Reconstructing a Global Spiderweb with the FIOB

Rufino and I spoke about the FIOB’s desire to have a new website that will be easier for the organization to operate and maintain into the future.

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Inhabitants of Oaxaca, Mexico, have a long history of migrating from their rural communities to more prosperous parts of Mexico in search of better living and working opportunities. In the 1980s, the Mexican economy entered a crisis period of unprecedented hyperinflation. Migration patterns began to shift during this economic crisis resulting in more families not only leaving Oaxaca, but also leaving Mexico and crossing the border into the United States, mainly California.1 As groups migrate, they maintain their sense of community through social and political organizing.

The Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales, Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations (FIOB) is a binational, community-based organization made up of indigenous peoples originally from Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacán, Jalisco and other Mexican states but currently living in Oaxaca and Baja California (Mexico) and in California (United States).2 Founded in Los Angeles on October 5th, 1991, FIOB now has members throughout California and Mexico as well as regional offices in Fresno, Santa Maria, Greenfield, Los Angeles, Baja California and two locations in Oaxaca.3 FIOB works to secure the rights of indigenous Mexicans living in the United States and Mexico. The FIOB’s mission is to serve indigenous Mexican communities by promoting cultural integrity as well as economic and social development in Oaxaca, Baja California and California. FIOB accomplishes this through the creation and implementation of community-based projects, which promote human rights, family health, community integration, gender equality, and collaboration with other organizations.4

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Hundreds Rally at UCSC in Solidarity with Alette Kendrick

The UC Activist Defense Committee, along with a large network of supporters, rallied at Kerr Hall on May 24th to defend Alette Kendrick, protect free speech and fight the institutionalized racism that is the University of California. The speak out featured the impassioned voices of History Professor Dana Frank, History of Consciousness graduate student Greg Caldwell and Angela Davis, the most famous professor at UC Santa Cruz.

A highlight of the rally was getting “King George” Blumenthal, the “Acting Chancellor at UCSC” to descend from his castle and state over the bullhorn that, “fair or unfair,” UCSC has a judicial system. Students called Blumenthal out about one hypocrisy after the next, such as his statements that he can not comment on Alette’s case. On October 20th, 2006, he and David S. Kliger, the Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, sent an email to the entire campus community which condemned students using unsubstantiated claims and supported the actions of the police on October 18th, 2006.

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Graduate Students Rally at UCSC to Defend Health Care

On May 17, 2007, graduate students, who are also teaching assistants at UC Santa Cruz, held a rally and sick-in, along with other employees, to let the University of California know that we are sick of attacks on our health care. Hours after the demonstration at Kerr Hall, Lisa Sloan, Dean of Graduate Studies, announced that next year’s Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan (GSHIP) will maintain the current level of coverage. This victory was achieved in combination with an email campaign to UCSC’s Executive Vice Chancellor (EVC) David Kliger and other efforts backed by UAW Members for Quality Education and Democracy (UAW-QUAD) at UCSC.

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UC Hunger Strikers in the Baytree Plaza

On May 16th, students at UC Santa Cruz were in the Baytree Plaza to spread information about the University of California’s Board of Regents and their ties to the management of the Los Alamos and Livermore nuclear laboratories. Ashley and Tosh are two undergraduate students at UCSC that are part of the 44 University of California students on a hunger strike to demand that the UC Board of Regents sever their ties to the the laboratories which are producing new nuclear weapons.

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Action at Burger King in Santa Cruz to Support the CIW

The Student/Farmworker Alliance announced that May 11th and 12th would be Days of Action vs. Burger King calling on the world’s #2 burger chain to take responsibility for the conditions of farmworkers in the fields. On May 11th, four students from the University of California at Santa Cruz and one loyal Burger King customer went to the Burger King on Mission Street / Highway 1 in Santa Cruz to drop off a letter to manager calling attention to the human rights crisis in Florida’s tomato fields. Burger King is a major purchaser of Florida tomatoes.

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