Thursday, November 02, 2006

BrownFemiPower: Feminists Must Stand with the Indigenous Women of Oaxaca

The Primary Contradiction directs readers to this essential article by BrownFemiPower:

Why feminists must stand against government oppression in Mexico
Right now, there is a crisis in Oaxaca Mexico. Indigenous peoples have already spent the last five months living under the threat of military invasion by the government of Mexico. On October 27-8, the Mexican government finally followed through and sent the military into Oaxaca. Although the situation may seem complicated to those who are unfamiliar with Mexican politics, what the basic issue boils down to is that the teacher’s union of Oaxaca is demanding that the govenor of Oaxaca step down from his position. Ulises Ruiz has a reputation of violence and anti-labor policies against the people of Oaxaca and the teacher’s union believes that the best way for good faith negotiations to happen would be for him to step down. Various lawmakers in Mexico support the call for him to step down as well.

The longer, more complicated history of this conflict is much too long to go into here, but it basically stems from the oppression of indigenous peoples by the Mexican government. For example, a stepping stone to this violence happened on May 1 of this year when a group of indigenous vendors in Atenco were violently attacked by government forces for attempting to sell flowers at a market. The arrests that occured from that government sponsered attack resulted in many female protestors being raped and sexually violated by the forces. Although this attack proceeds the current attack on Oaxaca, people in Oaxaca use Atenco as a rallying cry–”We are all Atenco.” More clearly, as subcomendante Marcos has noted, the people who protest and live in Oaxaca are largely indigenous. The people who protest and live in Atenco are largely indigenous. The attacks that occured/are occuring against both communities are not isolated or uncommon.

So why should a feminist in the U.S. care about any of this? Clearly, at this point, many feminists haven’t even recognized that there is a conflict occuring to begin with. As I surfed through the big feminist blogs, there are exactly two mentions (one on feministing, one on amptoons). And as I surf on the smaller blogs, with two notable exceptions, almost every mention of this comes from Mexican/Chican@ bloggers.

Read the rest...



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