Liga naroda

srijeda, 15.11.2006.

Oaxaca, Mexico - info i zadnja vijest

pozdrav, i hvala ekipi iz urednistva na pozivu za suradnju. iskoristicu priliku i pokusat prenjeti neke informacije o situaciji u oaxaci. nazalost, nemam vremena da vam ovo prevedem.
prvi text dobro prikazuje sto se je i zasto bas tamo desilo, a drugi text je zadnja vijest iz oaxace. uz zapatiste koji kontroliraju najsiromasniju mexicku regiju chiapas, oaxaca je novo srediste otpora, gdje je ukratko povodom strajka ucitelja, doslo i do nenasilnog narodnog ustanka, kada su ljevicari, sindikalisti, civilne organizacije, anarhisti, i naravno sam narod, preuzeli kontrolu nad gradom. vlast je vec vise puta pokusala okupirat grad, bilo je ubijenih i ranjenih, ali pokret u oaxaci se ne predaje, i podrska im dolazi iz cijelog mexica, pa i svijeta. u svakom slucaju, nesto na sto treba obratiti paznju, jer mexico i latinska amerika uopce, daju primjer kako se slobodarske ideje mogu uspjesno koristiti u stvarnim, pa i najtezim situacijama. da ja puno ne objasnjavam, procitajte i sami.
oba texta su skinuta sa NARCO NEWS - gdje se moze naci vise informacija, i koga zanima preporucam da prati vijesti koje sa tamo objavljuju.


Oaxaca Fights Back

Laura Carlsen, IRC | November 8, 2006
Editor: John Feffer, IRC
Foreign Policy In Focus www.fpif.org

In regional lore, Oaxacans have a reputation for being like the tlacuache. A recurring figure in Mexican mythology, the tlacuache plays dead when cornered. But woe to the enemy who thinks the battle is over. The small but fierce creature merely awaits a more propitious moment to fight back.

The Oaxacan protest movement burns slow, but deep. Oaxacan teachers, who mobilized for a pay raise last May, consciously built on years of protest against social inequality in their state. On June 14, the state government goaded the Oaxacan tlacuachewhen it attempted to evict protesting teachers from Oaxaca's central plaza. Oaxacans responded by forming the broad-based Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO). The federal government confronted the growing movement on October 28 when it sent thousands of federal police to occupy the city. The murders, wounding, and disappearance of the protestors have only deepened the resolve of the movement as a whole.

Although the stage was set for confrontation, the movement continued to insist on non-violence. They lay down in front of advancing tanks and distributed flowers to riot-geared cops. On November 2, a crucial battle took place when the police attempted to retake the university. Inside the university, the radio station that has been the backbone of the protest organizing over the past five months was under siege the entire day. Radio APPO did not cease to broadcast and the people did not cease to defend it, despite the grossly uneven odds against them.

"Our eyes are burning with tear gas, but at least now we can see the government for what it really is," a young woman commented over the air in a voice filled with urgency and determination. "We're not budging."

People all over the world heard her. Radio APPO streamed through the computers of listeners who followed the battle for the university in blow-by-blow accounts. They instantly activated networks to plan their own protests. Within days, demonstrators gathered in front of Mexican consulates and embassies in the United States and Europe, calling for an end to police repression of the movement. People whose names are well known throughout the world wrote and published letters, and people whose names have been printed only in phone books signed petitions. In a small town in Italy, hundreds of young people gathered to discuss North-South cooperation and declare their solidarity with Oaxaca, and in New York several protesters were arrested in front of the Mexican consulate. The Zapatista Other Campaign mobilized a binational roadblock on the Mexico-U.S. border. The list of actions worldwide goes on and on.

Both houses of the Mexican congress and the secretary of the interior, who is charged with domestic policy, have called for Oaxacan Governor Ulises Ruiz to step down. Despite the breakdown of governance in the state, he has refused saying it is his duty to hold on to his job. On November 5, the movement mobilized tens of thousands of people in a march through Oaxaca. In the pre-dawn hours of November 6, bombs exploded in the offices of the electoral tribunal, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and an international bank. No one was killed or injured, but the tension rose several notches. Several guerrilla groups claimed responsibility for the acts, demanding the resignation of the governor, freedom for political prisoners held following police repression in the town of Atenco, and investigation of the charges of electoral fraud.

