I am still subscribed to some anarchist listservs, a holdover from my days in “the movement.” The most recent alert concerns “political prisoner” Joaquin Cienfuegos. According to his comrades, Mr. Cienfuegos was driving without a license when the police attempted to pull him over. Rather than pulling over, Cienfuegos continued to drive until reaching his a friend’s residence. Then, when finally pulled over, Los Angeles police discovered a loaded weapon in the trunk of his car. Cienfuegos was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and had bail set at $40,000.
Accordingly, the international anarchist “movement” has rallied around Cienfuegos as a “voice of militancy and reason in the Los Angeles area” and a “political prisoner.” Here is a comment at Anarkismo.net:
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.
I attempted to post a comment at Anarkismo.net as well as Indymedia but my comments were deleted.
Militancy and reason rarely, if ever, go hand in hand. Militants are radicals and radicals are not known for being reasonable. They tend to be self-righteous and self-centered while pretending to care about some sort of common good. There is plenty of evidence Cienfuegos is not a reasonable individual.
First, if this individual were truly reasonable he would not have driven without a license. Driving a car is a privilege throughout the United States (even California). It is not a right.
Second, if this individual were truly reasonable he would have pulled over when the police hit their lights. He’s lucky he was not stopped with a P-I-T maneuver.
Third, if this individual were truly reasonable he would not have been rolling around Los Angeles with a loaded firearm in his trunk. Any reasonable person would know that is considered a concealed weapon in California:
California Penal Code section 12025 does not prevent a citizen of the United States over 18 years of age who is not lawfully prohibited from firearm possession, and who resides or is temporarily in California, from transporting by motor vehicle any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person provided the firearm is unloaded and stored in a locked container [emphasis mine].
Lastly, the Los Angeles police work in an incredibly dangerous environment. The anarchists Cienfeugos runs with are keen on revolutionary imagery and rhetoric (“Pedro’s Got a Pipebomb Set for the 4th of July”) that went out in the 60s. For future reference, when you kids play militant revolutionary games you should be prepared to deal with the consequences.