3) Calle 13: Unified Action and the Power of the Proletariat

In the song “El Hormiguero“, Residente uses the metaphor of an ant colony to represent the fight of workers against the oppression of exploitative capitalist and imperialist forces. It would be difficult to interpret this track in any way other than as a sign of resistance and rebellion – especially when Emiliano Zapata is referenced. Although he speaks of peaceful means, Residente also call on the commitment and unity of workers so they can face up to the powerful forces that try to keep them oppressed.


Sin disparar al aire sin tirar misiles                                             (Without firing missiles into the air)

Sin tener que matar gente usando proyectiles                   (Without having to kill people with shells)

La guerra la peleamos sin usar fusiles                                      (We fight the war without using weapons)

De bloque en bloque como los albañiles…                            (Block by block, like builders)


Aunque sean pequeñas gracias a la unión                             (Although small, thanks to unity)

Todas juntas se convierten en camión                                    (They gain the strength of a truck)


Pobre del vaquero que nos subestima                                   (Poor cowboy who underestimates us)

Cuando se duerme se le viene la colonia encima…            (When he sleeps, the whole colony will pounce)


Los humildes se comieron a los nobles                                   (The humble ate the noble)

Para el 2020 vamos a ser el doble,                                            (By 2020, there’ll be twice as much of us!)

Aquí no hay racismo, no se trata de raza                                (Here there’s no racism, this isn’t about race)

Si trabajo aquí, pues aquí tengo mi casa                                 (If I work here, then here’s my home)


Ser imparcial de eso es que se trata                                         (This is about being impartial)

Hay que compartir los dulces de la piñata              (We’ve got to share the sweets from the piñata)

Ahora si el vaquero nos maltrata                                               (Today, if the cowboy mistreats us)

Puede ser que a las hormigas les salga lo de Zapata          (Our spirit of Zapata may be revived)


En equipo se resuelve cualquier contratiempo                   (As a team, we overcome all setbacks)

Cuando te picamos, picamos al mismo tiempo                    (When we bite, we bite in unison)

Sobre nuestra unidad no debe haber preguntas                                (There’s no questioning our unity)

Frente al peligro las hormigas mueren juntas…                   (Faced with danger, we die together)


Un país durmiendo es un país desierto                                  (A sleeping country is like a desert)

Mi gobierno se asusta cuando me despierto                       (My government is scared when I awake)

Pueden tirarse hasta los federales                                           (They can even throw the Feds at us)

Somos 600 millones sin contar los ilegales             (But we’re 600 million, without counting ‘illegals’)


Entre las patas nunca escondo el rabo                                    (I never hide my tail between my legs)

Prefiero morir como rebelde que vivir como esclavo       (I prefer to die as a rebel tan die as a slave)

Apuesto que los tuyos se rinden primero                             (I bet your guys surrender first)

Porque los soldados míos no pelean por dinero                 (Because mine don’t fight for money!)


No le tengo miedo a las confrontaciones                               (I’m not scared of conflicto)

Porque yo me crié con invasiones                                            (Because I grew up with invasions)

Y como las hormigas, si tengo mala suerte                            (And, like ants, if I strike bad luck)

Defiendo mi hormiguero hasta la muerte                             (I defend my colony to the death!)


El Hormiguero – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQRESivVLuQ


About Ed Sykes

Independent journalist. Co-founder of Phoenix Media Co-operative. Author of Rojava: An Alternative. Ex-Canary editor and writer (2015-2020). Aka 'Oso Sabio' - see @ososabiouk on Twitter.
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1 Response to 3) Calle 13: Unified Action and the Power of the Proletariat

  1. Pingback: Calle 13: The Ayotzinapa Case Is a Disgrace | Resistance Is Fertile

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