October 27th, 2006 – In response to a state-wide work stoppage in Oaxaca, Mexico today, plainclothes police and gunmen linked to state governor Ulises Ruiz have unleashed a bloody massacre. So far today, there are at least three people confirmed dead, and reports of two more killed, with scores wounded in the shooting. Among the dead are Brad Will, a video journalist for Indymedia, and the teacher Emilio Alonso in San Bartolo Coyotepec, near Oaxaca city, where 23 others were shot.
The Internationalist Group is issuing this bulletin to alert unionists and others in the U.S. of the need for urgent action. A protest has been called for Saturday, October 28th, at 3 p.m. outside the Mexican consulate at 27 East 39th Street in Manhattan, NY. We urge people elsewhere in the country to likewise protest outside Mexican government installations denouncing the massacre.
According to Radio APPO, the radio station of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca, truckloads of armed paramilitaries are entering the state capital. During the afternoon motorcycles and pick-up trucks with plainclothes ministerial police roamed through the city. As part of the ongoing strike by the state teachers union, now in its sixth month, there are hundreds of barricades in Oaxaca city and strikers are calling to reinforce the barricades and resist the “caravans of death.”
Seventy thousand teachers have been on strike in the state since May 22. They have been joined by the APPO, including representatives of the 16 indigenous peoples in the state. The struggle has convulsed Mexico, as several thousand teachers and APPO strikers marched on Mexico City, where they have been camped out in front of the Senate.
Yesterday, under heavy pressure from the right-wing federal government of Vicente Fox, the teachers union, Section 22, SNTE-CNTE, voted by 30,000 to 20,000 to go back to work. However, they made this conditional on receiving guarantees of safety for the strikers against threats by the murderous state governor Ruiz and his PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) which has ruled the state for the last 75 years. This massacre is the government’s answer.
There have been repeated solidarity demonstrations with the Oaxaca strikers in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere in the U.S., as well as internationally, from Barcelona, Spain to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where teachers called for workers’ strikes against the repression in Mexico. Now is the time for international working-class action.
News stories on the killings are available on the web sites of:
the Mexico City daily La Jornada (jornada.unam.mx:8080/ultimas),
El Universal (http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/).
For more information, call (212) 460-0983 or (917) 209-4380.