07 November 2007

Careless Words: A Clarification

In my last post, "Quien Sabe?", I referred to a peaceful demonstration held last Friday in remembrance of the events of November 2 last year as a "non-episode." In retrospect and with more careful consideration, I have to acknowledge that that was a mischaracterization of the demonstration held here in Oaxaca on this November 2. By some accounts as many as 1,500 Oaxacans came out last Friday to join the demonstration, and as Nancy Davies points out in her article either 16 or 40* demonstrators were arrested, so it's just plain ignorant of me to call that a "non-episode."

Here is an incisive quote regarding the recent demonstration, offered in a press release from the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights:

Trying to silence the protest of the citizenry by means of police force and terror reflects no more than the political incapacity to direct life in a state submerged in poverty and desperation that seeks democratic forms of participation.

. . . The repression of this demonstration results from an enormous political stupidity, first because it is a Mexican tradition to create offerings to remember those who have died; second, because the social movement was trying to peacefully commemorate the fact of having resisted stoically an aggression by the Federal Preventative Police against a university space; and finally, it was dealing with an artistic demonstration announced ahead of time.

Emphasis mine. This last seems about right. There appears to be little reason for arrests. I've not read any accounts in any of the major newspapers suggesting the usual anarchista antics, such as stone throwing or lighting buses on fire, occurred last Friday. So what gives? Well, as I said in my earlier post, if Nancy Davies doesn't know then I'm even further at a loss for explanation.

*I found a list of 19 names of individuals detained during the demonstration Friday at 5 Senores, though the APPO website indicates this list is not complete.