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Oaxaca leads the workers and peasants struggle July 22, 2007

Posted by raved in Commune, Oaxaca.


The 14 of June of 2007 thousand of workers and farmers were mobilized headed by the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) and Section 22 of the teachers’ union, included teachers’ educational delegations from Chiapas, Federal District, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, Tlaxcala, Zacatecas, Valley of Mexico and Durango etc, that form National Coordinator of Workers of Education (CNTE), a radical faction within the national teachers union. This was the first anniversary of the formation of the Commune of Oaxaca. The Commune was formed by defeating to the police attack on their camp unleashed by the PRI state Governor Ulises Ruiz (URO).The camp was set up by striking teachers and the Commune took control of the central city, taking decision in a popular assembly, forming its own self defence squads, creating a temporary dual power of the APPO against the bourgeois state. The Commune was a popular response to the attacks of imperialism and the bosses on the workers and farmers on both sides of the border. The ghost of the Mexican revolution was seen looming over North America. Oaxaca became the vanguard of the revolutionary struggle of the masses against imperialism in Latin America, inseparable from the struggle of immigrants in the U.S.A. Like the workers and teachers Neuquén and Santacruz, in the Argentine Patagonia, and other struggles in Latin America, they were betrayed by the same treacherous class collaborationist leaders associated with the Zapatistas and the World Social Forum, and suffered the repression of the bourgeois state forces.

This 14 June the people went on the streets again demanding the immediate resignation of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, the release of the political prisoners, the bringing to justice of those in charge of the repression, the withdrawal of all charges against members of the APPO and the demilitarization of the communities of the state of Oaxaca, following the defeat of the APPO in a heroic struggle against the forces of the PFP led by URO and President Fox and his successor Calderon (PAN)in October-November of 2006.

Now it is necessary to return to the fight to avenge the 24 comrades who died, free the hundreds of prisoners who still rot in the jails, and stop the persecution of the activists and teacher by the murderous regime of Calderón and Ulises Ruiz in Oaxaca which is still occupied by the Federal Preventative Police (PFP).

The workers and farmers who formed the commune put all their efforts into the struggle and yet were defeated. Not because of any lack of will to fight, or lack of heroism, quite the reverse. Nor was it the superior strength of the repressive forces. This defeat was the sole responsibility of the leaders of the political currents organised in the World Social Forum who left the heroic fighters of the Commune isolated and disarmed. The results are clear. Those who lead the APPO to defeat were the reformist leadership of the APPO associated with the Castroite Communist Party of Mexico-Popular Revolution (PCM-FPR) and the New Left (affiliated to the Democrocatic Revolutionary Party of Obrador – PRD). The union bureaucracies played a criminal role in isolating the APPO from all the other union struggles, in order to subordinate them to the PRD of Lopez Obrador and his electoral ‘democratic front’ backed by the World Social Forum. Missing in action was the ELZN, led by Subcommandante Marcos, of “the other campaign” who travelled across Mexico by motor scooter preaching his message that it is necessary to “go slowly” and that “we can change the world without taking power”. All disarmed the insurgent workers in the face of the bourgeois repression.

These currents are today raising resolutions in APPO to tie it to the PRD ‘Democratic Front’. “(…) to strengthen all the efforts at national unity against the repressive governments such as , like the APPM; the National Dialogue; the Democratic National Convention (PRD front); and the General Council of Struggles and the Other Campaign (EZLN front). The APPO will have to act on the proposals passed by the assemblies, ensuring that representation in these assemblies is plural and inclusive.” (2ª STATE ASSEMBLY OF the APPO, Oaxaca to 15 of June of the 2007). To leave no doubt where these reformist currents stand, in the declaration calling for a march on June 29 they say. “(…) the movement today must meet with all the other sectors to unite and demand the resignation of [URO] as soon as possible, as our objective has always been to replace the corrupt government of Oaxaca with a democratic government which serves all sectors of Oaxaca society; this can never happen under URO so it is necessary to change the articles of incorporation.” (APPO, 27 of June of 2007, City of the Resistance, Oaxaca).

The PRD led by Lopez Obrador , and backed by stalinism and the reformist currents in the World Social Forum has a ally in the EZLN of Marcos. They played the key role in preventing the masses from rising up against Fox-Calderón when they stole the Presidential election from Obrador, and turning the Federal District and all of Mexico into another Oaxaca. Instead the masses were contained by the “planton” (camp) in the Zocalo of Mexico City of two months by Lopez Obrador while he organised the “Democratic Front” against the electoral fraud of the PAN. The PRD and its collaborators thus prevented the masses from independent action and subordinated them to the fraction of the bourgeoisie that the PRD represents (as pro-imperialistic, antiworker and defending NAFTA as Fox, Calderón of the PAN as well as the PRI). It is this swindle of the PRD and Lopez Obrador against the exploited masses that is the real “fraud: that is, to make the masses think they can have “democracy” without breaking with imperialism, without throwing out NAFTA, and with the PRD/PAN/PRI state regime. Playing a supporting role, the EZLN and Marcos, in his knitted cap, comes to the aid of the NAFTA regime, when the masses threaten to make a revolution. They are the ‘celebrities’ of the World Social Forum, the Castroities and Chavistas, who want to make a “Bolivarian Revolution” in Mexico.