The APPO immediately condemned the bombings and repeated that it has no relations with guerrilla groups. It has continued to try to negotiate a peaceful settlement of its demands. In the turbid political atmosphere following Mexico's presidential elections on July 2, Oaxaca's conflict has now catalyzed a series of events that threaten Mexico's stability.

Why Oaxaca?

The mountains of Oaxaca became the refuge of pre-Columbian civilizations that were never fully conquered. The history of resistance and persistence that developed there permitted the survival of cultures that bucked a colonizing mentality and rejected tacitly or explicitly the imposition of colonial political systems. At the same time, to subjugate the rebels required some of the nation's most brutal forms of repression. Many of these remain fundamentally intact to this day. The governor, whose resignation has become the principal demand of the current Oaxacan insurrection, has inherited the mantle of this centuries-old tradition of repression.

Oaxaca is a land of many peoples. The state encompasses 16 languages within its borders and has the nation's largest number of municipalities (570), in large part due to the determination to preserve and strengthen local self-government. Even in Oaxaca City, where fighting between police and protesters has transformed the urban landscape, diversity precludes any easy characterization. Mixtecos converge with Martians (the local name for the city's large population of foreign artists, writers, pensioners, and NGO workers), tourists with beggars, the rich with the poor.

This diversity, which in another context could fragment a social movement, has become the wealth and collective strength of Mexico's most important social justice rebellion in recent years. Oaxacan teachers have drawn on over 26 years of experience in the democratic teachers' movement. Section 22, the group of Oaxacan teachers organized in the National Education Workers Union (SNTE by its Spanish initials), has long been a stronghold of the democratic faction of the union. For years its leaders have been elected from this dissident faction and have become leaders in Oaxaca's social movements beyond the union as well.

Oaxaca's rebellion also has roots in the battles of the indigenous communities for autonomy and, since the 1970s, for the restoration of communitarian forms of self-government, collective work, and identity. Added to the mix has been the anger of a new generation of high school and university students sick of getting short shrift from governments impoverished by structural adjustment and corruption. And as a final ingredient in a recipe for rebellion, citizens sensitized to the injustice expressed in daily life rose up against a disputed gubernatorial election that seemed to doom their society to more of the same or worse.

Leading Edge

The significance of the Oaxacan movement to Mexico is obvious. It is the first challenge to a federal government with little legitimacy or credibility, elected amid charges of fraud last July. Although Felipe Calderon takes office on December 1, the rules of Mexican politics dictate that all major, and especially very visible, decisions like the repression of the Oaxacan movement must at least be approved by him. The government's decision to send in federal police is in part based on a desire not to pass on a problem to a weak president who lacks the political capacity to resolve it.

The frustrations that led to the formation of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) exist throughout the country. Elections that fail to reflect the popular will, inequalities that sunder communities, brutality and corruption that flourish with impunity—no region is immune from the kind of social unrest that gave birth to the Oaxacan movement. Many Mexicans openly celebrate each victory of the Oaxacans, and each day they maintain the resistance. Knowing this, the government seeks to repress the movement without conceding political ground, so as not to provide a dangerous precedent in a system that relies on the complacency of the political and economic have-nots.

But why do other people care? Does Oaxaca have a meaning beyond an inspirational tale for those who aspire to a more just world?

If the movement for global justice were a territorial battle, Oaxaca would be a tiny point on a very large map, of little consequence except to the people involved. But symbolic battles, although very real for the combatants themselves, are the true terrain of the movement for global justice. They offer an opportunity, even when lost, to defeat the myths that uphold the system.

Oaxaca is the South of the South. It is the truth to the lie that Mexico has joined the First World by grabbing onto the coattails of the United States through the North American Free Trade Agreement. The failure of this integration strategy in Oaxaca and other southern states in Mexico was so obvious that even a recent World Bank report felt obliged to address the issue. Its conclusion—"the southern states did not benefit from NAFTA because they were not prepared to reap the benefits of free trade"—was foregone and surprised no one who has studied the Bank's blame-the-victim logic. If forced to do an evaluation of globalization in general, defenders of neoliberalism would no doubt castigate the entire global South for this supposed failure. Needless to say, it is of little consolation to the hungry, the displaced, the disenfranchised, and the discarded.

