lunes, 9 de noviembre de 2009


CASOTA’s first anniversary

Monday, November 9, 2009
By admin

2009-11-07audience 005

Red Neda: Even though we believe that Oaxaca’s revolutionary movement is diluted with liberal ideologies and the community leaders have fallen in to the illusions of “Non-Violence” and “Peaceful Co-existence” thinking that without demolishing the Bourgeois State and replacing it with the Direct Democracy of the Peoples’ Assemblies, as the sole political authority (State) that has the peoples mandate to govern, they can reach their goals of Social Justice and Democracy; however, we have found their struggle very inspiring that can convince the pessimists of the possibility of the Direct Democratic Order through Peoples’ Assemblies (Councils – Soviets – Communes).

Nancy Davis

CASOTA celebrated its first year anniversary Saturday night, November 7,
2009. Casa Autonoma Solidaria Oaxaqueña de Trabajo Autogestiva translates
as a place of autonomous solidarity and self-generated projects for Oaxaca.
The party was free and open to whoever strolled into a patio sparkling with
banners and artwork, a celebration of communal sharing. Casota filled with
friends, including famous faces like Dr. Bertha Muñoz, whose voice held
Radio Universidad listeners rapt in 2006, and David Venegas, VOCAL activist
and year-long political prisoner.

But those two were not the most important presences. The celebrants included
indigenous people, campesinos, young people from Casota itself, VOCAL and
Anarchist groups, children sharing their parents’ moment, foreign visitors,
retired and active teachers from Section 22, and from the Asamblea Popular
de los Pueblos de Oaxaca, APPO. On the wall a banner quotes a verse adapted
from Berthold Brecht: *There are men who struggle for a day and they are
good. / There are men who struggle for a month and they are very good/ There
are men who struggle for a year and they are even better / There are men
who struggle many years, and they are better still / But there are those who
struggle all their lives: / These are the indispensable ones. *

APPO? We say the APPO as a limping organization is not currently
meaningful, but meaningfulness, if you´ll permit the metaphor, filled the
atmosphere like evaporated water as if it might condense and rain down at
any breath of wind. The spirit of Oaxaca was palpable. I don’t mean only La
Virgen de las Barricadas adorning the wall, or other political banners and
slogans. It was something more, something akin to a celebration of life

After the expected free-the-political-prisoners, plus down-with-Ulises-Ruiz
political speeches and chants, congratulations to Casota were offered by the
mother of slain marcher José Colmenares, the daughter of Emeterio Cruz, and
again by a representative of the Section 22 human rights commission. Letters
written by prisoners were read out followed by chants of support. An
indigenous celebrant congratulated Casota by saying, as an autonomous space
Casota “sends light for we who walk this road of struggle. The struggle is
in all parts of the world where there are poor people and natural

“La Doctora” asserted that “with whatever defects 2006 had, the people
nevertheless on their own with no commands took over the radio and TV, they
held the barricades day and night with volunteers… Organizations continue
with what Casota demonstrates: horizontality instead of vertical control.
This takes the most effort and is the most important. Above all else
communality is something we should extend, with assemblies in every

David Venegas presented the history and image of Casota to the attentive
audience, most of whom knew of the police harassment of this autonomous
cultural space, which now offers workshops in different aspects of
self-generated efforts, urban gardening, art and politics. Finally music and
dance took center stage. The joy and spirit of the peoples of Oaxaca
exploded to the rhythm of the *sones *of the group Las Raíces; heels stomped
on the small dance platform; the group sang out the movement’s lyrics
written to denounce Ulises and bad government.

By then we had all been served *jamaica* (hibiscus flower juice), followed
by supper bowls of *pozole* (local corn soup), and tiny cups of mescal,
carried through the crowd by the young people of Casota. The anniversary
cake, a large green rectangle decorated with a black star, waited on a
center table.

In a city where public spaces, such as Casa de la Ciudad, Casa Cultural,
Santo Domingo, Pochote and IAGO all sponsor free public events, Casota has
earned the right to name itself an autonomous cultural center; it calls
itself “a space of the peoples of Oaxaca”. It sees itself, as the
anniversary invitation reads, as one of “the seeds of …the social revolution
which will radically change and define our society…”

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