Jun 15th, 2007 – Barucha Calamity Peller writes: At around five in the morning on Thursday, June 14th, 2007 hundreds of fireworks cracked the quiet dawn and burst in the sky above Oaxaca City, Mexico. Though the streets remained still, people began waking up and movement chants could be heard coming from the windows of houses. “If Ulises doesn’t go there will be no peace!”.
This isn’t like any other day in Oaxaca. Thursday marked the one year anniversary of the violent attempted eviction by the state police of the Section 22 teachers sit in strike in the Zocalo, and what happened that day set off a chain of events that led to a statewide uprising and a popular movement with millions of participants to remove the right-wing governor Ulises Ruiz from office and replace the entire state government with popular assemblies. An organization of thousands of civil groups was formed, called the Peoples’ Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO). Physically removing local governments from office, the APPO lived autonomously in the capitol city and other communities for nearly five months until the entrance of the Preventive Federal Police in the last days of October.
In the early afternoon of June 14th, 2007, a megamarch of over 300 thousand participants began to arrive in the Zocalo of Oaxaca City. The march began at the airport nearly 8 kilometers away, and as the beginning of the march entered the Zocalo people were still leaving from the airport. Contingents from Chiapas and Michoacan and other states in Mexico participated in the march as well.
At approximately 7pm barricades reappeared for the first time since November throughout the city. People spontaneously constructed barricades, and at least two major thoroughfares were blockaded using buses and cars. Crowds gathered to reinforce the barricades, and a festive mood took over Oaxaca City.
Though the movement to remove Ulises Ruiz from office and replace the existing government with popular assemblies was brutally repressed and many members of the movement were forced into hiding after the violent battle between protesters and police on November 25th, 2006, the struggle in Oaxaca is far from over. On May 1st and again on June 14th, 2007, hundreds of thousands of people marched in Oaxaca City in a strong show of force of the remaining presence of dissent among the Oaxacan people and their continuing demands for justice and autonomy.
also online at: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/06/15/18427689.php
more photos by John Gibler: chiapas.indymedia.org