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News :: Globalization : Human Rights : International
Mexican Repression Sparks Boston Solidarity Demonstration
06 May 2006
Roughly 20 demonstrators gathered at the General Consulate of Mexican in Boston today at 4:00pm. They were protesting the recent wave of repression by the Mexican government against residents of Texcoco and Oaxaca. Chanting slogans such as “they killed that young boy in the street,” followed by “and said it met his human needs,” protesters marched in solidarity with the people of Texcoco, which is located near Mexico City. Mexican riot police have directed a brutal campaign of dislocation and eviction against residents there that left one fourteen year old boy dead. As a result, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) suspended “The Other Campaign” and called for worldwide actions to support the victims of Mexican state brutalization.
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Boston demonstrators marched in the hot summer sun with drums and signs to have their voices heard. “I'm just out here to show that the people of Texcoco are not alone in their fight against corporate globalization, that they have allies in all parts of the world. When our brothers and sisters in Mexico ask for our help, we're out on the streets in Boston,” said Thomas Moore, one of the demonstrators.

The demonstrators handed out informative fliers, banged on drums, chanted, chalked slogans of solidarity on the sidewalk, and marched around the building that holds the Mexican consulate. At one point, police asked them to stop banging on drums, claiming that it violated a city sound ordinance. Despite this minor altercation, demonstrators continued marching and chanting for over an hour.

Another demonstration will be held at the same location next Wednesday at 4:00pm.

===

Who are the Zapatistas?
On January 1st, 1994, the day that NAFTA was passed into law, Mayans in the Mexican state of Chiapas, one of the poorest in Mexico, declared war on the Mexican government. The Zapatistas fight for indigenous rights and see themselves as part of a wider anti-capitalist movement, fighting for democracy, peace and justice for all Mexicans, and for all people. Except for the initial uprising on the first two weeks of 1994, they have never used any weapons or bombs. They refuse to use the normal channels Mexico provides to listen to demands and provide solutions—including running for public office or endorsing political parties. They say these channels have been ineffective for the indigenous and for everyone else for the last 500 years. Cooresponding with this year’s election campaign in Mexico, the Zapatistas have launched The Other Campaign, a six-month tour of Mexico's 31 states as an "alternative project" to the presidential elections, trying to start a dialogue with other social justice campaigns in Mexico.

What’s going on with them now?
As of the afternoon of May 3rd, Subcommandante Marcos of the EZLN (National Zapatista Army of Liberation) announced a new Red Alert and suspension of activities of The Other Campaign, which has now become a struggle to support the people of Texcoco, who for the past two days have been experiencing severe government repression. On May 3rd, reports show two dead, including a 14-year-old boy who was shot by state police. 800 heavily armed riot cops stormed the local flower growers’ market in the dawn’s early light, beating and arresting hundreds of workers.

The people of Texcoco run local markets and produce everything on their own,but Wal-mart is threatening their way of life. "The municipal president wants to evict these people because he thinks their market leaves the area dirty and he wants to put a commercial center, a Wal-mart in Texcoco,” Marcos said before thousands of people during a public rally in Tlatelolco. The Mexican state has been increasingly using violence against workers over the past few months. Last month, two steelworkers were killed in a standoff with police as they blockaded the steel plant.

Now is the time for Solidarity! Solidarity with the people of Texcoco! Solidarity with the EZLN struggle against political repression!

STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE ZAPATISTAS Wednesday, May 10th, 4pm. Boston's Mexican Consulate. 20 Park Plaza, Boston. Bring: Noisemakers, Signs and Banners that show support for our Mexican comrades in struggle!

