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Oaxaca is Closed in Solidarity with APPO

by ~Bradley (bradley [at] riseup.net)
On August 29th, the city of Oaxaca is closed.
poder-al-pueblo.jpg
Oaxaca City is almost entirely closed today. The central market, 20th de November, is closed as are almost every single shop, restaurant, cafe and everything else. I am the only tourist staying at my hostel today. It was a major challenge to find a little cafe where I was able to buy a torta (sandwich) and a licaudo de planto (banana smoothie). I can't believe I was able to find an internet connection, this one is wireless, since almost every single door in the city is closed and locked. Since I got to Oaxaca City on August 26th, the Zocalo has been filled with people selling wares and showing videos of Oaxacan resistance, but today even the Zocalo is eerily quite. Though not entirely empty, there are significantly less people with their make-shift shops open.

I also learned of some unfortunate news today. The radio transmissions for Radio La Ley were cut-off sometime during the madrugada (sometime between about 3am and 5am). Radio La Ley, a corporate radio station owned by Texas based Clear Channel, was recently taken over in solidarity with Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca (APPO). Right now there are still about three corporate stations which have been taken over and are broadcasting vital information in solidarity with the people of Oaxaca.

A MegaMarcha will take place on September 1st starting in the community of San Felipe and ending in the center of Oaxaca City. The last march brought about one million people into the streets and another huge turnout is likely on September 1st. Oaxacans are calling for the Ulises Ruiz Ortiz to leave office. The marches, along with today's closure of the city, are demonstrations of the overwhelming unification of Oaxacan civil society. I was also told that a march will take place on September 2nd. I have not seen any propaganda for the march, but have been told that the details are being broadcasted on the radio, both on AM and FM stations.

I was told that Oaxaca will be open tomorrow, August 30th. Well it looks like I am about be asked to leave the patio where I am composing this article.

For more information on the situation in Oaxaca, please check out the following:

APPO CODEP Regeneración Magisterial
http://codepappo.wordpress.com

People of Oaxaca Under Attack as Their TV Station is Destroyed
http://indymedia.org/en/2006/08/845336.shtml

El Enemigo Común
http://elenemigocomun.net
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Comments (Hide Comments)
by josh
great photo!
by lefty jo
Glad you do what you do Bradley. Let us know how the labor movement and the other movements are cooperating. I know it isn't rocket science (an assembly with direct democracy and full participation) but is sure as hell hard for the U.S. to get working. How do they make their decisions? Consensus, majority rule? Who votes? Who facilitates? How? If the movements here could get and keep our collective crap together for a few years and learn to cooperate we would will be looking at how to coordinate citywide and regionwide, so I'm hungry to hear how they do it. Since my job and family don't allow for easy travel can you post your observations? Thanks and be safe.
by TourPro
"Hotel and restaurant owners in Oaxaca, the capital of the state of the same name, shuttered their businesses yesterday in a counterprotest -- demanding that the federal government put an end to the violence that has disrupted their city for months." Mexico riven by deep social, political divide Oaxaca - Watch
by ~Bradley (bradley [at] riseup.net)
Thanks for reading this post. Thanks Josh. Oaxaca is such a beautiful place that it seems anyone can point and click and have great photos... especially with all that is going on these days. Thanks lefty jo. You may be able to learn more about how the labor movement and the other movements are cooperating by reading articles by other folks. I have found NarcoNews.com to be a good source of information. I still need to read some of the articles which I suggest that you check out :-)

Four Weeks that Shook Oaxaca
A Teachers’ Strike Evolves from a Labor March to a Celebration of Resistance to a United Front for Widespread Discontent
By Geoffrey Harman
The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign in Oaxaca
June 21, 2006
http://narconews.com/Issue42/article1929.html

August 30, 2006
From Teachers' Strike Towards Dual Power
The Revolutionary Surge in Oaxaca
By GEORGE SALZMAN
Oaxaca, Mexico.
http://www.counterpunch.com/salzman08302006.html

And this article, though not about the labor movement, is a must read.