Thus they made a trap for the Comuneros of Oaxaca. While the Government Secretary promised to meet the demands of the teachers, including a wage increase, dropping legal charges against the leaders of the APPO, and to release the political prisoners, a Senate Commission declared Oaxaca to be in a state of “anarchy” creating the pretext for the massive repression that followed. . The leaders of the APPO, Castroites and PRD members and supporters of Marcos, knew of the situation and refused to prepare the masses for the attack. By entering the negotiations the class collaborators and conciliators of the APPO leadership opened the doors to the repression. The consequences of their policy today can be counted in the number of dead, dissappeared, tortured, imprisoned, wounded and persecuted comrades.

Inside the leadership of the APPO the Castroites of the PCM-FPR and the New Left (PRD members) did all they could to stop the struggle of the comuneros from coordinating and concentrating all the militant forces of Mexico in Oaxaca. They refused to call on the workers and peasants organisations in struggle to send mandated delegates of the base to Oaxaca to organize the defense of the commune and a national general strike in support. They prevented therefore – following exactly the policiy of Marcos and the WSF – that after 12 years of NAFTA, the workers and peasants from rising up against the the huge imperialist offensive to complete the privatisation and sacking of national assets, such as PEMEX (Mexican State Petroleum) and the national electricity company.

No honest observer it can have any doubt that the role of Marcos was fundamental. The EZLN had in their hands the ‘power’ to prevent Oaxaca from being isolated. It would have been enough to call on the workers and poor farners if Chiapas and Guerrero to rise up beside their oaxaqueños brothers and sisters with the demands that the EZLN first raised in 1994: “Down with NAFTA”, “Land for the peasants” and “Down with the hated regime”! When the workers and peasants of Guerrero also came together, following the example of Oaxaca, and creating popular assemblies, they were prevented by Marcos and the EZLN from answering the call of their brothers and sisters of the Commune of Oaxaca to unite in a same fight against imperialism and the NAFTA regime of the PAN, PRI and PRD..

Because Marcos says it is necessary to “go little by little” the EZLN refused to make available of the defense of the Commune of Oaxaca all its resources and media to oppose the repression of the PFP. Meanwhile Marcos wrote poems travelled across Mexico building “the Other Campaign”, that is to say, the subordination of the masses to the bourgeoisie of the PRD. By his actions he prevented the unity of the workers workers and poor farmers of Guerrero and Chiapas to join the APPO to create a Federation of workers and peasants Communes of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas, that without doubt would have reopened the road to the Mexican revolution demolishinig the regime of the PRI, PAN, and PRD, the only way to smash NAFTA and guarantee the land for the peasants and the other demands raised by the chiapanecos from 1994.

But it is also in San Salvador Atenco where the consequences of the criminal policy of the EZLN can be seen. When the workers and peasants of the Peoples Front and Defence of the Land (FPDT) cut the Texcoco-Lecheria highway in May 2006, they were brutally attacked by the PFP forces. Two comrades were killed, many wounded, 28 jailed and 146 arrested and charged. And in Michoacán a state governed by the PRD, in April of 2006, when the heroic iron and steel workers, joined by the miners, occupied the Sicartsa plant, they were attacked also by the PFP, leaving 2 dead, tens of wounded.

It was obvious to all that in Oaxaca two alternative powers faced one another, two different and irreconciliable classes: on one side the power of the imperialistic monopolies, the national bourgeoisie, its armed forces and paramilitary bands; on the other, the power of the workers, peasants and poor people. Once again the purveyors of the ‘democratic front’, put the combative masses on their knees before the national bourgeoisie, and the result is a catastrophic defeat for the workers and peasants. Marcos and the Castroites in alliance with the PRD, they are the one really responsible for the defeat of the heroic comuneros of Oaxaca.

The struggle of the masses in Mexico is indissolubly linked to the struggle of the immigrant in the U.S.A. The class collaborationist policy the EZLN and the Castroites, along with Lopez Obrador and the PRD in Mexico, ensured that the Oaxaca commune did not spread to the Latino migrants in the US, subordinating them to the Democratic Party of Clinton and Obama. Thus, the ‘celebrities’ of the WSF helped to contain the political opposition to the Iraq war of the US working class behind the pacificist opposition of the Democrat Party left, and migrant workers faced a new attacks as happened in Los Angeles on May 1st.



1. Comrade Khalif - March 26, 2008

where is the commune today?

it almost looks like an information black hole, because your article is the latest I can find.

Please send an e-mail.

2. Renegade Eye - July 5, 2008

Don’t forget Ken Loach’s “Land and Freedom movie.


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