Protest and celebration in Mexico


On Friday, September 13th, the police of Mexico City ended the occupation of the Zocalo, Mexico City’s main square, where several thousands of teachers had been camping out in protest against the recently approved education reform bill signed by President Peña Nieto, which they saw as impinging on their rights. Once the eviction became effective, the Federal Police burned some of the tents and utensils that remained after the 25-day stay of the members of the National Education Workers Coordinating Committee (CNTE, the Spanish acronym for Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación).

About 3,500 police clashed with teachers and related groups to reconquer the Zocalo, with the specific goal of ensuring that Mexico’s Grito de la Independencia (“Cry of Independence”) ceremony could be held the night of September 15. About 6,000 people marched to protest the eviction. 31 people were arrested during the operation. According to authorities, none of the arrestees were teachers, but this is disputed by the teachers, who say at least 20 of their colleagues were detained. The protesters then moved their camp to the Monument to the Revolution, in the same area of the historic city center, where they plan to remain indefinitely.

September 16, Independence Day, is one of the most important celebrations of the year for Mexicans. Thousands of people gathered for the traditional Grito de  la Independencia.

JForde_Mexico_1 copy

The clean-up begins at the Zocalo (historic centre) in Mexico City after weeks of the annual teachers manifestation. At 16:00 on Friday the 13th, the order was given to forcefully remove them.

JForde_Mexico_3 copy Almost 3500 policemen were deployed that day. Here they stand celebrating a good day’s work after many civilians were hospitalized or injured in the day’s events.

lOZ0R7SOHm0gsX5UgkArjK1WwSTKViAwfn2H8b8-fR4,woZBknEJEm_Gl4hEMMPbCfja7f7-mUYkmQz5UpZFxwwA lone policeman walks the area securing it with some form of grenades attached to his vest.

dFDUTFV6Cc7cWLIIuySLINbCLvFg3uVxNM-XHyKhDbo,5VrxuSq6L5tbAwgU794lJPFf7B3IurkNpJxj_JH3V-wA banner stating there is “Nothing worth celebrating but everything worth fighting for” at the protest on Independence Day (September 15th).

JForde_Mexico_4 copyA woman covers her face at the protest on Independence Day.

JForde_Mexico_5 copyDuring the march, someone is pictured holding a banner for the small delegation of Haujuapan, a small area in the well-known region of Oaxaca.

JForde_Mexico_8 copyOn the other side of the city, the majority of the city celebrates Independence Day.

GrS8pOgghIuSSLDBr0eA99rHLbRaVtkC_OOCPftfcmQ,up09FMb1SGlsLXp8kDdRqei6A3klm4WGerWIGgLNQogThe traditional Mexican sombrero, worn in celebration.

JForde_Mexico_6 copyThe night draws to a close. In the background, the Monument to the Revolution, where the protesters have now set up camp.

JForde_Mexico_7 copyA single rose in the hand of a person celebrating Mexican National Day.

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