Operation “Clean-Up” in Oaxaca
Following the CIA’s “Psychological Operations” Manual for the Nicaraguan Contras, the State Government Has Unleashed a Bloody Counterinsurgency Strategy to Eliminate the Social Movement
By Diego Enrique Osorno
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
August 28, 2006
http://narconews.com/Issue42/article2026.html

The 5th MegaMarcha will take place on September 1st. Flyers have now been posted around Oaxaca City and the web address on the flyers is to this flashy website:
http://asambleapopulardeoaxaca.com (en español)

As far as decision making goes, it is my understanding that indigenous communities have a long history of consensus-based organizing.

Regarding the title of this post (Oaxaca is Closed in Solidarity with APPO). Perhaps "Solidarity" was not the best word I could have used. TourPro writes, "Not Solidarity, Counterprotest" Well I don't think that Counterprotest is exactly accurate either. A fair number of businesses have white flags and banners hanging from the buildings. Most of the banners say something to the effect of, "Solucion Ya!" meaning that the business owners, and surely some of the people that work for the owners, want Oaxaca to get "back to normal." From my conversations with people, mostly folks in the streets, I get the impression that there really is a lot of solidarity from business owners and workers in Oaxaca City. However, not all the businesses that were closed were necessarily "in solidarity" with APPO and happy to close their doors for the day. For example, I have a photo of a note on the door of the US Consular Agency saying they are closed on August 29th... I'm not sure how much "solidarity" they have for APPO... Sorry if I have led to any confusion out there. This is Indymedia and comments are encouraged. I certainly do not understand the depth of social politics in Mexico or Oaxaca City or Santa Cruz, etc.... I am only trying to share the world through my eyes while amplifying the voices of resistance to corporate globalization.

I also wrote, "today even the Zocalo is eerily quite." Before I published this article, I did not see that many people in Zocalo, yet after publishing the Zocalo did seem more crowded. People were hanging out, organizing, selling food and wares, etc... Overall it did seem there were less people in the Zocalo, but "eerily quite" may be giving people the wrong impression. Also, I meant to write "quiet" so please excuse my spelling error.

Finally, I am not sure if there is a march planned for September 2nd, but the Quinta MegaMarcha is definitely being organized for September 1st.
(I don't know who translated this. It was translated after the murder of Brad Will because someone... well, some people... thought that this article and photo was by Brad Will. ¡Que viva Brad! ¡Ni un paso atrás! - Friends of Brad Will)

Oaxaca es cerrada en solidaridad con APPO

La ciudad de Oaxaca está cerrada casi enteramente hoy. El mercado central, 20 de noviembre, está cerrado al igual que casi todas las tiendas, restaurantes, cafés y todo. Soy el único turista que permanece en un parador hoy. Era un desafío importante encontrar un pequeño café donde pudiera comprar un torta (emparedado) y un licuado de banana. No puedo creer haber podido encontrar una conexión de Internet. Casi cada puerta en la ciudad está cerrada y bloqueada. Desde que llegué a la ciudad el 26 de agosto, el Zocalo se mostraba lleno de gente que vendía las mercancías y que demostraba videos de la resistencia de Oaxaca, pero igual hoy el Zocalo está absolutamente misterioso. Aunque no enteramente vacío, hay perceptiblemente menos gente con sus tiendas de expendios abiertas.

También supe ciertas noticias desafortunadas hoy. Las transmisiones de Radio La Ley se cayeron alguna vez durante la madrugada (alguna vez entre los cerca de 3am y los 5am). Radio La Ley,es una estación de radio corporativa, que era posesión del Clear Channel de Texas, y fue asumido el control de ella recientemente en solidaridad con Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca (APPO). Ahora todavía hay cerca de tres estaciones corporativas que han asumido el control y están difundiendo la información vital en solidaridad con la gente de Oaxaca.
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