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Mexico Trembles Under Third Demonstration
Lopez Obrador calls for permanent protest
Raymundo Castillo Bautista (lielander)     Print Article 
Published 2006-08-02 11:45 (KST)   
A dog wearing a bandana calling for all votes to be counted.
©2006 RCB
It's been a month since the Federal Public Elections in Mexico on July 2, and the question about who really is the elected president continues. On July 30, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) began his third big protest with the help of millions of people who believe in him for the "defense of democracy." In the first demonstration, AMLO mobilized about 500,000 people. In the second, on July 16, the people who came were about 1 million. But this, the third demonstration with more than 2 million people, continues the fight for democracy as a "peaceful civil resistance."

The yellow "people tsunami" began at 11:00 a.m. headed by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. It started from the Archeology Museum, moved down Reforma Avenue, continued by Juarez Avenue, and ended up in the Zocalo or Constitutional Plaza.

Everybody is here, walking peacefully, as at a big party. Different social classes have come: workers, students, parents, babies, kids, teenagers, grandmas and grandpas, dogs, sex workers, lesbian and gay groups, luchadores (masked fighters), and bulls and rats made from paper mache.

©2006 RCB
I'm on Juarez Avenue. I try to enjoy the moment along with everyone who is here. I see their faces and from time to time, from those who continue arriving I hear a question, "Has he gone by?" Nobody says his name but everybody knows it is AMLO they are asking for. The response is "No, not yet." Time goes on, and suddenly voices begin shouting "He's coming! He's coming!" Everybody is excited. Some guys in white t-shirt are making their way through the crowd. Then he's here, and people want to see the truly elected president. I see him, in this moment he sighs; a second later he smiles and continues his way.

He has gone away, but too many emotions have remained between us. For example, I see several women excited almost to the point of starting to cry. I approach one of them and ask her what she thinks about living in this moment. With a hesitating voice she says to me, "I'm here on my own; nobody has paid for my trip to the Federal District. The bus companies refused to rent us a vehicle."

Felipe Calderon depicted as a rat
©2006 RCB
At my left side is a frightened girl; this is the first time that she came to a demonstration like this, She is surprised, since she discovers that the media are inventing and spreading a sensation of fear. I turn left, and I see a family going home with a baby and a kid, about 5 years old. This smiling kid says keenly that he is here because of his grandma. Some minutes later, when I'm walking over Juarez Avenue, there is an family taking a picture of themselves; they are very happy. I try to talk with them. The father talks about what's going on in Mexican politics; his family looks on with admiration as he talks.

Finally, near 2 p.m., AMLO speaks in the Zocalo to the millions of people that are here. He thanks everyone, reminds them of the values from the independence fight in 1810 and the Mexican Revolution in 1910, and emphasizes that this is not a movement for the presidency, but a defense of democracy. He apologizes to those who don't believe in what he is doing, but he says he is working for the future security of all. And finally he ask us for make a permanent movement, with 47 camps, where deputies, delegation chiefs, representatives from civil society, and citizens will be on guard. These camps are divided between those that represent the 31 states, located in the Zocalo, and those who represent the 16 delegations, located on Reforma avenue.

On Monday, Jorge Saldana, a Mexican journalist, says this movement is a "country whose souls have awaken." He's playing with words; in spanish, souls (almas) and arms (armas) sound similar. Sincerely, after being a spectator in the three demonstrations that has taken place in the Federal District, I think this is not a mass control movement as some Mexican journalists have said. Instead, AMLO is building a real social movement by integrating families with universal ethical values such as self-integrity, social responsibility, and sustainable living.

Demonstrators show Calderon in jail
©2006 RCB

Paper bull
©2006 RCB

A demonstrator with an AMLO mask
©2006 RCB

Citizens demonstrating for AMLO
©2006 RCB
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Raymundo Castillo Bautista

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