Planning meeting for Wednesday’s protest:
Monday, May 8th, 6pm. Location TBA (check this thread for details). Everyone is welcome!
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Related stories on this site:
NIFC Report of US Hunger Strike Commemoration
Zapatistas attacked: Urgent call to action!
Zapatista Solidarity Demo! Tomorrow 4:00 at Mexican Consulate

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More photos
06 May 2006
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Raid
06 May 2006
This is a Mexican problem,not an American problem. It is an American problem because greedy exploiter businesses hire illegals. so:

1. Build a wall
2. No medicaid or educatin funds for illegals
3. Imprison a few employers of illegals, particularly large construction companies, in max security jails where they will be raped;
4. Offer free abortions to illegal moms.
5. No tax benefits for US companies that move to Mexico for cheap labor
6.Ban US tourism to Mexico; no mortgage deductions for second homes bought in Mexico.
7. Mexico will collapse. Your beloved Zpas will seize the south. the nation will disintegrate. disease and war will cause the population of mexico to plunge.
8. America's immigration problem, which is all
Americans should care about rather than whether Mexicans are having a nice day, will be solved.

PS
No refuge for
V. Fox in the USA after chaos sweeps Mexico.
Re: Mexican Repression Sparks Boston Solidarity Demonstration
06 May 2006
These are really great pictures and I'm really glad to see this happening. Word is that the protest in NYC was rather small but very festive. It's great to see a call for next week as well. The struggle continues!
Re: Mexican Repression Sparks Boston Solidarity Demonstration
06 May 2006
the reason so many latin american immigrants come to the united states is the same reason why mexican cops killed a 14 year old boy on the streets and texcoco, and why the zapatistas rebelled in the first place. it's called corporate globalization, and it's supported by free trade bodies like NAFTA, and it's ruining peoples lives. some people choose to flee to the united states where they can make more money than if they stayed in mexico working in sweatshops, and some indigenous people in chiapas decided to stay on the land (that has always been their land, for thousands and thousands of years) and instead demand their autonomy from the system that's fucking over their lives and economy, and create a viable alternative to it.
Correct Analysis, Wrong Solution
06 May 2006
I think I am representative of working class Americans who are equally fed up with Corporate Giants who run our lives and culture, Liberals who invent ethics out of nothing and disparage traditions of common every day Americans, and Illegal Immigrants who drive wages down and reduce even further the number of blue collar jobs.

Michah states why illegals come here very well. the solution that they are just like "us" and so should stay is oblivious to the serious disconnect between American Protestant Anglo-Saxon culture (which many ethnic groups including many blacks have adopted as s worthwhile, successful American way of life) is incompatible with the peasant, Roman Chatholic, Big Government is Good way of life that Latinos from Mexico and Central America represent. There are reason that have nothing to do with alleged American or European imperialism that explain the problems of Latin American acceptance of democracy, equality for women, and respect for education.

An ethos of self-reliance is also an American trait that most immigrant groups as well as successful African Americans understand. Latinos for the most part do not understand these inherently American values. Ordinary Americans do not wish to have their values destroyed by forcing us to accept people who do not want to assimilate or live the 21st century in social relations.

My remarks would extend to Orthodox Jews like the Hasidic and to tradiional Muslims as well. These people are enemies of Freedom. They may have a good reason for wishing to come to the USA whenever they want to, but that does not mean that American can or should just say Yes.

To the contrary, we say NO More Illegal Immigration or Public Aid for Illegal Immmigrants. Other nations have the same outliook as me.

Only in the USA can some be fooled by the pleas of the PC liberal crowd that essentially does not believe in the Nation State and sees immigration as a wedge to foster Marxism-Leninism and other ideologies that the American people have repeatedly rejected.
Re: Mexican Repression Sparks Boston Solidarity Demonstration
07 May 2006
Harvard Anarchist. I have a friend who is going to Argentina in that same program that you went. He would love to speak with you about it. Drop me a line.
-Hali
Re: Mexican Repression Sparks Boston Solidarity Demonstration
07 May 2006
Planning meeting for Wednesday’s protest:
Monday, May 8th, 6pm (THIS IS TOMORROW)
Lucy Parsons Center. 549 Columbus Avenue, Boston
Everyone is welcome!
Photo
08 May 2006
Click on image for a larger version

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Photos
See also:
http://metropolphotos.com
Re: Mexican Repression Sparks Boston Solidarity Demonstration
08 May 2006
herman@s latin@s!!

