Lachlan Brown on Fri, 23 Nov 2001 01:32:14 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Chile Night

Hi nettimers, 
I intended to send this post on the morning of 17 October 2001. Part of a
general intervention in Nettime whose objective was meant to become clear

However, I was arrested on the evening of October 16th in Toronto and held
in an Immigration Canada detention centre until today, November 21st, when
I finally arranged my release.  I was held for seven days without trial or
hearing contrary to Canadian law which requires a hearing within 48 hours.
Its a 'habeus corpus' thing. Magna Carta in the thirteenth century ruled
out arbitrary arrest and detention without trial.

This post contains my immediate reaction written on the morning of 24 July
to events in Genoa. The Italian police called their crackdown on the
protest 'Chile Night'. Historical associations and contemporary insights,
from memory and in email of that night and morning, seemed appropriate to
the circumstances of mid October. Given my experiences in an Immigration
Canada holding centre as well as those I shared this experience with, from
all countries, all faiths, all ethnicites, I can assure you that nothing
that has happened between mid October and today lessens the concern we
must all share over the erosion of our rights carried out under the
paranoid fantasies that attend 'the interests of national security'.

Where are Canadian intellectuals at when when you need them? Phoning
Canadian academics from the detention centre to get a bit of help may well
form the basis of a further post.

I think what I learnt from the experience is just how very easy it would
be for our state and states to silence dissent.

Lachlan <mebbe> <iffy>

Chile Night (first version)

Toward an 'o v e r s t a n d i n g' 
of our contemporary cultural situation

Lachlan Brown


Last night in Toronto, 

<thinking about an old friend

called Ioan Davies

lying like a dead fish on coral 

in Cuba 

while a fisherman made witness>

I heard about a 'Chile Night' in Genoa

across borders and between the lines

of wires from friends whose word

carried veracity 

in e-mail

the grain of truth

that failing empires sought to deny.

Their words echoed some two hours later

by the BBC world service

mumbling from the other room.

'It is regrettable, but…' 

or words to that effect

so says Tony Blair 

'but this is what the State does'

from time to time

across borders between the lines

as if to prove a point

that meaning

lies prostrate

from time to time

like Carlo

on the pavement

killed for the winning of rights.

>From time to time

across generations

we are reminded

that rights are won


and re-won

by each generation

or they are lost by all.

'They are gone to the sea.'


I sat in the dark outside

 the wheeling stars 

were astonished by a 'Chile Night' in Genoa

the lights of my culture

some dead, most alive

were astonished by

a 'Chile Night' in Europe.

We are running in circles in Kent State University

getting an education

about the


We are emerging from the Divis Flats in Derry

waving a blood stained handkerchief

carrying a man 

dying the green 


We are sense-less in Gaza.

Or watching these things.

"But you see this happens here


a post from Brazil

'150 killed over land reform'


'And here', a post from Jamaica

'more than 20 dead this week

and still you have no

o v e r s t a n d i n g

of the situation.'

"It is regrettable but…"

from time to time

this is, in effect, 

what the State does

to prove a point

to each generation.

It lets loose 


like barking dogs

who will not stop

whether you wear

a green ribbon 
or a rainbow scarf
your hair in locks
or in a turban.

whether you are

a worker, a woman or a jew.

the right to party
as you wish
the right to vote
if you wish
the right to read
whatever you desire
the right to write
whatever you need
to write
whenever you need
to write it

are like air to the

grunts of the Pinochetlet

'It is like they have taken the air
we breathe'

They will not stop.

They have to be stopped.

Angela Davis can tell it

but not on TV

how we 

>From time to time

across generations

we are reminded

that the rights we breath

were won

and are


by each generation

or they are lost for all.


where is Allende

on the World Wide Web?

Where are the disappeared

Of 11 September 1973?

Here is sweet Allende

r e m e m b e r e d

and  here 

are the ones who loved

the lost

policy makers
media makers

and their love of love

twenty-eight years later 

displaying their photos 

in the hopes of their return.


Lachlan Brown


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