GI SPECIAL 4H24: 24/8/06
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Bush Calls On American Civilians And U.S. Troops To Organize For Revolution And Overthrow The Government
August 22, 2006 Guardian Unlimited
Mr Bush said US troops would not leave Iraq “so long as I’m the president”.
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
101st Soldier Killed In Combat
August 8, 2006 The Leaf Chronicle
A 101st Airborne Division infantry soldier died Saturday at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany from injuries he suffered last Wednesday in Baghdad, Iraq.
Pfc. Brian J. Kubik, 20, of Harker Heights, Texas, was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. He was wounded when his unit came under enemy small arms fire.
Kubik joined the Army in January 2005 and arrived at Fort Campbell four months later.
He is survived by his parents, Barbara and James Flynn, also of Harker Heights.
During his time in the Army, Kubik was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Army Commendation Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and posthumously the Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Good Conduct Medal and Purple Heart.
A memorial service for Kubik will be held in Iraq by his unit. He also will be honored during an Eagle Remembrance Ceremony Wednesday at Fort Campbell.
A total of 165 Fort Campbell soldiers have died while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom since March 2003.
Bend Marine Mourned:
Aug. 21, 2006 By Barney Lerten, KTVZ.com and AP
Marine Lance Cpl. Randy Lee Newman of Bend was killed in not his first, but his third encounter with improvised explosive devices in Iraq, including one that gave him a concussion and put him in the hospital for a week, a family friend said Tuesday as the military confirmed his death.
The family of the 21-year-old Marine, born in Bend and raised in La Pine, learned of his death when Jerry and Ramona Newman got the fateful visit to their Bend home around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, family friend Cecil Wilson said.
They were told Newman was riding in a light armored vehicle when an improvised explosive device blew it up just outside of Iraq’s capital.
On Tuesday, flags lined the driveway to the family home east of Bend. Newman homes from a large family; his father is a long-time painting company owner in Bend, and has eight brothers and two sisters, while mother Ramona has four brothers and a sister.
Newman, who was deployed to Iraq in the spring, “was like my son,” Wilson said. “My son’s in Afghanistan. This is his best friend.”
Newman, born at St. Charles Medical Center-Bend, grew up in La Pine and moved to Bend in the fall of 2000 with his parents and two younger brothers, Dan, 18, who graduated from Mountain View last year, and Ken, who is 8, Wilson said. Newman was on the Cougars’ wrestling team and was in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
“Randy was involved in sports at all levels, baseball and basketball,” and was on the varsity wrestling team, Wilson said.
Newman was in the Marines within a year of graduation, just as he’d wanted, the family friend said.
“The family’s very pro what Randy wants,” he said. “We’re not negative – no bitterness. There’s extreme sadness, of course. It’s a solid family, been around here for a long time and well-established in the community.”
Newman was the second Central Oregonian killed in the Mideast war this summer, following the June abduction and killing of Army Pfc. Thomas Tucker of Madras in Iraq.
A count kept by Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s office shows 67 people with strong ties to Oregon have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Three British Troops Wounded By Amara Base Mortar Barrage;
23 Aug 2006 Reuters & AP
Three British serviceman were wounded during a prolonged mortar barrage on Tuesday on a British base near Amara, 365 km (230 miles) south of Baghdad, the British military said on Wednesday.
17 mortar rounds were fired Tuesday at the British base in Amarah, 180 miles southeast of Baghdad, said Maj. Charlie Burbridge, spokesman for the British forces at Camp Abu Naji. One wounded British soldier was hospitalized in stable condition, he said.
Police had earlier reported that Katyusha rockets had been fired at the base, but later said it was a mistaken assumption because they found four rocket launchers near the base. [Oh.]
Burbridge said the camp, which has come under frequent attack in the past three years, was being closed down “imminently, in the next couple of days,” as Iraqi forces were in a position to take over security in the area. [And see below whose Iraqi forces those will be!]
British forces would be repositioned to the east of Amarah and would focus on tackling smuggling, particularly of weapons, from across the border with Iran, he said.
