What began as a teachers' strike for better wages and more resources for students has erupted into a massive movement for profound social change in the state of Oaxaca. With the largest indigenous population in Mexico, the state of Oaxaca is also one of the poorest and has the highest rate of school dropouts. On June 14, at 4:20 AM, the police made a surprise attack. The more than fifty thousand teachers camped out with their children were awakened to tear gas, pepper spray and helicopters. But the attack backfired as public anger transformed the strike into an unprecedented democratic insurgency, demanding the resignation of Governor Ruiz. Hundreds of unions, indigenous and women?s organizations, neighborhood groups, students and professional associations came together and created APPO - The Popular Assembly of the People's of Oaxaca and a massive campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience has brought the state government to a standstill. Part of the Call for Change series 2007.
DVD includes FROZEN HAPPINESS: IMPUNITY, ELECTION AND HOPE IN OAXACA (30 min). This short recounts the struggle of a mother and her children to gain the freedom of their husband and father. Charged with the 2006 assassination of New York-based Indy-reporter Brad Will, grassroots activist Juan Manuel Martinez endured sixteen months of imprisonment.
"LAND, RAIN AND FIRE provides on-the-ground coverage of the conflict that has heretofore been found only in bits and pieces via the Internet… LAND, RAIN AND FIRE analyzes the structural violence and poverty that motivates the ongoing struggle, and makes clear, with every Oaxaqueño interviewed, that the movement in Oaxaca is a struggle against neoliberalism and its tangible effects on the lives of the people, particularly since the passage of NAFTA."
- Christy Thornton, NACLA
This video is recommended for high school and adults seeking clarification of recent events in Mexico particularly Oaxaca.
- Veronica Maher, Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)
Definitely effective against Mexican political corruption. 2 1/2 stars.
- P. Hall, Video Librarian
• Northeastern Anthropological Association Film Series, Ithica, NY, 2007