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(en) Britain, Sheffield Anarchist Federation donated to Oaxaca Anarchists

Date Mon, 12 Nov 2007 21:59:33 +0200

Following a successful benefit gig in a derelict factory, Sheffield AF and pals are pleased to announce all procceeds - £300, have gone to the anarchist resistance in Oaxaca, Mexico. Given that the gig was shut down by the riot squad after only a few hours, this is not a bad achievement - read on to find out why we did it and where the cash will go. --- Sheffield Anarchist Federation are pleased to announce they have now donated £300 to the anarchist movement in Oaxaca. This sum is what was raised at the benefit party plus a few donations. The money was originally going to be handed over to a comrade who has been working in Oaxaca when they came to Sheffield to do a talk, but a very lucky situation arose before then.

At the 27th annual Anarchist Bookfair in London 2 weeks ago we were visited at
the last minute by a Mexican comrade who has been working in the region in the
Allianza Magonista Zapatista, an anarchist collective that is part of the APPO –
the general assembly of workers and peasants that has been the organising forum
for the resistance in the state. With the help of an interpreter we were able to
host a meeting at the Bookfair, which was well received by an audience of about 60.

In May 2006, a teachers' strike began in the Zócalo (the town square) in the
city of Oaxaca. This was the 25th annual strike, and each year it has heralded
popular resistance way beyond the teachers union’s call for better school
funding. After 3000 police were sent to evict the teachers in the Zocalo in the
early morning of June 14, 2006 street battle lasted for several hours that day,
resulting in more than one hundred hospitalizations, calls for the corrupt state
Governor Ulises Ruiz to resign were added to the protest.

In response to the events of June 14, representatives of Oaxaca's state regions
and municipalities, unions, non-governmental organizations, social
organizations, cooperatives, and parents convened to form The Popular Assembly
of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO). On June 17 the APPO reoccupied the town square
and declared itself the governing body, plunging the city into a state of civil
rebellion. Barricades were built across to prevent police raids. Various
municipality offices across the state closed in unity. A popular mantra was, “No
leader is going to solve our problems”. Since this time, the struggle between
the APPO and the state has been constant, and similar attempts at popular
government have gained pace all over Mexico.

(culled from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Oaxaca_protests)

The APPO is a huge body that contains everyone from indigenous assemblies (along
the lines of the Zapatista’s in Chiapas to the south) to parliamentary political
Parties. Because of this it is safest to support specific anarchist or community
groups, in case we end up financing some bastard’s election campaign! The
Mexican comrade works in a majority indigenous community – where people organise
in ways closer to tribal society than in the cities. Decisions largely are made
communally and democratically, and political parties are not trusted or excluded
completely. These communities are often completely ignored by the Mexican state
anyway, being incredibly poor – but are often in the frontlines of the battle
between the people and the neo-liberal state. In his community for instance, the
only source of clean water is a river which the local government want fill with
sewage from a proposed factory. The money we have donated will go towards these
struggles, but also the legal fees of the imprisoned comrades. We are also aware
of plans to help make these communities ecologically sustainable and self reliant.

The money was paid out of the AF Solidarity Fund, which is what all benefit
parties contribute to. The fund exists to support anarchist comrades and
projects all over the world, either on our initiative or on application.
Although we are pretty tight for money in the UK we can make a difference. The
uneven exchange rate system that keeps the developing world dirt poor means that
our money goes much further over there; for instance our Mexican comrade he
could eat out for a week on £5. We hope to raise the Funds’ profile from now on.
Our next event in Sheffield will be February 16th 2008 when we’ll be putting on
the Inner Terrestrials (innerterrestrials.org.uk) plus support in a licensed
venue so hopefully won’t get raided at 8pm this time.

We’d like to say thanks again to everyone who came and helped us out – hopefully
you can see what we are about a bit more clearly now. Its not a few gigs and a t
shirt and its not pile of books and a point of critique - it is the defining
struggle of humanity- and we want you to be a part in whatever way you can.

- The AF

Sheffield Anarchist Federation
- e-mail: sheffield@af-north.org
- Homepage: http://www.afed.org.uk/sheffield/index.html
Pictures - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/11/385646.html
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