and the philosophical and theoretical ideas already mentioned,
the experience of everyday struggle and the search for new forms of artistic expression, new ways of making politics,
Punk by itself started forming it's one identity and developed as a movement. Punk is not born in the simplistic manner
many say. Punk is the cumulus of counter cultural, radical, revolutionary and artistic experiences. There's a very
interesting phrase from Victor Garcia: "Anarchism hasn't appeared by spontaneous generation, nor has it been the
creation of some genius thinker, spontaneous generation, in ideas, is so discarded as in biology". The same, we think,
can be applied to the punk movement. Punk, today -at least, a great part of it- has taken a very militant course, highly
committed with social struggles. It's a movement that's very alive, in action, and in constant resistance.
We're in the zapatista movement; we're with Big Mountain and their struggle for preservation in the U.S.; we're with the
Siux in Canada; we're with various indigenous peoples from all America; we're with the unions, like C.N.T. in Spain and
France, I.W.W. in the U.S., F.A.T. in Guanajuato and D.F., Mexico; we're in the UNAM (Mexico's National Autonomous
University); we're in Food not Bombs; we're with the Black Panthers, who in some places are taking openly libertarian
headings; we're with the Animal Liberation Front; we're with the Hunt Sabouteurs; we're with Earth First!, as well as
many environmentalist organizations (yes!, many punks are eco-warriors); we're in the struggle form animal liberation;
in feminism and in the gay movement, just to mention some of the ones comes to our memory as an examples,
Music is, perhaps, the most well known part of the punk movement, but not the only one, least the most important.
There's poetry, short story and various other forms of writing, there's painting, photography, theatre. For us, talking
about punk, and specifically about anarco-punk and it's various libertarian variants, is not just talking about music. So,
those groups you refer to in your questions, we don't consider them part of the punk movement. Some of these bands
are part of that fad created by the stereotypes of mass media. In other words, they're plain and vulgar commerce.
They're make up, posture, image, superficiality, what is prefabricated, what is bought and sold by the large
corporation. These bands, they have lost what is most important, what is essential to the punk movement, that is, if
they ever had it an recognized themselves in it: their ethics, their principles. They have turned their backs on their own
history. What about DIY? What about liberty of action? What about the constant necessity to reflect, to question, to
propose, to fight? What about inconformity? Where's the struggle against passivity and everything else they promised
and said? Maybe they still do, but now as automats or hypocritically instead of doing it out of sincerity of conviction.
Bands that sign complicity to big corporations or that are playing in gigs set up by governments or political parties in
power, like PRI or PAN (in Mxico), are not punk to us, they are nothing more than a contradiction. For the most part,
punk was born as a movement against large multinationals and the groups in power (that are destroying the earth).
Who but they are the ones that manage large capital and cause most of the social problems (wars, poverty,
unemployment, hunger, violence...). These same social problems are the reason most of us joined punk in the first
place, to fight them; hence our rage, our ideas, our efforts, our criticisms to the authoritarian system we show in our
lyrics, in our everyday life and in various other activities we do. The movement has gotten bigger, and multinationals
see the potential there to do business; then some "punk bands" sign a contract with them and, like magic, they're now
using us for their benefit and selling kids in punk their own rebellion.
1st. They fuck you over (social, economical, and politically);
2nd. You rebel.
3rd. You sign complicity.
4th. They're selling you your own rebellion.
5th. Multinationals are happy because it's really good business,
the system's happy because they tame you and your helping tame others,
you're happy because they pay well. What else could you care about?
6th. Everyone's happy (everyone?, Fuck!!! No way! Not everyone!),
7th. They even dare call it punk.
8th. The conclusion is obvious, isn't it?
This isn't punk anymore, it stopped being punk ever since it degraded to the mere commercial aspect. It's just a
product, a product that functions as a buffoon to large capital, just like those guys did for kings.
7. What do you think about unity between punk, skins, hardcore kids, straightedge kids, etc.
It's very necessary. Because of our origins, our social commitment and for a lot of other things we have in common, it's
vital to build bridges of communication, of organization.