Urgent Call from the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Defend the people of Oaxaca!
The ANSWER Coalition is urging organizations and activists in cities and towns across the United States to organize or attend emergency protests—targeting the Mexican consulates. Demand an immediate end to the brutal repression being carried out by the Mexican federal police, against an ongoing peaceful occupation by the people of Oaxaca.
The ANSWER call to action is a direct response to an appeal issued today, Sun., Oct. 29, by the Mexican Chapter of In Defense of Humanity. (In Defense of Humanity published a communique on November 1st, as well, available here.) The call states:
“At this moment, 5:15 in the afternoon, the people of Oaxaca are heroically resisting the brutal aggression of the federal police (army in police uniform), which is taking over the city of Oaxaca, with teargas and pepper spray, bulldozers, helicopters and tanks…”
The full text of the communiqué, English and Spanish, appears after this message.
Heavily-armed federal police have stormed the city, while the people are defending themselves with sticks, barricades and burning tires. The people are in great danger and need our solidarity.
Emergency protests are needed in coming days to demand that the Mexican government:
- Withdraw the police, stop the repression
- The resignation of Oaxacan governor Ulises Ruiz
- Justice for the people of Oaxaca
The struggle in Oaxaca began on May 22 when Section 22 of the teachers union went out on strike. On June 14, the governor, Ulises Ruiz, brutally repressed the teachers with a mobilization of several thousand police. Several teachers and other protestors were killed. In response the masses of people from all sectors joined to form a peaceful resistance under the banner of APPO, “The Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca.” (see interview with Gilberto López y Rivas)
Oaxaca’s people’s movement has garnered widespread support throughout Mexico and the world, but the Mexican government has been preparing for a brutal takeover of the city.
The people of Oaxaca have been on constant vigil, with barricades, independent radio and video transmission, to prevent a violent police attack. At one point they marched to Mexico City as the Mexican military was planning an assault.
This weekend, a new wave of repression began by the state forces. After the teachers union voted to return to work, the government began to move in for an all-assault.
On Friday, Oct. 27, a group of rightwing paramilitaries and police attacked and fired shots at the people; New York independent journalist Brad Will was shot to death. Several other people have been killed since Oct. 27.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition is calling actions and joining with other protests in the coming days. We are listing actions as they get organized. If you organize an event, contact us at: [email protected] and we will list your action in support of the people of Oaxaca.
Emergency communiqué, Mexican chapter of "In Defense of Humanity"
Emergency communiqué, issued today, Oct. 29, from the Mexican chapter of “In Defense of Humanity. (In Defense of Humanity was formed in Venezuela, Dec. 2004, by intellectuals, artists and artists from around the world, of which A.N.S.W.E.R. is a part.) In Defense of Humanity, Mexico chapter, published a communique on November 1st, as well, available here.
“At this moment, 5:15 in the afternoon, the people of Oaxaca are heroically resisting the brutal aggression of the federal police (army in police uniform), which is taking over the city of Oaxaca, with teargas and pepper spray, bulldozers, helicopters and tanks.
Radio University is in danger of being taken over in the same manner, although it is protected with barricades. In many cities throughout the country, movilizations in defense and solidarity with the Oaxacan popular movement are taking place.
Detained compañeros are being taken away in a helicopter. There are house searches and violence in the city and surrounding area. The delinquent and criminal governor of the state, Ulises Ruiz, refuses to step down. There is confrontation in the Technological University because of the people’s resistance, and numerous injuries from the gases.
We emphasize that the resistance is a peaceful resistance of the masses.
We reiterate our call for solidarity from the sister chapters of In Defense of Humanity, and all people of good will. We ask you to protest at the embassies and consular offices of Mexico in your respective countries, against the repressor Vicente Fox.
--Mexican Chapter, In Defense of Humanity
En este momento (5.15 de la tarde), el pueblo oaxaqueño esta resistiendo heroicamente a la agresión brutal de la Policía Federal Preventiva (ejército en uniforme policíaco), misma que con gases lacrimógenos y pimienta, toletasos, trascabos, helicópteros y tanquetas esta tomando la ciudad de Oaxaca.
Radio Universidad se ve amenazada de ser tomada de la misma manera, aunque está protegida con un cerco de barricadas. Se están llevando a cabo en muchas ciudades del país movilizaciones en defensa y en solidaridad con el movimiento popular oaxaqueño.
Están subiendo a compañeros detenidos a un helicóptero. Hay cateos en casas y violencias en la ciudad y sus alrededores. El delincuente y criminal gobernador del estado se niega a renunciar. En el Tecnológico se están dando enfrentamientos ya que la gente esta resistiendo, hay numerosos lesionados por los gases.
Cabe resaltar que la resistencia es una resistencia pacifica de masas.
Reiteramos la demanda de solidaridad de los capítulos hermanos En Defensa de la Humanidad y de todas las personas de buena voluntad. Les pedimos protestar en las embajadas y oficinas consulares de México en sus países en contra del represor Vicente Fox.
-- Capítulo México de En Defensa de la Humanidad