Protests Resume in Oaxaca

January 12th, 2007 – Oaxaca Lives writes: Contrary to the official speech of Governor Ulises Ruiz and despite all efforts of the state powers to restore the “social peace” atmosphere, everything indicates that the presumed “normality” was more an aspect of governmental superstition than reality in the streets of Oaxaca. Yesterday, Wednesday, January 10th, around 10 thousand people, among them were professors, students, housewives, workers and natives, went to the streets of the capital’s center, starting from the Fuentes Siete Regiones up to Plaza de la Danza, resuming the marches of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca, that was interrupted provisionally.

Even with the presence of repressive forces, the march passed by peacefully and once again showed the plurality of the actors and supports involved within the movement. There was a large number of women, children and elderly, not all of them representatives of the collective of professors of the section XXII of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), that shouted words endorsing to resignation of Ulises as a condition of dialogue with the government and requiring the liberation of the political prisoners, besides the judgment and punishment of the crimes and atrocities committed by the police force against detained protesters. Two days ago, the Mexican newspaper La Jornada revealed that 15 of the political prisoners recently liberated were sexually violated by the police.

The repressive atmosphere was an outstanding component of the march of yesterday. Even though the zocalo (historical center) continues to be occupied by the security forces, there was an excessive presence of military soldiers and police in the area. Some soldiers photographed and videotaped the protesters in an explicit attempt to identify the leadership of the APPO.

Along the march, protesters redid the graffiti that had been roughly covered by the government with white and orange ink in the last days. It is curious to observe how the attempt of the government to erase the demands of the protesters inscribed in the walls during the seven months of battle evidences the modus operandi of the oligarchies in Oaxaca for dealing with social conflicts, privileging a kind of solution that is brutally repressive and truly inept.