‘Cara al sol’ is one of the singles from the upcoming album “Lo olvidado” by Puerto Rican rapcore duo Yuca Brava. I hit up the band’s DM to get some more info about the release. Félix Castro, one half of YB, told me about the inspiration behind the song.
The song is based on a piece from a Jose Marti’s poem “Versos Sencillos XXlll”: “No me pongan en lo oscuro a morir como un traidor, yo soy bueno y como bueno moriré de cara al sol” which roughly translates to “Don’t put me in the dark to die like a traitor, I’m good and as such I’ll die with my face towards the sun”.
With the new single, the band intends to pay tribute to all people fighting injustice around the world. Félix tells me that more often than not there is a collective noise drowning the actions of hardworking activists or their efforts are completely overlooked by mainstream media. But they shall not go unnoticed or forgotten.
“We want to send a message to the people who are day by day in the streets fighting without expecting anything in return or aware that they will not see the fruits of their struggle but still keep going forward. We may die, but we will die facing the sun, knowing that what had to be done was done.”
Mass protests have been taking place across Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) since the country’s military seized power in a coup d’état on February 1st, 2021.
The military junta took the reins of power following a general election which Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) won by a landslide. The elected leader is under “house arrest” in an unknown location ever since.
Sen. General Min Aung Hlaing, under whom the military intensified the crackdown on the (Muslim) Rohingya ethnic minority in Rakhine State in recent years, declared a one-year-long state of emergency and assumed all state power for this period.
It’s worth noting that Myanmar was a military dictatorship from 1962 until 2011.
The Ongoing Protest Movement
A strong movement of civil disobedience emerged in the first days of February in a vocal opposition to the new regime. The protests over the coup have been the largest since the so-called Saffron Revolution in 2007, when thousands of monks rose up against the previous military rule.
At first, spearheaded by medical workers, nurses and doctors, the movement started to grow with people from all walks of life joining in.
On February 6th, people finally took their protests onto the streets of Yangon and other cities across the South East Asian country. It’s estimated that around 100,000 people participated on this day alone in the protests in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city.
The protests were supported by several organizations, including student unions, labour unions, and a wide range of social justice activist groups. Among the social justice groups supporting the protests is the Yangon chapter of the international Food Not Bombs movement.
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Myanmar, the punks organized a huge support network for the people in need. Food Not Bombs also organized protests and mutual-aid campaigns in support of garment factory workers and labour unions as the factories shut down without any compensation to the workers.
Now, the Food Not Bombs activists are on the frontlines of the anti-coup movement, supporting protestors with medical masks, water, food and protection gear. As the protests intensify, the military is tightening their grip even more. Armoured vehicles rolled out onto the streets and the army cut off the state media TV & radios, local phone lines and access to internet.
Water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds were used against the protestors. Reports have shown civilians being dragged out of their houses at night and arrested by the police. More than 500 people, including many children, have been killed by the police & military, according to various reports.
100% Three Fingers in the Air Punk Rock: A Benefit Compilation
A benefit hardcore punk / crust compilation was organized by Bristol, UK’s F.O.T.K. band and Death Pint Records in coordination with Organize and Arise. The aim of the fundraiser is to set up a support network of solidarity with the work of Food Not Bombs Yangon during the now ongoing protests.
The money will be used to further support the protestors and people in need. Food Not Bombs Yangon is also teaming up with other activist organizations like labour and student unions.
This new compilation features tracks by Myanmar’s own The Rebel Riot and 24 other bands across the globe, including unreleased tracks by F.O.T.K (UK)., Nightfeeder (US), and Japanese ‘Burning Spirits’ originators Death Side, alongside tracks by the likes of Doom (UK), Exit-Stance (UK), Forward (Japan), War//Plague (US), Visions of War (Belgium), Cliterati (US), Phane (Canada), Orphanage Named Earth (Poland), Carburetor Dung (Malaysia), Detractors (US), Bratakus (Scotland), Genöme (Sweden), Crutches (Sweden), Zero Again (UK), and many more.
To support the cause, follow the Bandcamp link and donate $10 or more.