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Mobilization in Guadalajara

translation volunteer | 30.05.2004 22:20 | Globalisation | Repression | World

As part of the global social movement, which has been taking place since Seattle ‘99, days of Social Action have been organised in Guadalajara, Mexico, with reference to the III ALCUE (Latin American, Caribbean and European Union)summit , taking place at the centre
of this city. The days of action have consisted of a series of forums and workshops where people look for alternatives to neoliberal policies, as well as organising cultural activities and street

The main event was scheduled for Friday May 28, this was a well-attended demonstration which began, as planned, at 4 pm at the Minerva square, where different representatives from social movements came together. At that moment the group “Food No Bombs”
was distributing free food at one side of the square.

At 5 pm the demonstrators started to march down the Vallarta avenue. Around 2,500 people had gathered from all over the country and also from abroad. The participating groups were extremely diverse, from
peasants, students, trade unions and teachers, to civil associations, anarchists groups, sexual rights groups and even political parties. All of them cried out slogans, sang songs, danced to the son of
“Resistance Rhythms”, while showing their opposition to the neoliberal policies of the Third ALCUE summit.
Each group showed a particular form of expression. The crowd was colourful and celebratory, pacifically advancing under the blazing sun and the curious looks of the passer-by's.

When they reached the crossing of avenues 16 de Septiembre and Juárez, beside the main square where the Government Palace is located, the demonstration was stopped by a crush barrier and policemen standing on 16 de Septiembre Avenue. At that moment, a group of activists broke away from the crowd and went towards
the crush barrier to move it out of the way. The demonstration partially disintegrated due to various groups and individuals that began to withdraw, while others remained at the crossing of these two avenues.
The confrontation took place when parts of the barrier were taken down and the police sprayed an unknown toxic substance, more irritating than pepper or tear gas, which they used once the demonstrators had reacted to this aggression by throwing stones, sticks, parts of the barrier and anything at their reach.
There are hints that among the group of activists there were instigators who might have encouraged the confrontation. From the Juárez avenue, another police contingent advanced on the demonstrators, who ran away while some individuals broke banks and shops windows.
People totally dispersed finally, with the detention of demonstrators who were in squares and other public spaces. At this instance, it is known that 68 people were arrested, including foreigners and various people injured. A day of action for the liberation of the
detainees is planned for Saturday 29.


translation volunteer