Call to all independent journalists to support the struggle in Oaxaca
Communique from Mexican Independent Media concerning Oaxaca
Mexico City, Saturday October 28th, 2006
To the People of Mexico:
To the People of the World:
To the Media:
Those of us from free and independent media we declare ourselves energetically against the repression that the government of Mexico is exerting against the popular movement of Oaxaca.
On the 22nd of May, 60,000 Oaxacan teachers protested in demand of better labor conditions and initiated a long occupation of the downtown of Oaxaca City. On the 14th of June, the government of Ulises Ruiz ordered a violent and failed evacuation against the magisterial movement. In response, the Popular Assembly of Towns of Oaxaca (APPO) was created on the 23rd of June, composed of 350 social organizations in support of the teacher’s movement to demand an end to the wave of murders of social fighters by the government, as well as the exit of governor Ulises Ruiz.
Some of the APPO’s actions have been focused in takeovers of mass media, such as radio broadcasters and television channel 9, to resist the media lynching that has at all costs tried to criminalize the movement. With the liberation of these mass media outlets, the town of Oaxaca not only created an instrument of popular information but also an essential mechanism of coordination and call to action to demand the removal of Ulises Ruiz.
In this social context, several independent international and national media were present in Oaxaca spreading the stories of the Oaxacan people’s struggle. Will Bradley Roland, correspondent of New York City Indymedia, also arrived to the city of Oaxaca. On the 27 of October, Brad was covering the struggle at the barricades when he was hit by the bullets of the government paid assassins. In his commitment to document “the fights of those who construct their true history”, our companion was killed. On this day, at the barricades of Santa Maria and San Bartolo Coyotepec, also assassinated by firearm were Esteban Lopez Zurita, and professor Emilio Alonso Fabian. Near 20 more people were wounded by bullets, among them Oswaldo Ramirez, of the newspaper Millennium. Since this popular movement began, 14 people have been assassinated, there is an undetermined number of people wounded, near 40 people detained and one person disappeared- Roberto Pablo.
We hold the tyrant Ulises Ruiz, “governor” of Oaxaca, responsible, as well as Carlos Abascal, Secretary of Government and Vicente Fox, president of Mexico for the death of the fallen comrade Brad and the thirteen others who have died in this worthy fight. They died by the hands of governmental repression against the people of Oaxaca. Their deaths are part of the consequences that the incursion of the federal forces in Oaxaca will bring.
As a network of free and independent communication, we energetically condemn the repression of state and make a call that:
1. For support on a local level for the taking-over of mainstream radio and for the collective construction of one’s own means of information.
2. To make use on a national and international level of the networks of free and independent media and to spread the information that emanates from these.
3. At an international level to make an effective presence in diplomatic seats and demand the immediate departure of the tyrant URO and the stop to the repression in Oaxaca, as well as the departure of the military, PFP and the other repressive bodies of Oaxaca.
4. We call on the social journalists and communicators to exert and to affirm their right to freedom of the press, without any restriction and to continue without fear their work of spreading the news.
We remind them of the meeting of free and independent media this Sunday, the 29th of October, at noon in the Chamber of Juárez in Mexico City.
The free and independent media is also the people and at this moment the people need us to accompany our brothers in struggle until obtaining the fall of Ulises Ruiz.
Network of Free and Independent Media
translated by barucha calamity