Amarah, 180 miles southeast of Baghdad, is a predominantly Shiite city where anti-U.S. [translation: anti-U.S. Imperial government] cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia wields considerable influence. British troops have come under frequent attacks there.
“If two days go by without some kind of attack in the direction of the camp, we’d be surprised,” Burbridge said.
REALLY BAD IDEA:
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Another Classic Of Imperial Arrogance And Stupidity:
23/08/06 Kandahar, Canadian Press & AP & CBC News
A Canadian soldier was killed and three others wounded Tuesday in an attack in southern Afghanistan.
Troops fearing a follow-up attack after the blast fired a single bullet at the two youths as they approached the scene of the bombing on a motorbike, a NATO statement said. The bullet hit both youths, killing one and wounding the other.
The body of a 10-year-old boy shot and killed by a Canadian soldier in southern Afghanistan was returned Wednesday to his grieving parents.
When approached by The Canadian Press at his home, the father of the boy grew angry, denouncing Canada’s military for the shooting.
He refused to speak about the incident or give his name.
Several women in the family’s compound began screaming and crying, their fists shaking as they tried to contain their sorrow.
[Gee, Canada must be a very odd place. To this reporter, “fists shaking” is an expression of “sorrow,” which the first shakers are trying to “contain.”
[Everywhere else in the world, outside the mind of the shithead who wrote this, fist shaking is a fairly clear indication that those engaging in it would like to rip your face off. But then this reporter probably is thinking of these people as quaint natives with their odd little customs. Another of their quaint little customs is killing foreign Imperial propagandists, which the reporter hopefully will learn about sooner rather than later.]
Colonel Fred Lewis, deputy commander of the Canadian contingent of ISAF, said he was concerned about a potential negative response from the community for Tuesday’s shooting, and urged people to remain calm.
“I think we need to pass the right message to the Afghan people,” he said. “The message is that we’re here to help them and we certainly would never want to hurt them.”
[Not to be outdone by the idiot reporter, the idiot officer, after his troops kill the 10 year old and seriously wound his 17 year old friend, babbles about how occupation troops “would certainly never want to hurt them.”
[All that’s missing from this condescending comment is the offer of pretty glass beads to take the minds of the simple natives of their dead and wounded kids. Doubtless they will devise some reply to him also.
[No lie lives forever, nor no liar neither. Careening towards some unknown particular end, this occupation will unfold surprises before it achieves the only thing now known about it that is certain: that it will end, and not end well for the occupiers, who thought themselves world-conquerors and masters of forces beyond any mastering they could devise. T]
“Beneath The Surface, It Is Boiling”
August 23, 2006 By CARLOTTA GALL, The New York Times [Excerpts]
Corruption is so widespread, the government apparently so lethargic and the divide between rich and poor so gaping that Mr. Karzai is losing public support, warn officials like Ahmad Fahim Hakim, deputy chairman of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.
“Nothing that he promised has materialized,” Mr. Hakim said, echoing the comments of diplomats and others in Kabul, the capital. “Beneath the surface, it is boiling.”
An opposition politician, Abdul Latif Pedram, said: “There has never been so much corruption in the country. We have a mafia economy and a drug economy.” Most galling to average people is the corruption of judges, which makes redress nearly impossible. There have been virtually no prosecutions of corrupt high-level or local officials. Corrupt police chiefs and governors remain in their positions or, if complaints grow too loud, are rotated to other jobs, said Mr. Hakim, of the human rights commission.
In southern Afghanistan the situation is so bad that people have begun turning to the Taliban for the swift, if severe, justice administered by mullahs, said Abdual Qadeer Noorzai, a human rights official in that region.
Afghan and international forces find themselves fighting daily battles across five provinces of the south, while casualties are rising sharply among civilians, foreign troops and government forces alike. The scale of the insurgency has virtually wiped out the government’s ability to provide services in many places.
[Thanks to Elaine Brower]
Finally, Somebody Tells The Truth:
23/08/2006 By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent, Telegraph Group Limited [Excerpt]
After more than three years of fighting, with more than £3 billion spent and the loss of 115 British lives, the country has an “obligation to protect our investment”, say senior defence sources.
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Assorted Resistance Action
8.22.06 Reuters & VOI & 23 Aug 2006 Reuters & Evening Echo & (KUNA) & AP
A roadside bomb exploded Wednesday in Baghdad and narrowly missed the interior minister’s convoy, killing two civilians and wounding several traffic policemen, officials said.
Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani was unhurt and it was not clear if he was the intended target or whether the bomb had been meant for a U.S. military convoy that was about 500 yards behind.
The explosion in the neighborhood of Dora injured five traffic policemen, said Dora police officer Mohammad al Baghdadi. Dora is an area US troops now regard as secure. [So much for that.]
Resistance fighters killed one of the bodyguards of the governor of Anbar in a drive-by shooting in Fallujah. The governor was not present during the attack.
Resistance fighters killed a police major and seriously wounded his driver as he was heading home in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of the capital.
Two policemen were killed down in different incidents in the religiously mixed city of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
Eight policemen and two civilians were wounded when a bomber wearing an explosive belt and a police uniform blew up himself near a police check point near the court in the northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
The bomber was apparently trying to enter the police directorate building when he was stopped at the first of the several checkpoints around it, said Maj. Gen. Wathiq al-Hamdani, the city police chief.
He said the bomber detonated the belt outside the barricade.
Three traffic policemen were wounded by a roadside bomb near a U.S. patrol in Falluja, 50 km (35 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.
Guerrilla fighters killed a policeman on Tuesday in the small town of al-Hay, south of Kut, 170 km (105 miles) southeast of Baghdad.
A car exploded Wednesday near an army special ops check-point in Dorra area in southern Iraq, said a security source.
The source which preferred to be unnamed told KUNA that the explosion resulted in several deaths and injuries among the special ops troops in the area.
According to eyewitnesses the explosion caused the death of three soldiers and the injury of nine others. The security source did not verify this information.
Wednesday, an Iraqi army officer, 1st Lt. Hassanein Saadi al-Zerjawi, 29, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Amarah while a policeman was shot to death in a similar incident Tuesday night in Al-Hay, north of Amarah, police said.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
“American Soldiers Were The Beating Heart Of The Anti-Vietnam War Movement”
JULY 16 By Lydia Howell, KFAI [Excerpts]
Common to the point of cliché is the story that soldiers returned from the Vietnam War, met at the San Francisco Airport by hippie anti-war protesters, spit on by girls with love beads, who called the warriors “baby-killers”.
The “spitting image”, was almost totally-manufactured to erase a rebellious reality recovered with stirring immediacy in David Zeiger’s “Sir No Sir!”.
That reality is that many American soldiers, in many different ways, joined the anti-war movement, when they returned or while still in uniform.
“Sir No Sir!” perfectly captures the sense of how the Vietnam War, a malignant a force as the massive bombing raids over rice fields and villages, also swept over the country from the mid-1960s, gaining ferocity through the war’s close in 1975, and the movement to end the war was an equal and opposite driving force.
Zeiger mixes archival footage with current interviews, to focus on several Vietnam veterans’ testimonies. Discovering these lost stories, no one can doubt that (no less than combat), standing on individual conscience demands courage.
Refusing orders to go to Vietnam or refusing to fight after being there meant facing not only court martial but, years in prison. Simply encouraging other soldiers not to go, was often termed “fomenting mutiny” and risked serious prison terms. A Navy nurse was courtmartialed just for marching in a protest wearing her uniform.
We see the GI Coffeehouses, set up in the small towns near American military bases—and forbidden to soldiers who were drawn there like thirsty men in a desert.
Anti-war veterans created newspapers, with names like “Fatigue News”, “The Last Harrass” and “Fed Up”, eagerly awaited contraband shared in barracks across the country.
In a real way, American soldiers were the beating heart of the anti-Vietnam War movement: the friends, brothers and boyfriends of the more familiar images of students and activists.
