I regret not having covered the Oaxaca struggle yet in this blog.
What is being called the "vanguard of the Mexican and Latin American struggles" by the revolutionaries in Oaxaca, this insurrection and occupation of the city, in my view, stands out as a huge milestone on the timeline of leftist revolutions. No, wait, I mean: people's revolutions. The fight for Oaxaca wouldn't be so prominent if it was fought only by insurgents or easily dubbed "guerillas" (despite what the main stream media would like you to think). In reality, the Oaxaca rebels are not just "insurgents." James Daria of Narco News said, in regards to the people's involvement:
Could this be the forefront of a full-scale socialist revolution in Latin America? One wouldn't be alone if they thought so. This comes in tune with the election of notorious leftists Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), and even the former Sandinista and Marxist Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua). However, the Oaxaca revolt differs in its style. It is not a political revolution. It did not bring about a change of power through electoral workings. Instead, it was the mass movement of the people. In the true style of Mikhail Bakunin, it was a collectivist assault on the ruling class.
"Throughout the course of the battle the residents of the community came out in support of the protesters. While the front lines ferociously battling police were made up mostly of Oaxacan youth, there were large numbers of older adults and many women among the ranks of the rebels. Whole families came out in solidarity with the movement. Many residents watched from their roofs and others brought out their mirrors to try and blind the pilots of the helicopters."
The reaction of the Oaxaca peoples may have started under the guise of an annual teachers strike, a yearly attempt that started in the late '70's with a call for more funding for public school uniforms, lunches and supplies. When it was met with police repression in May of 2006, however, it literally turned into a supernova, sparking the people to fight not just for the rights of the teachers' union, but also for the entire working class. Activists with true dedication took to the streets to battle the PFP and PRI backed paramilitary forces. Why Chicano police would continue to battle their brothers and sisters is beyond me. A police officers pay is no better than any other working person. It always struck me as ludacris that police would try and silence a working class movement, especially one that benefit all involved. Over all though, police who do not side with this struggle should not be constantly spared so as to try and gain muscle. We cannot constantly forego the dirty work to keep our hands clean, if that makes any sense.
This all being said, and my solidarity with the Oaxaca rebels clear, there are problems with their tactics and working that leave me frustrated. For example, one can look at the recent day of brutality that saw full-on gunfire coming from PFP forces.
On November 25, two days ago from this posting, a peaceful demonstration in one of Oaxaca's main parks brought the deaths of three people by gunfire and the wounding of many others. In an attempt to form a human sheild around the PFP and PRI forces (peacefully), the APPO and other revolutionaries were met with tear gas and bruising force from the police and other governmental tools. When the need for self-defense was made evident, the revolutionaries responded with stones, slingshots and small-scale expolosives, a mere set of toys next to the PFP's goliath weapons. Overreacting, but reacting expectantly, the PFP returned fire with live ammunition, wounding dozens and causing even deaths. This is where my problem gives rise.
Why haven't the Oaxaca rebels fought fire with fire?
Peace is a wonderful thing and many would give anything in their possession to attain it, namely our brothers and sisters in Oaxaca. One must be ready to fight for peace though, as backwards as it may sound. Stones can do so much in biblical times, but when facing the fascism of a coporate plutocracy, the resistance of workers with guns says a lot more. The weapons population may be thin, but in true Zapatista spirit, armed revolt speaks much louder. Every effort to peace must be tried before using such violent methods, some say. In reality though, haven't the Oaxaca rebels tried peace? They have given peace a chance but only to have that turn into the spilled blood of almost 15 innocent people. John F. Kennedy said it best when he said "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable." The PFP are making a peaceful change of government impossible. The only way the APPO can/should respond now is with an explosion of armed revolutionary fervor. Only they can bring about the change, no outside governments or elections will do justice. They really do have a "world to win."