by Rogue Gringo
Friday, Nov. 03, 2006 at 3:03 AM 213-251-8481
Several hundred members of Oaxacan indigenous groups and their supporters picketed the Mexican Consulate today in solidarity with the people of Oaxaca. Afterward, APPO/LA member Odelia Romero provided a 10 minute interview in English explaining the nature of the Oaxacan movement and its local support groups (included).
Several hundred members of the Los Angeles Oaxacan community and its supporters assembled Wednesday evening in front of the Mexican Consulate here for the latest in a series of demonstrations in support of the uprising presently occurring in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. These demonstrations are building to a major action at the same location on Thursday, November the 2nd (today), which will last throughout the entire day and into the night.
The demonstrations are being organized by a coalition of groups that has supported the Oaxacan indigenous community in Los Angeles for the last 15 years. The coalition has direct ties, and ongoing communication, with the APPO organization that is leading the struggle on the streets of Oaxaca.
The main demands of these actions are the removal of the Federal Police sent by President Vicente Fox to suppress the Oaxacan movement, the acknowledgement and prosecution by the Mexican government of assasinations and other crimes committed against the Mexican demonstrators, and the removal of governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, who is perceived as a corrupt dictator within the boundaries of Mexico who rules his state by cronyism and violence.
More broadly, the movement in Oaxaca is addressing the continuing incursions of neoliberalism into the lives of the Mexican people, including especially the attempts to privatize the educational system. Such privatization is seen as the first step toward broader privatization of essential goods such as water, the disastrous effects of which have already been experienced (and in some cases defeated) in other locations, such as the town of Cochabamba in Bolivia.
The movement in Oaxaca is not affiliated with any of the political parties of Mexico, all of which are seen by movement organizers as hostile or indifferent to the interests of the indigenous people of the area, as demonstrated by their support of policies that could lead to the forced relocation of indigenous communities so that natural resources can be exploited by corporations. Instead, communication and alliances are developed with other indigenous peoples' movements and their solidarity groups, within Mexico and throughout the world.
The Wednesday demonstration, including all presentations, was held entirely in Spanish, but an extensive interview in English was granted at the end of the demonstration for the benefit of the city's English-speaking minority. That interview is included with this report.
Wednesday's action alternated between periods of picketing and chanting, and periods involving presentations by numerous speakers who emerged from the crowd to take the microphone and then (for the most part) dissolved back into it again after making their presentations. Near the end, a video of recent events in Oaxaca was shown on a projection screen, while a tighly-knit group of perhaps 35 organizers who seemed to have been working together for years huddled and planned for perhaps an entire hour off to one side of the assembled crowd.
The Mexican Consulate is located on 6th Avenue and Park View, at the Southeast corner of MacArthur Park. The action on Thursday, November 2nd is expected to last from about 9am to 9pm. For additional information on these actions, call APPO/LA at 213-251-8481. For more general (but less timely) information, visit the Bi-National Indigenous Organizations Front at http://www.fiob.org.