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(en) Maxico, Alt. Media, One Hundred Days Into the Oaxaca Commune, a Successful Assault on Power is Possible

Date Mon, 18 Sep 2006 16:26:04 +0300

Clarifying in Order to Move Forward By Alberto Hijar Por Esto! September 9, 2006
Brutal, forced globalization and the downfall of Soviet and European socialism demand
the deconstruction of historical power blocs. In Mexico, the defeat of the Institutional
Revolution Party (PRI in its Spanish initials) forms part of the corporately legitimized
political and economic liquidation of the so-called welfare state. The Party of the
Democratic Revolution's (PRD's) losses, like those of the rest of the Euro-communist
nationalist and statist socialist leftist parties, are not absolute. Rather, they are
socially maintained by the hope of winning the Presidency accompanied by corresponding
parliamentarian, state, and municipal representation, where grassroots social
organizations faced with unprincipled political backdoor maneuvering don't fit.

Politics of exclusivity, where a negotiator class operates on behalf of
the state with its back to the people, reduces the place of the people to
the identity offered by the leadership of nationalist state power.
Self-governing and autonomous popular power is reduced to
marginality and precariousness.

The historical bloc of statist leftists define themselves in the struggle.
They are the nationalist part essentially opposed to all organization of
popular power, substituting it with false representations because they
insist on preserving state power at all cost. Here we can see their filthy
alliances opposed to all criticism of their principles and that, in fact,
they are not leftists.

In any event, the Left, faced with the acute crisis of the Nation-State
(not only a crisis of government and not only in Mexico), is defined as
favoring the extinction of the capitalist state in order that the power of
a complete and inclusive nation might emerge. The current historical
phase, according to this strategy, is the construction of popular power
expanded from the power of the proletariat to include those without
traditional employment who are close to or integrated into the
so-called informal economy.

For the false Left deeply rooted in the state and in the defense of its
institutions, the people are passive subjects because they must remain
represented by the leaders. The assembly, the Democratic National
Convention, is a rite, a formality to legitimate those who don't
make room for the practice of popular sovereignty. It's about, in
the end, proclaiming a president in rebellion, or an acting president, or
someone in charge of the government, or provisional leadership, and
assuming as a strategy a personalized struggle accompanied by the
unlikely coordination of the interests of Congress members, senators,
assembly persons, governors, mayors, and the chief of the
Government of Mexico City, who are paradoxically considered legally
elected. The contradiction in the acceptance of one part of the
electoral process would be left resolved in strategic terms by the
outside struggle coordinated with the struggle from inside. What is
necessary is a political party clear in its program, in its strategy, and in
its tactics, something that doesn't exist in Mexico.

The platform of the false left is one of nationalism that is close to the
monopolist imperialism of the state. They demand sovereignty in the
management of energy and land without acknowledging the
corruption in PEMEX and the Secretary of Energy. They have high
hopes for public services in compliance with the slogan “first the
poor” (under state control, of course) and at the same time, state
reform in order to improve the corrupt justice system, infringed
workers' rights, and the devastated countryside. But the practice
proves a different tendency: like no one else, the government of Lopez
Obrador in Mexico City operated against the most fundamental labor
rights, just as those who have followed him have. He handed over
control of the historical downtown area (the Centro Histórico) to
Carlos Slim's corporations, while the popular culture was
subjected to fun diversion in order to attain the Zócalo as territory of
the industry of spectacles, with massive televised concerts for CD
promotions and with an act of popular agitation here and there under
the control of the social climbers on the bandstand. Symbolism was all
that resulted from a grand march against the desafuero with clamoring
multitudes and brigades of PRD supporters demanding that they
silence their chants. Grassroots organizations were conspicuously
absent from the bandstand, and in their place were hot shots on the
rebound from the PRI, “statesmen” as they like to call
themselves. La Jornada's eloquent exaltation of spectacular
figures like Jesusa Rodríguez, Poniatowska, or Taibo II makes us
believe that the great nine-kilometer-long encampment on el Paseo de
la Reforma is boiling over with cultural activity. In the presence of
neighborhood musicians and the instrumental participation of groups
like the Coro de los Pejeviejitos (Choir of Lopez Obrador's Little
Old Men) is proof of the cultural workers who the Mexico City
government never support or acknowledged. This is owed to the need
to contain the popular organization within the limits of the so-called
leadership's orchestration.

