Once again, saddened but hardly surprised, we witness the response of power to people’s demands. There’s been a number of dead in Oaxaca, a terrible toll that keeps growing with the day, at the hands of the Mexican police, the PFP. There’s many more wounded, arrested and even disappeared, people who get kidnapped in the streets and are flown away in army helicopters to undisclosed detention locations. This seems to be the only way in which the political and economical powers of the Mexican state are ready, or indeed able at all, to react to a number of demands made by the people of Oaxaca.

The population of Oaxaca, the birthplace of the libertarian revolutionary, Ricardo Flores Magon, are not only largely indigenous but are between the poorest in the country, and have long struggled to regain the freedom that was taken away from them more than 500 years ago, when the invasion and colonization began and oppressive institutions were imposed.

What is at the stake is a lot more than better conditions of pay for teachers, and more grants for poor students. It is a lot more than the resignation or not of the murderous local governor, Ulises Ruiz. He should be forced to go immediately and handed to the people of Oaxaca to be made accountable for his crimes. That is not the big question at stake.
In one sense this is a struggle against the decrepit structures of political power in Mexico, which the PRI, Institutional Revolutionary Party, has held in an iron fist since the times of Zapata, in the 1910s. It is certainly, also, a protest to end the coalition of political and economical privilege, which go hand in hand there, as in everywhere else in the globe, plotting the exclusion of most of the population from at least decent conditions of living, let alone a real share of riches.

But mainly it is a matter of the peoples of the world taking their own destiny in their hands and shaping their future, against a wall of repression, fighting every inch, to build up a planet that resembles more to something worth living in. It is a matter of whether it will be possible, if there is still a chance, to bring something better about, or if on the contrary the masters of the world, big corporations, corrupt politicians, murderers at the reins of state power will forever keep the upper hand. It is a matter of whether we can still hope and dream.

Nothing has been decided yet. Only yesterday it seemed that the police, the PFP, supported by the army and bands of PRIist thugs, would be successful in controlling the town. Today we learn of how the people have resisted attempts to take over the university and the APPO’s radio station. Many things can happen in the next days and weeks and the situation will turn more difficult for the corrupt Ruiz. The calls for his resignation and trial grow stronger every day and the Mexican president seems to be reluctant to deploy even more force to protect a corrupt local governor. A new president, in turn voted at a fraudulent election himself, will take over shortly and no one knows what position he will take. On the other hand, the social-democrat party, PRD, has announced its sympathy for the oaxacan strikers, but is refusing to organise any meaningful protest in support, even when it claims to have been backed by the people in the recent elections. Clearly, no solution for the long term problems of the indigenous, the poor, the workers and teachers of Mexico, or indeed Latin America, will ever come from politicians of any kind, but only through the self-organisation and direct action of the people. And there is no need to look any further than Oaxaca for the best proof of it.

It is for our comrades, brothers and sisters in Oaxaca to fight this battle now. They can rest assured of our total support in it. Not only do we send them our warmest greetings, but we will organise as much as possible to make their plight known to everyone in our countries, and their voice heard by the representatives of the Mexican state in our localities. We will break the complacent silent that media are keeping about the ongoing struggle. Obviously, they are not interested in reporting the true making of history.

From the IAF-IFA secretariat we call on everyone, regardless of geographical location, to organise solidarity actions with the people of Oaxaca. Their struggle is everyone’s struggle, and their success is a step more in the direction of emancipation. Brick by brick we build a new world. We can all help now to lay one more.