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I'm sitting in a cafe across from the Monument to the Revolution now, amazed at what I'm seeing. There has been a semi-permenent tent city of leftist peasant protesters camped out on the sidewalks on one side of the Monument for a few months, spreading in May around three sides. Today as I walked towards it, I saw hundreds of new tents going up, for the first time up the platform up the sides of the graduated walkway to the Monument itself, as well as right in the middle of the walkway, and across the street for the first time and even around the corner of CTM headquarters, with dozens more people coming in all the time, carrying more tents and luggage, mostly young people, 50-50 women to guys.

I had thought the protests would calm down with the election over, and again, my canny political insight has proven totally wrong.

I resisted talking to the protesters for now, as I'm involved in something else. A barista told me that she's heard 50,000 people are coming in for the protests.

In the past week, the gov't has been keeping about a 100 riot police with their shields around the Monument to prevent marchers from taking it, but they melted away today. A group of five riot police went by on motorcycles, but only one turned to look, and called to one of his mates, but all drove on.

Since I live nearby, I've been observing the riot police on patrol for a few months. Though they carry their shields, most have not been carrying night sticks, clubs, whatever they're called. They usually wore just what I assume are bullet proof vests, but today, many were sporting a lot more armor, going around their waists, knee and thigh pads, with some carrying batons at last. But again, most I saw were placidly eating tacos and tortas bought at street stands and seemingly not too concerned about anything. Enterprising protestors have of course set up their own food stands in tent city.

I assume then that the protestors sought and got authorization for this protest, unlike the many mini marches leading up to the election.

I'd say about 98% of Mexico City residents have totally ignored the protesters, not even glancing at the marchers and going about their business. It was only the few times that the riot police had to run to block streets that some people stopped to look.
 

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I'm sitting in a cafe across from the Monument to the Revolution now, amazed at what I'm seeing. There has been a semi-permenent tent city of leftist peasant protesters camped out on the sidewalks on one side of the Monument for a few months, spreading in May around three sides.

...I had thought the protests would calm down with the election over, and again, my canny political insight has proven totally wrong....

...In the past week, the gov't has been keeping about a 100 riot police with their shields around the Monument to prevent marchers from taking it, but they melted away today. A group of five riot police went by on motorcycles, but only one turned to look, and called to one of his mates, but all drove on.....

I assume then that the protestors sought and got authorization for this protest, unlike the many mini marches leading up to the election.

I'd say about 98% of Mexico City residents have totally ignored the protesters, not even glancing at the marchers and going about their business.
Perhaps the DF cops as is the case in San Cristóbal de Las Casas and, often, in Oaxaca City, realize they cannot control these social movements so, while prancing around at taco stands in the vicinity demonstrates, at least unremarkably, they don't seem to care one way or the other what transpíres in the streets and on the plazas they are not about to wade into that mess and make matters even worse than they were without their interference. this is typica of what we see all the time in San Cristóbal with its very large and somewhat irritated indigenous population and dissatisfied folks of alll kinds. Sometimes it's best to live with what you´ve got rather tan stir the pot.

I am reminded of some poster some time ago who saifd he felt safe in the Zaona Rosa because of all the cops seen strolling about and then he was admonished to re-think that feeelig of confort with the presence of all those cops who, accoprding to the rspondent, would disappear at lightning speeds in the event of trouble bordering on mayhem and, besides, if they shoot someone, there is no telling to whom the shootee is kin or close to.
 

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I'd say about 98% of Mexico City residents have totally ignored the protesters, not even glancing at the marchers and going about their business. It was only the few times that the riot police had to run to block streets that some people stopped to look.
I'm going to assume you haven't lived in Mexico City for very long. I say that because there are so many different demonstrations local residents simply try to avoid being caught-up in traffic jams, etc., and don't give much other thought to them (unless the group protesting is one which they support).

A 50,000 person protest might not be the smallest you'll see, but it's certainly a lot smaller than many.

When protesters come into the city from rural or other states and camp-out, they often, eventually leave because leaders have been paid-off in some manner. The pay-off can be in the form of paying for their transport to wherever they came from, conceding something small, or likely cash in the pocket of whomever is organizing the demonstration.

"Riot police" are a common sight in the city. At times, they seem to be everywhere ... as if disappointed the "revolution" hasn't materialized and they can't fight!
 

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Sorry about those dreadful mistakes in the final paragraph of my above posting. I was timed out on necessary corrections so here goes:

I am reminded of some poster some time ago who said he felt safe in the Zona Rosa because of all of the cops seen strolling about the área and then he was admonished by a respondent to re-think that feeling of comfort with the presence of all those cops in the área who, according to the respondent, would disappear at lightning speed in the event of any trouble because one does not just go about shooting miscreants just because they are robbing or assaulting someone else on the street since one doesn´t really know either of these participants in the event and who knows who the miscreant may be kin to or have influence with who can easily get one canned and, besides, one has to pay out of pocket for bullets utilized in the law enforcement process so it is best for one to hightail it out of there. Just try not to trip over other fleeing cops on your way back to the station.
 

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I'm sitting in a cafe across from the Monument to the Revolution now, amazed at what I'm seeing. There has been a semi-permenent tent city of leftist peasant protesters camped out on the sidewalks on one side of the Monument for a few months, spreading in May around three sides. Today as I walked towards it, I saw hundreds of new tents going up, for the first time up the platform up the sides of the graduated walkway to the Monument itself, as well as right in the middle of the walkway, and across the street for the first time and even around the corner of CTM headquarters, with dozens more people coming in all the time, carrying more tents and luggage, mostly young people, 50-50 women to guys.

I had thought the protests would calm down with the election over, and again, my canny political insight has proven totally wrong.

I resisted talking to the protesters for now, as I'm involved in something else. A barista told me that she's heard 50,000 people are coming in for the protests.

In the past week, the gov't has been keeping about a 100 riot police with their shields around the Monument to prevent marchers from taking it, but they melted away today. A group of five riot police went by on motorcycles, but only one turned to look, and called to one of his mates, but all drove on.

Since I live nearby, I've been observing the riot police on patrol for a few months. Though they carry their shields, most have not been carrying night sticks, clubs, whatever they're called. They usually wore just what I assume are bullet proof vests, but today, many were sporting a lot more armor, going around their waists, knee and thigh pads, with some carrying batons at last. But again, most I saw were placidly eating tacos and tortas bought at street stands and seemingly not too concerned about anything. Enterprising protestors have of course set up their own food stands in tent city.

I assume then that the protestors sought and got authorization for this protest, unlike the many mini marches leading up to the election.

I'd say about 98% of Mexico City residents have totally ignored the protesters, not even glancing at the marchers and going about their business. It was only the few times that the riot police had to run to block streets that some people stopped to look.
The teacher testing has presumed. They cancelled it a week or so before June 6th.

When I was staying at a hotel one building from the Monumento in Feb. 2014 I saw the same tent city, same police in riot gear and one evening skateboarders thowing clumps of dirt at some of the police. When I walked through no one bothered. Many of the police were in front of the INFONAVIT building on the north west corner.
 

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I'm going to assume you haven't lived in Mexico City for very long. I say that because there are so many different demonstrations local residents simply try to avoid being caught-up in traffic jams, etc., and don't give much other thought to them (unless the group protesting is one which they support).

A 50,000 person protest might not be the smallest you'll see, but it's certainly a lot smaller than many.

When protesters come into the city from rural or other states and camp-out, they often, eventually leave because leaders have been paid-off in some manner. The pay-off can be in the form of paying for their transport to wherever they came from, conceding something small, or likely cash in the pocket of whomever is organizing the demonstration.

"Riot police" are a common sight in the city. At times, they seem to be everywhere ... as if disappointed the "revolution" hasn't materialized and they can't fight!
Re: "I'm going to assume you haven't lived in Mexico City for very long."

Ay-yay-yay - I was in the middle of the 1988 anti-election fraud protests that had several hundred thousand very angry protestors marching daily, just waiting for the word for a revolution. Were you there? I was in the middle as a reporter. And Mexican reporters all agreed those protests were the worst since the 1968 ones. And hey I was a young kid in Mexico that summer of 1968 on a car trip, in wonder at the angry student protests that culminated after I left in Tlatelolco massacres, so, hey, I'll bet I've experienced far more than you (and also of course being a reporter in Central America in the 70s and 80s where protests were for keeps, and i covered many).

In the months since I've returned, most marches have been a few hundred, a few thousand at the most. I live at ground zero for most of them, where Insurgentes and Reforma meet, so I think I've seen all the current ones, more than most people for sure.

Yeah, I sensed and saw something different today. But relatively ... certainly not like Central America, where I saw bloodshed every single time, way less than the summer of 1988, and the summer of 1968, but a ramp up from these past few months.

What's your experience?
 

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The teacher testing has presumed. They cancelled it a week or so before June 6th.

