Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: The million mom march

Well, there weren't a million of them. Maybe 1000, or maybe 3000, depending on which report you want to believe. Regardless of the number, a large group of women gathered, many with pots and pans and wearing aprons, and marched down the Calzada de Porfirio Díaz towards the Zócalo. They chanted anti-government slogans and beat on their pots and pans. They stopped by the Hotel Misión de los Ángeles, where negotiations between the striking teachers and the government are supposed to be held if they ever resume, and threw eggs at the hotel front.

Then they boarded some number of commandeered city buses, which again, depending upon which report you read, were either 12, 25 or 50. They headed towards the Zócalo and then between 500 and 1000 of them descended upon the government owned radio and television studios. The director of the stations got out but her director of information and some 60 other employees did not. The information director, one Mónica Ramos, was then subjected to shouts of, "You are distorting what is happening here."

The women took over the stations, both radio and TV. At some point, the TV's broadcast sound quit, but the women remained in front of the cameras and held up signs to communicate their protests. They were still there this morning.

They released 20 female employees about 7:00 last evening and the remaining 40 were released at about 9:30 last night. Here is how the vehemently anti-government newspaper, Noticias de Oaxaca, explained it. I'm going to copy and paste the exact quotation from the newspaper and then translate it for you because it is a hoot.
Como parte del agradecimiento al apoyo brindado, las plantonistas dieron de comer a los 60 trabajadores que se quedaron retenidos en un inicio, de los cuales 20 mujeres fueron liberadas al filo de las siete de la noche, mientras que el resto de los trabajadores lo hicieron después de las 21:30 horas.

Translation: As a show of appreciation for their help, the demonstrators fed dinner to the 60 employees who had been held hostage since the beginning. 20 female employees were released at 7:00 PM and the remaining employees were released after 9:30 PM.
It's always nice to know that your efforts to be good little hostages are appreciated by the hostage takers. I'm not sure how many of those trapped inside the building considered themselves to be helping the occupiers.

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