Protest at Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia

October 30th, 2006 – This morning around 30 people gathered outside the Mexican consulate (located in the Bourse building) in Philadelphia to protest ongoing paramilitary violence against the people of Oaxaca, Mexico, including the murder of NYC Indymedia journalist Brad Will. Will was fatally wounded by right-wing gunmen while documenting the ongoing repression in the state of Oaxaca.

Demonstrators displayed signs and banners in both Spanish and English and passed out bilingual informational flyers to everyone who passed by. Some demonstrators also attempted to speak with officials at the consulate as well. At one point all of the demonstrators, chanting, entered the Bourse building. They were quickly repelled by the police but continued to chant and leaflet outside the building for another half hour.

source with photos: phillyimc.org

by Mike Pesa
e-mail:: [email protected]

2 Comments

  1. Oaxaca Libre, la Lucha Sigue!
    phillyimc.org

    by dave onion and paul walker | 10.30.2006

    This morning a small crowd gathered to protest the ongoing assault on Oaxacan rebels and the murders of a number of activists including indymedia reporter Brad Will, a personal friend to many of us in the anti-capitalist movement and beyond. The protest coincided with the invasion of Federal cops, the feared PFP, who began arriving in Oaxaca city yesterday in the hundreds on planes and this morning had begun raiding homes and making numerous arrests of community organizers.

    We started out with a thin crowd handing out flyers and chatting to folks on the street, and to Mexicans coming into the consulate to do paperwork. Colorful banners read “Federales Out of Oaxaca”, “Ya Basta” and “Death Squads Out of Oaxaca Mexico”.

    Three of us entered the consulate and spoke with a representative, “Blanca.” She refused to give her last name, or to allow us to speak with anyone else. When we told her that we were protesting the killing of Brad Will and the attacks on Oaxacan unionists and other protesters she made a comment to the effect that we didn’t know what “kind of people” they were. She didn’t have any statement from the consulate but had vacationed in Oaxaca.

    She said that she would pass our flier and our concerns on to the consul. We expressed concerns that an official statement be made by the consulate acknowledging the killing, as well as the protest.

    Others, some who had just gotten in from Mexico City the day before came with fresh news about the popular Assemblies and talked to others inside who were waiting for the consular bureaucracy.

    Back outside the consulate, after about an hour of relative silence, some of the Mexicans in the crowd, upset with our Gringo tranquility livened up the situation chanting “Oaxaca Libre, La Lucha Sigue!” (Free Oaxaca, the struggle continues!). The mood livened up somewhat and we made our way towards the consulate to deliver our demands en masse:

    We demand an end to state violence in Oaxaca, in particular the removal of Federal Preventative Police and state paramilitaries!

    Investigate the killing of Brad Will

    We support the demands of the teachers union and the APPO

    The resignation of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, governor of Oaxaca.

    But the crowd was blocked upon entering the building by Civil Affairs officers. We could have taken them easily was the general consensus of the crowd, but we chose not to. One Civil Affairs Officer’s mysterious advice was for us to read the Constitution. Did he want us to return with guns, some of us wondered? They couldn’t possibly have meant it. On the street the rally wrapped up while the spirit was still strong. And while Brad’s death for myself and those who knew him is still more or less impossible to accept, the collective spirit of struggle and solidarity from others in it for the long haul was a consolation and
    uplifting.

    As I write this and am checking other news on Oaxaca, the situation is intensifying. A full on military reaction is dealing our Mexican sisters and brothers a very hard blow. We should expect more killings and hundreds of political prisoners if any recent Mexican history is any indication of what’s coming. I think we should also remember that while Brad’s life shouldn’t be seen as more valuable than those of Mexicans who’ve been killed in this struggle, Brad and others who’ve gone down to the south in solidarity have gone down with the knowledge that our presence can at times be a real buffer against government repression; and in death, may make this ongoing massacre on the part of capital visible, here in the US where power concentrates and where pressure could make a difference. So let’s step up the pressure, because we can. And because Brad always loved an insurrection.

    up to date info on Oaxaca: narconews.com

  2. What were the travel documents required for a US NON citizen to travel from Philadelphia to Mexico back in August 2006?
    Thank you in advance for your prompt response.
    Maria

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