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Report back on today's Solidarity with Oaxaca action in PDX.
@I have a camera that was left on the altar at today's action. Mail me with description and I will get it to you.@

About 70 activists braved the cold and whipping wind at the PDX Mexican Consulate this afternoon to support and stand in solidarity with the people of Oaxaca.

What began as a protest by striking teachers in Oaxaca continues months later as the crackdown on dissent claims the lives of those engaged in the struggle for justice.

An altar outside the Consulate began to grow as more people arrived at today's action. Homage was given to those who have lost their lives in the Oaxacan struggle as candles (that wouldn't stay lit!!), food, photos of Oaxacan street fighting, symbols of global solidairty and placards of the names of the deceased piled heavily at the altar.

I arrived just as cleanup crews were removing the broken glass door to the Consulate. Police had shattered the glass to gain entrance to the building after two demonstraters had locked themselves inside and to the front door. The two were taken into custody.

Chris Ferlazzo described to the crowd how police first tried to saw the locks off the demonstraters and then tried the 'jaws of death' to cut through the steel locks holding the protesters to the door. A crew from the Consulate inexplicably covered the police and two demonstraters with a huge tarp, blocking them from the view of gathering activists and independant and mainstream media. The whole affair took about 30 minutes before the 2 arrestees were led away in handcuffs.

A representative from Portland Public Schools spoke about contact with teachers in Oaxaca who have sent updates about the brutal repression that residents there experience daily in the militarized region. The manifestation of military prescence, even when in the abscence of actual state violence, continues to color the daily lives of residents with implied violence.

Two activistas gave an update on the latest Oaxacan events. A PDX IMCista also spoke about the killing of NYC Imcista Brad Will and the importance of continuing independant media work. I also addressed the crowd on the significance of the Mexican Dias de los Muertos altar and how we must know and remember the names of all who have given their lives in this continuing struggle.

Halfway through the speaker presentations, two comrades who had made their way to the 8th floor of the adjoining Consulate building did a banner drop out the window. Spray painted on the huge banner were Mexican calaveras and the words: TODOS SOMOS OAXACA (WE ARE ALL OAXACA). This brought cheers from the crowd.

Toward the end of the action, two reps from the Consulate approached the crowd with the concern that some of the immigrants who had evening appointments were afraid to leave because they feared the crowd might become violent. Pedro Sosa of VOZ took the bullhorn to address this, shouting to those inside the Consulate that we were not gathered to do harm but rather to stand in support with Oaxacans who both live in Mexico and in the U.S. The crowd began to chant words of support in Spanish with raised fists of solidarity. This brought some clapping and a raised fist or two from those on the other side of the fence that separated us from them.

Planning is underway to have a continuous prescence at the Consulate. for more info on this contact PCASC (Portland Central Solidarity Committee at

homepage: homepage: http://molotovmojada.blogspot.com

Great job! solidaridad PDX 31.Oct.2006 20:30

pedro ferbel-azcarate

great job marlena-- i will stop by tomorrow!

It came from the dumpster 01.Nov.2006 07:52

mourner komachionono[AT]gmail[DOT]com

I found the video camera in a dumpster-it's trashed-and dug it out to bring along to symbolize journalist/comrade Brad Will's death. I was going to smash it up a bit more and had made some fake blood to put on it but it seemed too over-the-top and might have messed up the altar. Thanks for you honesty.

San Francisco vigil 01.Nov.2006 12:03

Jody Paulson

I asked someone how many people she thought was there (I'm pretty bad at guestimating crowds) and she said at least 200. At any rate, there were so many of us there wasn't enough room for us all to hear the speakers without spilling out into the busy road. There were a lot of people from the labor movement who spoke at first, but I didn't hear them because I was in the street with a sign. Emotions started getting rather high after sunset -- crowds were chanting something like "assasinados" at the embassy, shaking their fists. The guys inside seemed a fairly nervous. (I understand the crowd needed someone to vent their anger towards, but I saw those embassy people come and go at a much smaller vigil the day before and they seemed somewhat sympathetic to me.) Later I went to put some things on the altar and some young people who were close to Brad Will spoke. It was very moving. The last guy said, "This is for you, Brad" and he took out a ketchup dispenser and splotched the windows and door of the embassy what looked like red paint. Some of it splashed back on me. My hands looked to be red with blood. I don't know if it's my nationality or my own particular karma, but I was profoundly affected by this. I came to the realization that as Americans, as human beings, we need to know that every time we use violence as a means of asserting our control over others we have blood on our hands.

Here are some pictures from the San Francisco vigil (that's me in the first one).  http://indybay.org/newsitems/2006/10/31/18325303.php