Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Stop the G8+5, Defend Oaxaca

The borderlands Hacklab [http://sdhacklab.org], Electronic Disturbance Theater [http://www.thing.net/~rdom/ecd/ecd.html] and Rising Tide North America call for a virtual sit-in against the websites of the G8+5 and the Mexican government during the G8+5 meetings on October 3-4th, 2006 in Mexico.

To join the action, click here: http://sdhacklab.org/oaxaca

While the Mexican government tries to play host to the G8+5 Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change, it is mounting a massive violent attack on the people of Oaxaca. Apparently the Mexican government thinks it can cleanse the country of its growing pro-democracy rebellion while laying out a red carpet to world politicians including the G8 Energy Ministers. The neoliberal project of corporate globalization and fossil-fuel-based "energy security" that causes global warming is built on massive violence, from armies to riot police to militarized borders, to turn the global south into its sweatshop and repress the uprisings for justice, democracy, and sustainable livelihood of the people in Mexico and other countries.

While the neoliberal model of industrial "development" sees the remaining indigenous and "undeveloped" lands of the Earth as territories for capitalist exploitation of natural resources and human labor, the schoolteachers leading Oaxaca's popular pro-democracy strike have a different vision. By taking direct action to shut down the tyrannical rule of their state governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, the people of Oaxaca are teaching that another world is possible.

On Sunday, October 1, 2006, a headline in the Mexico City daily Milenio proclaimed, "Preparations for war in Oaxaca," while Mexico City's El Universal newspaper reported that helicopters, planes and 15 troop trucks had assembled in Huatulco, a Pacific tourist getaway and military hub a short flight, but a long and difficult drive from Oaxaca city." According to the independent news website Narconews.com, which has been covering the Other Campaign of the Zapatistas, on Sunday, October1, 2006:

"The Mexican Navy carried out a reconnaissance operation over the buildings and public spaces occupied by the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO in its Spanish initials). Two MI-17 helicopters and one CASA C212 Navy airplane with registration number AMP-118 flew over the streets of the city“ where opponents of Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz have maintained several encampments over the past 130 days “for about 40 minutes."

"The zocalo, or central city square, the Oro and La Ley radio stations, the state government building, the Brenamiel and El Rosario radio antennas, as well as the Department of Finance building" all places where the rebels have installed protest camps “were reconnoitered by low-level flights of military aircraft. As they passed over the Radio Oro facilities, the two helicopters were fruitlessly "attacked" with fireworks that teachers of the National Education Workers' Union local Section 22 launched from Conzatti Garden. The airplane then made four more passes over the areas around the zocalo and returned to the airport, where five other military aircraft were stationed. At 5:30 that afternoon, the naval surveillance plane and two AMHT-202 and AMHT-205 helicopters landed on a city airstrip and let out 18 soldiers in black-and-grey camouflage, bulletproof vests, helmets and firearms."

"Lino Celaya Lur­a, state secretary of Citizen Protection, confirmed that the objective of the military flights was to "reconnoiter" the scene of the conflict, but claimed not to know if this was the prelude to an eventual federal operation to remove the protesters. The state official limited himself to saying: "We were informed that a flight would occur over the areas where the dissidents are present. We believe this is to obtain field information on the situation."

"Meanwhile, from the occupied radio stations, the rebels again declared a maximum alert in the face of what they imagine could be the beginning of a removal/eviction operation against the popular and teachers' movement."

Over half of the Oaxaca's 3.2 million people, most of whom are indigenous, live in poverty, and 21.5 percent of those over 15 are illiterate, while the average number of years of schooling is 5.6 years -- almost two less than Mexico's national average. Many students in Oaxaca's rural schools lack books and desks. In May, tens of thousands of teachers seized the capital's leafy central plaza to demand wage increases and improved school conditions. The following month, Governor Ulises Ruiz sent police to attempt to retake the heart of the city. Since then, radical social movements of workers, peasants, students, women and others have joined the striking teachers, building street barricades and taking over radio and television stations. They demand that Ruiz resign, alleging that he rigged the 2004 election and uses paramilitary gangs to attack dissidents. A total of five "megamarches were organized with the largest reaching the astonishing number of around 300,000 people, or one out of ten people who live in the state.

During the protests, as many as six people have been killed in violent incidents which apparently involved irregular armed groups linked to the Ruiz administration and the police, according to human rights organisations. A number of demonstrators have also been arrested and injured, and further assaults perpetrated against them by organized, unidentified gangs of thugs have been reported.

One example of neoliberal "development" in Mexico with major implications for Oaxaca is Plan Puebla Panama (PPP), a transnational "mega-infrastructure" project that would transform the region's geography and economy if implemented. While claiming that one of its main goals is to improve the conditions for the people of the region, PPP is stealing land from indigenous people for infrastructure projects to move resources more quickly into the hands of multinational corporations and commodifying their culture for the tourist industry. One of the projects affecting Oaxaca is the creation of a super highway at Mexico's skinniest point, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, in order to move resources more readily across the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This transportation corridor will be surrounded with sweatshops, maquiladoras, operating without labor and environmental protections. For all of these objectives, neoliberal control over the government of Oaxaca is key to the realization of the PPP project.

Mexico has an ugly history of military repression that coincides with major world gatherings occurring inside the country. 38 years ago today, October 2nd, the Mexican military massacred hundreds of student protesters at Tlatelolco, just days before the 1968 Olympic Games began in Mexico City. If military violence against the pro-democracy protesters of Oaxaca occurs before, during or after the G8 meeting in Mexico, the G8 leaders as well as the Mexican military must be held accountable for the injuries and death. To prevent this, we demand that the G8 officials who are meeting this week in Mexico must publicly speak out to condemn the possibility of another Mexican massacre at Oaxaca.

We demand that the G8 end its support of destructive "carbon trading." The G8 is composed of the leaders of the richest 8 countries in the world, who are responsible for the policies of war, criminalization of cross-border human migration, and massive environmental destruction. While they claim to be meeting to solve the climate change crisis, they are in fact discussing carbon trading agreements that will allow corporations to profit while exporting their pollution to the global south. Carbon trading threatens to turn countries like Brazil into a "carbon sink" for the global north while ignoring the underlying capitalist ideology of endless growth and boundless consumption that is creating massive climate change.

Help us stop the G8 by slowing the propaganda systems that the G8+5 and the Mexican Government will be using during the meetings and the attacks to spread disinformation about their actions. As in our previous actions, people from all around the world will make their virtual presence manifest on the doorstep of the G8+5 and the Mexican Government.

To join the action, click here: http://sdhacklab.org/oaxaca


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