Acuérdense que el gobierno americano fué repsonsable por la destrucción del world trade center, acusando sin pruebas a "terroristas" musulmanes. El método de estos criminales es la mentira. La mayoría de los americanos saben la verdad pero no se atreven decirla en voz alta.

La estrategia es dividir y conquistar. NO confíen en nadie que niege la verdad sobre el 11-S, acabarán traicionad@s!!

http://colombia.indymedia.org/mail.php?id=31391

FUERZA LATINA!

NO MAS MENTIRAS de BUSH! Basta ya los asesinatos no investigados!
Re: Mexican Repression Sparks Boston Solidarity Demonstration
09 May 2006
IMPORTANT NEWS FROM MEXICO (this is long but very important)
*[http://chiapas.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=121819]*
*Crackdown in Mexico; Death, Injuries and Jail.
*
Global Exchange
May 06, 2006
By John Gibler

*Police Brutality in Mexico.*

San Salvador Atenco, Mexico—At 7 AM this past Wednesday, May 3rd, state
police blocked 60 flower vendors from setting up their stands at the Texcoco
local market in the State of Mexico, about 20 miles east of Mexico City. The
police beat and arrested those who resisted. The flower vendors called to
the residents of neighboring San Salvador Atenco for help and the Atenco
residents blocked the highway that borders their town and leads to Texcoco.

The police response was overwhelming: hundreds of state and federal police,
most clad in riot gear, arrived to lift the blockade. Atenco resisted, with
machetes, clubs, Molotov cocktails and bottle rockets. The police tried to
lift the blockade five times throughout the day, and five times they were
repelled.

The violence was extreme. Photographs published in local papers show Atenco
protestors beating a fallen policemen, police beating tens of fallen
protestors. Severe beatings. Protesters kicking one fallen police officer in
the face, groups of police pulverizing tens of protestors with rocks and
batons.

Police also attacked photographers from both the national and the
international press. Photographers and television cameramen from Associated
Press, Reuters, Milenio, Jornada and Televisa all reported beatings and
attempts to confiscate cameras. Photographs and film coverage of the
beatings were published on the internet and shown on national television.
Local and international news articles however, have not mentioned the
systematic police violence against reporters.

All told on Wednesday, over 50 people were injured and 100 detained by the
police. Protestors took 11 police hostage, but released them to the Red
Cross later in the evening. A fourteen year-old boy was shot in the chest
and killed in the afternoon. Local media reported that the boy was killed by
projectiles from the protestors, but the death certificate said otherwise:
bullet wound to the chest.

Atenco is famous across Mexico for having resisted in 2002 the forced
displacement from their community to make way for a new Mexico City Airport.
Villagers, mostly small farmers, formed the People's Front in Defense of
Land (Frente del Pueblo en Defensa de La Tierra) and, wielding their
machetes, became a symbol of popular protest in Mexico.

Organizers from the People's Front have attended several meetings of the
Zapatista's Other Campaign, and hosted subcomandante Marcos' arrival in
Atenco. During his visit, Marcos promised to align the Zapatista Army of
National Liberation with Atenco's struggle. The Atenco Front, with machetes
in hand, was in charge of providing security for Marcos during the May first
Labor Day march to Mexico City's main plaza where the Front's leader,
Ignacio Del Valle, spoke before tens of thousands gathered in the plaza.

Two days later riot police stormed the house where he had been hiding since
the attack in Texcoco. At that moment the Televisa cameraman was outside the
house filming the police operation when some five police officers approached
and repeatedly beat him with clubs. As a result there is no film coverage of
the police raid.

Several newspaper photographers, however, photographed Del Valle's arrival
to prison several hours later that night. He was carried in a headlock by a
masked police officer, who, in the photographs, is pointing for the
photographers to leave the area. Another masked officer walked slightly
behind, grabbing Del Valle's back. The two masked officers walk Del Valle
through a gauntlet of a hundred riot police with helmets and shields. Del
Valle's head is covered with a towel in the pictures, but his face, swollen
and bloody is partially visible. Also visible is a blood stain the size of a
fist on the groin of his jeans, evidence of repeated strikes to his
testicles.

