29 Jun 2007
They shoved guns in my face
In answer to a comment yesterday, yes quite literally some one came up to me and said 'you are the leader of the Green Party and I claim my £5', I said we didn't have a leader (so he could not have his £5)!
Today is a wet day in Green Party office, Waterlow Road...so doing the blog between firing off letters on permaculture and nagging the press person here to get a release out supporting the post office strike.
Got talking to this guy on the train into London. A kind of grizzled beat poet pensioner, equipped at 9.30 in the morning with his freedom pass for cheap fares in the capital and a small bottle of vodka he sucked at every now and then.
An interesting man to talk to.
He told me about being in Guatamala in the 1980s, 'They were killing the Mayan. It was all death squads, they would shoved guns in my face and thought I would be disappeared as well on a number of occassions but having a British passport made it more difficult.'
We talked of many things between Tonbridge and Archway tube station on the Northern Line...of Pat Finucane, Marx's ecology, Marlon Brando in Zapata, Northern Ireland, Wiltshire, Paul Thoreux on Africa.
He told me how after the coup in 1973 in Chile, they cut Victor Jara's hands off and said 'sing now you bastard' before killing him.
I checked and no they didn't cut off his hands but they might have as well as done.
'On the morning of September 12, Jara was taken, along with thousands others, as a prisoner to the Chile Stadium (renamed the Estadio Víctor Jara in September 2003). In the hours and days that followed, many of those detained in the stadium were tortured and killed there by the military forces. Jara was repeatedly beaten and tortured; the bones in his hands were broken as were the bones of his ribs. Reports that one of Jara's hands, or both of his hands, had been cut off, are however erroneous. Fellow political prisoners have testified that his captors mockingly suggested that he play guitar for them as he lay on the ground. Defiantly, he sang part of a song supporting the Popular Unity coalition. After further beatings, he was machine-gunned on September 15 and his body dumped on a road on the outskirts of Santiago, and then taken to a city morgue.
Jara's wife, Joan, was allowed to come and retrieve his body from the site and was able to confirm the physical damage he had endured. After holding a funeral for her husband, Joan Jara fled the country in secret.' is what the wiki says...
That's politics. It ain't about gravy trains or trivia....its about survival in dangerous times.
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