Insumisión: Strike!

While the state has the guns, the teachers have the numbers, and they’ve been using them.

Originally posted to It’s Going Down
May 30, 2016
By Scott Campbell

The last edition of Insumisión started with news of the national teachers strike in Mexico and that’s where we’ll kick things off here. It’s been an intense fifteen days since the National Coordinating Body of Education Workers (CNTE) began an indefinite strike on May 15, primarily against plans by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to implement neoliberal reforms to the country’s education system.

Since being selected as president in 2012, Peña Nieto has attempted to privatize and standardize the Mexican education system, along with instituting policies to disempower Latin America’s largest union, the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), and its dissident and more radical faction, the CNTE. In 2013, the CNTE mobilized its base to fight back against similar reform efforts. An article I wrote then gives some context to the developments occurring now, as well as clarifying the distinctions between the SNTE, the CNTE, and their relationships to the state.

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We recently began to walk: ejido Tila

“Autonomy is a lifelong process. The struggle never ends. And it’s only recently that we have begun walking towards it.”

By Rata Rey
April 19, 2016
SubVersiones

Five months have passed since ejido Tila expelled the municipal government and declared autonomy: five months of self-determination, organizational and community restructuring, of contemplating ways to establish a government where the people command, of making collective decisions regarding the direction of the community. Nearly half a year of beginning to walk in autonomy. “Autonomy is a lifelong process. The struggle never ends. And it’s only recently that we have begun walking towards it,” says an ejidatario* comrade.

Three ejidatario comrades tell us how the process has moved forward, what its accomplishments and obstacles have been. When the community realized that it could not keep waiting for the beating from the local government and the police and paramilitaries that it supports, the residents began formulating a new way of governing themselves and taking charge of their territory. The first decision taken by the assembly was naming security commissioners and placing guards at the entrances of the town. Women and young people also participate as guards. The police rotate, all residents are asked to guard at some point. It is the community that takes care of itself: “On January 16, there was a dance and we named 50 people to protect it but in the end we were 150 people. People were surprised that the dance was so safe. Previously, when the municipality was in charge, children and mobile phones used to be stolen and people were scared. Now, though, nothing happened.”

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Insumisión: Resistance and Repression in Mexico

Welcome to the first edition of “Insumisión,” a new column bringing you news and analysis from social movements and struggles in Mexico.

By Scott Campbell
Originally published on It’s Going Down

Welcome to the first edition of “Insumisión,” a new column on It’s Going Down, bringing you news and analysis from social movements and struggles in the territory referred to as Mexico. Let’s get started.

As readers of It’s Going Down might already be aware, in Mexico City last Wednesday, Yorch, a member of Okupa Che, was kidnapped by police in the latest round of repression to face the autonomous, anti-authoritarian space on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, held since the 1999-2000 student strike. Police planted a backpack full of drugs on Yorch, who is now captive in a federal prison in Sonora. The morning after the arrest, compañerxs blockaded access to UNAM with burning dumpsters, and Molotov cocktails were unleashed on the UNAM Campus Security offices and patrol cars. The clamor to evict Okupa Che has steadily grown since Yorch’s arrest. Okupa Che released a statement, calling for solidarity and for people to be on alert to respond to any eviction attempt. Anarchist political prisoner Fernando Bárcenas (who received acts of solidarity from Tijuana to Bloomington earlier this year) sent an open letter in solidarity with Yorch, which reads in part:

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Justice for Galeano: Stop the War Against the Zapatista Communities!

An autonomous Zapatista school and clinic was destroyed, 15 people were ambushed and injured, and a teacher at the Zapatista Little School was murdered.

[ Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano) ]

On May 2, 2014, in the Zapatista territory of La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico, the group CIOAC-Histórica [with the participation of the Green Ecological Party and the National Action Party (PAN)], planned and executed a paramilitary attack on unarmed Zapatista civilians. An autonomous Zapatista school and clinic was destroyed, 15 people were ambushed and injured and Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano), teacher at the Zapatista Little School, was murdered. The mainstream media is falsely reporting this attack on the Zapatistas as an intra-community confrontation, but in fact this attack is the result of a long-term counterinsurgency strategy promoted by the Mexican government.

More Information: An attack on the Zapatistas is an Attack on Us All | Enlace Zapatista

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Alberto Patishtán: A Message From the State

The ruling can only be interpreted as a message sent both to the prisoner and to those who see him as a symbol of the struggle against injustice.

By Luis Hernández Navarro
La Jornada
September 13, 2013
Translated by Scott Campbell

Alberto Patishtán is not a French kidnapper like Florence Cassez, nor a narcotrafficker like Rafael Caro Quintero, nor one of the killers from the massacre in Acteal. He is a Tzotzil schoolteacher, a member of the Other Campaign, unjustly imprisoned for 13 years. She, they and he are not the same. For Cassez, Caro Quintero and the paramilitaries from Chenalhó, despite their guilt, justice let them go. For teacher Patishtán, the justice system has him in jail, despite being innocent.

The judiciary recently had the possibility to rectify the damage done to the indigenous Tzotzil man from El Bosque. But this Thursday, the 20th Circuit First Appellate Court in Chiapas declared baseless the evidence with which his attorneys sought to obtain his release.

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