What with all the celebrity adoptions in Africa, Republican sex scandals involving evangelicals, fundraisers & creepy congressmen, bad John Kerry jokes, backdated stock options and whatever, it's wonder we have time to focus on anything else anymore...
What began in the spring as a protest by striking teachers and left-wing activists against corrupt state governor Ulises Ruiz, has evolved into a very unstable and dangerous situation. At least a dozen people have been killed, and more injuries, beatings and acts of violent retribution are widespread since Vincente Fox sent in the federales.
Here's a picture of Mexico's Federal Preventive Police officers assisting a member of the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO) , from November 2nd 2006, in Oaxaca, Mexico. At last reports the federales had circled the last remaining strongholds of protestors at the Benito Juarez University and were casually reminding them that they should all go back to class and pretend nothing is wrong.
The APPO claims they still have the city, but obviously the strength of their movement has been seriously challenged by the heavy presence of military hardware and troops.
The government have broken the people's siege with the help of tanks, water cannons and widespread use of gas fired from helicopters. The civilian resistance continues to hold the local student radio station, and says the police have partially retreated from some areas. The APPO radio is calling for the people to come down to the University area. They request that people stay united & support the movement, to leave their homes, bring medical supplies, including Coca Cola and vinegar for the burning eyes of those hiit by the gas attacks.
It is believed that by request of the government forces, The Red Cross is unable to assist any APPO supporters with injuries and many elderly, children and injured adults are in dire need of medical help.
Here is a song they played today on Radio Universidad that is broadcasting the news of the APPO and their struggle against the Mexican government and the corrupt regime of regional governor Ruiz.
It's a song from late Chilean composer Sergio Ortega, written just a few months prior to Allende's murder by the US/CIA supported Pinochet in 1973. The song runs with the populist refrain "The People United Will Never Be Defeated". His collaborators on the tune were the foremost folk group of the time Quilapayun...
Ortega, who escaped to France during Pinochet's murderous reign died in France in 2003...ironically four days after the 30th anniversary of the bloody coup d’etat. His remains were repatriated for burial in Chile.
Quilapayún / Sergio Ortega - El pueblo unido jamás será vencido
El pueblo unido jamás será vencido,
el pueblo unido jamás será vencido...
The people united will never be defeated,
The people united will never be defeated...
If all this seems somewhat esoteric to you, and unrelated to your life here in the U S of A, realize that the world is a small place with millions of people suffering unjustly, and our nation's collective economic and military policy are amongst the prime reasons.
For example in the above mentioned Chiean coup of 1973, it is widely known that the US government was in full support of Pinochet's actions that took out a democratically elected government. Thousands were tortured, and dissapeared, a reign of terror that still haunts millions of it's citizens, as a vibrant nation was radically transformed from an open society to a fascist dictaorship overnight.
In a few years leading up to the coup, our government spent millions creating creating strikes, disinformation campaigns, funding political groups, and training death & torture squads. All the while we were conferring with corporate stakeholders like ITT & Anaconda mining, who would later offer jobs to the dirty tricksters & bureaucrats in Washington and stations abroad who enabled the activities.
U.S. intelligence officials in Chile & Washington met with Pinochet's hard rightwing reps for months before the coup, and our warships stood by off the coast of Valparaiso to give symbolic support for Pinochet's illegal & brutal military insurgency. Once the coup was complete the US released millions more in economic aid & funding as a reward to the new regime.
In fact, historic release of intelligence documents shows that the US government not only supported taking out Allende, they never wanted him in and had been determined to keep him him out in the first place.
In 1964, 9 years before Pinochet's military overthrow, The US had actually spent more money influencing Chilean politics and keeping Allende out of office the first time he ran unsucessfully for president than was spent by both US Presidential ( Goldwater vs Johnson) campaigns that year.
The US was ultimately very concerned that if Allende's brand of "social democracy" actually worked, and people benefitted in some way, that the interests of US corporations could be hurt.
Allende's wife in 1975 said that over a four decade period US mining interests lead by " the copper companies earned $420 billion on original investments totalling $35 million."
Allende, a doctor, had created programs to feed and educate the poor, and do some actual wealth re-distribution.
What if the idea of poor people actually having a voice spread to Argentina, Venezueala, Guatemala, or even across the ocean to Spain, Greece or Africa?
Or god forbid, New Orleans and Oakland?
Now we are supposedly speading our darn good and pretty smart democracy to Iraq, while Latin American countries increasingly awken and vote in politicians who look a lot more like Allende than a Bush, Kissinger, Pinochet or Negroponte.
Meanwhile today in Oaxaca, Low flying military helicopters are continuously dropping tear gas on protesters, while armored cops swing batons indiscriminately at groups of civilian resistors. Barricades of junked cars remain in various locations, and poor people of all ages are scrambling for cover.
The Federal Government troops are violently pushing into the area, and want to take control of the AM radio station known as Radio Universidad that has spread the words of teachers, students, workers, indigenous people, and others the Mexican government wants silenced.
Tanks and large machinery were used in Oaxaca today and thousands of women, children, and men were protesting in the streets, most simply & peacefully resisting and marching. There are reports that several more protesters were killed during the incursion of the police, including a child. Many who have been abducted were taken to Ixcotel Penitentary and military camps and are being beaten & interrogated there. Federal poloice and plainclothes agents of the state are also raiding and destroying homes in Oaxaca, as already happened in Atenco.
The APPO radio says two tanks were disabled, and calls for protestors to continue disabling the miltary vehicles, by using paint stripper on the electronics, and burnt oil on the windscreens.
For an mp3 stream of an APPO broadcast click to tune in here
Fortunately we are mostly spared this in our newscasts as Madonnas adoption style, Reese Witherspoons divorce, droll & unending streams of sports world trivia, and John Kerry's weak humor clog the US headline machine. The latest scandal to distract us all of course will be the pastor that puts out... Ted Haggard, the outed evangelical Christian leader dude who apparently leads a double life that includes sucking dick, paying for buttsex & doing meth, and then preaching about hating fags ...
Gotta love this clip from Jesus camp...
meanwhile back on the battlelines in Oaxaca
Supporters of the Popular Assembly of the People walk in Oaxaca last week where the months long protest has turned increasingly violent as Mexican State Police and vigilantes skirmish with masked civilians at blockades and throughout the city.
Here is a picture of a policeman who was apprehended by protestors and accused of thieving before being tied to a lamp post and publically ridiculed the other day.
a report from late August on the theft of antiquities in the Oaxaca region...
IndyBay Audio interview with Miguel Perez
David Rovics - Behind The Barricades
Endless Blockade - Help
Rolando Random & The Young Soul Rebels - I'm In The Mood For A Riot
Os Almirantes - Los Federales
Stonegard - Barricades
Apathites - Riot On Thursday
Captain Ponche - Federales Fuera
Entropy - Riot At The Bloc Party (mashup)
The Paradise Boys - "There's A Riot Goin' Off"
The Young & the Guest List
- Buy at iTunes Music Store
Download "There's A Riot Goin' Off" (MP3, 192kbps)
In other inane news...
it appears that a bomb went off outside PayPal's 4 story HQ in San Jose on Tuesday eve. A window was shattered, but no one was injured, even with dozens of employees onsite. Even if merely a Halloween prank, the incident remained suspicious enough for ATF & FBI agents to converge and employees told to work from home on Weds. The SJ Mercury News got some dumb relatively random paranoid of employees & Animal Rights activists conspiracy quotes from some quickly rounded up so-called experts just to liven up the news report.
`You're a target if you have a commodity that's of any particular value, whether it's home invasion or the CEO being kidnapped. It doesn't have to be a terrorist group; it could be the Animal Liberation Front,'' said Forrest Franklin, director of operations for Focus Group Consultants in Carson City, Nev., who has worked as a consultant for Silicon Valley companies. ``If you've got 3,000 people in your company, you've got 3,000 potential perps.''
Ken Silva, chief security officer for VeriSign, agreed that such attacks can come from disgruntled employees.
Uh, get on the clue train guys....Let's Face it, PayPal has no shortage of enemies, like those with frozen accounts, and others with unsatisfactory dealings, some that recently resulted in a million dollar class action settlement paid out in 28 states. The EBay owned financial transaction service provides extremely weak customer service and has upset many with it's less than satifactory resolution process. Wired speculates further with a snarky article called... Top Ten Reason You'd Want To Bomb PayPal
Bourbonese Qualk - Logic Bomb
Chemical Brothers - Bomb Threat
Lordz of Brooklyn - Out Ta Bomb
We Are Scientists - The Bomb Inside The Bomb
Godsmack - Time Bomb
evenstar - cherry bomb
Vinyl - Pipe Bomb
Slick Rick, Beatnuts , Method Man - Brooklyn Bomb
Gap Band - You Dropped A Bomb On Me