UK Oaxaca Uprising Feature Archive
The murder of two radio activists in Oaxaca has brought the repression suffered by indigenous Mexicans into sharp focus. Oaxaca has the biggest percentage of indigenous people who speak many different languages and suffering serious discrimination including the theft of their natural resources.
One such example is the village of San Isidro Aloapam who have been fighting the destruction of their local forest by commercial loggers who are bending the law to justify their activity. Attempts by the villagers to protect the forest have been met with extreme violence leaving many villagers injured and imprisoned. The village is represented politically by indigenous action group CIPO-RFM who have organized a series of media and international solidarity events to highlight the struggle. CIPO-RFM activists Miguel Cruz Moreno and Pedro Bautista Rojas were recently interviewed by IMC UK about the struggle.
There will be a prisoner support benefit gig in London on Wednesday April 16th.
Related links: IMC UK coverage of Oaxaca election 2007: ‘1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | IMC UK coverage of CIPO-RFM 2004/5: Intro | Assemblies | Protest camp | Raid | Repression | CIPO/Zapatistas feature | CIPO Speaking tour
On Tuesday Tuesday 30 October protestors returned to the London Mexican Embassy to remember Brad Will and those who died in last year's civil uprising in Oaxaca, Mexico. William Bradley Roland was an Indymedia New York activist who was shot dead by paramilitaries whilst documenting the uprising in Oaxaca city [ Brad Will's last video]
Even though the protest was small, the message was still there, that Brad Will and all the other victims of repression during the Oaxaca uprising are not forgotten, and that justice is still due. This year's protest at the Mexican embassy passed peacefully, contary to the scenes of police violence that greeted protesters in 2006.
On Friday 14th September, an Indymedia activist from Oaxaca, Mexico came to the Sumac Centre to speak of the ongoing struggle in Oaxaca against the unpopular and corrupt governor and the repression that followed an annual teachers strike. Since the strike, the resistance in Oaxaca has turned into the largest popular rebellion in over a decade. The hundreds of illegal detentions, disappearances and injuries, and at least eighteen documented deaths mark an unignorable part of modern Mexican and world history. Around 40 people attended the talk which lasted about 2 hours and consisted of short films with talk in between. Please see the report and listen to the audio.
Previous talks at the Sumac Centre: Argentinian film makers screen Indymedia film | Indigenous Woman from Ontario, Canada voice their struggle in defend of land
A second round of Indymedia Oaxaca infonite in the UK is starting, focussing on the experiences and struggless the people of Oaxaca's rebellion. The tour will begin in Cardiff at the PAD social centre on the 9th where it will also visit people who are fighting the Brecon Beacons gas pipeline. In London it will take part in the Disarm DSEi mobilisations, as well as a planned infonite at the LARC on the 12th. Then it will visit Nottingham on Friday the 14th at the Sumac Centre to continue to Liverpool on the 16th to join in the celebration of the new social centre Next To Nowhere, the Common Ground Community Garden in Reading on the 18th, and it will end at the No Border Camp in Gatwick on the 21st.
There will be talks and discussions with our compañero from Indymedia Oaxaca as well as the presentation of 'True To My Pledge', a video made by MALDEOJOTV to rise funds in support of the women made widows in Oaxaca due to state repression. Click at the Full article link for background information, and see IMC-UK Oaxaca topic page for reports on the Oaxaca Uprising.
Since Monday night, riots and violent police repression have been taking place in Oaxaca, Mexico. At least 65 people have been arrested, while one is dead and four heavily injured in hospital. A teacher, who had been arrested unharmed, was beaten into a coma by police [pic proof]. More info on www.indymedia.org
Pics 1 , 2 | alternative Guelaguetza pics 1 , 2 | Indy Scotland report | Narco News | Indymedia Oaxaca | Indymedia Chiapas | APPO
Indymedia Oaxaca, the network in the UK of Zapatista solidarity groups along with anticapitalist collectives launch a tour of information and debate on the issues surrounding the people of Oaxaca's rebellion. The Tour will be visiting Birmingham on 16th May 16th, Liverpool on the 17th, Bradford on the 18th, Manchester on the 19th, Edinburgh on the 20th, Bristol on the 22nd, and finally in London's Rampart Social Centre on the 24th before jumping over to Europe. There will be films, talks and discussions with a guest from Indymedia Oaxaca.
