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Announcement :: Education : Globalization : Human Rights : International : Labor : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare : War and Militarism
Oaxaca special bulletin from Working Class Emancipation
09 Nov 2006
Now available from Working Class Emancipation:

Special bulletin on Oaxaca November, 2006
Union printed, $1

With our ideas about how the Oaxaca Commune can succeed and the tasks of
the solidarity movement in the US.
Now available from Working Class Emancipation:

Special bulletin on Oaxaca November, 2006
Union printed, $1

With our ideas about how the Oaxaca Commune can succeed and the tasks of
the solidarity movement in the US.

Also available, Working Class Emancipation's October 2006 Labor Bulletin, $1


Working Class Emancipation's theses on Oaxaca:

1. As we write this (November 8, 2006), the situation in Oaxaca
(pronounced wa-HA-ka), Mexico is at an unstable and decisive stage. The
embryonic workers' and poor people's power represented by the APPO
(Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca) has been weakened by the
invasion of the Mexican army and federal police (PFP). The APPO's
territorial power has been reduced to a tenuous hold on the campus of
Benito Juarez University, which students and workers defended with great
heroism during a six-hour-long battle with the state forces on November

2. The people's victory on November 2 and the massive mega-march of
November 5 are incontrovertible proof that the workers and poor people
of Oaxaca are ready to struggle to defend their Commune. Regardless of
the positions of the various forces in the city, the state of their
barricades, etc., it can not be said that the Oaxaca Commune has been
defeated, so long as the people have the will to resist. But this
willingness to resist alone cannot sustain the struggle. If Oaxaca is
isolated, if the mass organizations of the working class do not lead the
Mexican people in nationwide strikes and protests to stop the repression
and save the Oaxaca Commune, the isolated Oaxaca Commune will not
survive. The Oaxacan masses will be exhausted, their best leaders will
be assassinated or imprisoned, and the murderous state forces will
restore "law and order," regardless of the personal fate of Oaxaca's
governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO).

3. The unstable situation in Oaxaca, the street battles, tense
stand-offs, and police/army barricades, should make it obvious that the
Oaxaca Commune does not have the option of stopping where it is now as
part of some agreement with the government. The resolutions of the
Mexican legislature calling for URO to leave, and other initiatives
toward a "truce" offer a false hope. If the bosses' government replaces
URO with another government official, or if it manages to draw reformist
representatives of the APPO and the teachers' union into a compromise
government in exchange for ending the rebellion, such a government
imposed "from above" will have to carry out URO's program, that is, the
program of the Mexican capitalists and their imperialist masters in the
United States, which will only mean continued exploitation and
oppression for the workers and poor people of Oaxaca. The demands of the
people of Oaxaca can only be achieved if the Oaxaca revolution becomes
part of a nationwide and worldwide socialist revolution.

4. If the Oaxacan and Mexican masses succeed, they will have succeeded
in spite of their leadership. The current Army/PFP invasion of Oaxaca
was prepared by Rueda Pacheco's (the Oaxaca teachers' union leader)
betrayal of the APPO when he and other APPO and SNTE (teachers' union)
representatives agreed in Mexico City to hand over Oaxaca to the
government forces, in exchange for false "promises" from the federal
government which did not address the APPO's central demands. What is
needed most urgently now is the transformation of the APPO from a
coalition of various workers' and social organizations into a
Soviet-like organization composed of delegates from the workplaces and
the barricades, democratically elected, mandated, and recallable by the
workers, youth, and poor people in struggle, which is the best safeguard
against the betrayals of the reformist union bureaucrats. Likewise there
must be immediate organization of rank and file assemblies in all the
workplaces and union locals in Mexico to discuss and plan for a general
strike in defense of the Oaxaca commune. The caravans of thousands of
teachers from Mexico City, Michoacán, and other states to Oaxaca are a
good start. The declarations of some APPO leaders urging "non-violence"
are a trap for the movement, and show how out of touch with reality the
reformists and union bureaucrats are. While maintaining a complete
opposition to individual terrorism and provocations, we urge the
immediate formation and arming of workers' defense guards to defend the
people of Oaxaca and the leaders and activists of the Commune against
assassination and kidnapping by the state terrorists of the PFP, Army,
and paramilitaries.

5. Oaxaca, like the Cuban revolution, is an example that the capitalist
rulers of the US cannot allow. Not only because US capitalists are
dependent on the super-profits extracted from oppressed workers in US
imperialism's neo-colonies in Mexico and throughout Latin America, but
even more so because in every city of the US, workers, youth, and poor
people face the problems of poverty, unemployment, and racist police
brutality that no capitalist government can ever solve. These problems
can only be overcome when a government of the workers takes control of
the vast resources in the industries and banks, and manages them
democratically for the benefit of all people. The Oaxaca Commune could
be a powerful inspiration to the workers and poor people in the US and
throughout the world.

6. Since the rulers of the US are firmly on the same side of the
barricades as the assassins of the PFP and the Mexican army (for the
reasons already stated), it would be a fatal mistake for the solidarity
movement in the US to try to pressure the US government to resolve the
situation in Oaxaca in accordance with principles of "human rights" or
whatnot. Our central demand must be USA Hands Off Oaxaca!, and we must
be clear that the only way to stop US imperialism, whether in Iraq or in
Mexico, is to defeat US imperialism with socialist revolution.

7. The solidarity movement in the United States can be a decisive factor
in the success or failure of the Oaxaca Commune, because effective
actions against the US imperialists, who are depending on and supporting
the Mexican government's effort to crush the Oaxaca Commune, will weaken
the Mexican army and police and open the way for the Oaxaca Commune to
succeed. The working class, because of its strategic position, is the
only class capable of leading the struggle against US imperialism to
victory, with strikes against key industries and boycotts of war
material and supplies for the Mexican state forces.

8. The organizations that call themselves socialist in the US are
woefully unprepared to give a decisive direction to such a struggle.
Nevertheless, our only option is to continue to build the bases for a
revolutionary internationalist workers' party in the US by fighting for
a class struggle program and working class orientation for the
solidarity movement, while at the same time conducting a principled and
open debate within the socialist movement over the programmatic basis
for unifying the various socialist propaganda groups into a
revolutionary party. We are in favor of the broadest possible united
front around class struggle demands and whatever concrete actions that
will increase the working class' confidence in its own forces.

9. To those who say this is unrealistic and impractical, we freely admit
that it is difficult and that, as already stated, we are woefully
unprepared. But it is even more unrealistic and impractical, in fact it
is impossible, for imperialism to be defeated without a revolutionary
party that can lead the working class to victory.
See also:

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