Urgent. Repression, teacher dies in march in Oaxaca

Three years after the Oaxacan people’s victory over the state government, shots are fired at a barricade, the PFP mobilizes, and a strong megamarch fills the streets.

by Daniel Arellano Chávez

Oaxaca sizzles and resists once more on the three year anniversary of the peoples’ victory in resisting an attempt to remove the teachers’ encampment from the Oaxaca Zocalo on June 14, 2006. On the night of June 13 of this year, dozens of barricades were set up at various points around the city, showing that nothing has been resolved, yet far from being defeated, the struggle goes on.

Around 4:20 in the pre-dawn hours of June 14, 2009, a barricade set up at the Niños Héroes of Chapultepec intersection was attacked. Five spent shells from a 9 mm pistol were found at the site, left behind by thugs hired by the state government, who fired at least 10 rounds. Meanwhile, the Federal Preventive Police (PFP), which had been arriving in small convoys all during the preceding month and establishing themselves in hotels like the Parador Crespo, staged an operation aimed at taking over La Ley radio station, where APPO member and architect Lorenzo Sampablo Cervantes was killed three years ago by agents of the Ulises Ruiz government.

Before the shots were fired last Sunday, several late model cars pulled up near the barricade in provocative, aggressive maneuvers. A Volkswagen Bora and several vans accelerated erratically. One of them almost ran over someone and another drove into one side of the barricade. Later, the shots aimed at APPO members were fired from this vehicle.

APPO members accused the state and federal governments of the killer Ulises Ruiz and Felipe Calderón of complicity in the early morning repressive acts and held them responsible for all psychological or physical damage done to anyone, given that the PFP operation and the shots against the barricade were ordered precisely at points where people were demanding punishment of Lorenzo Sampablo Cervantes’s killers.

Early in the morning of June 14, the people came out into the streets to demonstrate once more. Thousands and thousands of women and men arrived at the Viguera intersection to set out on the megamarch, yet just before starting out, people were filled with sadness and indignation at the death of another of their sons. An explosion was felt at the starting point, where a truck carrying fireworks exploded, leaving at least 10 people injured, three of whom had serious wounds. As of now, the death of a teacher by the name of Alberto Gasca Varenga has been confirmed.

It’s important to mention that in several different parts of the city there is a heavy police buildup, including uniformed cops and civilians on motorcycles and truckloads full of state police forces riding around. On the other hand, the megmarch has shown that people’s dreams are still alive. Thousands and thousands of people formed human rivers that flooded the streets of Oaxaca, demanding freedom for all political prisoners, the live presentation of disappeared people, and punishment for the murders of dozens of comrades, in addition to the teacher killed today.

Chants, graffiti, posters, and t-shirts expressed the outrage of these three long years of struggle as well as an unbreakable will to triumph. With a tremendous force that hasn’t been displayed in quite some time, solidarity was shown in each and every city street. With the doors and windows of their houses wide open, people applauded the march of thousands and thousands of their brothers and sisters who meant what they shouted: “If Ulises doesn’t leave, peace will never come!”

An enormous mobilization with contingents from Morelos and other states made it clear that a sense of defeat among the peoples of Oaxaca is non existent and that they are still ready to struggle. From the Valley of Oaxaca, the people of Zaachila arrived with a resounding NO against the imposition of the extension of the Turnpike in their territory.

As the multitude of people approached the downtown area, the march grew even bigger. Thousands and thousands of women and men full of anger, hope, and a will to struggle milled around on every street corner, every stairwell, every sidewalk and every street, shouting and applauding and making it clear at every step of the way that the struggle is not over: “It’s not true! It’s a lie! Nothing’s been decided!” and “An eye for an eye! A tooth for a tooth! Ulises, killer, your debt is overdue!” showing one more time that Oaxaca is not at peace.

translated from the original at: kaosenlared.net

This post is also available in: Spanish