jump to navigation

How can the Oaxaca Commune Win? October 27, 2006

Posted by raved in Commune, Oaxaca.

The problem the Oaxaca teachers have faced over several decades is that of US imperialism driving back the Mexican revolution of 1910-1917. The Constitution of 1917 contained protections of communal land and public education. Both came under direct attack with NAFTA in 1994. The Zapatistas defence of communal land and the teachers defence of public education are, then, the driving forces of these social movements from below.

On October 22 in Texcoco, just outside Mexico City, the Zapatistas, the APPO and the the Atenco People’s Front for the Defence of Land, FPDT, came together for the first time to declare their common solidarity. We should not overlook the student organisations that were also present.

What is their common cause? According to Greg Berger in Narconews:

On Friday, the three organizations pledged mutual support to fight for the liberation of political prisoners and to create a united front against municipal, state and federal authorities.”

If we consider the more concrete demands that unite these movements they are anti-imperialist, and anti-Mexican ruling class that serves imperialism. Their defence of land rights, public education, human rights etc bring them up against the whole apparatus of local, state and federal state institutions as well as the parastate, paramilitary institutions of the PRI, PAN and PRD.

But campesinos, flower sellers, fishers, and even the unionised rural teachers, do not have the social power to expropriate the imperialists and their Mexican bourgeois agents. The campesinos can defend their land, but cannot defeat the army. The Zapatistas soon discovered that fact. The poor teachers cannot defend their rural schools when the state wants to close them anyway, except to keep them open without the resources they need. And so on. The marginalised poor in Mexico cannot threaten the private property of imperialism and Mexican capitalists without being massacred. To that extent, while they are isolated from those who produce the great mass of surplus-value that creates the profits of the capitalits, they do not have the capacity to form an alternative power to the ruling power of capital.

What these social movements have is a nation-wide popular base organised in all manner of democratic assemblies that can form the embryo of a new society. The indigenous organisations have the capacity to create a popular base that resists hierarchy and corruption. The teachers have proven that they can democratise their union, and resist the attempts by treacherous leaders to do deals with the class enemy behind their backs.

But unless these popular movements can make common cause with the organised labor movement they cannot win the alternative power that it necessary to destroy the capitalist state and create new administrative organisations.

The Oaxaca teachers are the class link between the campesinos and organised labor. They have shown how to take control of their union in the hands of the base (rank and file). They have defended their struggle by building the APPO around their union to defend it. Their embryonic commune must become the organising centre for many more APPOs based on the rank and file of the major unions, breaking from their corrupt leaders, and building political alliances with all the popular movements.

So while the Oaxaca teachers strike cannot expropriate the private property of the imperialists and the ruling class, APPOS based on the miners, steel, electricity, oil, malquiladora etc. workers, can bring the profits of the capitalists to a halt. The teachers strike needs to become generalised and coordinated with many other strikes in these key areas of NAFTA superprofits, into a general strike that brings down the ‘regime of alternates’ the PRI, PAN and PRD all of which are committed to adminstering US imperialism’s plundering of Mexico.

But stopping the flow of profits is in itself incapble of smashing the state. Just as the Oaxaca APPO has formed ‘guard corps’ to defend its barricades, each striking steel plant, mine, mill and factory, must form its own defence guard. But these alone cannot stand up against the organised military forces of the state. The third force that is necessary to win is splitting the rank and file of the army from its officers.

These defence guards of the APPOs must call on the armed forces of the state to refuse to shoot at the strikers and for the ranks of the military to support the strikers and open their arsenals to the defence guards.

By splitting the army and creating rank and file soldiers committees that join the APPOS, the officers trained in the US and the paramilitaries will be unable to defeat the combined armed forces of the popular masses. Solidarity strikes inside the US can serve to limit the power of US imperialism to invade or otherwise defeat the Mexican revolution.

Only if these three forces come together and build APPOs everywhere will an alternative power based on the workers and campesinos be capable of smashing the state and imposing its own workers and campesino state. In this way the Mexican revolution that began in 1910 will be completed as a socialist revolution, and a force for many other revolutions in the Americas.



1. raved - October 28, 2006


* 28 Oct 2006 02:11:36 PM

At least two killed when plain clothes state police attacked the barricades in Oaxaca. One is a teacher, and the other is Brad Wills an IMC reporter from New York.

Message from Nancy Davies

Send Everywhere!

I think I heard that two are dead, that is, not just Brad Wills but another teacher. The note below was sent to me by Alvaro, here in Oaxaca

Right now, in this very moment, state policemen dressed in civil clothes are atacking the barricades mantained by the Oaxacan people and their teachers. They are shooting them with machine guns and the teachers and the people are defending themselves with stones and machetes. It is a real massacre orginized by the Ulises Ruiz administration (Oaxcan Governor). There are many teachers hurted and at least one American reporter from New York City (Indymedia), killed by the State police. The local Red Cross is not caming to attend the urgent help calls because they have got orders from the state goverment not to do it. Please help all concerned.

En este mismo momento, policías vestidos de civil están atacando las barricadas mantenidas por el pueblo de oaxaca. Están siendo agredidos con metralletas y los maestros se defienden con palos y machetes. Es una verdadera masacre organizada por la administración de ulises ruiz ortiz, gobernador del Estado de Oaxaca.

Hay varios maestros herdidos y un reportero
norteamericano de Indymedia muerto por las balas de los policías. La Cruz Roja Local no asiste a los llamados de ayuda pues ha recibido órdenes de no moverse. Avisar a todos los medios.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: