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[Notice: All images in this section are (c) Copyright Saundra Sturdevant, 2006]

OAXACA LEVANTAMIENTO (UPRISING) 2006

Saundra Sturdevant---Images & Text


DEMONSTRATIONS AFTER
OCTOBER 30, 2006

After PFP entrance into Oaxaca and APPO and citizen's resistance, demonstrations become even more impressive in their discipline, organizational inclusiveness, and high spirits. Non-violence becomes almost a mantra, its practice adhered to as APPO rejects the use of firearms. Demonstrations continue to be community and family affairs. Everyone comes out, even in the worst of times when repression is high.

November 5, 2006, was a fortunate day. There was no major confrontation and no loss of life. That is, during the time of the demo. The rally at Santo Domingo Encampment after this demo is representative of many such rallies and of the culture of APPO.

MEGA-MARCH 5 NOVEMBER 2006

PFP sequestered in zocolo
Each entrance barricaded to 10-foot height
Left over APPO burned vehicles
New shamrock green railroad size
Dumpsters
Razor wire
PFP inside of zocolo
Prisoners of their own occupation
Venture into the streets of Oaxaca
Only when ordered
Then to do harm

 

Hundreds of thousands march
Contingents gather
Fury focused, inclusive, disciplined
URO, PFP, Fox
Government and all political parties
Contingent from Mexico City had difficulties
700 in ten buses and 50 cars
Military with assault weapons and
Roadblocks
Stop, Search
Gasoline stations warned not to sell gas

 

Indigenous were presente
Mixtecas with sharpened, pointed wooden
Sticks
Mixtecos carrying iron rebar
They at the bottom of bottom
South of South in economist lingo
Suffering special paramilitary treatment
Land being seized
Youths migrating to survive
Culture at crossroads

 

Along march route
Citizens bring
Water, food
Cheer, wave Mexican flags
Many join the march
Like before

 

March route full of twists and turns
Avoiding confrontations
Stops two blocks from zocolo
Orderly disciplined
Chants, slogans, shouts
PFP in formation, visors down inside zocolo
Ready to go
Tanks behind them

 

March turns north
Rally at Santo Domingo Encampment
Home of APPO
Ambulance slowly moves forward
Dividing the 60 or so demonstrators
Headed to face off PFP at zocolo
La Doctora Bertha Munoz
The voice of APPO's Radio Universidad
Passenger seat with bullhorn
Exhorting marchers
Do not engage in provocative actions
Remain non-violent
Each time the ambulance stops
People rush into the street
To see her
To touch her
To shake her hand
Faces aglow, tears on some

This side of shamrock barricade
APPO security
Young, strong men
Feet firmly planted, arms linked
To prevent demonstrator and PFP contact
La Doctora's words true, powerful, moral,
Ethical
The way to create a just social order
Established power resists
Weakness and desperation their
Commanders
Violence and terror their tools
Killings, assignations, woundings,
Disappearings
Visible results
The violence of poverty must be kept in
Place
It wears one down to live like this
It's an outrage

 

APPO security barrier works
Even when PFP begin lobbing tear gas
And
Demonstrators hurl canisters back
Each time they are successful
Loud hurrahs
From hurlers, other demonstrators
And
Citizens supporting and witnessing
PFP is definitely not welcome in Oaxaca

 

At Santo Domingo APPO Encampment
Marchers fill up the streets
And
All surrounding areas
Packed like sardines in that well-used can
Families with children in arms, youths, elders
Indigenous women, some identifiable by their
Overdresses
Always by the long black hair
Indigenous men in work clothes
Beat up white straw hats
Sandals and work boots
In from the countryside

 

Speaker after speaker praises
Non-violent discipline of marchers
Stress the importance of continuing
The Struggle
Across the sleeping and cooking areas
Lines securing the overhanging tarps
Hold images of the many arrested, killed, Disappeared
One speaker reads the names of those killed
After each name is read
"Died for Oaxaca"
Wells up from mouths full
Sounds from deep inside
Volcano erupting

 

In the following quiet announce
Early morning
Marcos Manuel Sanchez Martinez
Student at Technological Institute
Shot point blank in chest
Critical condition
If make it, long recuperation
Paramilitary assassins early risers
Neck, chest, back
Designed to kill or to leave severely
Damaged
URO and PRI pay well
Those soulless ones

 

It's the latter part of the afternoon
Sun soft on Santo Domingo Encampment
The rally closes
Arms raised fingers spread out
Reaching, affirming
"We Are APPO. APPO Is Us"

 

People gather in affinity groups
Talk
Plan
Take responsibility
Laugh

 

It's time to eat
Women are preparing food
Working dough with hands and flattening in
Press
Cooking on large concave stoves fueled by
Wood
Supporters, family, neighbors have brought
Huge vats of beans and rice, chiles, mole,
Vegetables
Food is free to all
Queue up, take paper plate
Sit on curb, talk with person next to you
Triqui women beautifully presente
Golden time of community

 

It was a good day
APPO discipline of non-violence held
PFP didn't come out of the zocolo
Would this were the future
During the night
Paramilitary clock-in