Date: Wed Nov 15 2006 - 21:26:41 EST
> Oaxaca’s APPO Forms Permanent Government, Announces > Escalation of Resistance 3,000 Delegates Meet in the Midst of State > Repression and Reorganize for the Struggle Ahead > > By Nancy Davies > Commentary from Oaxaca > > November 14, 2006 > > Three thousand Oaxaqueños responded to the first call of the > Asamblea Popular de Pueblos de Oaxaca (Popular Assembly of the > People’s of Oaxaca, or APPO) on Friday, November 10, to forge > a new constitution for Oaxaca. The APPO sprang into life in > the two days following the attempted eviction of > striking teachers from their zocalo encampment on June 14, > 2006. It has guided the social movement in Oaxaca since then, and > now self-dissolves in favor of a permanent structure of > government which includes an executive and legislative branch. > The provisional directorship dissolved on formally > initiating the work of the constitutive congress. > > The new organ is the State Council of the Popular > Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (CEAPPO, in its Spanish > initials). It consists of 260 representatives of all the seven > regions of Oaxaca. Forty seats were assigned to the democratic > teachers union. The CEAPPO also includes merchants, students, > bus and taxi drivers, unions, women, non-governmental > organizations, political parties and social groups. Honorific > spaces were reserved for the political prisoners. All members of > CEAPPO have the same rights and obligations. > > Between 800 and 1000 (depending on sources) delegates from > neighborhoods and barricades, political and social > organizations joined arrivals from the seven regions > of the state. Another 100 invited persons joined them, > wearing yellow guest badges. The sixty or so national and > international press people who also showed up were not permitted into > the working sessions headed by members of APPO’s provisional > directors, which include Flavio Sosa Villavicencio, Zenén Bravo > Castellano, Rosendo Ramírez Sánchez and Marcos Leyva Madrid. > Zenén Bravo was selected as president of the council. The men > were nominated by a plenary, along with two vice-presidents > and four recorders. > > The meetings were held in the auditorium of the > Hotel Magesterio, which was also the venue for the meeting > with Delegado Zero of the Other Campaign when the > Zapatistas visited Oaxaca last February. > > CEAPPO has formed in the face of the extreme > repression currently underway by the governor Ulises Ruiz > Ortiz, who operates both through his PRI and paid henchmen and > police in civilian clothes. The spirit of the CEAPPO is > revolutionary, in a pacific, democratic and humanistic stance which > is openly anti neoliberal and based on the traditional people > power shown in usos y costumbres (“uses and customs”), a > method of governing which is open and face to face. Ample > provisions for recall of officials, referenda and plebiscites are > included in the form of the council. > > In content, CEAPPO supports economic social justice, > equality of persons, respect for differences, respect for the > rights of women, respect for indigenous people and their > autonomy, and development in benefit of the peoples of Oaxaca with > high concern for sustainability and renewable resources. > > The gathered constitutive congress met for three > days. On Friday the work began on the registration of > delegates from different organizations and community leaders, as > well as participants on the barricades which the APPO > designed after June 17. Registration took the whole day Friday, and > so little time was left for work sessions that the meting > adjourned. > > At the initial meeting of the first night’s constitutive > council, which was heavily dominated by men, the > women present > protested vigorously. Ultimately it was decided that > a minimum > of 30 percent of the permanent council will be > women. The > sessions were all lively, with booing down of > objectionable suggestions and cheers for good ones – participative > democracy. > > On Saturday, some 600 delegates defined the statues, the > declaration of principles and the program of action for the > new body as well as electing the permanent directors who will > function in a role akin to an executive department. > > Working Sunday and throughout the night, by dawn the > congress had elaborated its new plan of action, which > includes continuing the struggle to unseat the governor > Ulises Ruiz. The departure of Ruiz is “not negotiable.” > Activities were outlined, such as putting up more blockades, and > renewing the mobile brigades. This has to take place within the > uncertainty of the occupying forces of Federal Preventive Police > (PFP), who may or may not be withdrawn, and with the dirty > war underway. > > The Oaxacan movement will also send a delegation to Mexico > City on November 20 to participate in the protest of > former presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, > but only as a symbolic expression of the struggle for > democracy. The APPO also agreed to protest the inauguration of > Felipe Calderon if URO doesn’t leave before December 1. > > At the first meeting, on Friday, the APPO reiterated, “The > conditions don’t exist for a return to classes.” > Nevertheless, about 70 percent of teachers are returning. Some > remain in the encampment in Mexico DF. It is expected that returns > will be phased in during next week , with the avowed purpose > of teaching about what happened in Oaxaca and the > popular movement. While URO remains in power, this maybe > very dangerous work. > > While the congress was gathering for its first day of > meetings, the zocalo was occupied by the Federal > Preventive Police, and the tourist area was occupied by the > APPO and teachers who won’t return to classes while danger > exists. During the time period of November 1 to November 10, > about 49 students and APPO leaders were snatched off the > street without warrants by men in civilian clothing who drove > unmarked automobiles. Among the apprehended were two minors. > Civil rights violations perpetrated by the government > included entering private homes without warrant to arrest the > highly visible people of the APPO and the teachers. > > Although Human Rights organizations demanded to know > where and who was being held, or an account for the dead, it > was not offered. > > Seeking safety, the most visible of the APPO and > teachers threatened asked for sanctuary within the church and > were granted it by the church official Wilfredo Meyran, > who a day later was overridden by the bishop of Oaxaca, Jose > Luis Chavez Botello. The bishop, in a news conference, declared > that the church was devoted to the kingdom of heaven and > could not get involved in earthly politics. Meyran is a long-time > ally of former bishop of Chiapas Samuel Ruis, and appeared > with him when Ruiz was in Oaxaca in support of the APPO. > > University classes were scheduled to resume on > Monday, but many did not due to the violent conditions around > the university campus. Some professors decided it wasn’t > safe; some students made the same decision. At the same > time, the static blocking of Radio Universidad continued, and > the blockade of University City was maintained, so that > in effect the information coming from the APPO was > unavailable. The radio broadcasters were unable to leave University > City for fear of their lives, and remained, living inside the > autonomous area. > > Radio Ciudadano, also known as Radio Patito, continued > broadcasting names of the movement adherents as well > at those of teachers, with suggestions to capture or harm > them. This station is generally regarded as supported by the > PRI government. The names of the Radio Universidad > broadcasters are well known and have been made public. Human > rights protests to prevent the pro-government station from > issuing threats have been ignored. By the end of the week, > November 10, the Radio Universidad signal was completely > blocked. > > At virtually the same time, a nationwide National > Assembly, modeled after the APPO, is being constructed. The > national convention of state delegates will take place in > Mexico City on the 18th and 19th of November. It will analyze > the national situation, the actual situation of the member > assemblies, establish its own form and rules, and plan its > national action. To date, about twelve states are expected to > send delegates to the Asamblea Popular de Pueblos de > Mexico, the APPM. > > Although Ulises Ruiz in Oaxaca tries to portray in > the mainstream media that all is returning to normal > (the PFP boys eat popsicles while standing on guard blocking entry > to the zocalo) my personal observation as your commentator > is that the movement will remain active and resolute.
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