Swarthmore College Department of

Peace & Conflict Studies Blog

Teaching Rebellion

Presentation by Silvia Hernandez

Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, Mexico

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

4:30 p.m. in Kohlberg 115


A compilation of testimonies from longtime organizers, teachers, students, housewives, religious leaders, union members, school children, community activists, artists, journalists, and others who participated in the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca.

“In 2006, Oaxaca, Mexico came alive with a broad and diverse movement that captivated the nation and inspired communities organizing for social justice around the world. Fueled by long ignored social contradictions, what began as a teachers’ strike 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 and participated in marches, occupied government buildings, took over radio stations, and held sit-ins, while hundreds were arbitrarily detained, tortured, murdered by government forces or death squads, or forced into hiding.”

Silvia Hernandez, a sociology student active in the barricades and in the defense of Radio Universidad when it was under attack by state police, continues to actively organize for autonomous space and alternative to the state’s neo-liberal development plans. Silvia was arrested in July 2007 and spent nearly a month as a political prisoner. She belongs to VOCAL – Voces Oaxaquenas Construyendo Autonomia y Libertad (Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Liberty) and gives workshops in recycled art and urban agriculture.

Sponsored by:

Forum for Free Speech, Latin American Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, The Intercultural Center, The President??s Office, and The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility