Monday, November 20, 2006

Nov 20th US Solidarity Actions - Building Education Not Incarceration in SF; Oaxaca Resiste!

“On November 20, blockades will be set up to show the Mexican government we mean business. We are calling upon YOU to join in these blockades. That could mean blockading the consulates’ websites, jamming their phone lines with calls about the conflict in Oaxaca, occupying the offices of the consuls, or shutting down the roads around the consulates in whatever way you see fit.” - EZLN

The Oakland-based national organization Education Not Incarceration [ENI] is in the process of setting up a new chapter in our fair City of San Francisco. School Board Commissioner Mark Sanchez who will likely become our next Board President in January 07 and I are working with ENI to help build ENI in SF.
The local group meets weekly, Saturdays, 2-4 PM at the Hunters Point Foundation, 5015 3rd Street, San Francisco. For more information, conact Valerie Higgins at 415.822.1585 or
ENI, Teachers for Social Justice, the SF Labor Council, Mexico Solidarity Committee and others are calling on communities to stand in solidarity with the people's movements in Oaxaca, Mexico with SF actions which are part of hundreds of similar actions across the globe -

We, Education Not Incarceration, want to emphasize the connection between growing incarceration rates in the United States, which often result from job-lessness caused by globalization of the workforce, and the poverty and uprising against neo-liberalism by the people of Oaxaca. In Mexico people are forced to work and live in extreme poverty conditions, resulting from free-trade laws that enable US corporations to extract human and natural resources from Mexico without any protections on the people or the land. The uprising in Oaxaca began with a teacher strike. ...solidarity actions inside and outside of Mexico will not only show the people of Oaxaca that they are not alone, but also that we will hold the Mexican government responsible for the bloodshed.
Following the call put out by the Zapatistas for a nationwide general strike in Mexico on November 20th, actions have been planned internationally.
In San Francisco activists are calling for a convergence and critical mass at 4pm at the Mexican Consulate (532 Folsom at 2nd Street).
The November 20th actions fall on the same day where Obrador, the candidate who lost the summer elections to fraud, is to be inaugurated by his supporters. Women, Political Parties, Barricades and Autonomy by Barucha Calamity Peller. Meanwhile the Oaxacan Attorney General has blamed APPO for the death of Indymedia journalist and anarchist Brad Will.
What started out as a teachers strike nearly six months ago in the city of Oaxaca in southern Mexico has transformed itself into a full blown rebellion against neo-liberal economics and capitalist domination. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets and thousands of barricades have been set up by popular assemblies demanding autonomy and the resignation of the governor of the state. ************************************************************

Last week Labor Activists Frank Martin Del Campo, Alan Benjamin and Dave Welsh authored a SF Labor Council resolution in support of the struggle in Oaxaca -

[Note: The following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Delegates Meeting of the San Francisco Labor Council on Monday, November 13, 2006.]

Resolution in Solidarity with the People of Oaxaca
Whereas, 70,000 teachers in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico -- organized in Section 22 of the National Teachers Union (SNTE) -- went on strike in May 2006 demanding that all teachers across the State receive wage increases and wage parity, and that all school children be provided with shoes, breakfast and uniforms to go to school; and
Whereas, in June 2006, the government of the State of Oaxaca, led by Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, unleashed the first brutal attack against the strike encampments set up by teachers and their supporters; death squads working with state authorities assassinated striking teachers; and
Whereas, the people of Oaxaca -- through their labor, community, political, religious and indigenous organizations -- then rallied behind the teachers and formed a Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) to urge the authorities to meet the strikers' just and legitimate demands, and, with the Teachers, to demand the resignation of Governor Ruiz. At that point it became not only a teachers' strike, but a powerful people's strike for justice and against violent repression; and
Whereas, on October 29, 2006, the Federal government of President Vicente Fox sent in 4500 special troops to tear down the barricades and many of the encampments that the Teachers and people of Oaxaca had created to defend their strike; andWhereas, Mexicans across the political spectrum have commented on the not-so-behind-the-scenes role of the U.S. Embassy. The Bush-appointed U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza stated on October 28 that the Fox administration had delayed too long, and needed to send in Federal troops to Oaxaca. An hour later Fox announced his decision to send in troops, which he implemented the following day; and
Whereas, over the first six months of struggle in Oaxaca, more than 20 people have been killed, including a north American video journalist, and hundreds wounded by troops, police and paramilitary forces. Hundreds have been "disappeared" (many of them feared dead). And many hundreds of union and community activists have been jailed. Yet the popular forces in their hundreds of thousands have continued to march.
Therefore Be It Resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO, joins with labor and democratic rights organizations in Mexico and around the world in urging the federal and state governments in Mexico to seek every avenue to a peaceful solution to the conflict in Oaxaca; and
Be it Further Resolved, that we urge the Mexican authorities to settle the conflict by meeting the legitimate demands put forward by the teachers and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca, including: (1) Immediate withdrawal of all troops and paramilitary units from the city and state of Oaxaca, (2) Stop the repression and state-sponsored killings, (3) Removal from office of Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, instigator of the reign of terror, (4) Release all detainees and political prisoners, and (5) Governor Ruiz and others responsible must be brought to justice.
Be it Finally Resolved, that we forward these demands to our Labor Councils, National Unions, State Federations, AFL-CIO and Change to Win Federation,urging them to embrace these demands and to act in solidarity with the teachers and popular movement of Oaxaca.
(Resolution submitted by Dave Welsh, NALC #214; Alan Benjamin, OPEIU #3; and Frank Martin del Campo, LCLAA)

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