Death in Oaxaca by Brad Will 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 there

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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