It has been exactly five weeks since I left Montana in a tiny and loud Toyota Tercel to catch a flight out of San Francisco. That also means I’ve been in Mexico for exactly four weeks, and the country has, for the most part, ceased to feel strange. I’ve spent most of that time in Oaxaca, a city that has clawed a vibrant life out of a dry desert valley surrounded by mountains a seven hour bus ride south-west of Mexico City.
It’s a dark, drizzly mid-October night in Olympia, Washington—the first rainy weekend since fall quarter started at Evergreen a few weeks ago. Outside of the Northern, an all ages venue near downtown, the water is puddling up underfoot. Dozens of people in raincoats with hoods pulled up against the misty rain stand around in little groups talking and smoking. The three celebrities of the night, however, are not here, though their pictures smile down from posters tacked on the walls of the venue and look up from the covers of zines on the tables of anarchist literature set up inside. Fifty miles to the north, they are spending another night in the federal detention center in Seatac, Washington.