CASA - Colectivos de Apoyo, Solidaridad, y Apoyo
CASA hosts and educates activists about social justice issues in Oaxaca and Chiapas.
We share lessons we learn from the resistance movements in Mexico with our home communities. We publish news and analysis in our monthly newsletter, host and provide workshops for short-term solidarity delegations, and coordinate speaking events.
Mission: CASA, Colectivos de Apoyo, Solidaridad y Acción, responds to the call for international solidarity with grassroots indigenous and campesino movements by maintaining a center in Mexico for education, support, and activism in Oaxaca. We seek to further social justice and sustainable development in Mexico and the United States through education, network building and facilitating first hand experience of globalization and human rights issues. We collaborate with other non-governmental organizations and local communities according to the needs, demands, and methodologies they express.
To find out more, visit http://www.casacollective.org
Teaching Rebellion: Stories from the Grassroots Mobilization in Oaxaca
Edited by Diana Denham and the C.A.S.A. Collective
Pub Date: September 2008
Page Count: 384 pages
Size: 8.5 by 5.5
Subjects: Current Events, Social Justice
In 2006, Oaxaca, Mexico came alive with a broad and diverse movement that captivated the nation and earned the admiration of communities organizing for social justice around the world. The show of international solidarity for the people of Oaxaca was the most extensive since the Zapatista uprising in 1994. Fueled by long ignored social contradictions, what began as a teachers' strike demanding more resources for education quickly turned into a massive movement that demanded direct, participatory democracy.
Hundreds of thousands of Oaxacans raised their voices against the abuses of the state government. They participated in marches of up to 800,000 people, occupied government buildings, took over radio stations, called for statewide labor and hunger strikes, held sit-ins, reclaimed spaces for public art and created altars for assassinated activists in public spaces. In the now legendary March of Pots and Pans, two thousand women peacefully took over and operated the state television channel for three weeks. Barricades that were built all over the city to prevent the passage of paramilitaries and defend occupied public spaces, quickly became a place where neighbors got to know each other, shared ideas and developed new strategies for organizing.
Despite the fierce repression that the movement faced--with hundreds arbitrarily detained, tortured, forced into hiding, or murdered by the state and federal forces and paramilitary death squads--people were determined to make their voices heard.
"Once you learn to speak, you don't want to be quiet anymore," an indigenous community radio activist said. Accompanied by photography and political art, Teaching Rebellion is a compilation of testimonies from longtime organizers, teachers, students, housewives, religious leaders, union members, schoolchildren, indigenous community activists, artists and journalists--and many others who participated in what became the Popular Assembly of the People's of Oaxaca. This is a chance to listen directly to those invested in and affected by what quickly became one of the most important social uprisings of the 21st century.
"Teaching Rebellion presents an inspiring tapestry of voices from the recent popular uprisings in Oaxaca. The reader is embraced with the cries of anguish and triumph, indignation and overwhelming joy, from the heart of this living rebellion." --Peter Gelderloos, author of How Nonviolence Protects the State
"These remarkable people tell us of the historic teachers' struggle for justice in Oaxaca, Mexico, and of the larger, hemispheric battle of all Indigenous people to end five hundred years of racism and repression."
--Jennifer Harbury, author of Truth, Torture and the American Way
" During their marches and protests, whenever the Oaxaca rebels sighted a reporter, they would chant: 'Press, if you have any dignity, the people of Oaxaca demand that you tell the truth.' Teaching Rebellion answers that demand, with ample dignity, providing excellent context to understand the 2006 uprising and extensive and eloquent interviews with the participants themselves; an amazing read and an important contribution to the literature of contemporary rebellion."
--John Gibler, author of Mexico Unconquered: Chronicles of Power and Revolt
About the Editors:
Diana Denham currently coordinates C.A.S.A Chapulín, a center for international solidarity in Oaxaca, Mexico. Before moving to Oaxaca, she worked on squatters' settlements with the Landless Movement for Agrarian Reform in Northeastern Brazil. She also produced The Right to Share in Our Common Wealth, a documentary film about a local political project implemented by the Workers Party aimed at the inclusion of traditionally marginalized sectors of Brazilian society.
The C.A.S.A. Collective facilitates the work of international activists as human rights observers, independent journalists and volunteers for grassroots organizations.