So artfully has Zeiger allowed Vietnam veterans’ voices to carry his film, we’re feel we’re back in the 1960s vortex.
This is the absolutely right film at the right time, as support for the war in Iraq continues to decline and as resistance by American soldiers begins to grow: from veterans of the war in Iraq forming groups like Operation Truth to soldiers like Camilo Mejia, who spent a year in prison for refusing to do a second tour in Iraq.
Of special note are African-American soldiers, often disproportionately put in harm’s way on the battlefield, yet, also increasingly awakened by the Black Power Movement. They make deep connections between their experiences in a still-racist U.S. military and domestic discrimination.
In the voices of these black soldiers, Zeiger brings back pieces of the more militant aspects of the Civil Rights Movement, which has been as erased, vilified or both, as the GIs’ anti-war movement has been.
Zeiger is even bold enough to reclaim Jane Fonda, who has been completely demonized (and misrepresented) for her anti-war activism.
Wonderful footage of Fonda’s collaboration with fellow actor Donald Southerland and others to make an irreverent USO show that toured Japan and the Philippines: “FTA”---a play on an U.S. Army recruitment slogan “Fun Travel Adventure”, known alternately as “Free The Army” or “Fuck The Army,” and was a resounding success with the soldiers who saw it.
But, the core of Zeiger’s film is the warrior resisters, both in their grainy black and white, poignantly younger selves and the middle-aged men they are now.
From a young army doctor to white working class or urban black draftees, from individual refusals to participate in acts sometimes termed “genocidal” (such as pilots who wouldn’t fly bombing runs) to mass resistance like organizing to stop the USS Constellation from leaving the San Diego port for Vietnam, this is a history the current war-makers don’t want us to know.
The national VFP president, David Cline is one veteran in the film. To bring this full circle, John Lamboke is another Vietnam veteran, also in the film, who did years of research and demolished the myth that soldiers were spit on by antiwar protesters, documented in his book “The Spitting Image”.
SIR NO SIR fulfills what all great documentaries do: discovers something we might never have seen otherwise.
In honoring these soldiers who became warriors for peace, David Zeiger’s SIR NO SIR inspires us to redefine what true patriotism is and that “serving one’s country” can be by waging peace.
Sir! No Sir!:
The Sir! No Sir! DVD is on sale now, exclusively at www.sirnosir.com.
Also available will be a Soundtrack CD (which includes the entire song from the FTA Show, “Soldier We Love You”), theatrical posters, tee shirts, and the DVD of “A Night of Ferocious Joy,” a film by me about the first hip-hop antiwar concert against the “War on Terror.”
Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly. Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and inside the armed services. Send requests to address up top.
From: Dennis Serdel
Written by Dennis Serdel, Vietnam 1967-68 (one tour) Light Infantry, Americal Div. 11th Brigade, purple heart, Veterans For Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against The War, United Auto Workers GM Retiree, in Perry, Michigan
Barry was loving it shooting at the Colonel’s
With moss on his teeth clenched,
“But Barry,” “NO, instead, he is sitting
“Then after a tough day,
“NO, listen, then he saunters over
“I know, I know,” his Lieutenant
“Kevin Will Be Released From Confinement At Ft. Lewis”
August 16, 2006 by Kevin and Monica Benderman, Topia.net
It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since Kevin’s court martial at Ft. Stewart, but it has. Kevin has served over a year in prison for standing on principle, using the legal tool available to him to follow his conscience and refuse to participate in further acts of war after seeing the destructive effects of war firsthand during a combat tour in Iraq.
In just a short time now, Kevin will be released from confinement at Ft. Lewis.
That, too, is something that is very hard to believe – but something I am very happy to finally be so close to happening.
I remember when he called me from Iraq to tell me that he was finally going to be able to come home – as much as I wanted him home, I was almost afraid to believe that he would actually be on that plane.
I had already learned not to trust the Army when it “gave its word” on anything.
This has been an amazing time – not just this past year, but the entire time of our involvement with the Iraq war.
