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Protest, Resistance and Direct Action

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Photos by Judy Ancel
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Judy Ancel
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08 Dec 2006
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Date Posted
21 Dec 2006

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Local Activists Protest Repression of People's Movement in Oaxaca, MX

Learning of the “police state” actions by the government of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico and by the federal government of Mexico, local activists have protested at the Mexican Consulate at 16th and Baltimore in Kansas City, MO. Teachers in Oaxaca, tired of insufficient funding of education and their low salaries, went on strike last spring. The violent efforts of the state government to stop the strike led to a mass movement. According to reports from people on the ground, about a month ago, the federal government added to the repression.
As a result of learning about the “police state” in Oaxaca, Mexico, people seeking justice here in Kansas City have converged on the Mexican Consulate THREE TIMES in recent weeks to protest the actions of the governor of the state of Oaxaca, and the actions of the new president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon. According to reports from people in Oaxaca, the governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, has been using police force to try to crush a popular movement. When his actions led to active physical conflict with members of the popular movement, a reporter from the U.S. was killed on October 30.

At that point, then-President Vicente Fox sent in the Federal Preventive Police. Amid
increased violence, the leaders of the popular movement have been harassed, beaten, arrested, and “disappeared”, according to people in Oaxaca. (The popular movement is called the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca. APPO is the Spanish acronym.)

The popular movement arose when a strike by the teachers of the state led to heavily repressive actions by Governor Ruiz. That repression incensed the community, and members of many groups joined the action, barricaded the streets, and took over public buildings. They also demanded the removal of the governor and were working on increasing the self governance of the community.

Members of the APPO have asked that peoples around the world who are concerned with justice make clear their anger and opposition to the government of Mexico and that of the United States. People can picket consulates, meet with Mexican diplomats and members of the U.S. Congress, and demand that the “police state” be ended, and that investigations be mounted and the guilty punished.

In responding to the APPO request, members of the local Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, activists in Kansas Mutual Aid from Lawrence, and members of labor unions and religious groups in the metropolitan area have rallied and protested at the Mexican Consulate at 16th and Baltimore in Kansas City, MO.

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Members of the community who recognize how similar the situation in Oaxaca is to the problems of getting real change in the United States will urge their federal senators and representatives to demand that Mexico deal with the situation democratically, urging discussion and negotiation of issues rather than violent police actions.

Additional information can also be obtained by contacting Judy Ancel, leader of the Cross Border Network, at
jancel (at) igc.org
 

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