Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Made There, Assembled in America 

Had a lovely trip to Mexico again. It’s nice to be there where the whole mood is different, and over the years I’ve really grown fond of the markets and outdoor bars and food vendors and sad abuelas selling rosaries by the church and soccer games that are like huge outdoor parties. All that said, the downer is the grinding poverty caused by a line in the sand and a trickle of a river, the ease with which one can cross into Mexico from Fortress America and the difficulty one has getting back in, and the presidential campaign coming up over there. But, hey, I only got shaken down twice by the Border Patrol this time, and I can understand—the DHS sign said “Terror Threat: ELEVATED.” Apparently the polls dropped more while I was gone. I spent my money on things I didn’t need or want and then left them where someone else could find them and sell them again. I drank copious beer and liquors and fruit drinks—one guy claimed that his juice drink would make me handsome and young. It didn’t work, at least yet (Although I did bring home a nice blanket and two bottles of El Presidente. Planning ahead for winter, y’know.)

I read an article in the The Progressive before I left about the challenge Vicente “Big Business Bush Tool” Fox and the PRI face from Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO, for short), whose slogan is “Los Pobres Primero!” (the poor first!). I had my eyes open for signs of discontent. And I can see that, in spite of the intimidation his supporters face, there’s a real grassroots movement to get him on the ballot and in office. He’s running anywhere from 15-20 points ahead in the polls say the papers. The people getting rich in the NAFTA factories hate him, you can bet that Bu$hCo hates him, and yet there he is. You won’t see it so much in the border towns, where the powers that be are getting fat off NAFTA, but even there, in Juarez and Nuevo Laredo, the poor are somehow sporting buttons. (Although I know Lula has been a disappointment in Brazil somewhat, and Hugo Chavez still has promises to keep to the people, it’s a good trend.)

Coming back and looking at the steel walls and cyclone-wire topped fences and guard towers, I began dreaming of the day when some Mexican president would visit, say, Juarez or Tijuana and make a speech, something to the effect of “Mr. Bush, tear down this wall!” Or for a set of circumstances to occur that would cause a reverse migration from north to south.

The scenes in the little villages farther in, at least as far as I could go without papers or hefty bribe money, is like The Grapes of Wrath come alive again. And in the cities like the Okies who made it to California broke.

And I come home to annoying patriotic displays that ignore the real consequences of Fortress America and imperial expansion and economic domination. At least the local paper was kind enough to include a big paper flag insert. Those burn so much easier than cloth, eh?

Ah, well. The revolt of the cockroach people, as Oscar Zeta Acosta put it, cannot be far away. One day the halogen lamps will be turned on, and we won’t scurry to the hidey-holes no more. And with Hiroshima Day coming up on August 6th, there are plans to be made to raise nuclear consciousness right out in the daylight.

Deep in my heart, I do believe
We shall overcome someday.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

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