FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Mexico Piquetero

by CLAUDIO ALBERTANI

Mexico City.

The revolt against the July 2nd electoral fraud in favor of Felipe Calderon, the right wing candidate, is expanding. After three weeks, the occupation of Mexico City’s historic center shows no sign of fatigue, to the contrary, the movement is growing like an unstoppable avalanche. In the past few days, actions of peaceful civil resistance have multiplied in the Northern part of Mexico, traditionally a stronghold of the right. On the 11th of August, in Ciudad Juarez, farmers on horses took over the bridge that connects Mexico with the US, blocking for several hours hundreds of trucks crossing the border from both sides. In Hermosillo, sympathizers of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took over the airport for about half an hour, while in Nuevo Laredo representatives of civil rights organizations symbolically closed the Mexican equivalent of the IRS office, and in Monterey women armed with pots and pans occupied the site of the Mexican Employers Association (Coparmex). In other areas, like in Morelia, Queretaro, Veracruz, Acapulco, and Mexico City, the freeways toll-collecting system was disabled, with the enthusiastic support of drivers, as Mexican road tolls are amongst the most expensive in the world.

It is true, though, that the heart of the movement continues to beat in Mexico City, especially in the area between Avenida Reforma and Plaza De La Constitucion, where thousands of citizens have planted their tents after the July 30th demonstration, the largest in the history of the Country. It is here that as the writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II observed, the of poverty-stricken citizens exercise their multiple organizational skills, born out of decades of social struggles. In a festive environment, the ancient informal solidarity networks break the rules of the economy, mould new urban planning strategies, and create start unusual products. Products, one has to say, that are non-commercial, given that everything is free. Hundreds of cultural activities, theatrical performances, conferences, spoken words, music concerts, Danzon contests, chess matches, ska shows, mural newspapers, and a mobile library break the infernal daily routine of this monster-city and attract the attention of passersby. In the improvised camp hospital a baby has already been born.

“Nobody is paying us. We came to defend democracy”, some protesters clarify in front of the camera of Caitlin Manning, a Californian filmmaker, who, while on vacation and touched by the events in Mexico, decided to shoot a documentary. “The time of the poor has arrived” states Donna Lupita, an elderly woman from Ixtapala, one of the most wretched neighborhoods in Mexico City. There is no hate in her words, only awareness of living in a historical moment. Andre Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is sharing the joys and hardships (for example, the terrible hailstorms) of the encampment, echoes her. “We are prepared to resist for months. Even for years”, he declared at the informative assembly of Sunday 13th, during which he specified the objectives of the movement. The first objective is, indeed, to fight poverty, this monstrous inequality in a country where next to Carlos Slim – a phone company tycoon and third on the Forbes list of the richest people in the world ­ millions of people survive in abject poverty. The second objective, as in Evo Morales’ Bolivia, is the protection of national resources and public services: no to the privatization of electric energy, natural gas, oil, education and health. The third objective, of prime importance, is the right to information, which means breaking the monopoly held by private television networks and strengthening the public sector. The fourth objective is the struggle against white-collar corruption and the reduction of civil servants’ astronomical salaries.

This is certainly not a revolutionary program, but it is a step forward compared to the lukewarm 50 points of his electoral platform. Why? Because Obrador cannot afford to disappoint the expectations of a large social movement that, faced with the failure of the electoral process (the electoral tribunal has not pronounced a verdict yet, but it’s almost certain that it will legalize fraud), is deciding to renew social institutions on its own.

The list of upcoming mobilizations is impressive: a huge demonstration against the inaugural declaration of the president-elect; on September 1st, date of the presentation of the last report to the nation from president Fox, a protest at the site of Parliament; on the 15th, Mexican Independence day, an attempt to prevent him from pronouncing the traditional “shout”; and, on the 16th, a National Democratic Convention bringing together representatives of grassroots organizations from the all over the country.

CLAUDIO ALBERTANI can be reached at: claudio.albertani@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
Robert Hunziker
America’s Tale of Two Cities, Redux
David Jaffe
The Republican Party and the ‘Lunatic Right’
John Davis
No Tomorrow or Fashion-Forward
Patrick Cockburn
Treating Mental Health Patients as Criminals
Jack Dresser
An Accelerating Palestine Rights Movement Faces Uncertain Direction
George Wuerthner
Diet for a Warming Planet
Lawrence Wittner
Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War?
Colin Todhunter
From Earth Day to the Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial
Paul Bentley
Teacher’s Out in Front
Franklin Lamb
A Post-Christian Middle East With or Without ISIS?
Kevin Martin
We Just Paid our Taxes — are They Making the U.S. and the World Safer?
Erik Mears
Education Reformers Lowered Teachers’ Salaries, While Promising to Raise Them
Binoy Kampmark
Fleeing the Ratpac: James Packer, Gambling and Hollywood
Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
Paul Street
Donald Trump: Ruling Class President
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?
Andrew Levine
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Paul Atwood
Why Does North Korea Want Nukes?
Robert Hunziker
Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers
Vijay Prashad
Turkey, After the Referendum
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, the DOJ and Julian Assange
CJ Hopkins
The President Formerly Known as Hitler
Steve Reyna
Replacing Lady Liberty: Trump and the American Way
Lucy Steigerwald
Stop Suggesting Mandatory National Service as a Fix for America’s Problems
Robert Fisk
It is Not Just Assad Who is “Responsible” for the Rise of ISIS
John Laforge
“Strike Two” Against Canadian Radioactive Waste Dumpsite Proposal
Norman Solomon
The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia
Andrew Stewart
Can We Finally Get Over Bernie Sanders?
Susan Babbitt
Don’t Raise Liberalism From the Dead (If It is Dead, Which It’s Not)
Uri Avnery
Palestine’s Nelson Mandela
Fred Nagel
It’s “Deep State” Time Again
John Feffer
The Hunger President
Stephen Cooper
Nothing is Fair About Alabama’s “Fair Justice Act”
Jack Swallow
Why Science Should Be Political
Chuck Collins
Congrats, Graduates! Here’s Your Diploma and Debt
Aidan O'Brien
While God Blesses America, Prometheus Protects Syria, Russia and North Korea 
Patrick Hiller
Get Real About Preventing War
David Rosen
Fiction, Fake News and Trump’s Sexual Politics
Evan Jones
Macron of France: Chauncey Gardiner for President!
David Macaray
Adventures in Labor Contract Language
Ron Jacobs
The Music Never Stopped
Kim Scipes
Black Subjugation in America
Sean Stinson
MOAB: More Obama and Bush
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail