The Teaching Rebellion East Coast Tour ’08 made its way south of Mason-Dixon for events at Red Emma’s in Baltimore on Nov. 14 and then the District of Columbia the next night. Thanks to our friends at Teaching for Change, who have become staunch advocates of the book, we secured the otherwise expensive new Busboys & Poets Cafe event space downtown – a curious locale for an event about the pedagogy of resistance, in the first floor of a new condominium building (2 of 249 units occupied, as of this writing). Still, gentrification in this city has reduced the number of nonprofit events spaces much as it has the amount of low-income housing, and we’re happy to have Busboys’ support for the book.
Several dozen gathered on a chilly, rainy night, many coming directly from protests & pageantry demonstrating opposition to the G20 summit underway across town, where world leaders toasted each other with $500 bottles of wine and pledged their devotion to a new order… free-market capitalism.
Chris explained how CASA came to be involved in Oaxaca, and the political crisis that emerged once APPO and others had effectively taken control of the state capital, with their occupations of radio stations and key intersections. Sylvia elaborated on her experience organizing with others against the state government, and shared insight into the movement’s current position, and her work with Investigadores Descalzos. An audience member asked her about the participation of Mexican communities in the US — and we were fortunate to have a few members of Georgetown University’s MEChA group in the room to help answer the question. Their response was similar to issues raised by Oaxacan families in Harrisonburg the next night; Univision and mainstream media coverage in general were cited as barriers to knowledge of the extent to which the conflict against Ulises Ruiz escalated, to say nothing of organizing ongoing in the state.
The dialogue continued over pumpkin banana chickea curry at a local CASA board member’s house, with a few former CASA Chapulin alums and Latin America solidarity activist friends, before the tour headed south for Harrisonburg.