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Commentary :: Globalization : Human Rights : International : Labor : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare : War and Militarism
Decisive times in Oaxaca: To fall back now is to give up the struggle
27 Oct 2006
In Oaxaca, between the attempts of sectors of the teachers union
leadership to betray the struggle and the government's repressive
blackmail, the barricades stay up and APPO's sit-in in the Mexican
capital continues. The struggle finds itself at a decisive point.
Declaration of the LTS-CC, of October 26, 2006
distributed at the Boston demonstration in solidarity with Oaxaca,
October 27
unofficial translation by Fred Bergen

Decisive times in Oaxaca
To fall back now is to give up the struggle

In Oaxaca, between the attempts of sectors of the teachers union
leadership to betray the struggle and the government's repressive
blackmail, the barricades stay up and APPO's sit-in in the Mexican
capital continues. The struggle finds itself at a decisive point.

The workers and poor people of Oaxaca are giving us a great example of
how to fight against capitalist governments: with barricades and the
strike that is kept alive by the rank and file of the teachers against
the government's threats and the disinformation campaign in the media.
Meanwhile, in Mexico City, outside the Senate, they are maintaining a
militant sit-in, despite the cold and the rain, and twenty one heroic
comrades continue a hunger strike.

The militant struggle of the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca
(APPO) is at a decisive point. The government, the PAN, the PRI, the
PRD, and the institutions want to stop the heroic Oaxaca commune in its
tracks, since it is a lesson in struggle for millions of workers,
peasants, and youth throughout the country. A lesson that shows the way
to build an alternative to the power of the bosses and their
politicians. They are betting that the APPO won't succeed in its
struggle. That's why up to now they have opposed the exit of the
governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO), like when the Senate
refused to pass a resolution to dissolve the state government, knowing
that his resignation could be an example for the Mexican masses. This is
why they maintain the threats of repression by means of the army and the
federal police (PFP), all while the paramilitaries linked to the police
and the PRI attack and assassinate comrades at the barricades, to
intimidate and force back this valiant struggle. If [Mexican President
Vicente] Fox and the Secretary of the Interior have not yet decided on
repression, it is because they know that they would meet heavy
resistance, which could awaken a real insurrection with repercussions in
Oaxaca and other states, and spark the resurgence of a nationwide
solidarity movement. They shall not pass!

In light of this, to propose a return to classes when URO hasn't even
left, as a sector of the CNTE teachers union headed by Rueda Pacheco is
suggesting, is an open betrayal of this heroic struggle.

Strengthen and extend the APPO's struggle to kick out URO

The militant rank and file of the teachers and poor people of Oaxaca
know that if they go back to classes under these conditions, they will
not have gained their basic unifying demand: the resignation of URO. The
teachers know quite well that the government's "promises" are nothing
more than that: "promises" to divide, and demobilize the struggle and
prevent it from radicalizing.

Likewise, proposing a "truce" in which the city would be provisionally
handed over to URO for one hundred days (as proposed by SERAPAZ, a human
rights organization), would only demobilize the thousands who have
maintained the barricades and the sit-in in the capital, and would leave
open the possibility for URO to return to government afterward. With
this resolution, Fox and the regime could also negotiate with the high
officials a change to another bourgeois politician who would continue
the same program against the workers and poor people of Oaxaca.

The rank and file teachers and those maintaining the barricades in
Oaxaca and the sit-in at the capital rightly rejected Rueda Pacheco's
proposal, considering it a betrayal of their struggle. This section of
the CNTE leadership first proposed a consultation outside of the
previous decisions [of the teachers], who made URO's resignation a
necessary condition for discussing a return to classes. This leadership
tried to divide the movement, accepting a proposal that would only have
resolved the sectoral demands of the teachers. And now they want to end
the strike, going over the heads of the rank and file of Section 22 [of
the CNTE], as their improper conduct at the consultation with the
government. The leadership of Rueda Pacheco, peace-making and
conciliatory towards the government, is working against the movement and
the mass resistance, the barricades and the sit-in, those who are
sustaining the struggle.

In light of this, it would be very important for the APPO and the
teachers to vote in a new leadership against Rueda Pacheco and his
maneuvers. We can't forget our imprisoned and assassinated comrades, or
the hunger strikers! The assemblies and their next congress should
discuss a program for the struggle to be strengthened and victorious
without letting down its guard, a program opposed to all sell-out attempts.

For a nationwide mobilization in solidarity

We of the LTS-CC (Socialist Workers' League and Against the Current)
think that it is most urgent to overcome the isolation of the APPO and
surround it with nationwide solidarity. The unions and the organizations
of the "Other Campaign" should call for a nationwide solidarity strike
and a huge mobilization. It is necessary to demand an end to the
repression, that the demands of the APPO be met, and to promote a
nationwide coordination of efforts in support of Oaxaca. The CNTE's
strike on October 27 is a good opportunity for this.

We must promote concrete measures of solidarity with the sit-in and the
hunger strike, setting up solidarity committees in every workplace,
school, and neighborhood. We must call for the establishment of a strike
fund for gathering provisions, strengthening the sit-in, and making
every effort to spread the struggle as well as calling for international

In Oaxaca, against the repressive threats, another mega-march that
demonstrates the people's will to defend their commune will be needed.
And the organization of a great general strike throughout Oaxaca state,
so that all the workers, along with the teachers, can be the cutting
edge of a death blow to the URO government. A victory for the APPO is a
victory for us all! We must reject all the maneuvers coming from the
negotiating table. The Senate revealed its true class character against
the Oaxacan masses, showing once more that all the institutions and
their politicians are against the demands of the workers: thus, we must
insist that URO step down and fight for a Provisional Government of the
APPO and the other worker, peasant, and poor people's organizations of
struggle, to meet the demands of all the poor people of Oaxaca, and in
which the workers and their allies in the city and the countryside would
strengthen and extend the power that they have held on to for the last
five months.

In Oaxaca, as everywhere in the country, either the power of the
capitalists is uprooted and the workers and poor people take power, or
the state power is left in the hands of our executioners. This workers
and poor people's government headed by the APPO could call together a
Revolutionary Constituent Assembly in the state, where the great
majority of the people could discuss their most important demands.

To achieve this, the APPO, which now unites various social and political
tendencies and organizations, should be transformed into an organization
based on delegates elected in the communities, neighborhoods, and
workplaces across the state, mandated and recallable at any time by
their electors, where the next steps to take are discussed and decided
democratically. An organization in which those who are on the front
lines that prevented the military-police occupation are represented with
voice and vote: the barricades and the self-defense units. Against the
new wave of assassinations, provocations and attacks, it becomes very
important for all of the tasks of self-defense to be centralized and
coordinated (such as the barricades, the workers guards, and the
teachers' police force), where the measures to be taken are
democratically agreed upon.

Against the traitorous behavior of sections of the leadership, we put
these proposals for consideration before the workers, youth, and
fighting women of the APPO and the Oaxaca teachers, to defend the
Commune against the attacks of the government and its institutions and
to ensure the triumph of this heroic struggle.

Long live the Oaxaca Commune!
Workers and oppressed peoples of the world, unite!
Labor Action discussion group:
Working Class Emancipation email newsletter:
See also:

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