Joaquin Cienfuegos, a community activist and organizer with Revolutionary Autonomous Communities, Copwatch Los Angeles and Anarchist People of Color, is under attack and needs your support.
Last week, Cienfuegos was stopped by police and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, a serious crime that carries prison time in California.
One of Joaquin’s comrades gave illvox.org permission to post his account of what went down:
At around 11 p.m. we were driving down Lexington Avenue, where were we passed by the two pigs, who were looking at us as we drove by them. Before we got to the end of the block (Lexington and Cahuenga), they hit the lights on us.
Joaquin said “they’re pulling us over” as we were turning down my block (La Mirada Avenue). I told Joaquin not to stop until we got in front of my house, because if they were going to kill us or beat our asses, it was going to happen on my block and in front of my house where people could see.
As he slowed down in front of my house, the pigs came to each side of the car and one ask, “what took you so long to pull over?” and I said, “Because I told him not to stop until we got in front of my house, where we know we’re safe.” The pig said, “you are safe.” I told them “we were in front of my house” and what my address was.
At this point, they asked Joaquin for his drivers license. He didn’t have it because just three or so weeks ago he was robbed and had his his wallet, cell phone taken. They told him to exit the car, where they put cuffs on him right away and asked me if I was on parole or probation and I told them no.
I also told them Joaquin needed to get my wheelchair out of his trunk so I can get out of his car. The pig came to the driver’s side of the car and popped the trunk, went to the back and put the wheelchair together. At that point the pig saw a machete in the trunk and asked Joaquin “what was he doing with a machete?” Joaquin said that “he does gardening work from time to time and it shouldn’t be ‘illegal’ to have a machete in his trunk.”
As I exited the car. they told me I could go home. So I crossed the street and observed them from in front of my home. From afar, I hear the pig ask Joaquin, “what’s in this case?” He lifted the case out of the trunk and went to the back of the squad car… I went into my house to make some calls and then came straight back out, and saw one of the pigs searching the car and ask, “are you going to tow his car?” The pig said “that he has a suspended license” and yes he was.
He then asked me, “did I know that he had an illegal gun in the trunk?” I told the pig, “that’s not my business and how was the gun illegal when I went with him to Turners to buy the gun?” he then said that “It was loaded.”
A couple of members of CW-LA guerrillas showed up with cameras and they took Joaquin off to the Hollywood Division.
Over the weekend, Cienfuegos was transferred from Hollywood Division to the Parker Center. At a court date on Monday, he was charged with felony “possession of concealed weapon.” Cienfuegos is being held on $40,000 bail, and has had his car impounded.
The arrest of Joaquin Cienfuegos is not without context. Cienfuegos has been active in Anarchist People of Color, anti-police brutality and self-determination circles. He has been outspoken in his community organizing, and continues to work actively for a new world. For police to pull over organizers is no coincidence. It is time to mobilize in support of an important voice!
A fundraising committee to try and gain Joaquin’s release is being established. Those in L.A. are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be held Wednesday, July 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Chuco Justice Center, 253 W. Martin Luther King Blvd. Please visit illvox.org for more updates.