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Special Update from Revolution journalists in Oaxaca! Pass the word on...

by Tony Friday, Dec. 22, 2006 at 8:52 PM
librosrevo@yahoo.com (213) 488-1303 312 W. 8th St., Los Angeles

The first account from two revolutionary journalists in Oaxaca covering the upheaval and struggle and dreams of the masses there. A call to support their efforts and invite them to speak on their experiences upon their return.

Dear friends,

We are excited to share this update from Oaxaca with you and we'd

like to underline and put emphasis on two points made below: first,

that there is a great need for financial contributions to realize

this historic reportage and investigation; and second, people should

contact us right away to make plans to host these correspondents for

speaking engagements upon their return, when they will be looking

for all kinds of occasions to share what they have learned. Please

contact us right away for these reasons and also to weigh in and

comment on their reportage and the situation in Oaxaca and more

broadly.

In struggle,

Tony--for the Libros Revolucion staff--(213) 488-1303



Revolution Online Special Report, December 19, 2006

Report from Oaxaca

by Luciente Zamora and Nina Armand

This is the first report from two Revolution correspondents,

Luciente Zamora, and Nina Armand, who are now in Oaxaca as part of a

delegation whose mission is to bring international attention to the

situation in that southern Mexican state. As the two correspondents

wrote in a letter in Revolution #74: "Repression is hitting hard

against a powerful struggle that has rocked Oaxaca for months and

inspired many people throughout Mexico and other parts of the world.

Now more than ever there is a need to hear from the people who have

been fighting with such determination, to bring to light the

government-inflicted terror currently unfolding, and to get a deeper

understanding of how people are confronting these new challenges and

what the implications of all this are for emancipatory struggle on

both sides of the U.S./Mexico border."

Watch this website (revcom.us) and get the next issue of Revolution

for further on-the-scene reports from Oaxaca.

Oaxaca, Mexico, December 18— Contrasted against the blue sky, the

red noche buenas blooming throughout the city, along with the sounds

of women cooking and children playing in the marketplace, make the

center of town seem almost…normal. Oaxaca is not the same place it

was before the people stood up in June of this year. The fact that

for months the people raised their heads throughout Oaxaca—from the

center region and through much of the countryside—cannot be erased.

Oaxaca demanded to be heard.

* * * * *

On Sunday, December 17, 43 prisoners who had been detained in a

prison in Tepic, Nayarit were released. Immediately upon their

arrival back to Oaxaca City, many of the people released began

sharing stories of the November 25th repression when the Federal

Preventive Police (PFP)—which had been occupying the zocalo, the

central city square, since October—attacked protesters demanding the

ouster of Oaxaca's hated governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. More than 150

people were brutally beaten and arrested in the area around the

zocalo, including many people who were coming home from work and

shopping.

Magdalena was coming home from work on the afternoon of the 25th.

She's a 50-year-old widow and works as a housekeeper to support her

family. She had heard of the popular movement, but didn't really

know too much about it. She remembered some of her neighbors telling

her that the teachers were just troublemakers and that it was time

for the authorities to bring down order. But on the 25th everything

changed. She was swept up along with many others by the PFP while

she was in the town center. She was hit, thrown down on the floor,

had her hands tied and told—along with other women—that they were

going to die and that after they were killed their bodies would be

thrown in garbage cans where nobody would find them.

Magdalena saw her relatives bloodied and beat up. For the 21 days

she was in prison, she and the others arrested that day had no

contact with the outside world. For Magdalena, what is burned into

her consciousness is the desperation of the women prisoners who

don't know where their children are and whether or not they are

eating. Just as arbitrarily as she'd been grabbed off the street on

the 25th, she was told that she was going home. She can't stop

thinking about the women she left behind.

Before, Magdalena hadn't given much thought to the people's

struggle. Her experience has affected her profoundly. She says after

what the government has done to her she wants to participate in the

struggle however she can. She now remembers the repression against

the people of Atenco, who were fighting against the government's

moves to take their land, and never would have believed she'd find

herself identifying with the women who were brutalized there. She is

most of all driven by an urgency to free the prisoners who remain in

the conditions she's just escaped, and she says that though she

can't read or write she wants to be involved in whatever way she

can. She says she doesn't seek to be rich and live in a mansion like

URO, but she demands respect and a more just world—not just for

herself, but for everyone.

* * * * *

The air is still thick in Oaxaca. In the past weeks police

helicopters have occasionally flown low over the city—their blades a

reminder of the brute force of the state. Officially the PFP forces

have withdrawn from the city, but there are still eyes and ears

everywhere. Just last night Florentino Lopez, Alejandro Ortiz, and

Macario Padilla, prominent figures in the APPO movement were

detained at a stoplight and were beaten and arrested. They were

released the same night—but the threat of more repression is clear,

as is determination on the people's side.

----

Support the Revolution Reporting Trip to Oaxaca

From Luciente Zamora and Nina Armand:

"To accomplish what we're setting out to do, we need your support.

Primarily and urgently, we need funds to finance all this. We also

need you to spread the word—pass on our articles, send them out to

your listserves and e-mail lists and arrange speaking engagements in

neighborhoods, schools, bookstores, etc.

"Send donations* to:

RCP Publications

attn: Oaxaca reportage

PO Box 3486

Chicago, IL 60654"

* Contributions or gifts to RCP Publications are not deductible as

charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

Libros Revolucion

(Revolution Books)

312 W. 8th Street,

Los Angeles, CA 90014

(213) 488-1303

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