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Let us Defend the Oaxaca Commune! October 2, 2006

Posted by raved in Oaxaca.

by Andreas Aullet (Oaxaca) and Marta­n Jua¡rez (Mexico City)
LVO No. 206 9/28/2006

unofficial translation by Yosef M. and Fred Bergen
The people and the workers in Oaxaca are on a war footing.

The radio stations in the power of the Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca (APPO) received calls from parents exhorting the teachers not to call off the work stoppage. The barricades and the sit-in are supported by workers, inhabitants and parents who are helping the teachers not to call off the sit-in.

Day by day, more workers give their support, like those of the Comision Federal de Electricidad, who “without their union having voted on it “refused to withhold electrical service from the APPO and radio stations. Or like the Coca Cola truck drivers, who pull up their trucks to use them in the barricades.

The fact that the mass communications media are coordinating the struggle, spreading solidarity and expressing the discontent of the oppressed, shows that dual power exists in Oaxaca. This is a key fact, since for the first time, the voice of the workers and the people in struggle is reaching the ears of those who are equally oppressed and exploited.

The role of the Comision de Mujeres de Oaxaca [Oaxaca Women’s Commission] (COMO) in this struggle is of much importance, while it reflects the fact that the emancipation of their sex passes through taking their own destiny into their hands and becoming part of the struggle and taking it to the end: who better than working women and women of the people knows how to defend what has been won?

In their imagination, the people of Oaxaca are beginning to see the APPO as a real government, built on popular bases, and support has become massive for that reason.

Equally, the rank and file teachers’ Caravan-March to the DF [Mexico City] continues its journey. In every place support and solidarity are rising, at the same time that the communities are setting up their local assemblies and greeting the march as it progresses, offering water and food with the cry, Fuera Ulises! [Ulises, get out!]. This shows that a real popular uprising against the government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO) is gestating in the state, an uprising that can awaken the sympathy of workers, indigenous people and popular sectors not only in Oaxaca, but in Puebla, Estado de Mexico and in Mexico City, and can stimulate discontent with the government and regime throughout the country.

The government’s traps against the movement

The reactionary institutions, the bosses, and the communications media are clamoring for an ‘energetic’ solution that could bring back order and tranquility to the governing class (see LVO no. 205). While these provocations are increasing, repression is still a difficult decision for the
government and the institutions, not because they would have any hesitation in repressing this heroic struggle, but because they know they would face its resistance, and that the ‘legitimacy’ of the regime would fall still further, strengthening the anti-fraud movement against the illegitimate government of Calderon and the PAN.

The discussion in the APPO

The government’s trap with its proposals for “cooling-off”, opened a big discussion in the APPO, as was seen in its assembly on September 19 (see LVO No. 205). In the same way, the attempt to prevent the departure of the Caravan-March, and the consultation to return to classes, promoted by the leadership of Section 22 of CNTE (teachers’ union), was rejected by the [rank and file] bases in struggle.

And it is a fact that yielding to the government’s pressure and blackmail (as a sector of the leadership is doing, unfortunately) can led to the defeat and frustration of the movement and its demands. Faced with these threats of repression, it is essential to promote the extension of the guards, by generalizing the formation of self-defense committees that can constitute a real armed guard of workers and the poor, to guarantee the physical integrity of the members of the movement, and defeat the provocations set up by the government and reaction. The best way to strengthen the struggle and prevent police-military attack, is for the APPO and Section 22 to call for the broadest solidarity of the workers and people of all of Oaxaca and Mexico.

The big discontent that exists shows that there are conditions for a big national mobilization, as was seen in the millions who demonstrated against fraud in Mexico City. In the same way, union organizations, like the SME [electrical workers], the UNT (Union Nacional de Trabajadores) and the CNTE, as well as the forces that form “La Otra Campana,” have the unavoidable responsibility of calling urgently for a big national solidarity strike and national coordination in support of Oaxaca, by multiplying initiatives like the Asamblea de Solidaridad in Mexico City. One such victory would strengthen the struggle against the illegitimate government of Calderon.

We of the LTS support the demand “Ulises Ruiz, Get Out,” while we warn against any solution that imposes another regime politician (whether of the PRI, the PAN, or the PRD) with the goal of preserving the reactionary state institutions. The search for a “profound reform of the institutions,” would preserve the essence of the current regime without meeting the demands of the people of Oaxaca and, in reality, would be a diversion for the struggle that would guarantee continued exploitation, oppression, and misery for the great majority of the masses who are now mobilizing.

And so it is that this heroic struggle puts on the agenda the seizure of state power, and how to completely resolve the demands of the great majority of the people. For this we must fight for the fall of URO and for the formation of a provisional government of the APPO and the other worker, peasant, and poor people’s organizations of the state of Oaxaca. This government must convoke a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly over the ruins of the current regime, to discuss and carry out the demands of the people of the state, as part of a nationwide struggle against the regime of alternating parties. To advance on this path, it is fundamentally important to to broaden and coordinate the struggle across the entire state, to the towns and villages, along with
incorporating all of the workers, as has been the case withe the refinery and electrical workers, preparing a huge general strike of indefinite duration, until Ulises Ruiz is gone.

In order to do this, the APPO can take up the demands of the exploited and oppressed, such as a radical agrarian reform that expropriates the landlords and gives the land to the poor peasants, the right of the indigenous communities to autonomy, the demands for better wages and working conditions for all the workers in the state, promoting moreover the struggle for workers
control at the workplaces.

Likewise, the APPO would be greatly strengthened if it called for the incorporation of elected delegates from the workplaces, communities across the state, and displaced workers involved in the informal economy, who should be sent with a mandate from those that they represent. In the areas where the PRI has more control, we can call for the formation of committees to promote the APPO.

To promote this perspective, it is fundamentally important to raise up a revolutionary workers party, composed of the most militant sectors that demand that the APPO and the workers and poor people’s organizations hold their territory and extend it to cover the whole state, advancing toward a workers’, peasants’, and indigenous people’s government of the state of Oaxaca, as the most realistic and effective solution for their demands. A party which, before the eyes of the millions of workers, oppressed and exploited people of the whole country, could be a great example of the struggle for a revolutionary defeat of this alternating-party regime that for them, only means more hunger, misery, and repression.

Long live the Oaxaca commune!

Workers and oppressed peoples of the world, unite!
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