On September 26, a bus carrying students from the Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa Teacher Training School was stopped by the local police in Iguala, Guerrero. Without prior warning the police opened fire killing six students on the spot. The police, with the collaboration of notorious drug gang Guerreros Unidos then kidnapped the remaining students.
It is now seven weeks since the police attacked the students. The brutal incident acted as the proverbial last straw, opening up a wave of mass protests which continues to grow and spread throughout Mexico.
The Marxist Student Federation here in Britain has energetically participated in solidarity action with the Mexican students and their struggle.
Marxist society meetings
The issue has been discussed in Marxist societies all over the country, with groups of students taking photos of themselves holding statements of solidarity and images of the disappeared students. These photos have been circulated on social media in Britain, Mexico and elsewhere to build support for the campaign.
Very successful meetings were held at SOAS and Oxford entirely dedicated to the question of the disappeared Mexican students. These discussions centred on the role of the state under capitalism and imperialism in a country like Mexico. A meeting in Sheffield discussed the nature of the student movement in Mexico and other countries. Future meetings dedicated to a discussion of events in Mexico are planned for KCL and Cambridge.
International day of action
22nd October was an international day of action for Ayotzinapa in which Marxist societies participated by holding stalls on campus in Manchester, Queen Mary, SOAS, Cambridge and KCL. Along with the local Mexico Solidarity Campaigns, Marxist students in Sheffield and Oxford also organised rallies on the day of action.
In London the Marxist societies joined the Mexico Solidarity Campaign in a demonstration outside the Mexican embassy. Ben Gliniecki from the Marxist Student Federation addressed the demonstration and offered support and solidarity with the Mexican students.
Marxist students have passed the following resolution in Sheffield, both at the student union and among trainee teachers, and in Oxford. Students at Manchester and KCL have adopted the text of this resolution and passed it at their own student unions as well. There are plans to move the resolution in LSE and a number of other universities before the end of this academic term.
Students’ Union Notes:
- Mexico is in the middle of a humanitarian crisis; since 2006, at least 22,000 people have disappeared and in roughly 40% of these cases there was no criminal investigation.
- One recent disappearance was of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Teaching School on the 26th of September 2014. It is clear that the students were abducted by the police and handed to criminal cartel organisations.
- HSBC were fined $1.9 Billion as they are complicit in the crisis in Mexico.
Students’ Union Believes:
- The attack on these student teachers were politically motivated and will not go unnoticed.
- That this incident has acted as the catalyst to nation wide protests against the corruption of the Mexican government, privatisation and lack of funding in education.
- The struggle of the IPN students and work of the Rural Teachers are inspirations for the labour and student movement world wide.
- “The Year of the UK in Mexico” will further roll back the gains of the Mexican Revolution.
- It is clear that there is no distinction between big business, the state and cartel organisations in the aid and abetting of disappearances.
Students’ Union Resolves:
- To issue a statement that explains the ‘Students’ Union Believes’ section to all students affiliated to the Students’ Union.
- To forward this resolution to the NUS NEC and urge the NEC to take a decisive stance in support of the students and all those joining the struggle in Mexico to fight for a better world.
- To urge the NUS NEC and local trade union branches (UCU, Unite and Unison) operating in the university to seek out the practicalities of affliction and forging links with the IPN and Democratic Teachers Union in Mexico.
The Marxist Student Federation will act as detailed in the resolution above. We plan to build and strengthen links with teachers and student groups in Mexico. We also plan to initiate a campaign within the NUS for the NEC to come out in support of our resolution and in solidarity with students in Mexico.
We plan to hold meetings in more universities around the country, move resolution in more students unions and organise/participate in more rallies along with our Mexican comrades in Britain.
Above all we will emphasise the need to look beyond this individual case of kidnapping and see the root cause of the problem in Mexico – the rotten capitalist system which props up the gangsters in government and the drug cartels.
See here for the latest Marxist analysis of the events in Mexico
See here for a video of Jorge Martin speaking on the political and social background to these events
See here for the initial statement of the Marxist Student Federation on events in Mexico