Friday, 3 August 2007

Demonstrations in Oaxaca, Mexico - An Article by Ilia Milev

We are delighted to bring you another article contribution from Spanish SLLU member Ilia Milev. This time, he highlights the plight of oppressed demonstrators in Oaxaca, Mexico, and its wider implications.

Demonstrations in Oaxaca (Mexico) were some titles on the news two weeks ago, in small squares and in minor letters. Again, some news explained whether it was an anecdote or at least something not normal. Worst of all, some news in the official media in Mexico said the demonstrators are Mexico’s enemies. But nothing is so far from reality; Oaxaca, it's just the tip of the iceberg in a country where 26 million people cannot receive any kind of medical attention, and where 19 million people cannot eat daily an average meal, while it is in this same country where Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, lives: a very important signal that poverty is absolutely associated to the enrichment of others.

In Oaxaca we have both the protest of public teachers due to their poor salaries and the protest of Indians, an oppressed group, and all this is a replica of the riots that happened last year. This time the tumults happened because the protesting groups were carrying out their own alternative to a very popular tradition called Gelaguetza, and they were repressed by the police and by some paramilitaries.

There is an important lesson to be extracted from here, i.e. attacks against public education occur where the capitalist government wants to repress people, which means an attack against people’s opportunity to emancipate and rise. The attempt to vanish the right to have an egalitarian education is the common behaviour of conservative and reactionary governments. But something else can be found here: the attempt to denigrate people has to do with the business world: what was the source of Oaxaca’s wealth? Much wood in its forests some years ago, but nothing nowadays.

But Oaxaca is not alone, this is a problem that has extended to all Mexico, and a slight majority of Mexicans agree with that protest. Maybe if all people could contrast the information on different media and they could look for the truth, they all would be supporting Oaxaca and they would be starting a new revolution in Mexico (as it could almost have happened with Lopez Obrador's protests). But also in Europe, we must say that they are not alone and we must support them. Everybody remembers Chiapas and Subcomandante Marcos, but we must also remember that the problem is spreading in Mexico: Guerrero, Mitxoacan, Veracruz, Tijuana. Mexico could still give us a lesson to all leftists in the world.

Ilia Milev

Remember, all SLLU members are welcome to use this blog as a platform for raising awareness of social justice issues worldwide. If you would like your voice to be heard, please submit your article inworld on a notecard to higgleDpiggle Snoats, Plot Tracer, or SLUL Revolution. Also feel free to leave your comments here! We would like to encourage debate on any of the issues raised in these articles, and in so doing, to strengthen the aims of SLLU as an international forum for Leftist discussion, education, and exchange of ideas and information.

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