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The running of the anarchists

3 October 2009

In what is an evolving ritual, the veterans of the 1968 movement and the Tlatelolco Massacre held their memorial march yesterday.  Forty-one years on, with still no official accounting or prosecutions for the events of 2 October, the annual protest march,  surviving members of the “Comité del 68” (some on walkers, and some assisted by children and grandchildren) led the several thousand protesters from students to grandmothers.

kentuckyAs in past years, there is some property damage.  I watched windows at the KFC shatter when I observed the 35th anniversary march.  This year, KFC got smart.  On that occasion, then Secretarío de Gobernacíon Santiago Creel tried to blame — of all people — the  goths for fomenting trouble.  And even fingered some goth girl from Germany as a foreign agitator.  When everyone stopped laughing (except for the German Ambassador, who took it very seriously), and the goths themselves.    Besides, its the punks who are anarchists (er, the anarco-punks are anarchists, the rest are Marxists), not the more conservative Goths, who are only slightly less wimpy that Emos among the tribus urbanos of Mexico City.

Everyone felt better, and the ritual was better defined, once the annual atavistic action contingent were finally given the generic title of “anarchists”.  Some are, but the term includes the glue sniffers, vandals and plain assholes you find in any large crowd.

While it might be a sign of progress, and a victory of sorts for those demanding change in 1968 that Mexico City police are less prone to automatically resort to brute force, there is also the recognition that the anarchists (the real ones) are engaging in a ritual outpouring of anger and frustration against the financial forces that they see as their repressors.  In front of Banco de Mexico, it’s a rough form of slam dancing.  In the video, you’ll see that even among the more energetic protesters, there is some attempt to maintain order.  It’s ritual up to the point where guys start throwing rocks.  Then the tear gas came out.

Windows were broken at the Antigua Ayuntamiento, the former city hall on the Zocalo, which led to several arrests.  Ironically, the rock throwers were under the impression that the Federal District government leaders were in the building, but they were in the new District office building…ironically enough, the former Foreign Secretariat complex in… where else… Tlatelolco Plaza.

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