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United States: Indig-Nación, the Spanish Newspaper of Occupy Wall Street

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

Indig-Nación [es], an affinity group related to the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement in New York City, is hoping to establish links with the Latino community in the United States and the Spanish-speaking world through the alternative media project with original content in Spanish also titled Indig-Nación (a play of words between indignation and nation). Indig-Nación has its own website and a newspaper that will be distributed in New York, the birthplace of the Occupy movement in the United States.

Here is a video about Indig-Nación (in Spanish with English subtitles):

In a previous interview with Global Voices, the translator for the Spanish edition of the Occupy Wall Street Journal – Mariné Pérez – explained that the idea for a Spanish newspaper with original articles was enthusiastically discussed during the First General Assembly of OWS. Finally, after various months of preparation, the first edition of the newspaper has now been distributed. This edition will serve to mobilise people to take part in the general strike planned for May 1, 2012.

We have interviewed Sofía Gallisá Muriente, an artist and activist from Puerto Rico and part of the editorial team of Indig-Nación, to speak about the launching of the media project.

Global Voices (GV): How did you get involved with Occupy Wall Street?

Sofía Gallisá. Photographed by Cristina Agostini, used with permission.

Sofía Gallisá. Photographed by Cristina Agostini, used with permission.

Sofía Gallisá (SF): It is really strange. I was at a Manu Chao concert and I heard a group of activists talking and saw them climbing up one of the platforms to announce a protest inspired by the Arab spring and the angry protests taking place in Spain. They explained that now was the time for the United States, particularly in New York (being the international capital of world finance).

The protest took place on the 17th September, I arrived sceptical and cynical given my past experiences with other protests in the city but I hoped this time would be different. I camped out on the first night and I rapidly realised just how strong the movement was.

GV: People have criticised the “decentralised” nature of OWS, even those who are involved in the movement. What do you think about this?

SG: Decentralization creates other problems and opportunities. The newspaper itself was structured in a decentralised fashion. This was because we were worried that there would not be original articles about topics pertinent to the movement, especially those written in Spanish; and given that traditional media is limited and manipulative we decided to act. We prefer to focus ourselves on our potential. If I see a shortage somewhere, I organise myself and others to meet this weakness. Decentralisation creates a system of auto-correction. These structures without hierarchies are not open to judge or to lay blame, but we form part of the solution.

GV: In the post titled  “Somos muchos” [es] you react against the accusations made on the lack of Latinos in the OWS movement. You even go as far to suggest that “those that try to discredit the occupation frequently end up revealing their own prejudices when they try to identify us at first glance and associate ourselves with a simpleton’s view of Latino identity.” Could you elaborate on this?

SG: The accusations keep coming until it becomes an insult. Who are legitimate Latinos? We know that the Latino community is a completely wide-ranging group of people, and it is this diversity that we see represented in the movement. We do not conform ourselves with the typical notions of what is “Latino.”

Launch party for Indig-Nación in Brooklyn Commons, in New York, organised by the editorial team. Photographed by Josué Guarionex.

Launch party for Indig-Nación in Brooklyn Commons, in New York, organised by the editorial team. Photographed by Josué Guarionex.

GV: We know that the Indig-Nación project was launched on the 14th April, what can people do to support it?

SG: People wishing to collaborate with the project, with content, translations and/or art can get in contact via editors@indig-nacion.org. Those wishing to make a donation can do so by visiting our portal. The newspaper will be distributed throughout the Latino communities, in the marches and in other occupations taking place across the North East of the United States. It will also be available in PDF format on the Internet. The printing of this newspaper is very important as it is the perfect time to attract people to take part in the protests on May 1st.

GV: Why use the Internet? What networks would you like to establish?

SG:  We hope that Indig-Nación will help us to connect us with other blogspheres in Latin America and thus learn from other experiences of struggles. This is not the first crisis that has provoked protests and activism. We want to create new networks of communication and collaboration.

GV: How will you fund the next editions?

SG: For the moment the project is being funded by collections and donations. We have non-profit 501(c)3 status backed by Occupied Media, so each donation is exempt from paying taxes. Also, we will continue holding events such as parties and campaigns like Indiegogo.

GV:  As well as publishing news pertinent to the current situation of immigrants and Latinos in the United States, are you also thinking about collaborating with activists in Latin America?

SG: We know that this is not the first crisis that has caused protests and activism. One of the principle objectives of Indig-Nación is to draw connections between OWS and Latin America, using language and interesting designs that are accessible and creative. We hope that this project will serve as the beginning of collaboration with other blogspheres in Latin America and from there we will learn about other struggles.

Indig-Nación Editorial Team: Pablo Benson, SilvaSofia Gallisá Muriente, Mariano Muñoz Elías, Stephanie McGuinness, Martín Cobián, Patricia González Ramírez, Rojo Robles, Mariné Pérez, Edén Bastida Kullick. Translation:  Teresa Elías. Web Design: Leonardo Velázquez. Design Team: Zak Greene, Ingrid Burrington.

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

You can find INDIG-NACION on Facebook and Twitter @INDIG_NACION. Featured image from INDIG-NACION on Facebook.

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