On August 19, 20 and 21, 2006, I walked around various sections of the planton set up throughout Mexico City. Many working class people from all over Mexico have traveled to Mexico City to demand a full recount of the votes cast during the national election which took place on July 6th. Shouts of “voto por voto, casilla por casilla” (vote for vote, ballot box for ballot box) are heard everywhere as these people believe a recount will change the official results of the presidential election.
The occupation of Mexico City’s Zocalo and other streets began on the evening of July 30th and as of August 22nd is into the 24th day of resistance against electoral fraud and Felipe Calderon. Ándres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and the demonstrators say they will continue the planton until every single vote and ballot box is re-counted. The powers that be seem to be tolerating most aspects of the demonstration without repression, although there are barricades in place at San Lazaro to keep people off the street where Mexico’s senators work.
However, some people think that the police will act soon to clear the demonstrators from the streets and Zocalo. The body responsible for vindicating the election, the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TEPFJ), has until the Aug. 31 to declare a definitive winner. On September 1st, Vicente Fox is scheduled to give an “Informe de Gobierno” (like the “State of the Union”) at the Zocalo. And on September 15th, Dia de la Independencia (Independence Day), Fox plans to continue the Mexican tradition of ringing the Campana de Dolores (Dolores Bell) and shouting “Viva Mexico.”
Time will tell how the Mexico authorities decide to react to the thousands of people struggling for a true democracy in Mexico.
For an analysis of the 2006 Mexican elections, AMLO’s reaction and more information about the resistance, please see jen lawhorne’s article: