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death in oaxaca

by brad will
another murder in the months long struggle in oaxaca
early dawn, oct16

yesterday i went for a walk with the good people of oaxaca -- was walking
all day really -- in the afternoon they showed me where the bullets hit
the wall -- they numbered the ones they could reach -- it reminded me of
the doorway of amadou diallos home -- but here the grafitti was there
before the shooting began -- one bullet they didnt number was still in his
head -- he was 41 years old -- alejandro garcia hernandez -- at the
neighborhood barricade every night -- that night he came out to join his
wife and sons to let an ambulance through -- then a pickup tried to follow
-- he took their bullet when he told them they could not pass -- they
never did -- these military men in civilian dress shot their way out of

a young man who wanted to only be called marco was with them when the
shooting happened -- a bullet passed through his shoulder -- he was
clearly in shock when we met -- 19 years old -- said he hadnt told his
parents yet -- said he had been at the barricade every night -- said he
was going back as soon as the wound closed -- absolutely

just days before there was a delegation of senators visiting to determine
the ungovernability of the state -- they got a taste -- the call went out
to shut down the rest of the government -- dozens went walking out of the
zocalo city center with big sticks and a box full of spray paint -- they
took control of 3 city buses and went around the city all morning visiting
local government buildings and informing them that that they were closed
-- and we appreciate your voluntary cooperation -- and they filed out
preturbed but still getting paid -- shut -- as they pulled away from the
last stop 3 gunmen came out and started shooting -- 2 buses had already
pulled away -- mayhem -- 10 minute battle with stones and slingshots and
screaming -- one headwound -- another through the leg -- made their way to
the hospital while the fighting continued -- shout out on the radio and
people came from all parts -- the gunmen were around the side of the
building -- they got away -- they were inside -- no one sure -- watchful
-- undercover police were reported lurking around the hospital and folks
went running to stand watch over the wounded

what can you say about this movement -- this revolutionary moment -- you
know it is building, growing, shaping -- you can feel it -- trying
desperately for a direct democracy -- in november appo will have a state
wide conference for the formation of a state wide assemblea estatal del
pueblo de oaxaca (aepo) -- now there are 11 of 33 states in mexico that
have declared formation of assemblea populares like appo -- and on la otra
lado in the usa a few -- the marines have returned to sea even though the
federal police who ravaged atenco remain close by -- the new encampment in
mexico has begun a hunger strike -- the senate can expell URO -- whats
next nobodies sure -- it is a point of light pressed through glass --
ready to burn or show the way -- it is clear that this is more than a
strike, more than expulsion of a governor, more than a blockade, more than
a coalition of fragments -- it is a genuine peoples revolt -- and after
decades of pri rule by bribe, fraud, and bullet the people are tired --
they call him the tyrant -- they talk of destroying this authoritarianism
-- you cannot mistake the whisper of the lancandon jungle in the streets
-- in every street corner deciding together to hold -- you see it their
faces -- indigenous, women, children -- so brave -- watchful at night --
proud and resolute

went walking back from alejandros barricade with a group of supporters who
came from an outlying district a half hour away -- went walking with angry
folk on their way to the morgue -- went inside and saw him -- havent seen
too many bodies in my life -- eats you up -- a stack of nameless corpes
in the corner -- about the number who had died -- no refrigeration -- the
smell -- they had to open his skull to pull the bullet out -- walked back
with him and his people

and now alejandro waits in the zocalo -- like the others at their
plantones -- hes waiting for an impasse, a change, an exit, a way forward,
a way out, a solution -- waiting for the earth to shift and open --
waiting for november when he can sit with his loved ones on the day of the
dead and share food and drink and a song -- waiting for the plaza to turn
itself over to him and burst -- he will only wait until morning but
tonight he is waiting for the governor and his lot to never come back --
one more death -- one more martyr in a dirty war -- one more time to cry
and hurt -- one more time to know power and its ugly head -- one more
bullet cracks the night -- one more night at the barricades -- some keep
the fires -- others curl up and sleep -- but all of them are with him as
he rests one last night at his watch

uro= Ulises Ruiz Ortiz "governor" of the state of oaxaca
planton= sit in, vigil, encampment
zocalo= central plaza

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by ben
farewell brad -- you are with amadou diallo and alejandro garcia hernandez now -- i wish you strength, and peace, on your journey -- we will remember you with love on the dias de los muertos
by rolexn

you are us. You died doing the work
you knew is so important. We will continue
your work which is our work and we
will always remember you.

Peace to you brother.
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