|English | Español||August 16, 2017 | Issue #43|
Federal Preventive Police Arrest at Least Fifty Despite Non-Violent Resistance by the APPO
High Presence of Citizens and Awareness on the Streets Give Oaxacans a Sense of Optimism
By Nancy Davies
Photos: D.R. 2006 Nancy Davies
After a while the PFP drove in on three buses and blocked the north and southbound streets of the zócalo. However, shortly after blocking the streets with the buses, the police left the scene heading west, leaving the buses behind unguarded. People from the movement did not wait long to unblock the streets by pushing the buses off the intersections where they had been placed by police.
Later in the afternoon the PFP – standing man to man, in full riot gear – closed off the southeast corner street of the zócalo and sealed off the southwest corner of the square as well, forming a wall with their shields. Behind the line of south-east corner were approximately 200 police officers and a bulldozer; on the other corner there were about fifty police. The people were right in the faces of the police, chanting that “Oaxaca is not Atenco,” among other slogans. The area was filled with press photographers, internationals, and Oaxacan men, kids, and women, who made up the large majority of the crowd. Speeches about maintaining a presence in the zócalo throughout the night were made from the gazebo. People were urged not to confront the police, to maintain their calm and not give the police a pretext for attack. One man, who was carrying a metal bar for protection, was told by another person to leave it behind. After he handed the bar away the people around him started to applaud.
The PFP stayed in the same place for hours were still there when darkness fell. People I spoke to were speculating that the federal police had been surprised by the amount of people on the street and were going to retreat. An air of winning the battle spread, but I’m is not convinced that more violent PFP won’t be seen tonight.
Generally, people went out onto the streets when the PFP moved so they could watch what was going on. Groups of people were standing on each street corner, listening to the radio and informing each other of happenings elsewhere. Surprisingly, most of those standing outside weren’t movement people. I saw a few Oaxacan friends that I know are non-political and are not involved whatsoever. There just seemed to be a general concern about what was happening. There were no pro-PFP sentiments or negative feelings towards the movement, as far as I could see.”
- The Fund for Authentic Journalism