Special from Mexico, after the battle of Ciudad Universitaria
Oaxaca: Seize the offensive again
November 15, 2006
From La Verdad Obrera, November 9, 2006
Translation by Working Class Emancipation
In spite of the fact that the APPO and the people of Oaxaca had to
retreat to Ciudad Universitaria, after the PFP incursion last
weekend, they stayed and organized new barricades, and the leadership
of Section XXII [of the teachers’ union] was unable to impose the
return to classes, because of the existing discontent among rank and
file teachers. The vanguard and the militant masses had lost a
battle, but not the war. The struggle in Ciudad Universitaria on
November 2 that made the repressive forces retreat, proved that.
The battle of Ciudad Universitaria: a victory of the masses
In spite of the PFP’s entry into Oaxaca, with the occupation of the
ZÃ³calo (which was seized five months ago by the APPO and the people
of Oaxaca), at the very end of October, repressive action could not
defeat the movement. Faced with this fact, sectors of the regime
proposed the furlough or resignation of Ulises Ruiz (URO), which
created new crises and discussions in the regime, since the PRI
continues to reject the solution proposed by the PAN and the PRD. The
biggest danger for the institutions is that the masses will see the
departure of URO, which is their central demand, as a victory of
their struggle. Faced with this, to smooth the way toward a
negotiation "among those on top" and put an end, once and for all, to
a struggle that could have an impact on Mexico City and on other
sectors of workers and the people of Mexico, the government, which
had increased attacks on the vanguard during that week, decided to
strike a death blow at the APPO and to move forward in
the "stabilization" and "normalization" of the state, by attacking
Ciudad Universitaria, from where Radio Universidad, the only station
that stayed on the air, kept on broadcasting, and where part of the
barricades were reorganized after the PFP occupied the ZÃ³calo,
transforming it into a new bastion of the struggle.
On November 2, the repressive action by the PFP, strongly armed with
fast, mobile tanks and helicopters, with support from the ministerial
police of the state and paramilitary bands armed with rifles (that,
as Radio Universidad charged, had a caliber of 7.62, used exclusively
by the army) stirred up, as the hours passed, the invasion by
militant students, APPO activism and that of thousands of residents,
who "came down" from the neighborhoods and districts and joined the
struggle, adding academic and administrative workers from the
Universidad AutÃ³noma Benito JuÃ¡rez de Oaxaca. With the slogan, "PFP
Out of Oaxaca," they surrounded the PFP, surpassing it in numbers,
and demonstrating the decision to confront it militarily, with which
they forced it to withdraw and dealt it a defeat, which is one of the
most heroic pages of the Oaxaca Commune and the struggle of the
masses of the country.
In spite of the fact that the leadership of the movement failed to
organize the resistance (and the fact that it was Radio Universidad
that largely centralized and coordinated the actions, calling for no
confidence in the tricks of the Interior Secretariat and the commands
of the PFP), there were sectors of the masses who spontaneously went
out to the streets, confronting the police with the radicalized
methods of this militant vanguard.
This brought the morale of the masses of Oaxaca to its highest point:
as a comrade was saying on Radio Universidad on the same November
2, "June 14 we defeated URO, today we are defeating Fox’s PFP; we
have won a victory. Oaxaca is not Atenco."
The battle of Ciudad Universitaria was decisive in the course of
this struggle, If the betrayal of the teachers’ leader Rueda Pacheco
had been imposed, the movement would have been defeated. It is
because of this that on November 6, more than one million people
mobilized, expressing the great popular support for the APPO in the
streets, retaking the offensive of the movement and putting the
repressive tyrant Ulises Ruiz on the ropes.
The movement is showing a great energy and willingness to struggle. A
policy to spread the struggle and force URO to leave, on the way to
achieving the claims and demands of the workers and people of Oaxaca.
Retake the offensive
It is necessary to deepen this road: the unions should call for a
general strike in the state now, answering the plea made by the APPO.
Now more than ever, we must reject any "cooling-off period" proposed
by the government and the permanent elements of the APPO. We must not
hand over the victory we won in the battle of Ciudad Universitaria.
At the same time, it is urgently necessary to discuss and promote in
the unions a National Strike to force Ulises Ruiz and the troops to
leave Oaxaca. It is essential that we promote this plan of
mobilization and struggle broadly and in a united manner, but with a
perspective independent of the institutions and parties of the
Together with that, let us call for greatly increasing the solidarity
of workers and youth inside and outside of Mexico, deepening the big
internationalist actions that are taking place in other countries.
Let us prove with actions of mobilization and struggle to the heroic
comrades of Oaxaca that they are not alone!
The solidarity caravan that left Mexico City was another big success.
But we must go further. Let us organize a national meeting in support
of Oaxaca. In the different organizations of the Distrito Federal and
other states that support the movement and the unions, we should
elect delegates to this meeting and vote on the necessary tasks and
actions in a united and democratic manner. For its part, the APPO can
help organize a national body that could move forward to a class-
conscious and militant unity, independently of the interests of the
parties of the regime.
Ulises Ruiz, get out!
PFP and troops, get out of Oaxaca!
Long live the Oaxaca Commune!
The victory of the battle of Ciudad Universitaria, the willingness
and disposition to struggle shown by the masses of Oaxaca again pose
the need for a policy to win. There must be no negotiation nor a
return to classes while the PFP is in the state and while URO
continues [in office]. Together with this, we should demand the
immediate release of the political prisoners, the presentation alive
of those who have disappeared and punishment for the murderers and
those involved in repression.
The call for the megamarch of November 6, where a million and a half
people participated, was a big success, because it showed the
government and the PFP the great popular support for the APPO and
puts the movement on the offensive.
Fight for the victory of Oaxaca!
From the LTS-CC we propose that a national strike and a united
national mobilization be carried out, headed by the working class and
its organizations, so that URO leaves once and for all, as part of
the struggle for a provisional government of the APPO and the
organizations in struggle. Since the PRD will try to restrict the
struggle and to divert it to trust in the institutions of "democracy"
(and in a new bourgeois politician), avoiding the radicalization of
the struggle in its methods and demands, an orientation clearly
independent of the PRD is needed to win. Such a victory would
strengthen the national struggle against the "regime of rule by
alternating parties," a struggle whose aim must be to prepare a
general political strike so that Fox, CalderÃ³n and the bourgeois
politicians should leave, on the road to a government of the workers
and their allies in the city and countryside.
URO: Ulises Ruiz Ortiz is the governor of the state of Oaxaca. The
APPO and the people of Oaxaca are asking for his resignation. He is a
member of the PRI.
PRI: Institutional Revolutionary Party, governed Mexico for more than
70 years, until 2000, when the PAN won.
PAN: National Action Party, its candidate Felipe CalderÃ³n was imposed
by fraud in the last elections.
PRD: Party of the Democratic Revolution. LÃ³pez Obrador was its
presidential candidate, condemned the fraud and situates himself as
an opponent of the government.
APPO: Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca, the teachers,
workers and people of Oaxaca meet there.
PFP: Federal Preventive Police, depends on the national government.