In Oaxaca, Mexico, tensions remain high over concerns that the government is planning to use force to crush a populist uprising there. Over the weekend, military aircraft began flying over Oaxaca City and additional troops were deployed to nearby army posts.
APPO representatives are currently on an Emergency West Coast Tour sponsored by the Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior, Organización de Trabajadores Agricolas de California, Union Civica Primero de Mayo, Chicano Consortium, Sacramento City Teachers Union, and the Sacramento chapters of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and LULAC. The forum in San Francisco will take place on Wednesday, October 4th at 7:00pm at the Center for Political Education, 522 Valencia Street.
The Fox administration in Mexico is readying to send federal troops into the city of Oaxaca to crush the strike of more than 70,000 teachers and the resistance of an entire people, which has organized its own Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).
Join us to learn from these two representatives from the APPO in Oaxaca what is occurring on the ground in Oaxaca and what we in the United States can do to help them in their struggle to win their just and legitimate demands and to force the resignation of repressive Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, who unleashed the police on the strikers last June 14.
For more background information, see the International Solidarity Appeal below.
DATE, TIME AND PLACE
Wednesday, OCTOBER 4 @ 7 p.m.
Center for Political Education, 522 Valencia St., 3rd Fl., San Francisco
(@ 16th Street; one block from 16th St. Mission BART station)
Donation Requested at door; No one Turned Away for lack of funds.
Forum Sponsored by Mexicanos En El Exterior, Global Exchange, S.F. LCLAA, Open World Conference, Comité en Defensa Del voto
For more information, call 415-641-8616 or contact:
ilcinfo (at) earthlink.net
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE STRUGGLE OF THE PEOPLE OF OAXACA
INTERNATIONAL APPEAL IN SOLIDARITY WITH SECTION 22 OF THE NATIONAL EDUCATION UNION (SNTE-CNTE) AND WITH THE PEOPLE OF OAXACA
The movement of the teachers of Section 22 of the National Education Union and the people of Oaxaca is facing a terrible situation.
The Secretario de Gobernación (Minister of the Interior), with the backing of all the governors of the country, has called on President Vicente Fox to “act with the strict respect for the law against all the destabilizing forces that aim to directly prejudice the constitutional order.” This is an open call to use force against the movement.
The bosses, the representatives of the Church, the media and a few mayors of all the parties have also called on the government to send a military expedition toward the State of Oaxaca.
The strike movement of 70,000 teachers of the State of Oaxaca began around the wage issues of Section 22 of the SNTE last May. The teachers called for all teachers to receive the same wages throughout all the districts of the State of Oaxaca.
On June 14, the PRI government headed by Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz unleashed a brutal attack against the strike encampments set up by the teachers in the center of the city of Oaxaca. But the teachers forced the police forces to retreat after five hours of confrontation.
In response, the unions, neighborhood organizations, peasants and indigenous groups set up a Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), which organized five huge marches and — with the decisive participation of the teachers — set up barricades that were staffed for self-defense purposes throughout the night.
The teachers and the population set up a political tribunal to fight for the demand, “Governor Ulises Ruiz must go!” The teachers and the APPO have occupied the headquarters of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the state, as well as the local private radios and the provincial television station.
The governor, incapable of launching a massive attack against the teachers and the people, has utilized gangster methods, by sending in armed individuals with pistols to shoot at people on the barricades and at the marches. Four people have died in this way, and dozens have been injured. Four people have been arrested, among them Elangelio Mendoza Gonzalez, the former General Secretary of Section 22 of SNTE-CNTE.
Currently, based on the decision of the General Assembly of Section 22 of the SNTE and representatives of the APPO, 5,000 teachers, health workers, and peasants are marching on Mexico City to express their resistance in the capital.
They must travel more than 500 km (from the South to the North, crossing over the Western Sierra Madre mountain chain). They must also face state aggression. For its part, the Ministry of the Interior has organized a meeting of “all the sectors eager to find a solution to the Oaxaca problem” for this Wednesday. At the same time, it declared that “things have reached their limit in Oaxaca” and has threatened to send in 10,000 federal police.
At the very moment we write these lines, several Navy helicopters are patrolling the skies of Oaxaca. A police assault could result in a bloodbath. The teachers and the population are ready to resist. They want to live peacefully and want to ensure that democracy is respected. And they want the will of the majority to be respected — that is, for Governor Ulises Ruiz to leave.
That is why we are appealing to the unions of the whole world, particularly to the teachers’ unions, to write to Carlos Abascal Carranza (Minister of the Interior) and Vicente Fox (President) to say:
— No to repression against the teachers and the people in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico!
— Respect the fundamental demand of the movement: Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz must step down immediately!
The first signers calling for international solidarity:
Professor Ezequiel Carreño Rosales, Organizational Secretary, Section 22 of the SNTE-CNTE; Professor Fernando Mendoza Perez, Coordinator of the Executive Committee of Section 22 of the SNTE-CNTE; Augusto Fernando Reyes Medina, member of the Executive Committee of Section 22 of the SNTE-CNTE; Professor Luis Vasquez Villalobos, delegate of the Union of the Workers of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (STUNAM); Javier Brena Alfaro, union delegate of the STUNAM; Gustavo Grajales, president of the Savings Fund of Section 40 of SNTE-CNTE; Misael Palma Lopez, member of Section 7 of the SNTE (Chiapas); Russel Aguilar Brindis, member of the committee of technical secondary school struggles, Section 7 of the SNTE (Chiapas); Humberto Martinez Brizuela, professor of the National Polytechnic Institute; Armando Pasos Cabrera, member of the Independent Workers Union of the Autonomous Metropolitan University (SITUAM); Gema Lopez Limon, professor of the National Autonomous University of Baja California.
Send your messages to:
Vicente Fox Quesada, President of the Mexico:
vicente.fox.quesada [at] presidencia.gob.mx
Carlos Abascal, Ministry of the Interior:
segob [at] rtn.net.mx
Send a copy to Fernando Mendoza Perez, Member of the Executive Committee of Section 22 of the SNTE-CNTE:
Alborotador_oax [at] hotmail.com
Also, please send a copy of your letter to:
Entente Internationale (France):
eit-ilc [at] fr.oleane.com
Subject: 10/4: SF Public Forum on Oaxaca w/ Leaders of APPO
OWC – Open World Conference in Defense of Trade Union Independence & Democratic Rights, c/o S.F. Labor Council,
1188 Franklin St., #203, San Francisco, CA 94109.
Phone: (415) 641-8616 Fax: (415) 440-9297.