The right to rebel is sacred, as exercising it is indispensable to break the obstacles that oppose the right to life. (Ricardo Flores Magon)
Our guest for the tour is a member of the Indymedia Oaxaca collective, and a free radio maker for the communities in the mountains north of the state. He is also a collaborator of Radio Jenpoj (Wind of Fire ). Playing the role that independent media does in the popular struggle in Oaxaca means living alongside a constant threat of targeted repression.
"We are on the eve of either a great uprising or a civil war," the EZLN's Delegate Zero stated recently, referring to the current situation in Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Whilst the 45,000km-long Other Campaign tour around "the forgotten corners of Mexico", which the Zapatistas started on 1 January, 2006, ends in Mexico City, the repression in Oaxaca is worsening by the day. And this is why the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) is now calling for a global wave of active solidarity with the people of Oaxaca, to culminate with a "worldwide day of action" on 22 December to "say and to demonstrate that the people of Oaxaca are not alone" [Full communique | Words from Delegate Zero | APPO's response]. Closer to home, the Network of UK Zapatista Solidarity Groups called for a national week of solidarity actions from the 9 to the 17 of December, 2006.
Meanwhile, the popular uprising continues in and around Oaxaca city, and so do the illegal detentions of the so-called 'leaders' of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), which have increased in the last few days, forcing many people into hiding. APPO is a grassroots movement organising for popular democracy, and it is currently at the centre of the Mexican government's latest wave of repression, which has already resulted in mass illegal arrests of more than 500 people [Flavio Sosa's arrest | more | Interview] and the 'disappearance' of up to 100 people [APPO Communique | APPO activist interview | Eyewitness report].
At the same time, there is also a concerted effort by the Mexican government to try to silence any independent media that is reporting the truth on what is happening in Oaxaca. Following the murder of Indymedia videographer Bradley Will, who was shot dead by paramilitaries whilst documenting an APPO barricade on the 25th of October, the attacks against international and national independent media have continued. Two documentary filmmakers and a translator were illegally detained on 3 December while they were eating at a restaurant in Oaxacxa city centre.
Oscar Beard is an independent journalist from London currently travelling in the southern estates of Mexico. He has regularly contributed text, video and photo reports to the Indymedia newswire. See a list of his reports from Mexico.
As the Federal Preventative Police (PFP) continue their advance on the city of Oaxaca in the hopes of dislodging the Oaxacan Peoples’ Popular Assembly (APPO), the determined residents are resisting the invasion with any means available to them [Pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5]. This is being marked with a demonstration outside the Mexican Embassy in London at 5pm today, to coincide with the Mexican Day of the Dead [Earlier demo report] . Afterwards, there is a video screening of Brad Will's final footage [bittorrents: Es | En | DVD ] and discussion at RampART at 8pm. Meanwhile, the planned solidarity film screening on Saturday is temporarily on hold, following the eviction of the Dalston Squat on Thursday [Pictures: 1 | 2 Video: 1].
Recent reports about Oaxaca in IMC-UK Newswire: Mexican embassy covered in symbolic blood | Reports from Oaxaca (and what to do) | Timeline from Oaxaca City, 2 November, 2006 | Timeline from Oaxaca City, 2 November, 2006 (Part 2) | News From Mexico | Timeline from Oaxaca City, 2 November, 2006 (Part 3) | Latest from Mexico | Timeline from Oaxaca City, 2 November, 2006 (Part 4) | Oaxaca: the people win an important battle against the police! | Reporters San Frontiers investigates Brads death | Investigators slip up in Brad Will case, while seven journalists hurt in Oaxaca | Oaxaca 3rd November | London Mexican embassy protest video - 30/10/06 | Oaxaca: the battle of the Day of the Dead | Oaxaca Worldwide | 1.3 million people march in Oaxaca | Letter in Support of the People of Oaxaca.
