Music of the 2006 Popular Uprising
Harmonic Dissidents is proud to provide Sigueme Contando: Sonidos de la Lucha Oaxaqueña/Keep Telling Me Stories: Sounds of the Oaxacan Struggle with English subtitles.
It is a 60-minute documentary about the role of music, and musicians, during the popular uprising in the Oaxaca City, Mexico of 2006, which began with teachers’ strikes and then extended into a wider revolt.
Early on June 14, 2006, the state government of Oaxaca viciously attacked the teacher’s encampment (plantón) with clubs, tear gas and arrests.
In 1982, teachers in Oaxaca had formed Local 22 and started down a more democratic path than their national parent union. Every May, Local 22 camps in a street (forms a plantón) near the state government offices to demand such things as more funding for rural schools and instruction in indigenous languages.
During the unexpected attack in 2006 the teachers pled for support from the community via their own station, Radio Plantón. Housewives, farmers and bus drivers poured into the city by the thousands and drove the police out of downtown. The popular occupation survived constant arrests, assassinations and disappearances until overrun by a major government offensive in November. During those five months, APPO, the People’s Popular Assembly of Oaxaca ran the city. Oaxacans say they will never be the same.
Among the casualties, New York Indymedia journalist Brad Will was killed from two gunshot wounds to the abdomen by unidentified assailants in broad daylight. At least two teachers died as well.
A broad cross section of Oaxacan society supported the movement, not least of which were musicians from many traditions (including banda, son jarocho and hip hop). A collective of activists documented the musicians’ participation in the Spanish-language video, Sigueme Contando (Keep Telling Me Stories) which was originally posted at http://www.archive.org/details/Sigueme_contando_sonidos in 2008.
At the Somerville, MA 2009 Honk!Fest, members of Montreal’s Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble turned Harmonic Dissidents onto the video. We persuaded Seattle media activist Jill Freidberg to put English subtitles on the video so it can reach a wider audience. Jill has previously produced two feature-length videos on the teachers’ movement in Oaxaca, especially focusing on their use of radio. The subtitles were generated with full cooperation from the original producers of the video and with input from many Oaxacan activists.
We hope the stories of these Oaxacan musicians inspire you and we encourage you to share this video. Harmonic Dissidents will be happy to provide DVDs at cost if you would like to present a higher quality presentation in your community.