Monday, October 30, 2006

Mexican Government Crushes Oaxaca

[ Xicano activists on the streets of Los Angeles, extending their solidarity to the people of Oaxaca - Saturday Oct. 28th.]

Vicente Fox has ordered up to 4,000 or more heavily armed Mexican Federal Preventative Police (PFP) into Oaxaca. Dressed in riot gear and carrying heavy automatic weapons, the police are using armored cars with water canons, bulldozers, and brut force to push their way to the city center, where protestors vow to put up a massive resistance. With helicopters roaring overhead, PFP units wearing masks to hide their identities, are invading private residences and arresting protest leaders.

Oaxacans are calling on people around the world to protest the government violence in front of Mexican Embassies and Consulates at 6:00 pm on Monday, October 30th. Mexico’s Zapatistas have also issued a call for unity with the people of Oaxaca. Zapatista Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos called "to compañeros and compañeras in other countries to unite and to demand justice for this dead compañero." Masked thugs working for the Mexican government murdered American William Bradley Roland and three Mexican nationals in an armed attack against the Oaxacan people’s movement - now the government of Vicente Fox is using that violence as an excuse to unleash even more violence against the people.

[Federal Preventative Police prepare to attack the people of Oaxaca with armored bulldozers- Sunday Oct. 29th.]

The family of Brad Will has released the following statement: "We are grieving over the tragic and senseless loss of Brad's life. Brad's friends and family admired his brave support for the downtrodden and willingness to act tirelessly upon his convictions. We believe he died doing what he loved. We will all miss Brad's compassionate, loving and adventurous spirit, and it is our hope that his life's work reporting on the human struggle will never be forgotten."

In Los Angeles a Press Conference denouncing the murders of Will and his fellow activists will be held on Monday, October 30, 2006, 12:00 pm, in front of the Mexican Consulate (Park View & 6th Street, Los Angeles). A demonstration will also be held at the Consulate on, Thursday, November 2 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 pm. Stay up to date - don't believe lies told by the corporate media.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Sovereign Chicano Nation Recognized: Esteban Zul named Ambassador of Aztlan to Cuba

*Public roundtable at 4PM on October 27 on 90.7 FM, KPFK*

Friday, October 13, 2006—The Cuban Ambassador to Mexico, Jorge A. Bolaños Suárez, announced that the government of Cuba officially recognized Aztlan as a sovereign Chicano nation. The announcement was made at the Cuban Ambassador's residence in Mexico City where the dignitary was hosting a visiting entourage of invited Chicano artists, musicians, and writers from Los Angeles.

The Cuban Ambassador declared Esteban Zul, a member of the California rap group Aztlan Nation and co-host of the popular Los Angeles talk radio show, "The Pocho Hour of Power" on KPFK 90.7 FM, as the official Ambassador of Aztlan to Cuba.

Also present at the announcement were officials from the Mexican government, including the Chief of Government of Mexico D.F., Alejandro Encinas and the Secretary of Culture of Mexico D.F. Raquel Sosa who also acknowledged Esteban Zul as official Ambassador of Aztlan.

As a newly recognized sovereignty, the Chicano emissaries quickly selected a cabinet of ministers and convened later that evening to discuss their national agenda and other important matters of state.

A public forum to address state issues is to take place on live radio on October 27th from 4 to 5pm on 90.7 FM KPFK. Panelists will include artist Harry Gamboa Jr., Professor Mariana Botey, L.A. Weekly writer Daniel Hernandez, syndicated La Cucaracha cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz and satirist / actor Paul Vato.

This public roundtable is intended to provide public access and input to the direction and agendas involved in the foundation of a new republic. In light of the historic recognition of the national sovereignty of Aztlan by Another nation, the new representatives of Aztlan believe that open participation is the best way to form a more perfect union.

*Aztlan new government roundtable
4PM-5PM (PST) on 90.7 FM KPFK Los Angeles CA
Also webcast live on the internet at:

Contact: Gabriel Tenorio (323) 273-0588

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A simple guide to anti-assimilation

MARCH 20, 2006
A simple guide to anti-assimilation

First Person by Roberto Rodriguez

Before the Zapatistas, there was the Mayan Defense League. It's goal was similar, but they did not resort to the use of arms. They also had a different modus operandi.

They were created for the expressed purpose of defending Indigenous culture. And their services were in constant demand in America's urban jungles - called upon to help de-toxify a person who had undergone assimilation American style.

Assimilation was gauged by several factors, including loss of culture and language, change of last name, but number one was the eating of white bread.

When a person was observed eating it, that was the final step. There was no recourse but to call in the Mayan Defense League.

The anti-dote: the force-feeding of corn tortillas.

Ha. Ha. Sure, this is a joke… actually, it was part of a 1980s era production of the theater group Latins Anonymous. It was a satirical piece created by four actors because actors of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Central and South American origin could not get jobs in Hollywood or New York unless they played the stereotypical roles of bandits and “loose or hot women.”

It was a different era. It was a time when George Lopez was an upstart comic doing humor in his trademark pompadour hairdo. It was also the time when filmmaker Jesus Trevino had rhetorically asked Hollywood if there were to be no bronze faces in the future? (He hadn't seen any on Star Trek).

I remembered all this recently because an Indigenous summit at the end of last year called upon Indigenous peoples throughout the continent to rise up in a state of cultural rebellion. (Armed rebellions have usually resulted in the genocide of Indigenous peoples).

On that day, I joined the uprising: I ate a tlaxcalli or rather, several corn tortillas. I also ate some chile, beans, avocado and cactus and some atole and chocolate. To be truthful, that's what I normally eat and drink most everyday. I don't eat these foods for cultural reasons; I eat them because I've been eating them all my life and because they taste good.

This call for a cultural uprising made me think of an elder at Nahuatl University in Ocotepec, Morelos. There, she addressed a group of Mexican American teachers who had come to learn Nahuatl language and philosophy. She reminded them: ”Many of you have lost your original [indigenous] languages, your culture and your ways, but don't for one second doubt that you are Indigenous. If you ever do, eat a tortilla.”

It's also what made me think of the Mayan Defense League.

Even when culture is under all-out attack, there's still time for humor. In fact, tortillas may not simply be an anti-dote to assimilation, they may also may function as cultural therapy.

… They may force us to become monolinguals, they may try and force us all to wear blue or green-eyed contacts or subject us to watch blondes 24 hours a day on TV (And here I'm just talking about Spanish-language television)… but the one thing they can't do is force-feed us their bland food…

This is why the cultural revolution will triumph.

The battle in this case, is between Indigenous foods vs. the corporatization of the world's food supply. And despite the dominance of McDonald's worldwide, there's little doubt that Indigenous foods from the Americas will eventually triumph over the red-headed clown - the modern equivalence of cultural imperialism.

It's not simply because the food is better-tasting but also for reasons of health. Organic Indigenous foods (more than 60 percent of the world's foods originate in the Americas), are the natural antidote to diabetes, obesity & heart disease. They're also the natural antidote to greed, globalization… and assimilation.

Yes, this is humor, but the truth is, we indeed are what we eat… and in this sense, what we eat has to be considered as part of that cultural and political insurrection. Incidentally, the basic diet of Mexicans is an Indigenous diet - it is thousands of years old - corn, beans & squash (the Three Sisters), plus chile.

Little wonder that millions of us have been in a state of constant rebellion since 1492, particularly now that aside from toxic pesticides in our foods, a greater potential danger to humans now comes from genetically modified foods.

I wonder if the Mayan Defense League pays visits to super markets? Organic Indigenous foods or else?

(C) Column of the Americas 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Interesting lecture to check out

On Wednesday, October 25th, Victoria Sanford, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Lehman College, CUNY, will give a talk titled: "From Genocide to Feminicidio: Impunity and Human Rights in 21st Century Guatemala" in Rocky 200 at 5:00 p.m. Her book, Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala (Palgrave Macmillan 2003), has received much acclaim. Dr. Sanford was a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute on Violence and Survival at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. She is a Fulbright Scholar and has been a Bunting Peace Fellow at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, a Rockefeller Fellow, a Fulbright-Hays Fellow, and a MacArthur Fellow at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation. Sanford has worked with Maya refugees since 1986. She co-authored the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation's report to the Commission for Historical Clarification and is also the author of Violencia y Genocidio en Guatemala (2003).

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Take Action!! Help out our hermanas/os

*Please circulate widely*


On Wednesday night, October 4, progressive students at Columbia University protested the racist Minuteman Project inside and outside the auditorium where they were speaking. Although the students were subject to vicious and violent attacks by Minutemen stormtroopers, they held their ground and Jim Gilchrist, the Minutemen founder, terminated his speech. Now the university is threatening to punish the anti-racist students. It is urgent that you take action now to show your support:

The ANSWER Coalition has set up an easy-to-use mechanism to send a letter to Columbia University President Lee Bollinger in support of student protesters who are being threatened with reprisals following their protest against Jim Gilchrist, founder of the racist anti-immigrant vigilante organization, the Minuteman Project. The protesters went on stage with banners that said, "No One is Illegal" and "Say No to Racism." The protesters were physically assaulted by Minutemen and their supporters. When they spoke out against fascism and racism, they spoke for all of us. Yet, there has been a coordinated campaign seeking reprisals against the students, initiated by FoxNews, the Minutemen, New York City's Republican Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the New York Times, and other media.

It is important to understand that the Minuteman Project is at its core, the same as the Nazis and the KKK. This fact has been confused by the legitimacy granted to the Minutemen by Lou Dobbs on CNN, FoxNews, and other so-called mainstream media, including NPR. David Duke, the white supremacist leader of the KKK, achieved some of the same "legitimacy" from
the mainstream media when he ran for Governor in Louisiana. Taking the hood off a Klansman, or the swastika off the arm of a Nazi, doesn't change their fascist essence.

Click here to send a letter to Bollinger expressing your support for the protesters, and to demand that the students suffer no reprisals.:

For the initial report from the protest, click here:

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Follow up on the Columbia protest ...

Para Bailar La Bamba

Join us this Thursday to watch La Bamba
*Rocky 200 at 7pm*

There'll be delicious popcorn and soda

Brought to you by MEChA and Poder Latino/a

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Event On Wednesday

Conversation about religion, human rights, and immigration led by Sam Speers (ORSL Director) and Geography Professor Joseph Nevins. It'll be this Wednesday at 5:30 in the Jade Parlor, hosted by the Vassar Catholic Community. Free pizza will be provided!

Wednesday Oct 4th
5:30 pm
Jade Parlor

contact for more info

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fall ECCSF Conference @ Columbia

The Fall ECCSF Conference "Cruzando Fronteras: Illegality, Identity, and Invisibility" is going to be hosted at Columbia University by the Chicano Caucus.

Conference Dates: October 20-22

If you are interested in attending the conference please e-mail by Oct. 4th

Something to think about doing ...

Protest the Minutemen at Columbia University!

Jim Gilchrist, founder of the anti-immigrant organization, the Minutemen, is coming to speak at Columbia University. He has been invited by the Columbia College Republicans to speak about "the threat posed by illegal immigration" and his racist, vigilante project. Join us next Wednesday, to come let Gilchrist know that his bigotry and his bigoted organization are not welcome in New York City. Down with the Minutemen! Full rights for all immigrants!

Next Wednesday, October 4
Gather at 7:30pm
Outside Roone Arledge Auditorium, Columbia University
115th St. and Broadway
Subway: 1 train to 116th St.
Contact Mikey Velarde for more info: