[Marxism] MEXICO CITY: Mexican leftists swarm capital in election protest

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Jul 30 20:40:16 MDT 2006

Truly inspring to see the struggle which is being put up by Manuel Lopez
Obrador for the Mexican presidency. Now he's declared he IS the president
of Mexico. I don't imagine many governments will recognize this victory,
but it does indicate a further intensification of the struggle against the
electoral fraud which, it's now rather obvious, took place there.

My friend Pedro Gellert tells me by phone that the Mexico City police gave
2.4 MILLION as the estimate of the crowd turnout, somewhat higher than the
100,000 given here, which the New York Slimes also gave. Another friend,
sent me this message:

From: tonybook at att.net [mailto:tonybook at att.net] 
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2006 4:57 PM
To: Walter Lippmann
Subject: 2.4 million in the Zocalo

Very big news from Mexico City!!! TR

just in from the zocalo - andres manuel lopez obrador has just drawn
2.4 million people to the political heart of the nation (police
estimates) - the largest political demonstration in the history of
this republic and double what he drew July 16th - he has asked those
who came to stay in a permanent assembly until the votes are counted
one by one - the encampments will stretch from the zocalo all the way
to chapultepec park and are already being set up - those of you who
have long memories will remember that i once wrote a novel
"tonatiuh's people" (cinco puntos press el paso 1999) in which
tonatiuh galvan has the presidency of mexico stolen from him and then
summons a million people the color of the earth to the zocalo to sit
in permanent assembly - we are indeed at a historical moment - in
solidarity johnross mexico city

Via NY Transfer News Collective  *  All the News that Doesn't Fit
Reuters via Yahoo - Jul 30, 2006

Mexican leftists swarm capital in election protest

By Cyntia Barrera

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A massive crowd marched through Mexico City on
Sunday to back a leftist who claims he was robbed of victory in a fiercely
contested presidential election and is demanding a vote-by-vote recount.

At least 100,000 protesters swarmed toward the central Zocalo, one of the
world's largest squares, where Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was to rally his
supporters for a campaign of civil disobedience.

"Lopez Obrador, hold on, the people are rising up," supporters chanted on
Sunday, many dressed in the bright yellow of his leftist Party of the
Democratic Revolution, or PRD.

Mexico was plunged into a political crisis by the close July 2 election,
which saw ruling party conservative Felipe Calderon beat Lopez Obrador by
just around 244,000 votes out of 41 million cast.

Lopez Obrador, an austere former mayor of Mexico City who campaigned on
promises to help Mexico's poor with ambitious welfare and infrastructure
programs, claims the result was rigged against him.

"The elections were filthy," said Maria Teresa Priego, a 57-year-old city
government employee. "We are here to support a humble man, a hard-working

It was the third mass protest in the last three weeks, and many expected it
to be the biggest.

The crowd grew steadily as it approached the Zocalo, which holds well over
100,000 people and was once the center of the Aztec empire. It is still the
heart of modern Mexico, home to the National Palace and the capital's main


Lopez Obrador says vote counts were fiddled at more than half the country's
roughly 130,000 polling stations. He is challenging them before Mexico's
highest electoral court, and says he will only accept the result if there
is a recount.

While stressing his protests will stay peaceful, Lopez Obrador upped the
ante last week by declaring he was the country's legitimate president and
warning his supporters had plenty of energy for more protests.

Critics accuse him of holding the country to ransom with threats of civil

However large the latest protest, it is unlikely to directly influence the
seven electoral court judges who have until August 31 to decide whether
there is a case to reopen ballot boxes.

Their choices range from throwing out Lopez Obrador's case and declaring
Calderon the winner, to ordering a partial or full recount or even
annulling the election and calling for a repeat.

An annulment is thought highly unlikely and, without it, the court must
formally declare Mexico's president-elect by September 6.

Calderon insists the vote was clean and that no recount is needed. While
his party's lawyers are fighting the PRD at the electoral court, he is
trying to pull support from other opposition parties for reforms he plans
to push through once he takes office in December.

(Additional reporting by Catherine Bremer)

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