“Another Unwarranted Break-In By Oaxaca Police”
Tear-Gas Launched into House with Two-Year Old Inside
By Nancy Davies
Commentary from Oaxaca
December 9, 2008
The Preventive and Municipal Police of Oaxaca broke into a house at 408 Crespo Street in the center of the city at 12:30 AM on Monday December 8, 2008. The house, where some young anarchists live, serves also as a cultural space. The house is named “Casa Autonoma Solidaria Oaxaqueña de Trabajo Autogestivo,” Oaxaca Autonomous Solidarity House of Self-Generated Labor.
According to the report issued by the anarchist coalition, at approximately 12:30 midnight two patrol cars of the state preventative police violently accosted two compañeros with no reason, as they were leaving the house. The two were obliged to show their documents and one was forced into a patrol car. The occupants of the house rushed to the rescue.
After the residents wrestled their friend away from the police and went inside, about 15 summoned preventive police burst into the house with guns blazing. Tear gas filled the rooms despite the presence of women and a two year old child. The police smashed the front door and windows, while random gunfire damaged the ceiling and facade of the house. Several occupants were badly injured by rocks and billy-clubs, as well as by gas intoxication. One lost a tooth and his hand was broken.
For several weeks a young American couple had participated in the cultural center and household, and they had told me they suspected the neighbors had called the police because of allegations of “anarchists selling marijuana”. (The fact was that a foreigner was selling marijuana on the street in front of the house.) Police watched the house, parked outside, for several weeks. The Americans left with considerable anxiety, and it is not clear to me if the police waited until they moved out, or did not actually know. The Casa, with its anarchist affiliates Colectivo Magonista and Voces Oaxaqueños Construyendo Autonomia y Libertad (VOCAL), declared that the action was “planned by the government as a consequence of their (the anarchists’) participation in the social movement of 2006 and the APPO.” These groups continue in opposition to the government of Ulises Ruiz and seek a profound radical change in the social policies of the state.
It certainly is clear that the police had no warrants and grabbed a person at random.
The Casa activities include political discussion about constructing a new society independent of the government, both politically and economically, with various free workshops on themes such as graphics, cooking, recycling, urban agriculture, textbook editing and printing, and repairing and using electronic equipment.
The press release issued by Casa indicated also that this aggression is no way an isolated case, and will not deter the struggle for a society with peace, justice, liberty and dignity. Casa called on the people, Section 22 and the APPO to stand firm, especially in the light of government attempts to undermine the APPO’s reorganization assembly scheduled for the beginning of 2009.
I went up to Crespo Street on Monday evening. The house front shows clearly the smashed glass. About seventy-five young people, including VOCAL activist David Venegas, gathered to block traffic, in peaceful retaliation for the arbitrary break-in. They stood and sat in the road. No police were anywhere. Down the hill I could see in the dusk the headlights of cars and buses turning off onto other streets, making no attempts to approach on their normal route. The young people were virtually isolated, so that the brief speeches made with a megaphone were heard by only a handful of on-lookers.
As is usual in Oaxaca, when the police should be present, such as for accosting delinquent graffiti taggers, or defending property against thugs, or for a traffic blockade, they were nowhere to be seen. However they arrived armed and in full riot gear on Crespo at 12:30 AM Monday.
Another protest blockade is scheduled for Wednesday, December 10, also at 5:00 PM.
Click here for more Narco News coverage of Mexico
Narco News is funded by your contributions to The Fund for Authentic Journalism.
Please make journalism like this possible by going to The Fund's web site
and making a contribution today.
- The Fund for Authentic Journalism
For more Narco News, click here.