The Early Days of a Better Nation

Saturday, October 18, 2003


I don't normally shout, but -

The biggest piece of news you are probably not reading or seeing (but will, very soon) is that a massive popular insurrection has begun in Bolivia, and the situation is moving very fast (so fast that this article is already out of date).

Already there are scenes reminscent of the Spanish Civil War:

We have received a message from Bolivia which reports the following events: "This morning they stopped a march of miners in Patacamaya, 100km from La Paz. There were journalists who broadcast the confrontation live. 10:32 the army and the police surrounded them and started shooting at the tyres of the trucks the miners had arrived in and tear-gassed them. Then the soldiers jumped onto the trucks, and while the miners were fleeing in all directions, they started to loot all the rucksacks and bags they could find, tearing up the miners' clothes and throwing away their food supplies, and then they put everything in a pile and burnt it. The journalist was reporting all this risking his own life. Then he was shot in the back, but continued to report with noise of shooting in the background. The miners tried to fight back and charged throwing sticks of dynamite, forcing the soldiers, and even the tanks, to withdraw a few meters. Then a plane appeared in the sky and started to machine-gun them from the sky. It seems that the dynamite ran out and the army counter-attacked and followed the miners into the houses. It was a massacre. The journalist stopped reporting and an hour and a half later when he managed to get connected again he said there were three miners dead in hospital and some 20 wounded, but that he also saw the army carrying away some of the wounded. There have been more than 77 killed and 400 wounded in 24 days".

Here are some suggestions about what to do.

(I don't necessarily agree with everything said in these articles from the useful website In Defence of Marxism but when miners are battling tanks with dynamite I am not going to quibble.)


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