The Oaxacan rebellion is proof that for many people, even physical preservation can become secondary to fighting for a conviction. With only the raw material of their own lives in their hands, they have set out to mold a different future. Although demands today center on the governor's resignation and fair pay for teachers, the new forms of organization and consciousness created will endure long after this movement and become the seeds of future movements.

They will also be the seeds of popular rebellions in other places. The Oaxacan rebellion is a reminder that an evaluation of the consequences of free trade and globalization is indeed overdue — and that the World Bank has no right to be the evaluator. The people who have suffered the consequences should evaluate the system. Too often in the North, the reports of protest and rebellion around the world are seen as disparate battles or isolated complaints and not as part of a growing consensus that something is gravely wrong. Those who live in countries that do "reap the benefits of free trade" — not through "preparation" but through the design of the system — have a responsibility to get the message.

What could have been a local conflict has detonated a national confrontation and contributed to the revival of violent factions. The government's lack of political will has blocked real negotiations. It has failed to respond to Oaxaca's valid demands and open up talks on the reforms needed to assure Mexico's peace and stability. Instead, the country is now perilously close to the opposite.


Laura Carlsen is director of the IRC Americas Program in Mexico City, where she has worked as a writer and political analyst for the past two decades. The Americas Program is online at http://americas.irc-online.org/.




Oaxaca's APPO Forms Permanent Government, Announces Escalation of Resistance

3,000 Delegates Meet in the Midst of State Repression and Reorganize for the Strle Ahead

By Nancy Davies
Commentary from Oaxaca
November 14, 2006

Three thousand Oaxaqueńos responded to the first call of the Asamblea Popular de Pueblos de Oaxaca (Popular Assembly of the People's of Oaxaca, or APPO) on Friday, November 10, to forge a new constitution for Oaxaca. The APPO sprang into life in the two days following the attempted eviction of striking teachers from their zocalo encampment on June 14, 2006. It has guided the social movement in Oaxaca since then, and now self-dissolves in favor of a permanent structure of government which includes an executive and legislative branch. The provisional directorship dissolved on formally initiating the work of the constitutive congress.

The new organ is the State Council of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (CEAPPO, in its Spanish initials). It consists of 260 representatives of all the seven regions of Oaxaca. Forty seats were assigned to the democratic teachers union. The CEAPPO also includes merchants, students, bus and taxi drivers, unions, women, non-governmental organizations, political parties and social groups. Honorific spaces were reserved for the political prisoners. All members of CEAPPO have the same rights and obligations.

Between 800 and 1000 (depending on sources) delegates from neighborhoods and barricades, political and social organizations joined arrivals from the seven regions of the state. Another 100 invited persons joined them, wearing yellow guest badges. The sixty or so national and international press people who also showed up were not permitted into the working sessions headed by members of APPO's provisional directors, which include Flavio Sosa Villavicencio, Zenén Bravo Castellano, Rosendo Ramírez Sánchez and Marcos Leyva Madrid. Zenén Bravo was selected as president of the council. The men were nominated by a plenary, along with two vice-presidents and four recorders.

The meetings were held in the auditorium of the Hotel Magesterio, which was also the venue for the meeting with Delegado Zero of the Other Campaign when the Zapatistas visited Oaxaca last February.

CEAPPO has formed in the face of the extreme repression currently underway by the governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, who operates both through his PRI and paid henchmen and police in civilian clothes. The spirit of the CEAPPO is revolutionary, in a pacific, democratic and humanistic stance which is openly anti neoliberal and based on the traditional people power shown in usos y costumbres ("uses and customs"), a method of governing which is open and face to face. Ample provisions for recall of officials, referenda and plebiscites are included in the form of the council.

In content, CEAPPO supports economic social justice, equality of persons, respect for differences, respect for the rights of women, respect for indigenous people and their autonomy, and development in benefit of the peoples of Oaxaca with high concern for sustainability and renewable resources.

