Workers Vanguard No. 883

5 January 2007



Free All Oaxaca Protesters Now!

(Class-Struggle Defense Notes)

We print below a December 23 Partisan Defense Committee protest letter that was sent to Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior, Francisco Javier Ramírez Acuña, and the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C.

We protest the bloody crackdown against supporters of the Oaxaca teachers and against members of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO). According to the National Commission on Human Rights, since June 349 people have been arrested, 370 injured and 20 people killed. Those arrested include Flavio Sosa and three other prominent leaders of the APPO, who were arrested on December 4 in Mexico City after having given a press conference that announced their intention to renew talks with the government. At least five students from the National Autonomous University (UNAM) have also been arrested. Some activists were arrested through house-to-house roundups. Those arrested have reported torture, sexual abuse and mistreatment. Many have been transferred to the distant state of Nayarit to separate them from friends and family. Those arrested face charges that are as absurd as they are serious, including robbery, violent robbery, damages, arson, destruction of property, kidnapping and sedition. We demand that all charges against Sosa and all the prisoners be dropped. Free all the APPO supporters! All military forces out of Oaxaca!

The repression continues: the police continue to arrest APPO members, and hundreds of arrest warrants are still unfilled. This repression on the part of the national and state governments is intended to send a message of terror to anybody who protests. In the last year, the government has used deadly force against striking steel workers in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán, peasants in Atenco, and now protesters in Oaxaca. We stand with the tens of thousands of workers, urban and rural poor, students and others who have demonstrated their solidarity with the Oaxaca teachers and the APPO. We demand that the government release all those arrested.