The Assassination of Don Tomás

Voices in Movement

Luis Hernández Navarro

Tomás Martínez Pinacho was preparing to eat something at Los Primos taqueria, in the municipality of Ánimas Trujano, Oaxaca, when a heavily armed commando shot him with a bullet. It was 6:30 pm on August 24th and he was returning from participating in a rally of 2,600 people in the state capital. His lifeless body was left sown to his chair.

The biography of don Tomás – as he was affectionately called by his comrades in the Sierra Sur – intersects with the social struggles of the district of Miahuatlán over the past 30 years. His trajectory was summarized in one word: struggle. He organized the Union of Poor Peasants; he managed better water services and garbage collection; he opposed the construction of the Cefereso in the municipality; he mobilized so that government resources would reach communities, agencies and ranches and not remain in the headwaters; he was re-elected as candidate for municipal president and for councilman; he supported the protests of democratic teachers against educational reform and in favor of public education, and he actively opposed open-pit mining.

He was born in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, on March 7, 1956, to a very humble family. His father was a farmer. As a child, Tomas supported his mother in selling tortillas at the center. He studied a few years of elementary school between 1965 and 1969, at the Leona Vicario School, and then migrated to Mexico City. In Naucalpan, State of Mexico, he continued his studies at the Manuel Avila Camacho night school and at the INEA. He sold food at the Teatro Blanquita. He worked in a grocery store until he returned to his hometown in 1990.

The attitude and commitment of democratic professor Germán Mendoza Nube, several times arrested and tortured for his participation in popular struggles, marked him definitely. Tomás told how, on one occasion when a comrade of Germán’s went to look for him because he had a difficulty, the teacher, in spite of having to move on a wheelchair, got up from bed, got on his chair and went to solve the problem. Germán’s attitude impacted Tomás. At that moment he said to himself: I have two hands, I have two feet. I return to my community and begin to fight for my companions, for the people.

That’s how he did it. Since then, Martínez Pinacho joined the Union of Poor Peasants and the Revolutionary People’s Front (FPR), in a struggle that only his murder stopped. He toured the communities, appointed the organization’s basic committees, collected the demands and needs of the populations, their agricultural conflicts.

Tomás actively participated as a councilman in the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) in 2006, which demanded the resignation of Governor Ulises Ruiz. For this reason he was persecuted, harassed and forced into hiding.

In Oaxaca there are about 300 mining concessions, three of them in the Sierra Sur: in Suchixtepec, another in the Coatlanes and one very close to Miahuatlán, in communities of Zompantle and Ocote. Don Tomás played a central role in the resistance to open-pit mining in the region, with the engineer Bernardo Vázquez Sánchez, who was murdered on March 15, 2012, for opposing the Fortuna Silver Mines project in San José del Progreso. In 2018, after a work of information and organization in the communities that began in 2016, he promoted the formation of the Frente Regional de la Sierra Sur en Defensa del Territorio, los Recursos Naturales y la Libre Autodeterminación de los Pueblos, in rejection of mining, in which social organizations such as MULT, API-PUP, FPR, section 22-CNTE, MAS and Coordinadora de Comunidades de Loxicha also participated.

Unfortunately, events such as don Tomás’ murder are far from being an exception in this government. According to the organization Front Line Defenders, Mexico is the fourth most dangerous country in the world for human rights defenders. In 2019 alone, 24 activists, environmentalists and land defenders were murdered. In May, several organizations, including the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico, documented that at least 30 human rights defenders have been killed during López Obrador’s six-year term.

Son of a dyke and a farmer, simple and extremely humble, Tomás was always concerned about the people who came to see him and those who sought him out for some support. He was dismissed in Miahuatlán by his comrades, friends and family, in a massive public tribute, in the midst of endless rain, the explosion of rockets and inconsolable expressions of rage and mourning.

The crime of don Tomás left in the Sierra Sur a mixture of pain and commitment to keep his saga alive. In the words of his son José Alberto: I am in pain as my father, as my mentor, as my comrade in struggle, but the struggle of Tomás Martínez remains. The State thought that by killing him everything would end. It is the opposite. Tomás Martínez is revived in hundreds, in thousands who today are asking for justice together.

Red and Black Telly roundup.














5G and the Myth of a Green Transition

rethinking security

Far from absurd conspiracy theories about spreading coronavirus, Jo Baker argues that the rapid and seemingly unstoppable spread of 5G is happening without consultation or due consideration of the economic, environmental and climatic impact of such technologies.

5G infrastructure is currently being rolled out in many of our towns and cities. In Bristol, where I live, there has been a spate of planning applications from telecom companies for 20-metre-high monopoles in just a few weeks. A local campaign has resulted in hundreds of objections and Bristol City Council has so far refused sixteen applications on grounds of unsuitable siting and dominant appearance. There is a sense that something is being imposed from above without consultation or consent.

Bristol is well-known for its status as a ‘green’ and ‘smart’ city. It was the European Green Capital in 2015; in 2017 it overtook London as the leading smart city in the Huawei Smart City index; and it was one of the 100 Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Cities. Bristol was the first city in the UK to declare a climate emergency, followed, earlier this year, by an ecological emergency. And herein lies the conundrum. Can a city be both green and smart? Will wireless technology deliver a green transition or will it push us further towards ecological disaster?

