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Announcement :: International
Call to Action in Solidarity with the Peoples of Latin America
13 Nov 2006
As the people of Mexico continue to resist the brutal occupation of their land by tyrants, police, and paramilitaries, as the U.S. government resumes its training of Latin American militaries to crush popular resistance, and as those movements of resistance call on us to take action to stop the repression...

A coalition of Boston groups is calling for a day of action, tent city, and mass march on Monday, November 20. Other groups are organizing actions and educational events throughout the week.
Music-vs-Military.jpg
Call to Action in Solidarity with the Peoples of Latin America.
A WEEK OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLES OF LATIN AMERICA

November 13 to November 20

As the people of Mexico continue to resist the brutal occupation of their land by tyrants, police, and paramilitaries, as the U.S. government resumes its training of Latin American militaries to crush popular resistance, and as those movements of resistance call on us to take action to stop the repression...

A coalition of Boston groups is calling for a day of action, tent city, and mass march on Monday, November 20. Other groups are organizing actions and educational events throughout the week. Here's what's happening:

1. Call for a Day of Action, Tent City, and March on November 20

2. Other events and actions throughout the week:

Monday: Building Resistance: CISPES Fall Tour with Oswaldo Nataren (Cambridge)
Wednesday: Hear What's Happening in Guatemala from Genaro Fabian Gregorio (Lynn)
Wednesday: Meeting and Spokescouncil to Plan for November 20 (Copley)
Friday: Protest the President of Colombia on his visit to Boston (Park Street)
Saturday & Sunday: Shut Down the School of the Americas (Georgia)

*******************

Call to Action from Boston for Oaxaca:

Calling the people of New England:

Come out to a Tent City (Plantón) on the Boston Common in solidarity with the struggles of the people of Oaxaca!

November 20, 2006

9am to 4pm: Encampment on the Boston Common
4pm: March on the Mexican Consulate
All day: Action and education about the situation in Oaxaca and our communities

We demand the resignation of Ulises Ortiz and all other PRI officials in Oaxaca, freedom to the political prisoners of Oaxaca and Atenco, removal of the Federal Preventive Police and the army from Oaxaca, a return of all the disappeared, and justice for the communities and the political prisoners here in New England.

In response to the Zapatistas' call to action that day, we will walk off our jobs, walk out of our schools, and at 9am, set up camp on the Boston Common.

Bring your tents, banners, signs, instruments, bullhorns, puppets, art, affinity groups, and plans for action. We will be there all day, spreading the word about the struggles of APPO (The Popular Assemblies of the People of Oaxaca) and hosting our own assembly meetings.

At 4:00pm, those who choose to will take to the streets and march to the Mexican Consulate to remind them that we are still paying attention, that we are not going away, that the international struggle for liberation cannot be broken, and that every day Oaxaca is occupied by the PFP, our resolve grows stronger.

We will be holding a planning meeting and spokescouncil at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street, this Wednesday at 8 o'clock. We ask you join us, and ask every group you are a part of to send a delegate.

For more information or to get involved in planning the tent city, please email us at boston (at) oaxacarevolt.org

In solidarity,

Boston For Oaxaca

*******************

Other events and actions this week of Latin America solidarity:

Building Resistance

CISPES 2006 Fall Tour Featuring

OSWALDO NATAREN
STUDENT LEADER AND ACTIVIST AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EL SALVADOR

"Solidarity is one of the main revolutionary principles. People together can build and transform social reality; we need to continue strengthening and building those bonds and in that way, succeed in our fight for change."
-Oswaldo Nataren

As a member of the student organization, FURD (Roque Dalton University Front), Oswaldo Nataren was at the center of the July 5th demonstrations against increased bus fares and the slashing of public subsidies in the name of free market reforms. Police corralled demonstrating students in the university and fired live rounds into the crowd. The repression of that demonstration has been
described as the worst human rights abuse since 1992.

"¡La lucha sigue!" (The struggle continues!) is not just a slogan!

Salvadoran student activist Oswaldo Nataren is living proof — hear about the new generation in struggle:

Presentation and Movie
Sunday Nov. 12th, 5-7pm
Democracy Center
45 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge
(Near corner of Bow St, Harvard T)

Citywide Student and Youth Meeting

Monday Nov. 13th, 3-5pm
Phillips Brooks House
NW corner Harvard Yard, Cambridge
www.map.harvard.edu

Sponsored by Boston Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador & the Student Labor Action Movement at Harvard University

*******************

Come find out more about what is happening in Guatemala:

If you would like to learn more about this Central American country and what kind of challenges its people face in this globalized world, come hear a talk by

GENARO FABIÁN GREGORIO
Mr. Gregorio is a teacher and investigator with the Pastoral Service Office of the Ixcán. His talk will focus on Plan Puebla Panamá, the Xalalá Hydroelectric Dam, and other corporate mega-projects.

