[Ed. note: A friend of a friend writes from the Mexican city of Oaxaca, where since mid-May a teachers' strike has unexpectedly turned into a broad-based movement against a government widely viewed as corrupt.]
Hi all. Having to mail this to all at once, due to the riots, blockades, and not having my computer connected. This has been a challenge, but I couldnt be in a more beautiful place right now.
Oaxaca is definitely in the midst of riots, etc. I cant get into town. All roads in have been blocked by huge rocks, burning city transit buses, etc. Its not good. Too much to tell now, and I doubt that you get the story, or the whole story, up there. My stores are running out of supplies. All banks in Oaxaca have been closed for a week. This presents a HUGE problem.
My little old lady neighbors bring me cooked food from their gardens, we have some tasty things like amaranth growing as weeds, and other neighbors are bringing scraps for the dogs. If I can find a good explanation about whats going on before I get to a computer again, Ill try to fill you in on the political situation here. I AM SAFE WHERE I LIVE.
Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers.
This just in from "Americas best political newsletter," CounterPunch. The author, George Salzman, and his partner, are friends of mine here in Oaxaca. They are well informed. This article is the best Ive found regarding whats happening in Oaxaca.
The streets of Oaxaca are SAFE in the daytime. The violence has occured in the late night, early morning hours. Its almost impossible for me to get into town due to the blockades. Most of my gringo friends who live in town tell me they go about their business and dont feel threatened or unsafe. We all miss the center of town (zocalo) where we would meet for lunch, a drink, visit and gossip.
The gringo library is the meeting place now
the zocalo is where most of the encampment is. I walked thru there last Friday, and the protesters camped out are calm, friendly, and wishing all this was over so they could get back with their families. This is no longer a teachers strike
it is a peoples revolution. All but the uninformed and the wealthy ten percent are in sympathy. They are determined to make a difference, to stop this horrid governor, etc.
The [protest in the] city is very much an inconvenience, but not dangerous, regardless of what you read or see in the news. The governing body has paramilitary and police carrying out night-time clandestine operations. The revolutionaries are carring machetes, bats, rolling pins for self protection. VIVA LA REVOLUCION! September should see some kind of resolution, as the federal government is finally getting into the fray, and saying that it will have to investigate the possibility of the governor being replaced, etc.
This is probably more than some of you want to know. Just keeping you informed better than Fox news can. On the home front, Im doing well. The mangoes, avacados, lemons, oranges are ripe. My huge coffee plant (14 feet tall) is covered with green berries, so will home roast coffee beans soon. My dogs are happy and healthy and staying out of trouble, though they go crazy barking when the old men on burros go by with their loads of alfafa. The air here is clean, and the mountains and forests are breathtaking. I miss being able to visit with friends, but am well stocked with books, and the huge garden keeps me busy.
Hope all is well with you. Love, T.