*Police Siege Town, Take over 200 prisoners*

The following day, Thursday May 4th, Mexico woke to the bloody images of
violence from the day before. Atenco woke to a police siege that led to
hundreds more wounded and detained.

Around 6:30 AM, over three thousand police surrounded Atenco and invaded,
filling the streets, cutting down everyone in their way with clubs and
firing tear gas, both to disorient, and to kill. Several protestors were
shot in the head at close range with metal gas pellets three inches long and
an inch in diameter.

Within two hours the police had occupied Atenco.

Then the terror began. The police went house to house, breaking windows and
doors, pulling people into the street, beating them and then piling them in
police vans and trucks. The police had a masked individual in civilian
clothes who pointed out which houses to raid. Several people who had
participated as speakers in high-profile Other Campaign events in Mexico
City were singled out and beaten. One woman who spoke in the Zocalo in
Mexico City on May first was pulled into the street and kicked repeatedly in
the groin.

The police violence on Thursday was indiscriminate. Both mainstream and
alternative press reporters were attacked. Several members of the caravan
that accompanies the Other Campaign across the country were beaten and
arrested.

Samantha Dietmar, a young German photographer who has been covering the
Other Campaign since January was grabbed in the doorway of her hotel, beaten
in the face and thrown into a truck. A neighbor who witnessed the attack
said that she asked why the police were taking her: "What did she do?" The
police officer responded, the woman said: "She did whatever I say she did."

Dietmar was taken to a women's prison on the outskirts of Mexico City. A
human rights lawyer who was able to interview her said that she had serious
pain in her eyes from the tear gas, and that she had been beaten in the face
and body. Dietmar will most likely be deported.

The same lawyer said that five women were raped in the police vans when
taken to jail.

Between two and three hundred people were detained, but only 109 have been
recognized by the police. A list is circulating on the internet, compiled
from witness accounts, of 275 people who have been detained. At least 18
people are missing.

Hundreds of people sought hiding in houses across the town. In one house, 23
people were packed into a 12-by-12 foot room. Just outside the hiding room,
Alexis Benhumea, a 20-year old economy student in Mexico City, laid
unconscious for 12 hours. Just after 6:30 AM he was shot in the head, most
likely with a gas pellet. The impact broke his skull open in two places,
exposing his brain.

Alexis was carried into a house by his father and two friends for hiding.
One of the protestors hiding out in the house made an impromptu bandage for
the wound to stop the bleeding. The thick bandage was soaked in blood by the
afternoon. Alexis's father and those hiding out in the house so feared for
their lives, and Alexis' life, that they dared not leave their hiding place.
Indeed, just outside the house, state and federal police blocked both ends
of the street and constantly patrolled up and down the street.

"I was sure that they would kill him and dump him somewhere if I tried to go
out and seek medical help," said Angel Benhumea, Alexis' father. "I didn't
think he would make it."

After coordinating by cellular telephones with friends in Mexico City,
correspondents with Indymedia Chiapas were able to rent a taxi van (which
operate in Mexico like public buses rather than individual taxis) and stage
a rescue, taking Alexis and his father to a hospital 40 minutes away, on the
eastern border of Mexico City. Alexis arrived alive and survived four hours
of intensive brain surgery: hemorrhaging had filled 30 percent of his brain.
At the time of writing, Alexis' condition is still critical, and the extent
of brain damage is unknown.

Alexis Benhumea was attacked twice: first with the pellet that broke his
skull, and second with the police siege that made it impossible for his
family to seek medical attention.

By mid-afternoon Atenco was an occupied city. Burn marks and broken glass,
thousands of police standing guard, leaning in doorways, lying in stairways,
sprawled out sleeping in the shade of the central plaza. Yet the climate was
tense. When I took a picture from a car window of a group of police, one
whipped around and loaded a gas pellet in his rifle, but not in time to
fire.

Around 5:30 in the afternoon, the state and federal police lifted their
siege, piling into their trucks and driving off.

*Zapatistas March to Atenco*

Thursday in the evening the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and local
labor and student organizations convoked a march for Friday at 4PM from the
University of Chapingo to Atenco.

