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THE ROAD FROM OAXACA

Mumia Abu-Jamal's commentary from death row.
solidaridad
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THE ROAD FROM OAXACA
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[Col. Writ. 11/9/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Several weeks ago, a long, dusty trail of thousands winded their way from
the southern city of Oaxaca, to the capital of Mexico City, some 800
kilometers (or over 250 miles) to support democracy, and demand the removal
of the governor, who got there through a stolen, and deeply corrupt
election.

The marchers, a motley crew of teachers, students, farmers, vendors, and the
like, made their tortuous way over mountain and valleys, through slashing
rains, blistering heat, and numbing cold, marching for 19 days, to take
their complaints to the seat of government.

The group, calling itself the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (or
APPO, the Spanish acronym for Asemblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca), has
rocked Mexico with its strong, principled insistence that elections be truly
fair and free of corruption, and that the will of the People be heard.

I've actually been reading about the events in Oaxaca for several weeks, and
every time I read about them, I thought of Americans, who quietly accepted
the corrupt elections of 2000, and of 2004, like lambs being led to
shishkabobs.

For, the stolen elections of 2000 in Florida, and later 2004 in Ohio, have
done unprecedented damage to the very notion of democracy, and shattered the
faith of millions in the electoral process.

The people of Oaxaca, braving not just the natural elements, but the
political ones as well, indeed, the terrorism of the 'instruments of the
state' (police and military violence), have proven by their march and
protests that true democracy is deeply important to the people.

The APPO, which has sparked resistance throughout Mexico City, and in other
parts of the country, has created a political crisis in the nation, by its
fervent demand for the removal of Oaxaca governor, Ulises Ruiz, and the
restoration of democracy.

The crisis arises from the fact that many of the country's political parties
are doing their damnedest to silence, derail, or intimidate the people; for
if they are successful (they fear) there will be two, three, a dozen Oaxacas
all across the country.

Oaxaca, although the poorest state in Mexico, and one with the largest
indigenous population, is inspiring people far and beyond its southern
Mexican borders.

The Oaxaca resistance was born in repression, when Governor Ruiz ordered the
police assault on the striking Oaxaca teachers' union in June. The teachers
fought back, and within days, over 300,000 people gathered in a mass march
to support the union. Out of that massive outpouring of support came the
APPO, the Popular Assembly. The continuing crisis in Mexico may push social
forces to join the radicalizing efforts of the APPO, or may open the door to
the threatened terror of the 'instruments of the state.' To be frank, what
began in repression may indeed end in more repression; but that will not,
nor could truly be the end.

That's because the forces that gave rise to APPO are still rumbling barely
beneath the surface, ready to emerge in another state, where workers and the
poor are struggling to resist the ravenous forces of globalism.

When the poor are treated poorly, when workers are poorly paid, the
conditions for resistance are already present.

And while the temptation of the State to use its brutal 'instruments' may be
strong, it's also very possible that it may spark more resistance, deeper
and broader.

Oaxaca is spreading like the wind, and the examples of popular and
indigenous resistance from Mexico, like the APPO, and the Zapatistas, and
various struggles from throughout Latin America, are spreading also.

The people of Oaxaca should be supported, not just with words, but with
similar organizing against flawed and corrupt elections, from folks all over
the world.

It should begin with the people of the U.S.

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a political prisoner in the United States on death row.
For more information on Mumia's case, check out the following web sites:
Yet Another Witness Comes Forward and Refutes The Frame-Up Of Mumia
Abu-Jamal!
 http://www.freemumi a.com/policecoer cion.html

Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
 http://www.laboract ionmumia. org/

International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
 http://www.mumia. org/freedom. now/

Free Mumia Coalition, NYC
 http://www.freemumi a.com/

Socialist Action Free Mumia Site
 http://www.freemumi a.org

Chicago Committe To Free Mumia Abu_Jamal
 http://www.chicagof reemumia. org/

Liberation News
 http://lists. riseup.net/ www/info/ liberation_ news