Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Labor Resolution in Solidarity with the People of Oaxaca

Labor Resolution in Solidarity with the People of

[Note: The following resolution was adopted unanimously
by the Delegates Meeting of the San Francisco Labor
on Monday, November 13, 2006.]

Resolution in Solidarity with the People of Oaxaca

Whereas, 70,000 teachers in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico
-- organized in Section 22 of the National Teachers
Union (SNTE) -- went on strike in May 2006 demanding
that all teachers across the State receive wage
increases and wage parity, and that all school children
be provided with shoes, breakfast and uniforms to go to
school; and

Whereas, in June 2006, the government of the State of
Oaxaca, led by Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, unleashed
the first brutal attack against the strike encampments
set up by teachers and their supporters; death squads
working with state authorities assassinated striking
teachers; and

Whereas, the people of Oaxaca -- through their labor,
community, political, religious and indigenous
organizations -- then rallied behind the teachers and
formed a Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca
(APPO) to urge the authorities to meet the strikers'
just and legitimate demands, and, with the Teachers, to
demand the resignation of Governor Ruiz. At that point
it became not only a teachers' strike, but a powerful
people's strike for justice and against violent
repression; and

Whereas, on October 29, 2006, the Federal government of
President Vicente Fox sent in 4500 special troops to
tear down the barricades and many of the encampments
that the Teachers and people of Oaxaca had created to
defend their strike; and

Whereas, Mexicans across the political spectrum have
commented on the not-so-behind-the-scenes role of the
U.S. Embassy. The Bush-appointed U.S. Ambassador Tony
Garza stated on October 28 that the Fox administration
had delayed too long, and needed to send in Federal
troops to Oaxaca. An hour later Fox announced his
decision to send in troops, which he implemented the
following day; and

Whereas, over the first six months of struggle in
Oaxaca, more than 20 people have been killed, including
a north American video journalist, and hundreds wounded
by troops, police and paramilitary forces. Hundreds
have been "disappeared" (many of them feared dead). And
many hundreds of union and community activists have
been jailed. Yet the popular forces in their hundreds
of thousands have continued to march.

Therefore Be It Resolved, that the San Francisco Labor
Council, AFL-CIO, joins with labor and democratic
rights organizations in Mexico and around the world in
urging the federal and state governments in Mexico to
seek every avenue to a peaceful solution to the
conflict in Oaxaca; and

Be it Further Resolved, that we urge the Mexican
authorities to settle the conflict by meeting the
legitimate demands put forward by the teachers and the
Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca, including:
(1) Immediate withdrawal of all troops and paramilitary
units from the city and state of Oaxaca, (2) Stop the
repression and state-sponsored killings, (3) Removal
from office of Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, instigator
of the reign of terror, (4) Release all detainees and
political prisoners, and (5) Governor Ruiz and others
responsible must be brought to justice.

Be it Finally Resolved, that we forward these demands
to our Labor Councils, National Unions, State
Federations, AFL-CIO and Change to Win Federation,
urging them to embrace these demands and to act in
solidarity with the teachers and popular movement of

(Resolution submitted by Dave Welsh, NALC #214; Alan
Benjamin, OPEIU #3; and Frank Martin del Campo, LCLAA)


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