When I was staying at a hotel one building from the Monumento in Feb. 2014 I saw the same tent city, same police in riot gear and one evening skateboarders thowing clumps of dirt at some of the police. When I walked through no one bothered. Many of the police were in front of the INFONAVIT building on the north west corner.
Please read my post. I've been here since December, with the tent city always there. It has been expanding especially in the past month, but today marked a major expansion, as I described. Hundreds pouring in every hour, tent building going on frantically in major new territory. Take a trip there and tell us what you think now.
 

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Oh, heck, a little context.

I've lived near the intersection of Reforma and Insurgentes since Dec. As the protests grew, especially since the permanent camp around Gobernacion, the riot police with their four foot shields, have become a daily present on the street where I live, five or six days a week. They sometimes block access, but never to me, an obvious foreigner.

Also, though the gov't has let the protesters march up and down Reforma and Insurgentes almost daily all this time, there seems to have been an unwritten rule of not going into the historic center. I don't know this. Only that the protesters never appeared there until Good Friday, when they suddenly marched to Bellas Artes, but led by a bunch of teens waving red hammer and sickle flags. Then, in front of Bellas Artes that day, the protestors put on about a three hour show, alternating between the teens dressed in traditional Western costumes dancing to music, and fiery speeches.

Since that day, riot police with shields have been stationed at Bellas Artes most of the time to prevent a reoccurrence, I imagine. A few times, they've formed a barricade across Juarez. Sometimes, I've seen hundreds run down Juarez to Reforma and form a barricade there. Marchers coming up Reforma, just a few hundred, never confront them, but head towards Monumento de la Revolucion, but again, only in past few weeks, riot police have been stationed there as well, to prevent that takeover, though not molesting tent city.

But mostly these riot police did not carry at least openly, batons or riot sticks or whatever they're called. And the march organizers with bullhorns have always spoken loudly that they do not seek a physical confrontation. "Our only weapons are words," they would shout.

I'm a keen observer of moods of both police and protestors, for self-preservation. I've been tear gased in Central America and run away when shooting broke out. I was in the middle of out of control anger among protestors in 1968 (not knowing what I was witnessing) and in 1988 in Mexico.

The police in 1968 and 88, and in Central America, never sat around at taco stands, ignoring the people walking behind them. That's why what is happening now still seems under control. I mean, police in Centram, back in the Mexico anger days, would glower at civilians, track them carefully with their eyes, never let them go around their backs. But now, I walk behind these guys in their armor chowing down, and they have no awareness, therefore no fear. So, it's not so bad.

BUT ... these protesters were arriving at the Monument today with real determination, in their eyes, in their body language. Not anger, but very determined.

There were probably double the number of riot police today, police buses parked in side streets all around the Monument, the police suddenly much better armored, even shin armor, looking like hockey goalies or warriors from advanced computer games, but again, languidly searching for and chomping down food. But again the first police batons I've seen in force in six months.

The gov't retreat from the Monument shows they don't want any violence. I'm sure the body of protestors don't want any as well. As I said, 50 percent are young women ... but I'd say with more determined looks and body language than the guys.

Unlike 1968 and 88, residents of Mexico City do not seem to be engaged with the protestors. Again, people along the marches have come up to me, an obvious foreigner, to express their disdain for them, but most just go about their business.

BUT, I've been in both Salvadoran and Nicaraguan battle situations where I've seen gov't troops and rebels throwing up defenses, setting up machine guns and heavy weapons. That is what I saw in the determination today as hundreds were setting up tents. They had guides set up of ropes along the grounds in straight grids for the tents and supply depots. Very military. High enthusiasm. High discipline.

With both sides seeming determined to avoid physical confrontation, I'm sure it will all be peaceful. But again, one side is determined and apparently highly motivated. One side is super well equipped and for now, more interested in finding good tacos. I hope it continues.
 

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With both sides seeming determined to avoid physical confrontation, I'm sure it will all be peaceful. But again, one side is determined and apparently highly motivated. One side is super well equipped and for now, more interested in finding good tacos. I hope it continues.
Actually, I think the maestros are hoping there will be some restraining of their activities on the part of the police, so they can cry "repression" and win some points that way. Are you hoping that the 5000 members of the CNTE who've arrived in town today end up living around the Monumento a la Revolución for several weeks, as they have done in the past, making a mess, tying up traffic and wreaking havoc with the local economy? I hope they are somehow "persuaded" to pack up their belongings very soon and head home and get back to work!

By the way, the powers that be at SEGOB announced earlier today that they won't continue negotiations with the CNTE till the teachers are back in their classrooms doing the job they are paid to do.

El Universal - DF - Condiciona Segob diálogo con CNTE
 

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Actually, I think the maestros are hoping there will be some restraining of their activities on the part of the police, so they can cry "repression" and win some points that way. Are you hoping that the 5000 members of the CNTE who've arrived in town today end up living around the Monumento a la Revolución for several weeks, as they have done in the past, making a mess, tying up traffic and wreaking havoc with the local economy? I hope they are somehow "persuaded" to pack up their belongings very soon and head home and get back to work!

By the way, the powers that be at SEGOB announced earlier today that they won't continue negotiations with the CNTE till the teachers are back in their classrooms doing the job they are paid to do.

El Universal - DF - Condiciona Segob diálogo con CNTE
I think you're 100% correct. That's why I wrote that the "body of protestors" don't want any violence. They reflexively know they're pawns.

If you have time, head over to the Monument tomorrow or when you have time. I'd be interested in your perspective.
 

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I think you're 100% correct. That's why I wrote that the "body of protestors" don't want any violence. They reflexively know they're pawns.

If you have time, head over to the Monument tomorrow or when you have time. I'd be interested in your perspective.
I agree that they are indeed pawns in the hands of their fearless leaders. I have no desire to check out the goings-on at the Monumento, and there's a good chance the teachers wouldn't welcome my presence.
 

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I agree that they are indeed pawns in the hands of their fearless leaders. I have no desire to check out the goings-on at the Monumento, and there's a good chance the teachers wouldn't welcome my presence.
Well, you certainly wouldn't want to go then. As a journalist, I've interviewed many, many unsavory types. We're trained to just say, "Hmm, interesting," when they make outrageous statements. It's neutral, not a lie, but they inevitably think we're in agreement.

Well, if any other member is in DF and wants to visit, I'm sure readers would enjoy their perspectives.
 

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Well, you certainly wouldn't want to go then. As a journalist, I've interviewed many, many unsavory types. We're trained to just say, "Hmm, interesting," when they make outrageous statements. It's neutral, not a lie, but they inevitably think we're in agreement.

Well, if any other member is in DF and wants to visit, I'm sure readers would enjoy their perspectives.
Not being a journalist like you, I'm afraid I don't have the proper interviewing skills to make a visit a useful one. I do remember when the maestros took over the Zocalo a couple of years ago, and there were reports of outsiders attempting to visit being told they were not welcome and to scram!

I look forward to reading the report of your visit to this latest CNTE encampment.
 

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Strangers aren't welcomed to protests because if something happens to them it would be of course blamed on the demonstrators.
 

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BUT, I've been in both Salvadoran and Nicaraguan battle situations where I've seen gov't troops and rebels throwing up defenses, setting up machine guns and heavy weapons. That is what I saw in the determination today as hundreds were setting up tents. They had guides set up of ropes along the grounds in straight grids for the tents and supply depots. Very military. High enthusiasm. High discipline.
Interesting observations, all, but my sense is that you have a flair for the melodramatic. I say this after reading your remarks in this discussion, and others such as the one on the elections/currency and the incidents at Iguala last year. I look forward to your continued reporting from the "front." All the best. :)
 

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BUT, I've been in both Salvadoran and Nicaraguan battle situations where I've seen gov't troops and rebels throwing up defenses, setting up machine guns and heavy weapons. That is what I saw in the determination today as hundreds were setting up tents. They had guides set up of ropes along the grounds in straight grids for the tents and supply depots. Very military. High enthusiasm. High discipline.

With both sides seeming determined to avoid physical confrontation, I'm sure it will all be peaceful. But again, one side is determined and apparently highly motivated. One side is super well equipped and for now, more interested in finding good tacos. I hope it continues.
Isn´t his particular group of protesters and their fringe followers know for burning, destroying government property, as late as last week, vandalizing private property, and stealing Coca Cola etc. from delivery trucks? Why would the police not be ready for another episode? Why would they not show force from the beginning? I presume they have reserves a short distance away plus the Military.
 

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Strangers aren't welcomed to protests because if something happens to them it would be of course blamed on the demonstrators.
That's one possiblity. Another is that they have orders from their leaders not to talk to outsiders.
 

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It has been announced that the "teachers" will return to work mid-week, next week. Also, too, it's reported they've begun leaving their campground in the D.F. and things will subside in Oaxcaca (city). Another "mega march" is planned for both the D.F. and Oaxaca, before the merry band of revolutionaries goes back to work to collect their pay.

Click here to read a google translated article, from El Universal:
 
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