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Firsthand Accounts, photos from Oaxaca at Bound Together
Bay Area resident Tristan returns from Oaxaca with accounts of uprising and popular democracy in Oaxaca.
"People are being incredibly brave, facing off police," in defiance of the corrupt Oaxacan State Government of Ulisys Ruiz, said Bay area resident Tristan, speaking to a capacity crowd at Bound Together Books on Thursday.
Tristan called the Popular Assembly for the People of Oaxaca (APPO) “one of the most directly democratic organizations of its size. They have withstood months of attack by local and federal police and other groups,” going on to describe the open assemblies that APPO uses to make decisions. Tristan recounted an incident where people at a popular assembly rather spontaneously renegotiated all of their delegates because, just before they were to be ratified, one woman pointed out that there were only a few of the delegates would be women. Immediately, proposals for 30 and 50 percent quotas for women delegates were proposed and passionately debated
Oaxaca is now in the grips of violence as the federal government cracks the whip. In an effort by the government to regain control of the city from encampments run by popular assembly distributing food and creating revolutionary media, police have been heavily deployed. At least 20 are dead, many more "disappeared" and an untold number of people have been arrested to be sent to jails where people are routinely raped and beaten to death. “All of my friends out there have been jailed [in the last few days], and they said for me not to come because its too dangerous,” Said Tristan.
Today, right wing Felipe Calderón will assume power amid alegations of election fraud. He has so far reneged on pledges to share power by appointing party cronies and has promised to take an even harder line on APPO.
Current Oaxaca events can be found here. More information, mostly in Spanish, can be found at Chiapas.Indymedia.org
Some of Tristnan's articles and photos from Oaxaca can be found here