To wait and hope for the disenchantment of the National Democratic
Convention attendees would be criminal. We would be shortsighted if
we though the non-conformists' unhappy consciousness was due
to the electoral fraud and nothing more. Starting now, and even before
now, it is urgent that we construct a genuinely sovereign popular
power with a long-term plan against the oppressor and repressor State.
Take, for example, Peoples' Front in Defense of the Land, which
could have been the first Caracol with its Juntas de Buen Gobierno in
the outskirts of Mexico City. The excessive repression hasn't
merited the smallest commentary from the Alliance for the Good of
All (the electoral coalition led by the PRD) – just the predictable
renunciation of Convergencia (a small party that formed part of the

Not a single political party protested the Mexican Interior
Secretary's official congratulation to the murderous repressor of
Atenco, Peña Nieto, during the Meeting of Governors (presided over
by Vincente Fox) in recognition of the preservation of law and order.
The same could be said with respect to Lázaro Cárdenas Batel, who
attacked the miners of SICARTSA (the Lázaro Cárdenas Las
Truchas Iron and Steel company) in the place named after his own

Neither does the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca seem to
merit the attention of López Obrador supporters, despite the popular
power that was proven by the organization's ability to increase its
strength in the wake of the violent eviction attempt of June 14. The
reinstallation of the encampments, accompanied by the necessary
self-defense and the corresponding security measures, included the
occupation of eleven government offices and the Oaxaca Corporation
of Radio and Television, which was being used by the repudiated Gov.
Ulises Ruiz for his self-exonerating propaganda. This was the
response to the attack by paramilitaries protected by municipal and
federal police that burned buses, threw acid on Radio
Universidad's equipment, and shot at protestors, killing five so far.
Now the radio stations La Ley and Oro are communications media
with open telephone lines to receive messages, commentaries, and
criticisms of the movement, which has grown in all of Oaxaca with
the occupation of city halls and local and regional assemblies.
Self-defense tactics have also grown accordingly.

Everything that the enemy privatizes and corrupts must be liberated
and socialized, just as has occurred with the Guelaguetza. What was
once a tourism business has been recuperated as the peasants'
divinely titled land, which calls the producers of all wealth, the
workers, to join in the fiesta that integrates work and pleasure.

The Other Campaign seems to be waiting on the sidelines until the
lifeless bodies of populist statism are taken away, when it will once
again raise the flags of the Left from below. But since the Indigenous
Gathering in Campeche, Delegate Zero has welcomed the APPO and
asked that people not be confused by the silence of those who are
liberated from the State's electoral times, but instead create
liberatory times with new territories. In any case, many adherents to
the Other Campaign will be in the National Democratic Convention,
perhaps to denounce the expropriation of the name given by the EZLN
to a meeting held in Chiapas toward the end of 1994. Since the
condition of being adherents doesn't precisely define their rights
and obligations, and since there is no longer any civilian Zapatista
Front, each organization loyal to the Sixth Declaration will act
according to their own knowledge and understanding, creating a
complex relationship with the statist and institutionalist false left.

What is certain is that, in the face of a globalizing corporate rightwing
bloc that has chambers of commerce, monopolies, and cartels that are
all associated with the state (the administrator of maximum
concentrated profit), there is a need to act from now to December 1,
when the rightist puppet will take power amid blood, fire, and televised
verbal diarrhea. It will be necessary to cultivate, in turn, a national
program of struggle from Atenco, Oaxaca, the Other Campaign, the
Popular Assembly of Michoacán, and those that follow, workers
against union charrismo [the alliance of corrupt union leaders, bosses,
and the state apparatus] and in favor of workers councils exercising
the sovereignty of the people guaranteed in Article 39 of the
Constitution (“…All public power comes from the people, and it
is instituted for their benefit. The people have, at all times, the
inalienable right to alter or modify the form of their government.”).

One hundred days into the Oaxaca Commune, a successful assault on
power is possible. The Paris Commune lasted fifty days in 1871, the
same number that the St. Petersburg Soviet lasted in 1905.
Eurocentric revolutionaries offer these events as the example to
follow. Today its time to reclaim the 100 days of resistance in Oaxaca
as the exemplary point of departure for the constructive history and
geography of the new richly complex and inclusive nation. The great
historical obstacle of the nation-state, still maintaining the power of
conviction, has begun its definitive collapse, though not without
demonstrating the danger of its last recourse: military and police
power along with disinformation broadcasted on the televisions,
radios, and newspapers. It is necessary to act accordingly, opposing
the sermon of the informe [the Mexican president's
state-of-the-union speech] with the information of a people in

Click here for more from The Other Journalism with the Other
Campaign http://www.narconews.com/otroperiodismo/en.html

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