Barucha Calamity Peller who has participated in anti-authoritarian collectives in Mexico for the past 4 years, has just returned from Oaxaca where there has been a widely defended popular uprising and where dozens of people have died and disappeared in this past week alone. She will give a presentation on the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO), the life at the barricades, international solidarity and the brutal repression and assassinations at the hands of paramilitaries and police throughout last month. Her presentation and first hand accounts will also include a slideshow and recent videos from Oaxaca.
December 16th, 2006
1830 Belmont Rd NW
(Adams Morgan, Washington, DC between 18th St. and Columbia Rd. NW)
Download the pdf flyer
Take Action! – Help Stop Widespread Government Repression in Oaxaca
In May 2006, Oaxaca’s state-wide teachers’ union initiated a strike and non-violent occupation of the city center, demanding better pay and work conditions, as well as improvements to the state’s educational infrastructure. At dawn on June 14, state governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (popularly referred to as URO) sent in state police to violently break up the ongoing, peaceful teachers’ protest. The brutal police action, which included the firing of tear gas from helicopters onto the crowd below, sparked widespread indignation and outrage in many Oaxacans. The repressive tactics backfired resoundingly, and teachers had retaken the city center by nightfall, pushing back the police—mostly through the forces of their numbers and determination.
More importantly, the violent police action sparked a widespread, broad-based, non-violent popular movement. URO has awakened a sleeping giant—thousands of students, housewives, small business owners, workers,professors, professionals, campesinos, intellectuals and artists have come together to demand the governor’s resignation. And they have formed the People’s Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO), made up of at least 350 different civil organizations working in arenas of indigenous issues, sustainable community development, human rights and social justice. They are working to build a transparent, inclusive, participatory political system—true democracy from the grassroots. Since the conflict began more than 5 months ago, 17 people have been killed,including U.S. journalist Brad Will, shot in the chest by plain-clothed police while videotaping their attack on a neighborhood barricade manned by people sympathetic to the popular movement. On November 9, leaders of thePeople’s Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) publicly asked local leaders of the Catholic Church to provide safe refuge after receiving death threats.
The situation in Oaxaca has become increasingly volatile and violent with hundreds of activists, human rights leaders and community organizers arrested,disappeared and killed.