The Popular Assembly and the Teachers Take Gov. Ulises’ Place at the “Grito” Independence Day Celebration, Publish Manifesto
Teachers’ Union Rank and File Prevent the Return of Buses to the Government as Had Been Negotiated with the Minister of the Interior
By Octavio Velez Ascencio
September 17, 2006
In an unprecedented event, the Governor did not give the Independence Day “Grito” [in which political leaders cry “viva” (long live) Mexico and its patriotic heroes from the balconies of government offices and palaces –TR] for the first time in the history of Oaxaca.
This occurred in light of the state’s political-social conflict, which arises from the demand for the dismissal of Oaxacan governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. On this occasion the demand was made by the Oaxacan teachers’ union and the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO in its Spanish initials) in the old government palace, which has been turned into a museum.
For the event, the movement of teachers and local popular organizations withdrew their encampments from the central plaza to allow public attendance, which was light due to rumors of a police operation.
In addition to shouting the “Grito,” the Oaxacan teachers’ union and the APPO published the September 15th Manifesto, where they call on the citizens “to continue with the popular nonviolent struggle until we achieve the dissolution of powers” and until “the dismissal of the Ulises Ruiz Ortiz government” has been declared.
In addition they called for the continuation of the fight to build a popular democratic government, a new constitutional assembly and a new constitution “until we achieve the construction of our great free and sovereign state of Oaxaca with a popular democratic government.”
Similarly, they called for all of the civil society organizations struggling to build popular power from below to strengthen and articulate themselves as a organized force of the Oaxacan people that could offer solutions to the peoples´ particular demands.
Lastly, they called for advances in reactivating the state economy, tourism, and harmonious coexistence. With this they specified the importance of the reestablishment of city safety and security and municipal sanitation and beautification, as well as the regularization of urban transportation and the promotion of an agenda for social and political democratization of the state. Such an agenda would require legal and institutional reforms, the establishment of innovative procedures, and other significant changes.
In the “Grito popular” for Independence there were cheers for the heroes who struggled in 1810; “vivas” for Jose Colmenares and Lorenzo San Pablo, who died during the current movement in Oaxaca; and slogans against Ruiz Ortiz.
Meanwhile, during the day, Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) suspended the handover of 25 public buses that had been seized from the urban transportation authorities in the face of opposition and rebellion from their own bases of support. The handover had been agreed upon at the negotiation table with the Mexican Interior Minister Carlos Abascal Carranza.
The secretary of press and propaganda of the local union council, Daniel Rosas Romero, tried to begin the withdrawal of the encampments located in front of the State´s Attorney General´s Office (PGJE in its Spanish initials), but he was practically run off by his compañeros. “Who is he to be deciding? It is the movement who decides,” remarked one female teacher.
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