A Fourth Industrial Revolution

According to the World Economic Forum, 5G is a necessary expansion of wireless technologies which will underpin the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It goes far beyond telecommunications – enabling the digitalisation of the global economy, energy systems, manufacturing, health, education, security, food production, and so on. It is expected to add £13.2 trillion to the global economy by 2025. It will pave the way for autonomous vehicles, remote surgery, 3D printing and military applications such as hypersonic weapons and drone targeting.

Although this digital high-tech future is sold to us as a means to a socially just and sustainable world (smart cities, energy efficiency), it is essentially about economic growth and is already having a devastating environmental impact. The fact is that digital technologies demand unprecedented amounts of mineral extraction, create large amounts of toxic waste, and

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Red and Black Telly roundup.







Red and Black Telly roundup







Lifting the Mask of Capitalist Disaster: The Coronavirus Response

Black Rose Anarchist Federation / Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra


By Tariq Khan

From official disregard and denial to mismanaged response, each day the COVID-19 crisis brings into ever sharpening clarity the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of the current ruling class. Claims of American exceptionalism and greatness are revealed to be a crumbling mask for the systemic rot that pervades.

One does not have to be a radical to be appalled by the utter depravity of the conservative establishment’s response to the crisis. We watched Republican lawmakers who have tax-funded paid sick leave for themselves vote against a proposal for working-class people to get paid sick leave. Right-wing lawmakers stalled Coronavirus legislation in an attempt to sneak abortion restrictions into the bill. But it is not only conservative leaders that have been exposed as bankrupt, but also establishment liberal centrists. After listening to months of establishment Democrats during primary debates shoot down mild social democratic proposals for universal healthcare and student debt cancellation with the neoliberal mantra “how are you gonna pay for that?,” we saw the Federal Reserve pull $1.5 trillion — enough to wipe out almost all US student loan debt — out of a hat to inject into the stock market just to calm already-wealthy investors. The Coronavirus bill Nancy Pelosi championed as guaranteeing paid sick leave left out 80% of workers, in order to appease business owners. That was only the beginning, as the Trump administration has moved to bail out the wealthy owners of the cruise ship, hotel, airline, oil, and natural gas industries, while not even considering bailing out the many low-income families who are afraid of school closings because schools provide many children with the only meals they get.

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Wreckers of the Earth: a map of ecocidal capitalism in London.

Corporate Watch

The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Phillips

London is one of the main worldwide hubs of ecocidal capitalism. This city is home to oil and gas giants including BP and Shell, as well as many of the world’s most devastating mining corporations. Perhaps even more significant is London’s role as a global centre for the banks, investors and traders who fund the planet-killers and launder the profits. As well as the insurers, law firms, arms dealers, security companies, PR agencies, lobbyists, and others who provide critical support.

Our “Wreckers of the Earth” map of London identifies and locates them. It comes in several forms: a poster map; an online map; and a written directory.

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Red And Black Telly: THE “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” CAMPAIGN.

The Indigenous Mapuche community of Winka Railao declare their commitment to continue their process of territorial recuperation from the forestry company, Arauco.

Voices in Movement

The Mapuche community of Winka Railao, Lautaro, in the territory of Muko, direct the following to the Mapuche and Chilean people:

Kiñe: On sunday, October 27, different representatives of the Pu Lof of the Wenteche (valley) territory gathered on the land usurped from us by the company, Arauco.

In this Txawün (reunion), we reaffirmed our commitment to the process of territorial recuperation that we began a few weeks ago. The goal is to recuperate the space in order to care for it. There, we will be able to produce the sustenance that we need in order to live on the land and to produce a space that will also serve future generations.

Epu: Reinforcing the unity between communities, we will be able to advance and reconstruct ourselves as Mapuche people. We thus encourage other Pu Lof to advance along this line, to shed their fear and to take charge of their destiny. This is what we can be and what we can do as Mapuche. Defend a forest, a winkul (hill), a river and recuperate the land in order to heal it. That is what motivates us to move forward. There is our Feyentun, there we are Mapuche. That is why we exist.

Küla: We also want to speak to the process that the Chilean people have begun and we send them a fraternal salute. The enemy that we both face is greedy, very evil and hardly human. That enemy is capable of doing anything in order to maintain the system of oppression intact, as has already been seen with the deaths that both the Chilean and Mapuche people have experienced.

We urge you all not to be confused, to not allow yourselves to be manipulated in your understanding of our just struggle. We encourage you all to have dignity, to think about those who will come. We encourage that you include in your demands the necessity to protect the natural world today, which is under threat and only defended by few. It is the earth we share, the one from which we were born, and it is the only one we have.

Melo: We know that Ñuke Mapu (Mother Earth) and the Pue Ngen (spirits of Mother Earth) accompany us in this process. We will continue with confidence.

Petuy mogeleiñ Pu Mapuche. Nentuaiñ Taiñ Mapu, Weuwaiñ.

Pewü Küyen, Wenteche Ñi Mapu

October 2019

Original in Spanish: http://www.mapuexpress.org/?p=29016

Red And Black Telly: EXTINCTION REBELLION – THE FINALE ?