A report back from the Day of the Dead Caravan to Oaxaca

Brad Will Presente! Oaxaca Resiste! Fuera PFP de Oaxaca! Presos Politicos Libertad!
Days of Action for our Dead, for our Imprisoned, for our Media!

*Author’s note: Brad Will was a beloved friend to many within the Rising Tide North America collective. He participated in the RTNA founding meetings within the Earth First! Climate Caucus in February of 2006. He was Rising Tide’s main NYC contact for the one-year anniversary critical-mass actions to commemorate the victims and survivors of Hurricane Katrina. And he was also active in Mexico and Venezuela during Rising Tide initiatives carried out under the banner of Marea Creciente Mexico – Rising Tide Mexico.

After a week long campaign of events in Mexico City, the Day of the Dead Caravan was able to raise sufficient funds to travel to Oaxaca City to commemorate the November 2nd anniversary of the All Saint’s Day victory when the people of Oaxaca succeed last year in repelling Federal Police from taking Radio Universidad, in the heart of the Benito Juarez Autonomous University.

img_0794.JPG This past November 2nd, members of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca-APPO, took to the streets for a march from the Section 22 Teacher’s Union building to the Cinco Señores intersection, site of an acclaimed APPO barricade. In the early morning, a group of barricade supporters tired to recreate the Cinco Señores barricade until being brutally beaten and chassed by federal preventative police. There are varied accounts of number of arrested that morning that range between 5 and 15 people.

In the afternoon, members of the APPO emerged from an emergency meeting called to determine actions to be taken in response to the early morning police repression. Day of the Dead Caravan members responded to the call with the only alter and offerings present at the march. We were able to have a large poster with Brad’s picture with slogans above that read “For our Dead. For our Imprisoned” and “Memory and Struggle” below, carried throughout the march. Hundreds of people passed by and praised the alter and our efforts.

The caravan for our Dead, for our Imprisoned, and for our Media, began on October 27, commemorating the one-year anniversary death by assassination of our friend, the Indymedia reporter Brad Will. For the next 5 days, people who participated in the caravan recreated a day of the dead alter with Brad’s picture and offerings that were donated by people passing by contributing to the assembly of flowers, fruits, food, and candles.

The “mobile alter” was taken to Oaxaca City on November 1st, aboard the Halcon Milinairo, a converted RV indymedia-center that transported Day of the Dead caravan members from Mexico City to Oaxaca. The caravan was women-led and involved groups including the Cooperativa Alimetaria Acatlan, Batas Locas, Cooperativa de Medios, Chanti-Ollin, Aliaza Rebelde Intergalá¡ctica, Marea Creciente Mexico / Rising Tide Mexico, Comedor Popular Vegetariano,

On November 3rd, we were able to screen a series of videos in the neighboring suburb of Oaxaca city, in the town of Zaachila. The mobile alter was recreated and photos documenting last year’s conflicts were hung around the plaza with placards describing the images in the photographs- images of marches, police violence, people in the streets resisting, the people of Oaxaca mobilizing.

In remembering Brad Will’s death, we, the participants in the Day of the Dead Caravan also made people in Mexico aware of the degree of injustice and corruption that surrounds the previous and current Mexican governments. Brad’s death is still an unresolved case. And even with an enormous amount of evidence, including the names of the perpetrators of Brad’s assassination, Mexican officials still deny the expeditious process of justice.

We also were able to draw attention to the current debate surrounding the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership, Plan Mexico, and Plan Merida; a series of bi-national security and “anti-terrorism” policies and initiatives aimed at increasing US funding, public and private, in Mexico’s police and security forces, ostensibly for counter-narcotic and anti-terrorism purposes, but widely recognized as a build-up of police repression forces to combat a growing and increasingly organized social justice movement.

All the expenses throughout the week were raised solely by small donations from common Mexican citizens passing by Brad’s alter and through the sale of videos, stickers, patches, food, and coffee.

More interest and support is needed from the “progressive” sectors in the US, if we truly want to create and informed and critical social base that can develop strong oppositions to policies like Plan Mexico, and other sinister foreign policies the US government imposes on economically weaker countries.

For more information on the Day of the Dead Caravan, the groups who participated, or how you can support future activities of the Intergalactic Rebel Alliance- please contact:

Cristian Guerrero at- guerrero(at)riseup(dot)net or cristian(at)risingtidenorthamerica(dot)org

For more information of Brad Will, Plan Mexico, and other struggle for justice here in Mexico- please visit- www.friendsofbradwill.org

Memory and Struggle

Political Prisoners- Freedom!

Stop the Repression

Don’t hate the media- Liberate them!

No forgiveness, No forgetting, Punishment to those Responsible

Ulisies Ruiz Oritz-URO and the Bad Government Out!

November 4, 2007.
Day of the Dead Caravan.


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