Ensenando Rebeldia: Historias de la Lucha Popular Oaxaquena
Editors: Diana Denham and the C.A.S.A Collective
Publisher: PM Press
Published: March 2011
Page Count: 382
Dimensions: 8.5 by 5.5
Subjects: Current Events, Social Justice, Libros en Espanol
Acompañada de fotografías y arte político, esta compilación poderosa de testimonios de organizadores, artistas, amas de casa, periodistas, estudiantes, maestros y otros que participaron en la Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca provee un vistazo abierto y honesto de las protestas oaxaqueñas del 2006 contra la situación política en el estado mexicano--protestas que se convertirían en una de las revueltas sociales más importantes del siglo XX1.
Review: Teaching Rebellion
By Brian Martin
Anarchist Studies Journal Vol 18, No. 2
University of Wollongong, Australia
The overall story is both inspiring and distressing: inspiring in showing the people’s capacity to run their own communities without rulers and distressing in the measures taken by rulers – including arrests, frame-ups, beatings and shootings – to repress the movement. Repression was the trigger for mobilisation but also the key force restraining it, raising the question of how to promote self-rule without repression to ignite outrage.
New Book Surveys Oaxaca Uprising to Teach Rebellion
By Hans Bennett
Upside Down World
“I am 77-years-old. I have two children, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren…My children are scared for me. It’s just that they love me. Everyone loves the little old granny, the mother hen of all those eggs. They say ‘They’re going to send someone to kill you. They’ll put a bullet through you.’ But I tell them, ‘I don’t care if it’s two bullets.’ I’ve become fearless like that. God gave me life and He will take it away when it is His will. If I get killed, I’ll be remembered as the old lady who fought the good fight, a heroine, even, who worked for peace…Hasta la victoria siempre. That’s what I believe,”says Marinita, a lifetime resident of Oaxaca, Mexico. Marinita was one of the many participants in the 2006 Oaxaca rebellion, whose first-hand account is featured in the new book released by PM Press, titled Teaching Rebellion: Stories from the Grassroots Mobilization in Oaxaca.
Stories from the Grassroots Mobilization in Oaxaca
By Duygun Gokturk
Political Media Review
Teaching Rebellion; Stories from the Grassroots Mobilization in Oaxaca reflects the spirit of the historical teachers’ struggle in Oaxaca, Mexico in the spring of 2006, which is rooted in the principal of radical (direct) democracy and social justice. The narratives assembled in this book are the voices of political implications of theory drawn from the experimental frameworks within this community struggle for “living wage, infrastructure repair, free school books and social services for poor students” (p.25). As the authors state, this book “is not a definitive assessment of the movement that took shape in Oaxaca in 2006, nor is it a comprehensive collection of the stories that people lived and carry with them…it is an effort to represent a cross-section of Oaxacan society, to reflect both the diversity of actors and the diversity of their experiences…”(p.21). This grassroots mobilization characterizes the movement active in challenging societal structures first started by the National Union of Educational Workers in Oaxaca. After a short while, unification of various citizens’ mobilization has evolved into one of the largest and most tactfully organized community struggles in the country, and at least a million people have taken to the streets to demand social justice. Within Teaching Rebellion the centrality of praxis activates capacities, ideals and solidarities capable of challenging and reformulating societal structures. As one indigenous community radio activist stated, “once you learn to speak, you do not want to be quiet anymore”.
Teaching Rebellion: Stories from the Grassroots
By Peter Gelderloos
The popular rebellion that broke out in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca in the summer of 2006 caught the attention of people around the world even before the federal police moved in to crush it violently. For half a year, Oaxaca City and many of the surrounding towns were effectively self-organized through popular assemblies. A broad coalition of teachers, indigenous, students, artists, environmentalists, unemployed, and others came together to press their demands for the resignation of the state's particularly brutal governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, and to create a new, compassionate, and anti-authoritarian society, without the interference of political parties.
Teachers in Oaxaca: A Review
By Dan La Botz
The interviews in Teaching Rebellion were done by the C.A.S.A. Collective, "a group of international activists, human rights observers, and volunteers for grassroots organizations." The 23 subjects of the interviews come from many walks of life in Oaxaca -- teacher, student, housewife, vendor, reporter, and many others. The oldest person interviewed was in her 70s and the youngest just 9 years old, though most were young adults and middle aged people who had taken part in the movement, including involvement in the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) which became for a while a kind of alternative government, peoples' government in the city. The interviews constitute a view of the movement from the grassroots.