The VAPPOR Oaxaca Solidarity Camp has continuously occupied the sidewalk outside the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, 24/7, since the invasion of Oaxaca by Mexican federal troops on October 29.
The goals of the Camp have been put pressure on the Mexican government and to bring attention both to the ongoing human rights violations in Oaxaca and to the courageous resistance of the people to attacks by paramilitaries, local police and federal troops.
The Camp stands in solidarity with The Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), a broad coalition of Oaxaqueños, which formed after troops sent by the governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz, violently attacked a peaceful demonstration by teachers striking for a living wage and better working conditions. The Camp supports the demands of APPO that the corrupt, murderous governor Ulises Ruiz be removed, that the federal troops leave Oaxaca, and that all political prisoners be released and those disappeared be returned. The Camp will present a Manifesto outlining its demands at the press conference on Tuesday.
Having achieved its goals, the VAPPOR Oaxaca Solidarity Camp will be dismantled Tuesday morning in favor of broader efforts to bring attention to the continuing resistance in Oaxaca and the complicity of the governments of Ulises Ruiz and Vincente Fox in the assassinations, beatings, detentions and disappearances that are a part of daily life there.
The educational activities of the Camp have included numerous banners (for example, proclaiming Fox and Ruiz as murderers and listing the demands of the resistance), photographs showing the invasion and the people’s resistance, flowers and a Dia de los Muertos altar, flyers, rallies and marches, chants, one-on-one discussions and videos. People waiting in line outside the consulate in the morning have been particularly receptive to these messages.
The Camp has weathered the unsuccessful efforts of consulate personnel and police to repress its solidarity actions, including illegal detentions, surveillance, attempts at infiltration, violent threats and actions against marchers, including ramming a police vehicle into the wheelchair of a protester, and endeavoring to turn local businesses and residents against the protesters. Although relations with residents of the high-priced neighborhood surrounding the consulate were rocky at first, with some complaints about noise, the warmth of the people occupying the Camp and the power of their message has won over the locals, leading to friendly relations, expressions of support and donations of food.
Solidarity actions have been occurring at Mexican Consulates since October 29 worldwide (more information: http://indymedia.org and https://elenemigocomun.net). The Camp was originally slated to be dismantled on November 20, but in solidarity with the call by the Zapatistas for a day of international action in support of the Oaxacan resistance on the 20th, the Camp will remain in place for an additional day.
The VAPPOR Oaxaca Solidarity Camp is composed of diverse individuals from numerous organizations in San Diego County.
VAPPOR: Vencera la Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca en Resistencia.
To the President of the Republic of the United States of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quezada, and the Congress of the Nation:
With a spirit of solidarity and a combative fist in the air, we declare our total support to the community of Oaxaca in their struggle of resistance, and to the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca, the representative organization of this struggle.
Our struggle is a common cause of all the people of Mexico and the world that are oppressed by the insatiable capitalist system.
We the defenders of reason and justice, part of the coalition V.A.P.P.O.R.-OAXACA!, commit ourselves to the international solidarity struggle with our sisters and brothers. We have maintained the historic permanent encampment at the Mexican consulate of the City of San Diego, California, for twenty-four days. We will end the encampment on November 21st, 2006, the day after the celebration of the start of the betrayed Mexican Revolution and the call by the ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION for a national strike in solidarity with the Oaxacan struggle.
We symbolically lift the encampment, letting it be known that we will continue our struggle. We are indignant and we denounce the decisions enforced by the Federal Preventative Police that have besieged Oaxaca.
Oaxaca does not deserve this state of war.
Oaxaca does not deserve the collective psychosis, disappearances, and unjust detentions.
We know beforehand that the interests in Oaxaca are instituting neoliberal megaprojects such as the PLAN PUEBLA PANAMA. This plan is the continuation of the plunder and exploitation of Mexico for capitalist ends, a process that has been taking place since the violent European invasion of Indoamerica 514 years ago. The indigenous people of our country find themselves stripped of natural resources by ransacking and traitorous governments, currently represented by the National Action Party and the Institutional Revolutionary Party. During the almost 70 year PRI dictatorship, they created monstrous chieftains such as Ulises Ruiz in Oaxaca, who refuses to hand over his power, ensuring that his poor management of the economy would not be discovered. For that reason, the people, feeling challenged and seeing that their demands are not being respected, have made their voice heard with worthy and just demands.
In the same respect, we denounce that the Oaxacan people not only suffer in Oaxaca, but also suffer in the border region. For two decades, the indigenous Oaxacan people, in both the valley of San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico, and in California, have demanded that the Mexican, Oaxacan, and Baja California governments implement development initiatives that would truly solve the serious problems of the indigenous migrants. These include ending misery, the educational gap, and the discrimination and exploitation of workers by the multinational corporations that operate in the valleys of Baja California. These capitalist corporations hold captive thousands of indigenous Oaxacans and other Mexicans that constitute the labor force of the agroindustry of Baja California.
We convey to the Mexican government that the indigenous migrants in California have demanded the implementation of projects with true results for the thousands of migrants. These projects would contribute to combating the phenomenon of migration that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of compatriots; men, women and children that have had no other alternative but to seek their survival outside of their country. As worried citizens, we commit ourselves to continue to strongly support the demands of our Oaxacan sisters and brothers.
Considering that Article 39 of the Mexican constitution establishes that “the people have in every moment the inalienable right of altering or modifying their form of government,” we insist that a “democratic” country means taking necessary actions to fulfill the duty of the government to represent the demands of the people.
We know that the prevailing logic amongst those in power is that if Ulises Ruiz is deposed, Felipe Calderon’s fate will not be much different – he too will be deposed. In an attempt to avoid this, the governing powers are doing everything they can to defend the legitimacy of Ulises Ruiz’s government. The political decision of President Vicente Fox to suppress the social movement of the people of Oaxaca by sending the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) into the state capital provides an example of the failed policies which Fox has pursued throughout the duration of his mandate. These polices are undoubtedly dictated by the political and economic groups in power who currently dictate Mexico’s future. It is a clear demonstration of ‘democracy at gunpoint’, which will see an even greater increase when Felipe Calderon takes control of the presidency.
Contrary to what the politicians and mainstream media say, the violence in Oaxaca cannot be attributed to the people, represented by the APPO; rather, the kidnappings, the deaths and the pain are part of the repression directed against the Oaxacan people.
the immediate withdrawal of the PFP and the Mexican army.
a complete end to the repression and harassment of the Oaxacan people in all sectors of society, including representatives of the APPO and all other organizations which are participating or have participated in the heroic struggle of the people.
a complete end to the torture and psychological warfare.
the safe return of all disappeared persons along with full economic compensation for all psychological, physical, and material damages IMMEDIATELY!
We require the removal of Ulises Ruiz as “governor” of the state, along with his immediate arrest, judgment and punishment by popular courts, chosen by the Oaxacan people, charged with the serious crimes of genocide, inhumanity, delinquent association, corruption, and multiple aggressions.
Aqui estamos y no nos vamos. We are here, with all the teachers, with all the women, men, and children who fight with so much dignity and respect. They are an example for the rest of us. We will not let the bad government intimidate us nor will we allow them to suppress our hopes for freedom and democracy for all people.
TROOPS OUT OF OAXACA!
ULISES RUIZ OUT!!!
END THE REPRESSION!
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW!
Vencerá la Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca en Resistencia
The Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca in Resistance Will Prevail
Directed to Luis Cabrera, Mexican Consul in the City of San Diego, California
This post is also available in: Spanish