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(en) Britain, Resistance #89 - ON THE FRONTLINE

Date Thu, 23 Nov 2006 13:19:59 +0200


Mexican waves of resistance and repression
3,500 police backed by armoured vehicles and helicopters retook control of the
Mexican city of Oaxaca on Sunday (29th) following five months of occupation by
striking teachers and other activists. Burning barricades were no match for
the additional 6,500 military personnel, water cannons and tear gas, as physical
resistance was crushed.
Teachers and their supporters have been demonstrating since May against a
corrupt authoritarian state regime, guilty also of seriously underfunding
local education.
Included on their list of demands were outrageous requests for more textbooks,
breakfasts for schoolchildren, scholarships, uniforms, shoes, medical services
and better pay. The clincher, perhaps, was their
demand for the resignation of the Governor,
Ulises Ruíz Ortíz, who has been busy using
the usual array of tactics available to Mexi-
can cops, with disappearances, beatings
and torture being used against so called
`subversive elements' for some time.
"An unrivalled success story", the Econo-
mist investment rag says about Mexico's
economy. This is despite the fact that the
richest 10% of Mexicans own around 60%
of the wealth, a gap that continues to rise,
along with the number of poor and hun-
gry, despite all the `sustained economic
growth'.
One of the demands was for an increase
in the minimum wage. During the 1990s
the value of the Mexican minimum wage
actually fell by 5%. In Oaxaca the mini-
mum is lower than in most places as the
government keep the rate down cos they
-------------------------------------------------------
Mexican waves of resistance and repression

3,500 police backed by armoured vehicles
and helicopters retook control of the Mexi-
can city of Oaxaca on Sunday (29th) fol-
lowing five months of occupation by strik-
ing teachers and other activists. Burning
barricades were no match for the additional
6,500 military personnel, water cannons
and tear gas, as physical resistance was
crushed.
Teachers and their supporters have been
demonstrating since May against a corrupt
authoritarian state regime, guilty also of
seriously underfunding local education.
Included on their list of demands were out-
rageous requests for more textbooks, break-
fasts for schoolchildren, scholarships, uni-
forms, shoes, medical services and better
pay. The clincher, perhaps, was their de-
mand for the resignation of the Governor,
Ulises Ruíz Ortíz, who has been busy using
the usual array of tactics available to Mexi-
can cops, with disappearances, beatings
and torture being used against so called
`subversive elements' for some time.
"An unrivalled success story", the Econo-
mist investment rag says about Mexico's
economy. This is despite the fact that the
richest 10% of Mexicans own around 60%
of the wealth, a gap that continues to rise,
along with the number of poor and hun-
gry, despite all the `sustained economic
growth'.
One of the demands was for an increase
in the minimum wage. During the 1990s
the value of the Mexican minimum wage
actually fell by 5%. In Oaxaca the mini-
mum is lower than in most places as the
government keep the rate down cos they
reckon it's cheaper to live in a poor place,
so why pay so `em more money?! After all,
along with Chiapas and Guerrero, Oaxaca
is amongst the poorest three states in
Mexico and that makes that ten-bedroomed
Hacienda a much more affordable holi-
day home for a weary Mexican stock bro-
ker.
On May 15th, National Teachers Day in
Oaxaca, teachers threatened a week long
state-wide strike if their demands were not
met. They weren't and a week later a
40,000-strong group of mainly teachers
and other union activists occupied the cen-
tre of the city. Such actions have been com-
mon for the last 25 years in Oaxaca but
this was bigger and commanded much
more support amongst the general popu-
lation than usual.
The occupation continued until 750 police
stormed in on June 14th in maximum re-
pression mode. Local media reported four
deaths from the ensuing violence and the
teachers' radio station, Radio Plantón, was
trashed. Soon after, though, students at the
Benito Juarez Autonomous University of
Oaxaca seized the uni station which had a
much more powerful transmitter.
On 8th August, police infiltrators poured
sulphuric acid on that equipment, but by
this time TV Caserolas had been running
for 8 days. The state-owned Chanel 9 sta-
tion was seized and re-named after the
women who had marched on the station
banging pots and pans.
Before they were booted out on 21st Au-
gust, TV Caserolas had paraded a host of
Mexicans on the telly ­ each of whom gave
a withering commentary on what neo-lib-
eralism meant to them - the loss of land to
developers and the ramshackle rural moun-
tain schools without toilets; the thousands
of communities without safe water or sew-
age systems; the rising cost of food and
rent as subsidies are removed in the name
of free trade; and, of course, the continu-
ing falls in the value of those wages.
By July, 365 grassroots organisations move-
ments had joined up to form the Popular
Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).
NO APPO-LOGIES
Meanwhile under "Operation Iron," Ruiz
was busy renovating the prison in the city
of Tlocolula. He's overseen a development
to double its capacity and keen to keep
costs low, Ruiz has not bothered building
any extensions preferring simply to put a
partition wall in each cell! Many prominent
activists are, however, more worried that
they won't even make it to prison, convinced
of an impending wave of repression that is
sure to follow the recapture of the city.
As government top brass debated what to
do, primary school teacher, Pánfilo
Hernández Vásquez was shot dead as he
left a public assembly. His death brings the
average number of murdered teachers,
activists and indigenous leaders to one a
week since May. They were joined last Fri-
day by New York-based Indymedia journal-
ist Brad Will, who was shot dead along with
three others as pro-government militia
opened fire on the unarmed demonstra-
tors.
President Vincent Fox finally authorised the
the really heavy squad, the Federal Preven-
tative Police (PFP) to `retake' the city mili-
tary style, last Sunday. Since then things
have quietened a little with the heavy on-
going military presence, but resistance con-
tinues and people's spirit and determina-
tion seems unbroken.
Whilst President Fox declared victory, an-
nouncing "the return to peace" in Oaxaca,
as we go to press, the University of Oaxaca
is under attack with the PFP launching tear
gas in an attempt to evacuate the premises.
Radio APPO is currently still managing to
braodcast (have a listen at http://
icecast.v2v.cc:8000/appo1.mp3). The
Zapatistas have called for a general strike
and national day of action on November
20th.
Triggered largely by Brad Will's murder,
there have been a series of actions in the
US and around the world. In the UK, a pro-
test against the repression took place in
front of the Mexican Embassy in London
on Monday evening. Eight arrests followed
an attempt to project Brad Will's final foot-
age on to the embassy itself.
From an article in Schnews:
w w w. s c h n e w s . o r g . u k / a r c h i v e /
news567.htm


--------------------------------------------------------------
Anti-war round-up

Mildenhall Peace Camp
As Israeli bombs were dropping on Leba-
non protesters broke into Prestwick Airport
to try and stop flights of US arms to Israel.
Due to the publicity and possible illegality
of these flights some planes were quickly
diverted to Brize Norton and Mildenhall.
Although we were on `holiday' at the time
­ running workshops at the Big Green
Gathering - we quickly organised a peace
camp at Mildenhall on our return. We
squatted a piece of unused land at the end
of the runway and quickly developed our
plane spotting skills. The MOD and local
police did not give us any problems much
to the annoyance of the airbase ­ "a gad
damn section what!" (referring to our Sec-
tion 6s). There was much local support in-
cluding many teenagers who sat around
our camp fire in the evenings (Mildenhall
not being known for its nightlife). While at
the peace camp we checked on Lakenheath
and although we did not find planes bound
for Israel we saw cluster bombs being
handled at one of the munition dumps.

The Lakenheath Eight
Lakenheath is one of the trio of military
bases on the Norfolk/Suffolk boarder along
with Feltwell and Mildenhall and is home
to the 48th Fighter Wing (Ensuring
Freedom's Future). The F15Es at the base
are capable of carrying nuclear bombs and
it is believed that there are 110 B61 (pos-
sibly B61-11 bunker busters) being stored
at the base. Although they can neither `con-
firm of deny the presence of nuclear weap-
ons at RAF Lakenheath they have won a
nuclear safety award which is a bit of a
give-away.
A demonstration was held at Lakenheath
on the 1st of October and people from the
area plus people staying over from the day
before visiting the base the next morning,
cut the fence and chained themselves to
the gate of the munition dump where we
had seen the cluster bombs. We immedi-
ately phoned the police and told them that
we had secured evidence of war crimes and
would stop the perpertrators from continu-
ing their crimes until the police had time to
investigate. The police responded imme-
diately and after three to four hours we were
being questioned about criminal damage
and Section 128 of SOCPA. We were not
charged but bailed to the police station for
the 30th November 2006.
Section 128
The Serious Organised Crime and Police
Act brought in a new charge of trespassing
on a designated area. Although they were
brought in to stop terrorism - suicide bomb-
ers will definitely be deterred if they can
get £5,000 fine and/or 51 weeks in prison
­ the designated areas seem to be remark-
ably similar to (mainly US) bases where di-
rect action has taken place. The charges
have to be considered by the Attorney Gen-
eral and this probably explains the two
month gap between the arrest
and our return to the police sta-
tion. The first trial of people
being convicted of this offence
is in January 2007.
Conclusion
It has been very useful to take a
wide range of actions; contacts
are made and people gradu-
ally get more involved in politi-
cal activity. Many of the people
taking part on the Lakenheath
and Faslane 365 actions had
never taken part in direct action
before but we had made con-
tact with them through things
such as Mildenhall Peace Camp
and Stop the War marches.
Despite the efforts of Special
Branch who are desperately try-
ing to cause splits between the
peace movement and `violent'
anarchists this does not seem
to be bearing fruit. Most of the
actions have had non-violence
guidelines but this does not
mean that everyone taking part
is a pacifist.
Of course I am not naive
enough to believe if we `ban the
bomb' everything would be
alright, although some people
I have taken action with are.
However many people have
taken direct action for the first
time, have began to question
power, are learning new
organisational skills and trying
to take back control over what
is being done in our name.
As the slaughter in Iraq and
elsewhere continues we will
continue to take such action, for
it is not the like of Bush, Blair or
Bin Laden who suffer but people
like you and me.
Lakenheath8@dsl.pipex.com
-----------------------------------------
Who let the dogs in?

An official `watchdog' has deduced "we are
waking up to a surveillance society all
around us". Richard Thomas, our Informa-
tion Commissioner (whose office was set
up to promote access to official informa-
tion and at the same time protect personal
information) also tells us that he was bark-
ing on about this about this two years ago.
Give the man a bone! How about telling
us something we don't already know? An-
archists have been saying this for decades,
even before 1984! The whimperings of
these 'independent' watchdogs make you
sick with all their talk of needing 'balance'.
Watchdogs give the illusion of debate
amongst the authorities, and make you
think there is some accountability when
there really isn't any. Same goes for indus-
try watchdogs like `Energywatch' that can
do nothing about the gas companies buy-
ing cheap and selling dear, massively in-
creasing domestic fuel prices whilst the gas
companies and their global shareholders
reap their profits.
The only response from governments and
corporations is to create some media spin
to convince us they are listening and lie
that it's not something we should worry
about. So in reply to the Information Com-
missioner, we hear cops on the news say-
ing, oh yes, there might be too any CCTV
cameras in society, whilst at the same time
they are trying to create a national digital
camera network for motor vehicles, and
photographing people on every anti-gov-
ernment demonstration. Again we hear a
supposedly reasonable side of the state
when the reality is waves of repressive laws
and tracking systems that are coming in
fully supported, and many initiated, by the
police. Politicians are only concerned about
losing 'public trust' (read votes). Too late!
What is needed to beat repression and
unwanted surveillance like ID databases,
is mass direct action that refuses to accept
what is happening to what little freedom
exists against overpowering state and capi-
talist bodies. The UK Identity and Passport
Service is building 69 interrogation cen-
tres that will be used for passport applica-
tions & ID cards, whereyou will be expected
to agree to being questioned and finger-
printed. This is unacceptable and must be
opposed. Anti-ID campaigners have al-
ready found the addresses of half of these
centres, mostly by checking up on local
planning applications. No2ID aims to op-
pose planning permission for as many as
possible. The Defy-ID network will meet in
Nottingham this month to work out how to
widen the revolt by getting the entire pack
out of the kennels. We certainly shouldn't
rely on an establishment `top dog' to stop
it for us. Defy-ID - www.defy-id.org.uk
--------------------------------------------------
SUBVERT!