A peaceful demonstration to show support and solidarity with the Oaxaca people currently suffering violent police and military repression by the Mexican state took place in front of the Mexican Embassy in London on Monday [Press release]. Around 60 people including drummers and Indymedia supporters gathered in front of the Embassy with banners, and murdered indymedia videographer Brad Will's final footage was projected directly onto the Embassy's facade - all eventually violently interrupted by a massive police presence resulting in eight arrests. Reports: 1 | 2 | Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | Videos: 1 | 2 | Updates on the London arrests: Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Wednesday night red paint was thrown on the walls, stairs and doors of the Mexican Embassy in London to symbolise the blood of the people of Oaxaca. On Thursday another demonstration took place outside London's Mexican embassy [Photos] Later in the evening, discussion and screening of films related to Brad and the situation in Oaxaca took at rampART Social Centre and another one is planned for Saturday 4th (E4E).
There were also protests at embassies and consulates around the world, with 14 demos in the US including direct action at the Mexican consulate in New York City | demos in Rio de Janeiro, Soa Paolo, Brasilia, and Fortaleza in Brazil | Madrid | an embassy occupation in Barcelona | an embassy occupation in Napoli | and several actions in Berlin.
Further information: Last Communique from NYC Indymedia Journalist Brad Will | NYC Indymedia | IMC Mexico | Narco News | CML | La Jornada | APPO Radio Live Broadcast (Sp) | Live Radio Transcript (Eng)
"They might have the strength to impose their will, but we will never give them our consent". (Extract from the Radio APPO log)
Outrage spread around the world over the weekend following the killing of the documentary filmmaker and Indymedia video reporter Brad Will, from New York City at the hands of pro-government supporters who opened fire on unarmed protestors on the outskirts of Oaxaca, Mexico. Three others were also killed alongside him (making four dead in total); one member of Radio Universidad was injured.
On Sunday, more than 10,000 military swept the streets of Oaxaca. At their head were tanks with water cannons, laced with tear gas, followed by lines of 3,500 riot cops with batons. Behind them, a further 3,000 military police with automatic rifles. 5,000 army troops were waiting in the outskirts of the city while the paramilitaries continued attacking. Reports came in of snatch squads operating within the city centre, with police and military using helicopters and ambulances to grab protestors and injured people. Many arrests were reported, and at least two protestors were confirmed to have been killed in the clashes. See timeline of events. Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5.
This unprovoked aggression by the Mexican State against the pacific and unarmed people of Oaxaca is one of the largest in the recent history of México and Latin America. As a result, the Zapatista Army of National Lberation (EZLN) is calling for a day of action on November 1st and announces a nationwide strike on November 20th [Call]
A peaceful demonstration against the repression by the Mexican state (police and military) of the Oaxaca workers and the general population took place in front of the Mexican Embassy in London on Monday evening [Press release]. 60-70 or more gathered in front of the Embassy, with a screening of Brad Will's final footage projected onto the Embassy's facade - violently interrupted by the police, resulting in eight arrests [Update on arrests: Tuesday | Wednesday]. Reports: 1 | 2 | Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 and Video. On Wednesday night red paint was thrown on the walls, stairs and doors of the Mexican Embassy in London to symbolise the blood of the people of Oaxaca.
'William Bradley Roland, also known as Brad Will, 36, a documentary filmmaker and reporter for Indymedia New York in Mexico, Bolivia and Brazil, died today of a gunshot to the chest when pro-government attackers opened fire on a barricade in the neighborhood of Santa Lucia El Camino, on the outskirts of Oaxaca, Mexico. He died with his video camera in his hands.' (source: Narconews) Read NYC-Indymedia statement and a Call to all independent journalists to support the struggle in Oaxaca.
Brad had been in Oaxaca taking video and reporting on the state wide popular uprising and teacher strike that began in June with the violent attempted removal of the striking teachers from their encampment in the centre of Oaxaca City by federal police forces. 3 others were also killed alongside him (making 4 dead in total); 1 member of Radio Universidad was also injured: he was taken to the hospital in a volkswagen van as police would not let any ambulances come.
Since the beginning of the strike in June, teachers and other groups have formed the APPO - the Popular Assembly of the Oaxacan People - and have called for the removal of the governor of state Ulises Ruiz of the PRI. There is a long history of Mexico using government sponsored paramilitaries to repress social movements, including a massacre of hundreds of students in Mexico City in 1968. As reports of protesters surrounded by armed government forces and police continue to pour in, activists in cities around the world are planning protests at Mexican embassies and in cyberspace in outcry against the violent aggression against the people of Oaxaca.