portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary global

imperialism & war

A World Away

As I write this, a woman screams across the crackling wires. A faceless cry of anguish from a world away. I stare out through the grey, impassive, Oregon rain, squinting through the fog, trying to see her, trying to imagine what it's like down there. Trying mutely to offer solidarity. Reaching out across the ether to someone I have never seen, but whose voice I recognize as a comrade. I'm listening to the voice of Oaxaca.
This, this is why our voices matter. This is why independent media matters. This is why the real media -- narco news, indymedia, radio universidad, etc -- is worth the risks that people are taking for it. Last summer, the women of Oaxaca put their bodies on the line to storm the corporate media. They took over first one, and then all the television stations in the region, and have occupied them ever since. Their strong voices have been heard across the world, all through this struggle. A week ago today, an imcista gave his life to make sure this story would be heard. As the crackdown began, he was shot down with his camera in his hands, still bearing witness to the violence even as the life drained from his body. And today, as guns sound and tear gas falls from the sky and tanks roll down streets, the brave voices of our comrades at Radio Universidad continue to defiantly call out through the crackling wires.

Yes, this matters. This is a voice that will not be silenced. Without the strong voices of our comrades on Radio Universidad, the world might have ignored what is happening down there. Without the solidarity of media activists throughout the world, without the strength and ingenuity of those who took over the television stations and set up this radio station and got word out to the world, our comrades in Oaxaca might have been erased from history.

But we hear them. We are with them. They will not be silenced.

As I listen to these powerful voices, holding together under the terrorism that has been unleashed against them, I feel almost impotent up here. I'm so far away from them. I can hear their screams, but I cannot stop the tanks. I don't know what to do. So I keep listening, keep listening. As if this connection between them and me is a lifeline. As if, in listening, in bearing witness, in willing my strength and solidarity to them, they can be stronger. As if in hearing their voices, in gathering in the strength and inspiration offered up by them to me, I can be stronger. Yes, it's a lifeline, but I'm not sure for whom. I need to hear their story as much as they need to tell it.

This is the strength of the story, the power of an idea that cannot be silenced. The oppressor knows that it is the control over the story that confers real power. That's why every oppressor's first act is to consolidate control over the media. Because an idea, communicated by brave voices, is a dangerous thing to the oppressor. It can catch hold and take off like wildfire. It can ignite the spark of resistance and revolution, even half a world away. And so it is with the story of Oaxaca. The oppressor can drop cannisters of tear gas from the sky, they can shoot bodies, they can rumble down the streets in tanks. But they cannot shoot down an idea. Once it has been offered up into the ether, then it is free. And these ideas being offered up from the guts of resistance, there in the streets of Oaxaca, these are dangerous ideas. And we are a dangerous people. A strong, inspired, rising, dangerous people.

Vamos a Resistir. Todos somos Oaxaca.
Homestead, Pennsylvania? 02.Nov.2006 15:22

LN

All of this sounds way too familiar. Does Pinkerton have a contract to kill in Oaxaca?
Excellent post, Cat.
Without constant vigilance, we are all alone. Keep up the pressure.

Fantastic piece! Thanks Catwoman (whoever you are) 02.Nov.2006 23:01

Wiley50@Democraticunderground.com

Since Friday AM, I have been sitting in front of this monitor being a funnel.
I have aquired as much info as I could from places like the Oaxaca Study Action Group @ Yahoo (where I have friends in Oaxaca),
Indymedia (of course. You folks ROCK!), and the live english text translation of Radio APPO ( Radio Universidad and Radio Planton) at itteration.org, and then funneling it all onto my home website at Democraticunderground.com; where the general mood is very progressive and ready to rock in the free world.
Thankyou. You have touched us all and put words to what had only been a feeling.

Wiley

In case you want to listen too... 03.Nov.2006 12:08

a world away


response 03.Nov.2006 18:50

troubled student eviltracker1@yahoomail.com

I have been watching the news on oaxaca to understand exactly whats happening and am sending out my feelings as far out as I can, the only thing I can think of that would make a difference is if people start spreading the word more than they already are, and that we to show our support should try and get supplies such as water and food down to the APPO, or get a group of people who can and are willing to go down there and not activly participate in the movement but show the federal police that the world is watching and hopefully get enough people to prove that many many people care.