When going on demonstrations stay sober,
don't talk to the police and if you're arrested
give only your name and address then say `no
comment' to any other questions. For more
info visit: www.ldmg.org.uk
www.ldmg.org.uk
.ldmg.org
www.ldmg.org.uk
November
25th - Benefit for Leeds Anarchist Black Cross.
Saturday 25th November at the Afro-Caribbean
Centre, on Park Street, Hull. Gig starts at 6.30pm,
and the night will include top techno from Andy
Mailey, punk and hip-hop spun by Saoirse, and
80's sounds played by Applemax. £5/£3.50 on
the door. As always the proceeds of the benefit
will be used for the direct support of Anarchist
and class struggle prisoners.
Leeds ABC. e-mail: leedsabc@riseup.net ;
Homepage: www.myspace.com/leedsabc
28th - UK Rank and File Building Workers Com-
mittee 2012 Olympics organising meeting.
19:00-21:00 at the Cock Tavern, Chalton Street,
Euston, London.
All building workers and rank and file trade
unionists welcome. Contact 07749 517074
28th - Leicestershire Industrial Workers of the
World (IWW) is holding a Big Screen Film Night
at the Secular Hall, 75 Humberstone Gate, Le-
icester LE1 1WB at 7.00pm on Tuesday 28 No-
vember.
The Wobblies: an excellent and informative docu-
mentary made in the 1970s about the IWW's
historic days, with interviews from a number of
old time IWWers.
Together We Win: The Fight to Organise
Starbucks - made this year, this short film follows
the successes of the contemporary IWW
Starbucks Workers' Union in the US.
There'll be time for discussion and socialising too!
Everybody welcome!
www.leicestershire-iww.org/
December
2nd - National anti-war demonstration at RAF
Brize Norton - where British troops are flown to
and from Iraq and Afghanistan, and from which
Iraqi and Afghani asylum seekers are deported
from. This demo seeks to draw attention to the
massive array of military bases around us, &
broader militarisation of the U.K. Demo sup-
ported by National Stop The War Coalition &
National and CND. Assemble at 12 noon in
Carterton, Oxfordshire. www.stopwar.org.uk For
more email swindon_stopwar@yahoo.co.uk tel
07764563855. For more on the plight of the
deportees see : www.ncadc.org.uk For map of
Carterton see www.multimap.com/map/
browse.cgi?lat=51.7598&lon=-
1.5931&scale=2000
3rd ­ 'Car Crawl' Protest against planned
Newhaven Incinerator. The worlds first drive-thru
protest? Meet in your car 12 noon at North Quay
Road and travel in convoy around Newhaven
arriving at the Hollingdean Depot, Brighton, 3pm,
to be met by Anti-The Waste Local Plan
demonstraters already set up outside the depot.
Best dressed car wins. For more see
www.dove2000.org The incinerator will release
dangerous pollutants such as dioxins and mer-
cury which accumulate up the food chain and
pose a long term health threat see www.no-
burn.org.
--------------------------------------------------------
The Anarchist Federation is an
Federation
organisation of class struggle
anarchists aiming to abolish capi-
talism and all oppression to create
a free and equal society. This is
Anarchist Communism
Communism.
We see today's society as being
divided into two main opposing
classes: the ruling class which con-
trols all the power and wealth, and
the working class which the rulers
exploit to maintain this. By racism,
sexism and other forms of oppres-
sion, as well as war and environ-
mental destruction the rulers
weaken and divide us. Only the
direct action of working class peo-
ple can defeat these attacks and
ultimately overthrow capitalism.
As the capitalist system rules the
whole world, its destruction must be
complete and world wide. We reject
attempts to reform it, such as
working through parliament and
national liberation movements, as
they fail to challenge capitalism it-
self. Unions also work as a part of
the capitalist system, so although
workers struggle within them they
will be unable to bring about capi-
talism's destruction unless they go be-
yond these limits.
Organisation is vital if we're to
beat the bosses, so we work for a
united anarchist movement and
are affiliated to the International
of Anarchist Federations.
The Anarchist Federation has
members across Britain and Ire-
land fighting for the kind of world
outlined above.
If you're interesting in joining con-
tact us at:
Anarchist Federation,
BM ANARFED,
London, WC1N 3XX.
Email: info@afed.org.uk
Also visit: www.afed.org.uk
and www.iaf-ifa.org
Subscriptions to resistance costs
£4 from the address above for 12
issues. A two issue subscription to
our magazine, Organise! for revo- revo-
lutionary anarchism, is also £4.
You can subscribe to resistance
by email for free via the website
above.
----------------------------------------------
* Anarchist Federation bulletin
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