AYOTZINAPA AND THE VOICE OF THE STREET
By Luis Hernández Navarro
Roberto Zavala Trujillo is the father of Santiago Jesús, one of the 49 children that died in the fire at the ABC day care center, in Hermosillo, Sonora. Just this November 20, in the plenary session of the state Congress, together with a thousand demonstrators that occupied the building in solidarity with Ayotzinapa, declared: “From Sonora, after more that 104 years, we re-initiate the Revolution that has not walked.”
Last November 20, some 5,000 students, miners from Cananea, fathers of the ABC day care center, those affected by the contamination of the Sonora River, railroad workers, feminists, ecologists and braceros marched through the streets of Hermosillo, took over the seat of the local Legislative Power and warned: “The people are in session today, there is a quorum.” Before entering the enclosure, they left a message for the deputies in the suggestion box: “Listen to your people, before it’s too late for you.”
La Jornada correspondent Ulises Gutiérrez narrated what, there himself, J. Márquez, another of the ABC day care center parents, said to the family members of the disappeared students: “We share your courage, your frustration because of what happens in Mexico.” To close the session, “the dissidents demanded that Peña get out,” and voted to fire the President, in the midst of cries for: “justice, justice!”
What happened in Sonora with the takeover of the Sonora Congress is not an isolated act. In varied regions of the country, the citizen mobilizations demand the resignation of Enrique Peña Nieto and, at the same time, vindicate a growing will to become an alternative constituent power.
As the protests on November 20 and December 1 show, despite their unequal development on a national scale, the movement continues in the rise and radicalization phase. Today, it’s not only students that participate in the marches. The days of struggle incorporate other sectors more every time: unions, campesino organizations, urban-popular forces, relatives of the disappeared, members of the clergy, artists and even children. In states like Chiapas, the teachers’ mobilizations have been very intense, and in Oaxaca they even achieved taking over the airport.
Nevertheless, social indignation and governmental discredit go far beyond what is seen in the streets. The substratum of popular disagreement is more widespread, vigorous and complex than what they express in the marches. In fact, the malaise of those below has fractured the federal government’s unity of command and reached some of its traditional allies. The deterioration of the presidential figure seems unstoppable. The political crisis deepens more each day.
The governmental strategy for confronting the debacle has failed. The pretention of Los Pinos to make the Iguala Massacre a local issue, a mere responsibility of organized crime, without recognizing the State’s responsibility in the crime and the national character of the protest, have fed the discontent. The Peña Nieto decalogue for dodging the problems of insecurity and corruption shipwrecked as soon as it was launched on the waters of public opinion. Even the The Economist magazine warned that the President could have lost the opportunity to change the tide (from turning) against him. The official decision of inventing interlocutors, disentangled from the real social movement, like he did to “negotiate” the problem of the prisoners because of the November 20 march, the only thing it provokes is that his discredit grows.
The crisis of the economy makes things even more difficult for Enrique Peña Nieto. The news on this terrain is not good. The peso is devalued, oil production falls at the hand of the price of crude, the expectations for growth of the GNP have been reduced a little more than 2 percent, el possible increase of interest rates in the United States announces an imminent flight of capital and the censors warn about the flight of investment provoked by the political instability.
Meanwhile, beyond the imminence of the school calendar and the Christmas vacations, the calendar of protests continues its course. Next December 6, thousands of teachers, students and campesinos, including horses, will symbolically take Mexico City to commemorate 100 years from the entry of the revolutionary armies of Francisco Villa and Emiliano Zapata. The initiative goes beyond a mere political reply. It imagines –as was announced in the taking of the Sonora Congress– re-initiating the revolution that has not walked.
Between December 21 and January 3 of next year, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle will hold the First Worldwide Festival of Resistances and Rebellion against Capitalism. Its slogan will be: “Where those above destroy, those below rebuild.” The inauguration of the gathering will be held in the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, in the state of Mexico, on December 21. “We know –assert the convokers– that savage capitalism and death are not invincible” and that “the seed of the world that we want is in our resistances.”
A new cycle of mobilizations begins with the arrival of 2015. An important campesino convergence, systematically ignored by the federal government, agreed to take the streets of Xalapa on January 6, the anniversary of the Carranza Law. And, on January 31, it plans to carry out a large national occupation in front of the offices of the Secretaries of Governance and Agriculture. For its part, also in January, the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) has the organization of a national strike against the education reform.
There is no evidence that the deployment of social mobilization has already reached its maximum point. And, although the street protests eventually diminish the tendency towards wear and tear on the regime is maintained. We are living in an unprecedented situation, in which, as the angered Sonorans that occupied their legislature warned, those above have not wanted to listen to the voice of the street.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Translation: Chiapas Support Committee
Tuesday, December 2, 2014