Ayotzinapa Students Call National Strike on November 5

Students are carrying out more actions across Mexico; National Popular Assembly to meet on November 2 to plan future course.

The Inter-University Assembly has called Saturday a national student strike for November 5 to demand the return of the 43 Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College Students that went missing one month ago in Iguala, Guerrero. More than 80 schools in Mexico City and in other states joined the call. 

Also on Saturday, thousands of students and supporters marched from Tixtla to Chilpancingo in solidarity with the disappeared students. A contingent of students and supporters took over radio stations in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, to announce that actions were underway  in a number of department stores and supermarkets in the state capital, including Walmart, Comercial Mexicana, Soriana and a Bodega Aurrera store, where they expropriated groceries and other items. The hooded protesters then proceeded to redistribute the merchandise among local residents. Subsequently, state authorities were alerted and they responded by mobilizing  riot squads to protect the stores.

The students also plan to continue mass protests in Mexico City, Morelos, Oaxaca and Michoacan. Road blockades on major highways, toll pickets and airport closures are scheduled for October 26 and 27. On Monday, banks will be closed. From October 29 to 31, a national strike of education workers CNTE has also been planned, with a mega-march planned for October 30.

Representatives of organizations belonging to the National Popular Assembly will meet on November 2 at the Rural Teachers’ College of  Ayotzinapa to discuss further plans of action.

Following the decision to oust Guerrero’s previous governor, Angel Aguirre  Rivero, the National Popular Assembly issued a demand that the interim governor be a representative of civil society rather than a member of any major political party. However, the state congress chose on Saturday morning PRD member Jesus Martinez Garnelo for the temporary post. Martinez Garnelo served as magistrate in 2001, but the state congress suspended him for six years for having liberated Carlos Alberto García Castro, a member of a band of kidnappers headed by Pedro Barragán Gonzalez, the latter of whom is currently serving time in Almoloya de Juarez Prison, according to online publication Red Política.