Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/932/24243

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 January 2017

Mexico: Mass movement against "gasolinazo"

Towards a general strike against the Nieto government!

Mexico City photo

Mexico City photo   (Click to enlarge)

In recent weeks, mass protests have erupted throughout Mexico following a hike in gas and electricity prices - dubbed the "gasolinazo" - decreed by the right-wing Peña Nieto administration. Here we publish an edited article from socialistworld.net

The 14%-20% price hikes are part of the 'liberalisation' of petrol prices, through which the government has been withdrawing completely the state subsidy, bit by bit, since 2012.

In the last four years, petrol prices have increased by 60%. Now, prices will be fixed on the basis of supply and demand, in line with international prices like any other commodity. In February, a new price hike will be proposed, and from then on the price could rise on a weekly, or even a daily basis.

The backdrop is the privatisation of Pemex, the state oil company, which has now been extended to distribution and supply to petrol stations. This is very valuable business - 65% of petrol consumed in Mexico is imported from abroad, and the transport of this petrol will now be in the hands of private companies.

These price hikes are directly linked to the thirst for profit of these private companies. Yet again it is the working class who will pay for the consequences of this privatisation.

Between 2008 and 2014, Mexico's poverty level rose from 44.3% to 46.2%, around 55 million people in a country of 125 million people.

Response

The response of the Mexican working class to the gasolinazo attack has been intense mobilisations and protests. Mass demonstrations in different cities, the blocking of roads, occupation of petrol stations and closures of Pemex distribution centres, are some examples of the actions.

The government is aware of the widespread discontent and since the evening of 3 January, they have planted state provocateurs in the movement to provoke looting and vandalism at service stations and shops. Despite these provocations, and in response to them, the movement must continue, extend itself to more cities, and unite its forces in the coming protests.

The wave of looting spread from the north of Mexico City to places like Ecatepec, Naucalpan, Atizapán, Tecámac, Huehuetoca, Tultitlán and elsewhere. Some media reports have told of how the PRI (Nieto's party) government of Mexico state paid lumpen bands to lead this looting. And, that police joined in the looting of stores.

It is no accident that these acts have taken place in the part of Mexico City which has seen the most intense and numerous protests, where petrol stations and major motorways have been shut down by protesters.

The looting has attracted a layer of the most downtrodden in society, who see it as an opportunity to momentarily alleviate their misery. Once the provocateurs have managed to draw enough of these elements into the looting, the police arrive and make arrests in big numbers. This is in order to give some legitimacy to their tactics, and conceal that it is really the state which is behind this looting and vandalism.

The media is complementing this dirty work of the government, creating a climate of panic and hysteria, trying to equate these mass protests with senseless violence.

On the other hand, they also open the door to state repression, creating an atmosphere in which the intervention of the police and army can seem more justified, not only against looters but against the movement as a whole.

It is fundamentally necessary to denounce the government as absolutely responsible for the looting and vandalism. For many years the government has been creating groups of thugs in universities (called 'porriles') which carry out all sorts of violent acts in order to damage the prestige of the left student movement. They are now repeating the same methods, but in the city communities.

Tactics

It is important that the "informative brigades", which during the street blockades concentrate on winning the sympathy of working people for the struggle, are maintained. It is also important to identify all the elements which are inciting looting and vandalism and to isolate them; to explain to all that these are not useful methods, which only bring repression and discredit the movement.

There should be no aggression whatsoever towards workers during protests at Pemex sites - these workers are part of our class to be won to the struggle and not our enemies.

Finally, we should work to build a national, coordinated movement against the gasolinazo. This struggle must be built as an example for all other sectors, and for the left, to take up the fight against the government.

