Mexican Social Movements Call For National Strike on November 20
Thousands rallied on November 5, 2014 through the streets of Mexico City part of a global day of action for justice for the 43 missing students. (Photo: EFE)
The case of the missing 43 students has galvanized huge segments of the Mexican population against the government.
131 organizations, among them student organizations, trade unions, and grassroots groups called for a national strike on November 20 of this year. The call was made during the rally held yesterday in the Mexican capital of Mexico City to demand justice for the missing 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teacher’s school.
A spokesperson from the University Students Assembly, which is brings together 110 schools, made a deliberate call to other sectors of Mexican society to join the fight, saying, “The struggle we face today will be a long one, but we must continue. Because what we want is the radical transformation of the conditions in which we live. There is a before and after Ayotzinapa… Only organization from below, only the struggle can confront the pain and injustice.”
Anger in Mexico over insecurity and the rampant crime — much of it at the hands of organized crime groups in collusion with elements of the state — has boiled over as a result of the disappearance of the 43 students. Politicians of all political parties are scrambling to respond to this discontent, which seems to only grow with time. Activist and lawyer Talia Vazquez, speaking at the rally said, “The only peace agreement that we want is for the 43 youths to return alive and for [the state] to tell us where the rest of this country’s disappeared are.”
The growing movement continues to demand that the students be returned alive. They also continue to insist that all three levels of government are the blame for the crime. The federal government is attempting to distance itself from any responsibility for the disappearance of the students. Although the mayor of Iguala, town where the students were attacked and disappeared, was captured earlier this week, the spokesperson stated this, “is far from being enough to be considered justice.”
The national strike is expected to put even greater pressure on the Mexican government to respond to not only the problem of organized crime but a litany of problems that the country is currently facing, such as rising gas prices, growing inequality, and youth unemployment.