The gathered constitutive congress met for three days. On Friday the work began on the registration of delegates from different organizations and community leaders, as well as participants on the barricades which the APPO designed after June 17. Registration took the whole day Friday, and so little time was left for work sessions that the meting adjourned.

At the initial meeting of the first night's constitutive council, which was heavily dominated by men, the women present protested vigorously. Ultimately it was decided that a minimum of 30 percent of the permanent council will be women. The sessions were all lively, with booing down of objectionable sestions and cheers for good ones – participative democracy.

On Saturday, some 600 delegates defined the statues, the declaration of principles and the program of action for the new body as well as electing the permanent directors who will function in a role akin to an executive department.

Working Sunday and throughout the night, by dawn the congress had elaborated its new plan of action, which includes continuing the strle to unseat the governor Ulises Ruiz. The departure of Ruiz is "not negotiable." Activities were outlined, such as putting up more blockades, and renewing the mobile brigades. This has to take place within the uncertainty of the occupying forces of Federal Preventive Police (PFP), who may or may not be withdrawn, and with the dirty war underway.

The Oaxacan movement will also send a delegation to Mexico City on November 20 to participate in the protest of former presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but only as a symbolic expression of the strle for democracy. The APPO also agreed to protest the inauguration of Felipe Calderon if URO doesn't leave before December 1.

At the first meeting, on Friday, the APPO reiterated, "The conditions don't exist for a return to classes." Nevertheless, about 70 percent of teachers are returning. Some remain in the encampment in Mexico DF. It is expected that returns will be phased in during next week , with the avowed purpose of teaching about what happened in Oaxaca and the popular movement. While URO remains in power, this maybe very dangerous work.

While the congress was gathering for its first day of meetings, the zocalo was occupied by the Federal Preventive Police, and the tourist area was occupied by the APPO and teachers who won't return to classes while danger exists. During the time period of November 1 to November 10, about 49 students and APPO leaders were snatched off the street without warrants by men in civilian clothing who drove unmarked automobiles. Among the apprehended were two minors. Civil rights violations perpetrated by the government included entering private homes without warrant to arrest the highly visible people of the APPO and the teachers.

Although Human Rights organizations demanded to know where and who was being held, or an account for the dead, it was not offered.

Seeking safety, the most visible of the APPO and teachers threatened asked for sanctuary within the church and were granted it by the church official Wilfredo Meyran, who a day later was overridden by the bishop of Oaxaca, Jose Luis Chavez Botello. The bishop, in a news conference, declared that the church was devoted to the kingdom of heaven and could not get involved in earthly politics. Meyran is a long-time ally of former bishop of Chiapas Samuel Ruis, and appeared with him when Ruiz was in Oaxaca in support of the APPO.

University classes were scheduled to resume on Monday, but many did not due to the violent conditions around the university campus. Some professors decided it wasn't safe; some students made the same decision. At the same time, the static blocking of Radio Universidad continued, and the blockade of University City was maintained, so that in effect the information coming from the APPO was unavailable. The radio broadcasters were unable to leave University City for fear of their lives, and remained, living inside the autonomous area.

Radio Ciudadano, also known as Radio Patito, continued broadcasting names of the movement adherents as well at those of teachers, with sestions to capture or harm them. This station is generally regarded as supported by the PRI government. The names of the Radio Universidad broadcasters are well known and have been made public. Human rights protests to prevent the pro-government station from issuing threats have been ignored. By the end of the week, November 10, the Radio Universidad signal was completely blocked.

At virtually the same time, a nationwide National Assembly, modeled after the APPO, is being constructed. The national convention of state delegates will take place in Mexico City on the 18th and 19th of November. It will analyze the national situation, the actual situation of the member assemblies, establish its own form and rules, and plan its national action. To date, about twelve states are expected to send delegates to the Asamblea Popular de Pueblos de Mexico, the APPM.

Although Ulises Ruiz in Oaxaca tries to portray in the mainstream media that all is returning to normal (the PFP boys eat popsicles while standing on guard blocking entry to the zocalo) my personal observation as your commentator is that the movement will remain active and resolute.


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