Saturday, November 04, 2006

Oaxaca, You Are Not Alone!

Mexico is on the brink. For those not familiar with the current explosion of popular movements all over Mexico (you remember its that southern neighbor that we took California, New Mexico and a few other territories from way back when), please check out the latest developments on (and while your there donate a few bucks to one of the best independent media organizations in the Hemisphere). While many on the left have been following Iraq, Palestine and Venezuela more carefully, right next door we are seeing a series of significant popular mobilizations that are of great importance to our own movements. With one important section of the US ruling class now starting to face the consequences of their ill conceived invasion of Iraq (for them most importantly the 2006 midterm elections), it has been hard to play a more direct interventionist role in the political affairs here in the Americas. This of course does not mean that there are not other ways, one only has to look at the elections in Nicaragua and the voting in the UN for the new security council seat to see the they have not forgotten about "their traditional backyard".

Still, events are spinning out of control for US planners throughout the Americas and those building a movement "from below and to the left" here in the US better start paying attention to one of the most important of these examples. Mexico is important right now in so many ways, not the least of which is its physical proximity to the US. The massive immigrant rights mobilizations here during the spring time and the estimated 12+ million so called "illegals" that work and live in this country and who have strong ties to their families and culture of struggle back home should give us all significant hope during the coming period.

Coming off a major electoral fraud scandal over the summer, and in the midst of an impressive national campaign by the Zapatistas, the media's attention has finally started paying attention to the peoples struggle in Oaxaca, in part due to the recent murder of New York Indymedia activist (and friend of mine), Brad Will.

Im currently in the middle of editing a major section on Mexico for the next issue of Left Turn magazine so will not have much time to post, but do check out the various links and figure out a way to support the APPO and the local movements on the ground. Below is a communique put out yesterday by the popular assembly of the people of Oaxaca, in the midst of an attempted police invasion of the local university. The students and their allies courageously fought off that attempt but we do not know what tomorrow will bring.


In these moments, the Federal Police (PFP) are trying to enter Ciudad
Universitaria (the university facilities in Oaxaca), they have launched tear
gas inside and some elements have entered the premesis. Before these facts
which violate any judicial orders including University Autonomy, which the
Autonomous University Benito Juárez, in Oaxaca, won after a great student
struggle, and which cost the lives of many of their best students.

The Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca makes the energetic call for
the absolute defense of Ciudad Universitaria. We cannot permit that these
university students be assaulted by the forces of occupation that the
despots of the PFP have become.

We call the people of Oaxaca to the absolute defense of Ciudad
Universitaria, en past days we have called for the peaceful withdrawal from
the points where the APPO were established, and we did that to demonstrate
the APPO's disposition towards dialogue in this conflict, despite the fact
that the government of Fox and Calderón, evidenced by the invasion of
federal troops, was not. We showed ourselves to be prudent, willing to
dialogue, the invading forces were not assaulted, and we only called for
peaceful resistance; all of our actions were carried our in an orderly and
peaceful manner, we ordered withdrawal so as not to fall into provocations,
we called for people not to fall into confrontations with the PFP despite
their aggressions. But as imperialist lackeys, you, Fox and Calderón,
confuse prudence with weakness, peacefulness with cowardice, and thinking
that the people of Oaxaca are a cowardly people, you are trying to put an
end to them.

We give, then, the instructions to all the people of Oaxaca to advance in an
organized and determined manner towards Radio Universidad, and to defend at
all costs Ciudad Universitaria, and the University Autonomy that is being
trampled upon.

The people of Oaxaca are a valiant people, and this we have demonstrated in
these 5 months, we have demonstrated it throughout history, we defeated the
French Army during that occupation, despite our technological disadvantages,
and even then some stateless people collaborated with them, and history has
judged them; the same people that in those times collaborated and applauded
the intervention of the French Army are today applauding the death of 19 of
our compañeros, applauded the intervention of the PFP, are now complaining
that their businesses have been looted by the PFP, lament that their
daughters are being sexually threatened by the PFP, and this is just the

Just as President Juárez showed us how to defend the principles of the
Republic, just as Juárez and Magón showed us how to fight and to defend the
dignity of the people, today, the people of Oaxaca will go to battle in
defense of Ciudad Universitaria, in a disciplined and organized manner, we
will defeat the invaders, the army of occupation, and if Fox doesn't order a
stop to this offensive, he will bite the dust, our lives and our blood will
not be spilled in vane, justice and reason are on our side, and we are
hundreds of thousands of Oaxacans that will fight on this day.

Sirs, Vicente Fox, Carlos Abascal Carranza and Felipe Calderón, you all are
responsible for the deaths at the hands of the PFP and the PRIista
paramilitaries, and you all will be responsible for the deaths that results
from your stupidity and political interests.




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