At 4PM Marcos arrived at the university—leaving the house in Mexico City
where he had been surrounded by police and federal intelligence officers
since Wednesday evening. About a thousand people had already gathered for
the march by the time of his arrival.

The march left from Chapingo at around 5PM with some two thousand people.
But the march kept growing. Standing on overpasses, it was impossible to see
the end of the march as it occupied the highway that leads to Atenco.
Estimates among local reporters ranged from 4 to 10 thousand people by the
time the march reached Atenco.

As the march crossed through the town of Texcoco, where the violence began
on Wednesday, locals closed the metal doors used to cover their windows at
night, making the fear in Texcoco visible and audible. In the four months of
the Other Campaign, nothing like this has happened before. Yet the police
were not waiting for the marchers. A few motorcycle state police went ahead
of the march, and several trucks with federal police trailed behind.

The marchers arrived in Atenco without confrontations with the police. In
the central plaza, several local community leaders and parents whose
children had been beaten and detained spoke to the crowd that filled the
town plaza.

"My boy was on his way to work when they grabbed him," one woman said, "is
that justice?"

Subcomandante Marcos attacked the media manipulation of the violence in
Atenco, accusing the government of directing newspaper, television and radio
directors of holding back images of police brutality while publishing and
passing over and over the same images of protestors beating police.

Marcos held in the air five empty shotgun shells, most likely slug shells,
that locals found on the ground after the siege. "Here is the proof of who
killed the boy," Marcos said.

He offered to hand one of the shells over to reporters from Televisa and TV
Azteca, the largest media corporations in Mexico, but the reporters refused
to identify themselves. Marcos said he would grant interviews to any
reporter who agrees to publish the interview "without cuts or edits,"
signaling a major shift in the Zapatista's media policy during the Other
Campaign, which had been to refuse all interview requests.

Marcos reinstated the Zapatista's support for Atenco and its political
prisoners.

"You are not alone," he said, "We will continue carrying out mobilizations
across the country until all the political prisoners are freed."

He also accused the government of plotting the repression: why were the
police ready to attack here if the problem was in Texcoco, he asked.
"Because they want their airport once again, and they are coming for your
land."

Marcos said that he and participants in the Other Campaign would stay in
Mexico City indefinitely and called for a national public gathering in
Atenco over the next two days.
Re: Mexican Repression Sparks Boston Solidarity Demonstration
11 May 2006
anyone got pics from yesterday?
From NY
11 May 2006
NYC Mexican Immigrants Convene Protest at Mexican Consulate

Saludos Companer@s,

We are Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio, an
organization of MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS fighting against
gentrification in El Barrio, New York. We are
adherents to the Sexta Declaracion de la Selva
Lacandona and members of The Other Campaign.

We are the color of the earth. We are women, men,
youth and children of corn. We are Mexicans. We have
not lived in Mexico for a long time, but Mexico is
still the air we breathe, still the pulse of our
heart, it is still the thought that fills our minds.
We were born in Mexican lands and Mexico’s lands were
born in us.

As Mexican immigrants, we were forced to leave Mexico
because of the neoliberal economic system. In the
U.S., we are affected by neoliberalism on a daily
basis. Gentrification pushes us out of our homes in El
Barrio. Exploitation at the workplace forces us to
work 12 hours daily for poverty wages. Racist
immigration policies, attempt to criminalize and
dehumanize us. In New York, we fight against
neoliberalism in all its forms. We fight against
racism, xenophobia, sexism, and homophobia. We fight
for humanity. This is why we joined the Other
Campaign.

Our sisters and brothers of San Salvador Atenco are
under attack by the state repression being waged by
the PRI, PAN and PRD governments against members of
the Other Campaign. As Mexican immigrants, we call on
all people of good will to join us at a protest to
demand the liberation of all political prisoners and
an end to the state repression.

When: Friday, May 19th at 7 pm
Where: Mexican Consulate - 27 E 39th St
(between 5th and Madison). New York

Take the 4,5, 6 Trains to 42nd.
Re: Mexican Repression Sparks Boston Solidarity Demonstration
22 May 2006
hello