WHERE: IUECWA Hall at 112 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA
(Located off Central Square)

WHEN: Wednesday November 15th at 7:00pm.

Sponsored by The Guatemala Solidarity Committee of Boston

*******************

Protest the War on the People of Colombia
Come welcome the President of Colombia to Boston!

Friday, November 17

3:30 Gather at Park Street T Stop
4:00 Protest at Suffolk University's Omni Park House

Alvaro Uribe, Colombia's president and George Bush's ally, is coming to town.

- In 1995, as a governor, Uribe institutionalized paramilitary death squads that murdered, disappeared, detained, and drove thousands out of the region - Political assassinations and disappearances have taken the lives of tens of thousands of trade unionists, peasants, and activists in Colombia
- The U.S. has invested over $3 billion in Colombia's war on its own people
- A US-sponsored fumigation campaign is wreaking ecological devastation
- Paramilitary death squads work with the Colombian military and reap the benefits of US military aid

This Friday, welcome President Uribe to Boston as he visits Suffolk University!

Sponsored by the Stop the Wars Coalition

*******************

Vigil to Close the SOA/ WHINSEC
November 17-19, 2006
Fort Benning, Georgia

Together We'll Shut it Down!

This November 17-19, thousands will gather at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia for the Vigil to Close the School of the Americas! Following on the heels of our first vote in Congress in seven years, this year's Vigil is shaping up to be a powerful time for movement building and an effective tool in the campaign to close the SOA/ WHINSEC.

2006 Schedule of Events

Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18
Days of Organizing, Education, Arts, and Action in Columbus, Georgia

Sunday, November 19th
8:30am-4pm
Memorial Service and Solemn Funeral Procession, followed by Nonviolent Direct Action and Festival of Resistance at the gates of Fort Benning!

Full schedule at http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=1357

TRAVEL: See information on traveling to Columbus, whether by plane, car, bus, train or something more creative.
http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=1000
Check the Ride Board for carpools and buses from your area:
http://www.imaginaction.org/soaw/ride.php

The School of the Americas (SOA), in 2001 renamed the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation,” is a combat training school for Latin
American soldiers, located at Fort Benning, Georgia.

The SOA, frequently dubbed the “School of Assassins,” has left a trail of blood and suffering in every country where its graduates have returned.

Over its 59 years, the SOA has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. These graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people.

Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, disappeared, massacred, and forced to be refugees by those trained at the School of Assassins.

Learn more about the SOA/WHINSEC at http://www.soaw.org/new/type.php?type=8

This work is in the public domain.
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“APPO get out”
13 Nov 2006
PFP Occupation of Oaxaca Reveals Growing Polarization Within the Populace
A “March for Peace” in Support of Embattled Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz Exposes the Existence of a Deep Seated Economic and Social Divide


By James Daria
The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign in Oaxaca
November 1, 2006

The city of Oaxaca is no longer filled with the smoke of burning buses and tear gas, but instead is burning from the inside as further polarization of the community has increased tensions amid a “peace” brought about by the forces of law and order. The city, paralyzed for the last two days, tried to return to normalcy as many business reopened. Overshadowing the this normalcy was the threat of more violence among the people due to a march convened in support of the Oaxacan state governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO).


Photos: D.R. 2006 James Daria
Today’s march would not be the first held in support of Ruiz, which was held as a response to the many “megamarches” convoked by the striking Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE). Many people feared that today’s march would lead to provocations and confrontations similar to those that occurred last Friday, where agents of local police and municipal governments assassinated three people during a civil strike called for by the popular social movement coalesced around the popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).

The march left the “fountain of the seven regions” in the north of the city at eleven o’clock in the morning. Labeled as a so-called “march for peace,” the protesters, dressed in white, chanted slogans in support of the governor and against the magisterial and popular movement. These protesters welcomed the entrance of the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) as a step in restoring law and order in a city which, according to them, has been kidnapped by violent and radical groups.

The march for peace was organized by supporters of the governor and his political party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The announcement of the event was widely disseminated through Ruiz’s very own pirate radio station, Citizen Radio (99.1 FM), an attempt to use the opposition movement’s own tactics against them. Many prominent local families and politicians loyal to the party could be identified among the marchers. The march arrived at El Llano Park and where a meeting was held in support of the governor. The crowd chanted slogans very similar to those common among the opposition. “Ulises don’t give up, the people will rise up” and, “APPO get out” were some common phrases. Support for the corporate mass media was also expressed as one protester carried a sign that claimed that only TV Azteca tells truth.


One of the most important messages the marchers were trying to express was the idea that the APPO does not represent the people, but that the people marching today are in fact “the people.” This struggle for identity of who exactly is “the people” is an important indicator of the polarization of Oaxacan society. Both sides, those in support of and those against the governor, claim to represent the interests of the people. Two major contrasts were noted, according to this reporter, about this march as compared with the marches convoked by the APPO. First, the majority of marchers in support of Ulises Ruiz don’t actually march. Instead, they drive their nice American and European made cars and trucks. Second, the majority of the supporters of the governor have on average much lighter skin that those normally marching in support of the popular movement against the government. Although running the risk of falling into stereotypes, such differences point to deep seated economic and racial conflicts underlying the current social unrest.

While the majority of the marchers disbanded at Llano Park, many continued on to the Zócalo where the Federal Preventive Police welcomed them with opened arms. Until today, the PFP maintained a tight cordon of riot police approximately a two block distance from the central plaza. Today, however, the police did not wear their protective clothing or carry their shields and clubs. The people were free to walk into the square and chat freely with the police, seemingly part of a kind of public relations campaign on behalf of the police to assure that they are in Oaxaca to restore order and cleanliness to the city. They have done an impressive job of cleaning up the city center since the occupation of the Zócalo by federal forces. The normal graffiti covered walls have been cleaned or painted over and the tents and stalls of both protest groups and vendors have been torn down and disposed of. On the south side of the Zócalo a family of poor street vendors was trying to recollect the remnants of their booth which unfortunately was found crushed by a burnt out car, a result of when the police dismantled the barricades that had surrounded the square.


Although the majority of people in the “March for Peace” seemed to be from the middle and upper classes, there were some poor families who came out in support of the governor. Walking through the cleaned up Zócalo two older women called our attention. They said that international reporters should listen to the people because the people want a clean city and not a pigsty. They claim APPO does not represent Oaxaca, and according to them, the majority of people making up the APPO are from Tapachula, Chiapas or from Guatemala. The two women, merchants in the Central de Abastos and originally from Juchitán, expressed their hatred for the teachers union and the APPO. They claim that union leader Enrique Rueda Pacheco is a muxe (a transvestite in Zapoteco) and that he has whores waiting for him in his Juchitec neighborhood mansion of La Septima, which is actually one of the poorest neighborhoods comprised mostly of families of fishermen. They also criticized the leaders of both Section 22 of the national teachers union and those of the APPO of corruption. The older of the two ladies claimed that the last governor of Oaxacan paid APPO leader Flavio Sosa millions of pesos while she had to sell products in the market to take care of her invalid son. When asked if there was government aid available to invalid people in Oaxaca, she responded that she wasn’t aware of any. She also couldn’t respond to the question of why the government of Oaxaca supposedly has money to pay movement leaders but not help the sick.

One of the most important aspects of the social conflict in Oaxaca is the war of ideas and how to disseminate them to the masses. The corporate media normally shows a bias in favor of the government and business leaders. While radio has become the major means of communication for the popular movement, the start of a clandestine radio station by the Oaxacan government is a clear example of the current battle of information in the city. The printed press is no exception, as it is divided into two major daily newspapers. El Imparcial is clearly biased towards the PRI and the Oaxacan government, where as Noticias is clearly biased towards the center-left Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and the social movements represented by the teachers union and the APPO. The war of information is not just about disseminating the truth, but also about influencing the hearts and minds of the populace. Hatred and distrust is being sowed among the populace and has lead to a situation in which no one can trust one another. The role of the media in spreading lies, rumors and disinformation on both sides of the political spectrum has much to do with this.

While the battle for the streets of Oaxaca quietly simmers and physical confrontation is minimized, the struggle for the identity of Oaxacan people still remains in this highly stratified society. The existence of a widespread popular social movement against a supposedly corrupt and brutal political regime can be either demonized or romanticized depending on the perspective of the individual. However, the polarization and confrontation that exists between the citizens themselves cannot be denied. The social conflict in Oaxaca has already seen numerous deaths, and the further polarization of Oaxacan, and possibly national, society could spill over into a situation similar to a civil war if the deep seated problems underlying the conflict are not only confronted, but solved. The presence of the Federal Preventive Police has brought a semblance of law and order to Oaxaca, but has done nothing to address the roots of the social unrest which is still simmering, and seems likely to explode all the time.