When I was growing up sitting on a quiet beach watching the waves, there was no way I could have imagined the road that Kevin and I have traveled. It has been a very difficult time, full of challenges, obstacles and roadblocks — but it has been a time that neither one of us would trade. It has been a time that has brought us closer – and it has been a time that has given us incredible insight into just how much good there is in our country – and how much there is worth fighting for.
Taking a stand for what you believe, making a conscious choice to live by your principles, to retain your values and hold onto what your conscience believes to be morality can be a very lonely stand — but it is also a stand that brings a sense of peace that is hard to describe. The journey is well worth the difficult twists and turns — of course it’s made all the better when you are sharing it with someone who believes as you do – from deep inside.
Kevin and I both feel that we are just beginning — and we are looking forward to the next turn in the road.
We can’t speak for all Conscientious Objectors, or all veterans, or all activists – but we hope to be able to speak to many people to say “Thank You” and to help lead a public discussion of changes that can be made to bring the divided factions of our country together again, and to help move us all closer to peace.
We can speak out about our experiences – about our beliefs – about lessons we have learned and mistakes we have made.
We can, and will speak about what Conscientious Objection means to us – why Kevin chose it and why I support his choice.
We can, and will speak out about the benefit of returning to the foundation of our country – the Constitution – and hopefully help inspire a public dialog regarding the principles and freedoms on which the Constitution was developed and how they relate to Conscientious Objection.
We can, and will speak out about the changes that we believe must be made regarding soldiers’ rights, and giving our veterans the respect they deserve for the service they have given.
We can, and will use our experiences to hopefully help others to see that there is a light at the end of every challenge, and if what you believe in is from deep inside; if it is from your conscience, then it is worth taking the challenges presented and working through them. What you believe can become reality – but it takes hard work, patience, commitment and an acceptance that you will be the one doing the work.
When it’s your beliefs and your conscience guiding you no one else can do the work for you – but there can be an awful lot of valuable support encouraging you as you face that challenge.
Kevin and I both want to thank you for the support you have given and continue to give us.
We’ve each had to face our own challenges in this past year, but the support and encouragement you give has been more meaningful than you know. High-wire acts are not nearly as scary when there is a safety net strung below --- your support has given us that net --- and it is truly appreciated.
We are just beginning — and we hope that as we do move forward we do it in a way that respects the faith that your support shows for our actions.
We hope you will continue to visit www.BendermanDefense.org, and that you will look for updates on our future projects, and for news of Kevin’s release.
Thank you for having been there — and thank you for what you do for us.
From: Richard Hastie
If there is any one word that best describes the Vietnam War, it is the word, “Incest.”
America’s involvement in Vietnam was a form of Incest, in that our government deceitfully used its own people as sacrificial pawns, so the political and economic controlling power structure of this country could make immense profits beyond anything ever imaginable.
I began to realize the Vietnam War was a mega-billion dollar business when I returned to Vietnam in April 1971, following a luxurious six day R and R in Hawaii.
Except for WWII, America’s wartime economy was booming like no other period in its history.
I began to understand the Biblical proverb, “For The Love of Money is The Root of All Evil.”
I slowly witnessed my political idealism being stripped away, and a lifetime of naive thinking exposed.
Like breaking a secret code, I finally saw how and where America got its wealth.
I did not serve in Vietnam for the cause of freedom, I served Big Business in America for the cause of profit.
My new reality concerning America had changed forever.
Photo and caption from the I-R-A-Q (I Remember Another Quagmire) portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71. (For more of his outstanding work, contact at: (email@example.com) T)
What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
Good News For The Iraqi Resistance!!
[Fair is fair. Let’s bring 150,000 Iraqis over here to the USA. They can kill people at checkpoints, bust into their houses with force and violence, butcher their families, overthrow the government, put a new one in office they like better and call it “sovereign,” and “detain” anybody who doesn’t like it in some prison without any charges being filed against them, or any trial.]
[Those Iraqis are sure a bunch of backward primitives. They actually resent this help, have the absurd notion that it’s bad their country is occupied by a foreign military dictatorship, and consider it their patriotic duty to fight and kill the soldiers sent to grab their country. What a bunch of silly people. How fortunate they are to live under a military dictatorship run by George Bush. Why, how could anybody not love that? You’d want that in your home town, right?]
[There’s nothing quite like invading somebody else’s country and publicly humiliating them at gunpoint by putting your hands on their bodies without their consent to arouse an intense desire to kill you in the patriotic, self-respecting civilians who live there.
[But your commanders know that, don’t they? Don’t they?]
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
Pipeline Workers’ Strike Wins
Basra, Aug 22, (VOI)
The negotiations between the Iraqi oil ministry and Basra oil pipes company workers resulted in the end of the workers’ strike and a ministry promise to meet the strikers’ demands, a spokesman for workers said on Tuesday.
“The negotiations between the Iraqi oil minister advisor, Kadhem al-Yaqoobi, and representatives of the strikers led to a promise by the ministry to meet the workers’ demands and to the end of the strike by the workers,” said Qassim Abbod, a Basra oil pipes company worker.
The workers are to give the ministry a chance till Sunday to implement the strikers’ demands otherwise “the company workers will strike again if their demands are not met by Sunday,” threatened Abbod.
The workers of oil pipes company in Basra went on Tuesday on a strike that led to cut off the delivery of oil products to Baghdad and stopped exports of black oil, oil refinery byproduct, as of Tuesday early morning protesting a delay in receiving their payments and pressing for an increase in salary and a payment of annual allowances
The company runs tankers and pipelines, transporting oil and gas from the Shuaiba refinery in Basra to electricity stations, factories and companies in southern Iraq.
Brain-Dead Zionist Assholes At It Again #1:
23 August 2006 Agence France-Presse
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has conditioned the lifting of Israel’s air and sea blockade of Lebanon on the deployment of international troops at the Beirut airport and along the Syrian border, public radio reported Tuesday.
[Given the mass shift in confidence and consciousness their whipping in Lebanon has generated among the hundreds of millions of Muslims they have arrogantly tormented for decades, they would be better advised to most humbly beg for troops to protect the 1967 borders of their terrorist state. For the racist reactionary Zionist project, the end has come, although it is not yet in sight.]
Brain-Dead Zionist Assholes At It Again #2;
22 August 2006 AP
The Palestinian parliament speaker, led in shackles into an Israeli military court, has been charged with membership in an outlawed organisation. [His own political party.]
Abd al-Aziz Dweik becomes the most senior of three dozen Hamas officials rounded up by Israel to be indicted so far.
Dweik said on Tuesday that he does not recognise the court’s authority.
“It is a political trial, and I don’t recognise it,” Dweik said. “I am an elected official.”
Dweik was brought into the courtroom in the Ofer Prison Camp with his feet shackled.
He wore a brown pajama-style outfit, and his normally long beard was trimmed.
The military prosecutor charged Dweik with membership and activity in an outlawed organisation. [Repeat: his own political party.]
It was not immediately clear how many years he could face in prison. [Of course not. The Master Race makes up its laws as it goes along.]
The next hearing was set for August 31
In all, Israel has arrested 30 Hamas politicians and five cabinet ministers, including Nasser Shaer, the deputy prime minister, in recent weeks. [All freely elected.]
Dweik said Shaer became his cellmate on Monday.
Dweik’s lawyers complained that he was being held in unsanitary conditions and that his cell was full of cockroaches. Dweik was arrested earlier this month. [Oh right. When Palestinians do it, it’s called “terrorist kidnapping.” When the Zionist storm troopers do it, it’s called “arresting.”]
[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by foreign terrorists, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The occupied nation is Palestine, from sea to sea from, from Lebanon to Egypt, every inch. The foreign terrorists call themselves “Israeli.”]
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
CLASS WAR REPORTS
Uprising In Oaxaca:
August 22, 2006 By Nancy Davies, Commentary from Oaxaca, Narco News Bulletin [Excerpts]
A good friend woke us at 4:00 a.m. on August 21 to tell us an attack was underway. I could hear gunshots at around 4:30. The government shot up the control rooms of Channel 9 and Radio Caserolas, housed in the antenna building of the formerly state-run Corporation of Radio and Television of Oaxaca, on Fortin Hill.
