Mexican troops have surrounded Oaxaca and appear to be poised to launch assaults of the barricades manned by the leftist extremists who have held that city in thrall for months now. The leftists are calling for people to man the barricades, while average people understand that they are being asked to commit suicide at the leftist's request. It's just not fair, they complain.
The teachers whose strike over pay raises in May began the uprising in Oaxaca agreed to go back to work on Monday, and the federal presence appeared designed to bolster law and order ahead of their return. But some strikers and their leftist supporters were outlining plans for street-by-street resistance.
Officials said police had begun to enter the city and remove some barricades, and reporters saw about a half-dozen federal police trucks equipped with water cannon and bulldozer blades moving onto a highway about 100 yards from signs that said "Welcome to Oaxaca."
Dozens of officers with riot shields and batons established a line in front of the trucks, as protesters angrily shouted "Army out!"
"They're going to kill us. It's not fair," said Juana Garcia, a 48-year-old housewife. "We can't do anything, we have no weapons."
A few blocks away protesters prepared their defense, putting up a makeshift barricade and tossing mounds of fist-sized stones into pickup trucks, apparently to distribute to supporters.
"We are calling on all our colleagues, and all the people, to stay firmly on the barricades," Roberto Garcia, a protest leader, said late Saturday. "But we are also categorically stating that we don't want to clash with the federal forces."
Yup, leftist doublespeak at its best. We don't want clashes, which is why we're piling up stones (and most likely Molotov cocktails as well). The leftist leaders are completely willing to fight to the last drop of the people's blood, whereupon, they'll run and hide undoubtedly.
UPDATE: TourPro over at Adirondack Base Camp just popped onto Memeorandum. He's been keeping a running post on the doings in Oaxaca for quite some time now. Since his wife and daughter went down there, in fact. We've exchanged links a few times now. He's almost a hometown boy, even though he lives down by Lake Champlain.