Matching Grant Challenge
alexPureWhen I met Alexander Cockburn, one of his first questions to me was: “Is your hate pure?” It was the question he asked most of the young writers he mentored. These were Cockburn’s rules for how to write political polemics: write about what you care about, write with passion, go for the throat of your enemies and never back down. His admonitions remain the guiding stylesheet for our writers at CounterPunch. Please help keep the spirit of this kind of fierce journalism alive by taking advantage of  our matching grant challenge which will DOUBLE every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, CounterPunch will get a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate. –JSC (This photo of Alexander Cockburn and Jasper, on the couch that launched 1000 columns, was taken in Petrolia by Tao Ruspoli)
 Day 19

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

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From One of the Actors in Apocalypto

An Urgent Message on the Disappeared of Oaxaca

by BERNARDO DIAZ

Greetings from Oaxaca, Mexico.

My name is Bernardo Ruiz and in this movie, Apocalypto, I play the part of Drunkards Four.

My Oaxaca friends Emiliana and Hilaria, who now live in Austin, agreed to pass on to you my message. Apocalypto is about some of the amazing ancient history of our country and its indigenous people. But as you probably know, our struggles continue even to this day.

In recent weeks, our beautiful city, Oaxaca, has been occupied by federal troops. It came at a time when many of our people were beginning to stand up for our civil rights with sit-ins and other kinds of non-violent protest. Now the troops have started tracking down and arresting not only our leaders, but also many people from our artistic community here. One of them is my good friend the painter Gerardo Bonilla. Another is the artist Dionisio Martinez.

Some of you know Gerardo, because three years ago, he exhibited his paintings at La Peña in downtown Austin. It means a great deal to me–and I know to Gerardo and Dionisio–just to feel that you in know something about our real lives today, and to know that you are thinking of us and support us.

Call the local Mexican embassy and your state and local representatives and please send a letter on their behalf addressed to President Calderón.

Consulate General of Mexico
800 Brazos St, Suite 330
Austin, TX 78701
512-478-2866 ext 107