APPO: A Chronicle of Radical Democracy

The Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca

November, 2006 – Gustavo Esteva writes: For almost two years, the people of Oaxaca have been in increasing turmoil. The immediate cause has been the corrupt and authoritarian administration of the states Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) governor, Ulises Ruiz, who took office after a fraudulent election in December 2004. But as the Oaxaqueos have resisted Ruiz, especially these last five months, deeper struggles have come to the surface and begun to find expression. It is a process of awakening, organization, and radicalization that merits review. On May 22nd the teachers union, with 70,000 members throughout the state, began a sit-in in the main plaza of Oaxaca City to dramatize their economic plight. Most urban Oaxacans reacted with a mixture of indifference and annoyance to the sit-in and the blockade of some streets. Such demonstrations regularly accompany teachers strikes and always produce some additional perks for the leaders of the union and for the teachers, but at the price of disrupting the life in the city for weeks or months. People were also more than a little annoyed because the teachers had abandoned their schools and many families did not know what to do with their children.

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Constitutive Congress of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO)

GENERAL SUMMARY OF THE RESULTS OF THE WORK GROUPS

WORK GROUP ONE:

AN ANALYSIS OF THE INTERNATIONAL,
NATIONAL AND STATE CONTEXT

A. INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

1. A Neoliberal economic model has been initiated at the world level, favoring the interests of big multinational finance capital and harming the welfare of the big social majorities.

2. The characteristics of the above mentioned neoliberal model are the privatization of all natural resources, of biodiversity, and of the national patrimony; the destruction of the cultures of indigenous people, and the unraveling and disintegration of the social fabric; and the dismantling, amongst others, of the institutions that guarantee the economic, social and cultural rights.

3. The said model uses a variety of methods to take over the land and natural resources: such as the destruction of the national legal framework; to interfere in the electoral process of sovereign nations; and the legalization of torture, repression, kidnapping, murder and preemptive war.

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OIDHO Proposals for the Constitutional Congress of the APPO

INDIGENOUS ORGANIZATIONS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN OAXACA (OIDHO)
Saturday, November 11, 2006.

“And the old vulture lies in wait, high on his rock. He fixes his bloodshot eye on the advancing giant, still unaware of the causes of the insurrection. Tyrants don’t understand the right to rebellion.” (From Regeneración, September 10, 1910.)

THE NATIONAL AND STATE CONTEXT

Recent political events like the approval of the “Televisa law,” the vote fraud in the presidential election, and the refusal of the national Senate to declare the removal of the powers that be in the state of Oaxaca, all confirm a tendency that has grown stronger over at least three decades on the part of the government and both national and international economic power groups. Needless to say, the mainstream media, with some honorable exceptions, have been all too willing to impose their vision and continue to manipulate public opinion.

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The APPO Constitutional Congress

November 11th, 2006 – tristan writes: From November 10-12 the APPO held its Constitutional Congress. Its goal was to choose a leadership and fortify the direction of the organization in the most democratic way. The congress was held in an indoor stadium. The Provisional Directors sat at a table at the front. Then there were hundreds of people in chairs and the rest in the bleachers. Along the walls were banners of APPO in action. They showed young people with molotovs, women stringing out barbed wire, people with slingshots and bandanas over their faces or playing the guitar, a woman with a baby facing the riot cops.

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Tensions Rise: University Autonomy Violated as Radio is under seige

Radio Universidad declared a victory earlier today, at least for now.

November 2nd, 2006 – danielsan writes: The Federal Government is trying to consolidate it’s power in Oaxaca, attacking the University Campus (a violation of its guaranteed autonomy) in order to remove its radio station from the air (at 1470 AM), which broadcasts the words of teachers, students, workers, the indigenous, and others the Mexican government wants silenced.

After a day of intense street fighting, in which the Federal troops entered the campus of UABJO (Universidad Autónoma”Benito Juárez”de Oaxaca), Radio Universidad is still on the air. Oaxaca City is full of tension as Canal 9 has already been attacked and reoccupied, a foreign journalist has been killed, the striking teachers have been evicted from the Zòcalo, people are being rounded up, and street by street people are resisting the incursions and the very presence of the military. Foreign journalists are being threatened, and teachers are being attacked.

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