Its broadcasting facilities had been captured by the women caserola protesters on August 1, and guarding the antenna has been an ongoing necessity for the teacher-led social movement. The government-hired shooters destroyed a lot of government property.
According to a press conference given by the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO in its Spanish initials), “At 3:30 A.M. four vans (of men) attacked with high power weapons the people guarding the antenna of channel 9 and of radio 96.9, resulting in several wounded.” One of the wounded has been identified, as Sergio Vale Jiménez, a teacher with 25 years’ experience.
In retaliation the movement took over ten radio stations in Oaxaca, six on the AM frequency, and four on FM.
La Jornada reported twelve stations taken, but I heard only ten. When I heard from a teacher named Jesus C., later on in the day, he said nine. Revolution is not an exact science. I checked and located ten broadcasting movement news at 9:00 AM when I climbed out of bed for the third time this day.
As with all URO’s attacks thus far, each attack generates a larger response – in this case one captured TV station down, one captured radio station down, Radio Universidad down, and then ten commercial radio stations taken over for use by the movement.
According to La Jornada, testimony put out by the radio broadcasters said that individuals arrived at the Channel 9 building before dawn on Monday with their faces covered, and armed with heavy caliber weapons.
Four buses were overturned on the hillside where they had been placed as barricades to prevent entrance of “police” vans. La Jornada says it isn’t clear if these invading vans were state or municipal vehicles, or if they carried official police in plain clothes or mercenaries.
No police of any level in uniform appear in the streets now.
The “police” burned the busses in the blockade. The Channel 9 signal was cut off in the bullet spray that destroyed the control rooms.
The APPO had achieved control of five media outlets before the attack, not counting the allied newspaper Las Noticias. Las Noticias was attacked twice on August 20, once in their warehouse and once in their offices; then another attack followed on August 21.
Mid-afternoon Monday, August 21, I received confirmation from a teacher we’ll call “Jesús C.” His account reads:
“Two were seriously wounded and three have disappeared and until now it is not known if they are abducted or disappeared or dead.
In the face of these facts… the state popular assembly (had said) that in the case of attack on the antennas and Channel 9, (we would) take the different commercial radio stations, a task given to the people of the neighborhoods and of different locations, who arrived to help the movement take the following radio frequencies:
“570 AM “RADIO MEXICANA”
(Jesús’ list is missing 105.7 FM)
“…which in this moment are in the hands of the women and the APPO.
“Today the action continues being reinforced more each day by the participation of the communities arriving into the city to help the movement… the different radios taken over put out a call to the teachers and others to continue joining us against this government, and in respect to the permanent take-over of 65 offices and the three branches of state, continue holding them until the fall of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, and on the part of the Oaxacaqueños in the movement a call is sent out to our countrymen in the United States to help us economically to buy the transmitter necessary for Radio APPO to get back on the air.”
At night I listened to one of my ten radio choices. A woman’s voice explained, “We are not part of any political party. We know what we are doing. We are part of the people.”
We went to bed. At 12:30 AM on Tuesday August 22, before I even had a chance to roll over in bed, I heard the shots. Following the shots the heavy bells began ringing in the zocalo.
At 2:00 AM the phone rang with news from a friend. Then we disconnected the phone.
In the morning I learned on one of my ten favorite stations how URO is still trying to bring down the popular media by shooting up the countryside where the stations are spread around.
One man, tentatively identified as Lorenzo San Pablo, was killed. URO was interviewed on TV Azteca implying, as usual, “no pasa nada en Oaxaca” – “there is nothing going on in Oaxaca.”
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
Telling the truth – about the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington – is the first reason for Traveling Soldier. But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance – whether it’s in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces. If you like what you’ve read, we hope that you’ll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers. www.traveling-soldier.org/ And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! www.ivaw.net
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