MEXICAN STUDENT STRUGGLE SHAKES LATIN AMERICA
MEXICO CITY–The Mexican students have been heroically waging an unprecedentedly fierce struggle against the reactionary authorities' barbarous suppression and cruel persecution and bloody slaughter. This storm of large-scale mass struggle is powerfully battering the rule of the Mexican monopoly capitalist class and is shaking the whole continent of Latin America–the "back yard" of U.S. imperialism.
This struggle began with the general strike and big demonstrations launched by the students in Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, in late July in protest against the suppression of the student movement and the barbarous persecution of progressive students by the so-called "riot squad". These police-attacks on students came during demonstrations celebrating the July 26th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. As the reactionary troops and police stepped up their sanguinary suppression of the student movement, the student struggle against persecution and slaughter developed swiftly and became stronger and stronger.
Our great teacher Chairman Mao says: "The young people are the most active and vital force in society." The struggle waged by the revolutionary Mexican youth fully proves the correctness of Chairman Mao's wise thesis. The student struggle was focused on protesting against the criminal suppression of the student movement and persecution of progressive students perpetrated by the so-called "riot squad," which were directly trained by the U.S. imperialists for the sole purpose of suppressing the progressive mass movement. At the very beginning of the struggle, the students raised sharp political demands such as: "Disband the riot squad", "Abrogate the Laws which suppress the people's movement," "set free the political prisoners, release the arrested students, punish the murderers, and give relief funds to the families of the victims". The just struggle is being waged by patriots of various social strata. The struggle developed rapidly and vigorously and surged forward wave upon wave. It started from Mexico City, and spread to Nuevo Leon and more than ten other states and several important cities. It began with the student strikes and developed into large-scale demonstrations and mass rallies held by hundreds of thousands of workers, peasants, teachers and patriots from various circles. 200,000 students, workers and peasants in the capital held an impressive demonstration on August 27 to protest against the brutal police suppression. As the demonstrators marched through the streets, many passers-by repeatedly shouted their support to the demonstrators. This was the largest mass demonstration in Mexico in the past decades.
After the outbreak of the struggle, the Mexican students waged a tit-for-tat struggle against the brutalities of the reactionary troops and police. They occupied the campuses of universities and colleges, threw up barricades in the streets, and hit back at the reactionary troops and police with stones, clubs and incendiary bottles. The most bitter struggle took place in Mexico City. For more than two months, university and middle school students hold a series of strikes, protesting against the Mexican authorities for ruthlessly repressing the progressive students. In defiance of brute force, the students fought valiantly and fiercely against the fully armed troops and police, who on some [continued on p. 9] occasions called out armored cars and helicopters and even used bazookas against the students.
On July 26, when tens of thousands of students in the Mexican cap
tial[ital] held a demonstration and parade in honor of the Cuban Revolution, the authorities called out a large number of troops and police to disperse the demonstrating students. But the students fought back bravely; they overturned cars and threw up barricades, waging a pitched battle against the reactionary troops and police. When thousands of Mexico City students held another demonstration on the night of July 29 and marched towards the U.S. Embassy, the reactionary troops and police committed a more savage repression. Early the next morning, they opened fire with bazookas to blast open the gate of a middle school where demonstrating students were assembled, then charged in with clubs and barbarously attacked the students.
The intensified repression aroused stiffer resistance from the students. Beginning August 5, the students of the Capital held a series of demonstrations in which tens of thousands took part. On August 13, some 80,000 students in Mexico City, scorning the intimidation of the reactionary authorities, held a parade, the columns of which extended for more than five kilometres, and staged a grand rally at the "Central Square" (Zocalo) near the National Palace, to strongly protest against the brutalities committed by the troops and police against the students. The demonstration thus pushed to a new high the struggle against persecution and repression.