Democracy in the streets and assemblies of Oaxaca

appo.jpgFirst some background and then, if you read on below, some resources.

“Today, Friday November 11th”, a friend writes, “the Constituent Congress of the APPO [ASAMBLEA POPULAR DE LOS PUEBLOS DE OAXACA] was officially begun in the city of Oaxaca. Announced after the First State Assembly of the People’s of Oaxaca in late September, the purpose of the Congress is to formalize the structure, permanent leadership, and objectives of the APPO, as well as to agree on a medium and long term plan of action. The Congress will continue through Sunday. Much will be written about it over the coming days, but I wanted here simply to point out that most of today was spent registering the delegates — a process alloted two hours has taken the whole day. Why? The answer reveals something important about the nature of the APPO. Here is the language, roughly translated, from the formal Invitation to participate in the Congress:

“Delegates will have the right to speak and vote as long as they are accredited… as delegates of their communities, ejidos, organizations, unions, neighborhoods, schools, ranches… or municipalities, etc: based on the following:”

3 delegates per neighborhood (”barrio o colonia”)
5 delegates per municipality or “pueblo indigena”
3 delegates per nucleus of ‘communeros o ejidatarios”
3 delegates per municipal agency
3 delegates per social organization
3 delegates per union
3 delegates per school
2 delegates per barricade
2 delegates for each sector of Section XXII”

The calculation expresses a kind of physiognomy of the movement. Note that each barricade (essentially a neighborhood block) is accorded the same voice as a sector of the teachers union.”

Here are the first results of the constituent process: a) The 17 November Appo declaration, followed by b) the general summary of the results of the work group of the constitutive congress of the popular assembly of the people of Oaxaca. An impressive document, especially for results of work groups 2 and 3. For a good short background and summary piece by La Jornada reporter (this is in English) see this piece by LUIS HERNÁNDEZ NAVARRO posted in Counterpunch. A good source of information and update is narconews site. For an excellent “chronicle of radical democracy” see the article by Gustavo Esteva

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