'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, April 29, 2005


So Fox has conceded to popular pressure and has cleared the way for Obrador to run in Mexico's 2006 elections. Here's the Financial Times:

Under pressure to defuse a growing political crisis, [President Vicente] Fox made a television address to the nation on Wednesday night to announce that he had accepted the resignation of Rafael Macedo de la Concha, the attorney-general, who had been pursuing the case against Mr López Obrador.

A new attorney-general would review the case "exhaustively", Mr Fox said. Most analysts interpreted this to mean that any charges against the mayor had been put on hold indefinitely.

If any doubts remained over a case beset by confusion in recent weeks, they appeared to be cleared up yesterday by the presidential spokesman, Rubén Aguilar. Asked whether the case against Mr López Obrador had been shelved, Mr Aguilar demurred before saying: "You could say that it has."

Mr Fox also said he would present a bill to change the law that would have barred Mr López Obrador from the presidential race. As in most other countries, he said, Mexico should accept the principle of a presumption of innocence in criminal cases; citizens who face charges should still be able to run for election.

"My government won't stop anyone from taking part in the forthcoming federal elections," Mr Fox said.

which just goes to show what you can accomplish when you can get a million people on the streets ...

The whole sleazy maneuver has really backfired on Fox, not only by consolidating support for Obrador but by spawning a wave of grassroots organization the power of which will likely be felt in other domains of Mexican politics: (from here)

What the US ruling class fears has already started to happen. The mass movement behind Obrador has already begun to develop a mind of its own. The so-called “March of silence” was not really so silent. The movement has gone way beyond simply demanding that the case against Obrador be dropped. The masses can see a direct link between the privatizations and austerity measures of the Fox government and the removal of Lopez Obrador. They are linking the case against Obrador to the defence of democracy and against capitalism.

The trade unions and the advanced layers of youth and PRD activists now make demands for the defence of Mexican democracy and against privatizations. The mass movement is now learning through their own experience what many in Venezuela for instance have already learned: that democracy cannot be established and defended in Mexico without a struggle against capitalism and imperialism. Many in Venezuela, through the concrete experience of events, have learned that capitalism cannot be tinkered with, that the social programmes and reforms in Venezuela are not tolerated by the oligarchy and are not sustainable under capitalism. In order to ensure the victory of the struggle against poverty and capitalism, the workers and peasants in Venezuela are realizing that they need to control the levers of the economy, because you cannot control what you do not own, and that they must establish the broadest genuine democracy – workers’ democracy, or socialism. The movement in Mexico is heading down the same road and is coming to the same broad conclusions. As the movement develops its slogans will become more and more radical and develop strong anti-capitalist demands.

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