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Oaxaca, No Sweat and the Fifth International

Pueblo | 12.02.2007 07:18 | Oaxaca Uprising | Education | Repression | Zapatista | South Coast

A SPEAKER from Oaxaca in Mexico spoke out the tumultuous events of the last nine months at a packed meeting in Brighton's Cowley Club on Sunday evening.

He explained how the militancy of the teachers' union had drawn in a broader spectrum of disaffected people in the city and gone way beyond an industrial dispute to become a physical challenge to the power of the state.
A failure in the leadership of the revolt had, he argued, meant that they backed down at a crucial point and thus lost the momentum of their uprising.
More controversially, for a talk in an anti-authoritarian free space, he also argued that what was needed was a revolutionary leadership with the political consciousness to lead the people and seize power on their behalf in the vacuum that arises in potentially revolutionary moments such as this.
He also criticised the EZLN and La Otra campaign both for not getting involved in Oaxaca, for their distrust of the Mexican trade union movement and for being ideologically opposed to the idea of seizing control of government for revolutionary purposes.
This position was challenged very articulately at the meeting, but I was mulling it over on the way home and later had a little look on the internet.
It seems that No Sweat, which is organising the Oaxaca speaking tour, is an offshoot of Revolution - Socialist Youth Network, itself part of the Trotskyite Workers Powers group and the League for the Fifth International.(see and
In that context, the speaker's views on power and revolutionary vanguards are hardly a surprise.
Now, I personally don't mind hearing opinions that I don't agree with (pretty bloody broad-minded, eh?) and I don't want to come across all negative about No Sweat and what it does.
But I went away with the horrible suspicion that the Oaxaca tour, and presumably other No Sweat events, are principally designed as Trojan Horse exercises to recruit from the ranks of the anti-capitalist/anarchist movement and push the Trotksyite ideology.
I think they should be more up-front about where they are coming from.
Am I being unfair? Does this really matter? I'm interested in hearing what other folk think.



Display the following 5 comments

  1. Probably AWL not WP — Anarchist communist in Nottingham
  2. Brighton meeting — ,
  3. Trotsky's transitional epoch — Derek Trotter
  4. Trots away - but still worth going — Anarchist communist in Nottingham
  5. comment on a comment.... — tula