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Oaxaca update
by tristan
Monday Oct 30th, 2006 4:04 PM
My friend Brad was killed and I just got to Oaxaca
My long time friend and companion in the struggle for a better world, Brad Will, was killed in Oaxaca, Mexico on Friday. Many people know him from protests in Seattle, DC, Praue, NY and many other places.
In Oaxaca there has been a five month teachers strike and encampment and the city was taken over and barricaded by the coalition of civil society groups called the APPO. The main demand of the protesters is the the governor, called URO leave. Then there are other demands of course. The governor sends people in civilian cloths, but often actually police, to attack. Friday they atttacked several places and killed four people, Brad was one. See nyc.indymedia.org for more info.
On Saturday there were more attacks and killings. On Sunday the Federal Police invaded. In all day battles they retook the town. Although they are not as viscous as the local police they killed three and arrested 50 plus many more were injured. On Sunday I arrived in Mexico City. I was in time to go on a march and go to three encampments for Oaxaca. One is a serious hunger strike.
I met up with other people and we took the night bus to Oaxaca City. We made it to Oaxaca this morning. The downtown central plaza, where the encampment was is surrounded by large groups of Federal Police and water cannon tanks. We went to the university and Radio Universidad is still transmitting. It is the last protestor controlled radio station. There had been battles there last night and the university held out. It was a crazy
scene outside the university with 30 punks with molotovs in thier pockets and driving stolen construction equiptment and stealing cars and knocking down light poles with a front loader. At 11:00 we had three big marches. We marched toward the central square but the leadership of APPO diverted us to a park for a rally. However hundreds gathered at the police lines to chant and shout. mostly it went without incidence but a few rocks were thrown and a few tear gas grenades shot.
The whole city is spray painted and burned out vehicles and partial barricades are everywhere. Capturing vehicles to use in barricades is the common tactic here. Often they are burned and their shells block streets all over. It seems mellow but you never know what will next. The struggle continues and the teachers are setting up an encampmant in a nearby square.