Mexico City: Demonstration in memory of the Tlatelolco massacre

Every October 2nd, Mexico City commemorates the massacre of students in diverse levels of education in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas (“Square of the Three Cultures”) of Tlatelolco neighbourhood, ten days before the 1968 Summer Olympics. This year’s march took place against the backdrop of several recent anarchist interventions in a variety of social protests; this occasion was no exception.

First reports from the streets were as follows:

The march was composed of various different movements, but mainly by blocs of students, workers and academics from the most representative universities in the territory controlled by the Mexican State (such as UNAM, IPN and UAM, among others). It is worth noting that along the whole route as of several years ago are hundreds of surveillance cameras put there “for the citizen’s security,” and as always these situations are proof of the use of CCTV as a means to fulfill their biopolitics of discipline and punish. The demonstration was “going well” from the starting point in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas at Tlatelolco, until it reached the top of the Reforma Avenue and Bucarelli Street, where the police began to divide the immense contingent. This was done at the exact point where the presence of anarchist comrades terminated; the police attack was carried out by anti-riot squadrons backed up by the mounted police (who usually force the horses to rush and attack the crowds). Among others gas-bombs were detonated by the police, and fire-bombs were thrown by protesters. For the most part, anarchists and other rebels went on the offensive, while anti-riot cops also carried long-range weapons. The Reforma Avenue, which is a main arterial street, was totally packed by cops, particularly at the intersection with Bucarelli Street (considering this is a roundabout, in order to realize such a repression operation the police presence must have been for far more than what was officially mentioned by the Mexico City police chief).

Once the march was divided, those who came from behind paused as the police advanced to kettle the anarchist contingent (along with others who were on that side of the activity) at the Monument to the Revolution, in Republic Square. The streets surrounding the square were closed in order to prevent the main part of the march from reaching the area in potential aid of the people there. In the head of this split of the rally (not where the anarchists were) the police also closed the road to the Zócalo, main square of the historic centre, and also put drones with in the air to film and take photos of protesters in that part of the demo, focusing to those who had covered their faces (and some hooded ones who were split from rest of the black bloc, but weren’t captured by the cops). This part of the crowd tried to enter the Republic Square, but the routes were blocked. Meanwhile, as some comrades reported, many detentions and injuries occurred in the clash, and they still continued to be attacked by cops at the Monument.

Then, the section of the demonstration relegated to the Reforma Avenue tried to gain access to the Monument to the Revolution, but the organizers themselves insisted that there were too many cops to allow the march to enter the area (the reformists never thought to counterattack, and comrades who were still spread amongst the diverse crowd were too few to break the police lines on their own), and therefore decided to continue the route along the Reforma Avenue to arrive at the “Angel of Independence”, leaving the anarchist comrades in the hands of repression nearby the Monument to the Revolution. All this happened around 6pm local time and in approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

At 7.15pm, people in solidarity reported that the black bloc weren’t seen on the way to the “Angel of Independence,” and that all the routes of entry to the Monument to the Revolution continued to be blocked; given this, they understood repression continued and the police intended to detain all of the comrades who were trapped in that area. At 8pm, it was estimated that approximately 50 protesters were detained as they were transported in police bus. Comrades from the Anarchist Black Cross were already on their way to a police station in search and aid of detainees. At approximately 10.30pm, solidarians reported that several comrades who were in the University City (UNAM’s main campus) were taken by the police and that their whereabouts were still unknown. So the ABC continued to search for detainees at various police stations, and solidarity actions were immediately planned for the next days, demanding the liberation of all hostages.

Some of the captives of October 2nd have been released on bail, but there are still people behind bars. Constant updates on arrested comrades here by Mexico ABC.