Oaxaca's Popular Assembly Challenges The Governor
Davies: Oaxaca's Popular Assembly Throws Down a Challenge to the Governor
October 27, 2006
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Nancy Davies comments on the intensifying situation in Oaxaca after members of the state teachers' union voted to end their strike and return to classes. Though the vote may signify divisions within the union, many teachers are vowing to continue their struggle to oust state governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, despite the possibility of violent reprisals. This determination is shared by the wider popular movement, led by the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca, or APPO. The APPO has called for a general strike, as well as a blockade of streets and highways and a closure of all businesses, on October 27, 28, and 29. The APPO has also issued a "call for a popular peaceful insurrection" on December 1 if Ulises Ruiz has not yet resigned.
Nancy Davies writes:
"The teachers' assembly of Saturday and Sunday to vote on a return to classes was so highly suspect that the teachers decided to have a second consultation at the base. The report of the second consultation, which was scheduled to be reported out on Wednesday, October 25, was postponed twice during that day. By evening, the delegates had entered the building. At that moment, the unofficial count of vote results was 28,000 for returning to classes, and a few more than 20,000 for not returning. Around 8 p.m., amid an already tense atmosphere, shots were heard close to the side street which abuts the Hotel Magisterio (the teachers' union-owned hotel used for meetings). The assembly adjourned. The directors decided that security was so fragile it was better to postpone.
"On Thursday, October 26, the meeting was postponed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., when Enrique Rueda Pacheco, the leader of the Oaxacan local 'Section 22' of the teachers' union, finally arrived. Rueda has been the object of scorn and allegations of selling out since the last consultation vote, which many believe was tampered with. During the afternoon wait, a bus was burned, and about eleven shots were fired by unknown persons. The assembly finally got underway at 3 p.m. The consultation vote of rank-and-file teachers was officially announced to be 31,078 in favor of return to classes, and 20,387 against. The date for opening the schools has not yet been set...
"Meanwhile, the APPO issued a 'call for a popular peaceful insurrection' on December 1 if the state's governor, Ulises Ruiz, has not stepped down by then. The immediate plan for October 27, 28 and 29 is a complete blockade of highways and roads, and complete closure of all businesses. It is supposed to be not only a state strike, but a national one, and one that will foreshadow the speed, progress and strength of the Popular Assembly movement."
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