Ultimately, the protests should converge in a general strike against the cuts, privatisations and anti-worker policies of the Peña Nieto government.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 18 January 2017:


What we think

Labour's civil war continues - build a mass workers' party

Tories torn in two on single market


Resist Trump

Resist Trump

Inaugurate the resistance

We can stop Trump's sexist agenda in its tracks


International socialist news and analysis

Mexico: Mass movement against "gasolinazo"

USA: Seattle activists win housebuilding programme

1917revolution.org website to launch


Socialist Party news and analysis

'Black alert' NHS: Demonstrate 4 March

Eight billionaires own as much as half humanity!

Pollution kills 600: fight for clean air!

Northern Ireland calls snap election: back Labour Alternative

Millwall FC move threat: Defend the Den - 'wall not Renewal


Workplace news and analysis

Billions in profit for Tesco, cuts and job losses for workers

Liverpool dockers and drivers protest "appalling lack of facilities"

Manchester: BA cabin crew pay strike

London: Taxi drivers gridlock City of London

Southern Rail strike continues

Unite the Union elections

PCS union national executive elections


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The Socialist: read it, write it, sell it

Protesters surround Sheffield's cutting council

Fracking protest in Sherwood Forest

Residents protest at plans to close nine community centres

Anger at south east Kent Momentum meeting

Socialist Party national committee agrees document for congress


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Theatre review: high art and savage poverty in Bootle

John Berger: remarkable art of a contradictory socialist

Socialist artists invite others to exhibit work

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 January 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Mexico:

triangleCWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria - towards unification

triangleJoint declaration by Izquierda Revolucionaria and the CWI

triangleMexico: Teachers continue strike despite extreme repression

triangleHiroshima - 70 years on

triangleAnger grows over missing Mexican students

Government:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleDefeat the millionaires' Tory government

triangleCuts leave schools unable to meet basic needs

triangleSchool cuts can be beaten

State:

triangleTurkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

triangleGagged Jobstown defendants defiantly expose the Irish state

triangleFight for a socialist Brexit

Police:

trianglePolice officers face misconduct charges over attack on 'freedom ride'

General strike:

triangleSocialist Party Congress 2017 reports

Privatisation:

triangleCarlisle NHS privateers leave patients at risk

Strike:

triangleWeapons workers continue pension strike

Media:

triangleFight the Sun's bigoted lies

Gas:

triangleGMB union should support anti-fracking campaigners in Fylde

Energy:

triangle47,000 kids exposed to illegal toxic air

International

International

19/4/17

Turkey

Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

19/4/17

Trump

Trump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

19/4/17

Ireland

Protest is not a crime: back Jobstown Not Guilty

19/4/17

CWI

Relaunch of socialistworld.net

19/4/17

France

French presidential election: Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

12/4/17

France

France: Groundswell of support for left candidate

12/4/17

Ireland

Ireland: Bury the water charges

12/4/17

Syria

Attacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

5/4/17

Ireland

Gagged Jobstown defendants defiantly expose the Irish state

5/4/17

Yemen

Justice for Yemen workers

5/4/17

Japan

Fukushima nuclear disaster - a terrifying legacy

5/4/17

Turkey

Turkey: Erdogan seeks sweeping dictatorial powers in referendum

29/3/17

South Africa

South Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

29/3/17

Europe

Belarus: movement developing against regime

29/3/17

Northern Ireland

Martin McGuinness: from IRA leader to Stormont minister

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle21 Apr Len McCluskey re-election - a defeat for the right

triangle19 Apr Protest is not a crime

triangle19 Apr Fightback against Royal Mail pension attack needed

triangle19 Apr Picturehouse cinema strike spreads

triangle19 Apr What kind of movement is needed to save our NHS?

triangle19 Apr Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

triangle19 Apr French presidential election: Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

More ...

triangle24 Apr Leeds Socialist Party: Russian Revolution - from February to April 1917

triangle24 Apr Wirral Socialist Party: How can austerity be defeated?

triangle24 Apr Chesterfield Socialist Party: 1992 - War in the Balkans

triangle25 Apr Birmingham Socialist Party: Jobstown Not Guilty

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice