Oaxaca: Media for the People

by Alejandro A. Jimenez / November issue of Socialist Action Newspaper

For a year, the teachers have built up the Radio Plantón station, over which they denounce the misdeeds of URO’s government. For that reason, one of the primary objectives of the June 14 repression was to destroy this station. On June 14 itself, the Oaxaca university radio station was taken over by students who sympathized with the teachers. Since that day, Radio Universidad has become a place where people can get things off their chests and denounce URO’s regime.

On Aug. 1, APPO sympathizers marched through the center of the city, and it occurred to some of them to take over the state-controlled media. For the first time the state TV channel became really the “The Oaxaquenos’ TV station,” as its slogan claimed. Indigenous people, housewives, peasant organizations persecuted by the regime appeared on the screen.

Moreover, it broadcast programs about the repression in Atenco, the Cuban Revolution, the exploitation of workers and peasants in various parts of the world, the Oaxaca mass marches, Fox’s world.

In addition, on FM, the state radio station became Radio Cacerola [Pots and Pans Radio], the voice of the women of Oaxaca. This lasted for 20 days until the government’s thugs attacked the transmission antenna and destroyed the installations. But this did not silence the people’s voice. On Aug. 21, all the commercial stations were taken over, although they were later gradually restored to their owners.

In September, APPO controlled four stations, and they became important organizers of the uprising. In the last two weeks, APPO, however, has left the commercial stations, because their signals have been jammed.

Radio Universidad was also attacked, once by an armed commando unit and the other time by an infiltrator, who poured acid on a console, putting it out of commission for a week. Yesterday, the commercial radio stations disappeared from the air and we were left with only two stations—Radio Universidad, the bulwark of APPO, and a new clearly anti-government pirate station.

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