Counter-revolution and revolution confront each other in Mexico
In Mexico the regime of the financial oligarchy headed by Enrique Pena Nieto at the federal level, by all the governors and the head of government in Mexico City, together with the Congress of the Union and the local congresses, have closed ranks to continue imposing their policy of structural reforms and repression on the popular majorities. They are trying to shift the burden of the crisis onto the proletariat and the popular masses at the same time as they are continuing the process of fascistization with the result of hundreds of thousands dead, militarization, repression and criminalization of discontent and social protest.
After the imposition of the labor reform – in November 2012, they imposed the educational reform (reform to Articles 3 and 73 of the Federal Constitution) – in February 2013, and then the reform of Telecommunications – in April 2013; they sought to complete the educational reform with the approval of reforms to the laws on secondary education in August 2013, and in September 2013 they tried to continue imposing the energy reform (privatization of oil revenue) and the tax reform (increase in taxes on the popular masses and profits to big capital). Alongside these reforms they have authorized monthly increases in gasoline (called the gasolinazo), and with that price increases on all products and services; the increase in transportation fares, in the cost of light, water and property tax is enormous, directly impacting the growth of poverty. To enforce its policy, the oligarchic regime has used the tactic of an oligarchic united front against the people and their organizations, that is, they have closed ranks by unifying all the governmental structures (executive, legislative and judicial), together with the principal electoral political parties (PAN-PRI-PRD) in the “Pact for Mexico “ to impose the agenda of the financial oligarchy.
These neoliberal structural reforms allow for capitalist super-exploitation in the pursuit of maximum profit and a process of fascistization that represses the opposition and social unrest. Their oligarchic united front has included a systematic policy of cooptation of social movements, a policy of division and demobilization within the mass social movement. Examples of this are Sicilia (Movement of Victims of Violence) and its support of Pena Nieto, or the demobilization of a part of the social movement in Mexico City after a big unitary action in January 2013 took place in various states and among various sectors of the movement. This work of division and demobilization was especially evident in February, March and April, and was a response to the growth of unity and mobilization of the mass movement demonstrated in the first unitary demonstration of January 31, which united practically all sectors of the social movement. The first reaction of the regime was to create a smoke screen, to use an “explosion” in the tower of the state oil company Petroleos Mex- icanos (PEMEX) as a distraction, and then work for the co-optation and demobilization of the organizations, which to a good degree led to temporary results.
There was no other national unitary action such as the one of January 31, in the months of February, March and April, and this even put in danger the mobilization of May 1. A policy of selective repression against the social leaders has also taken place (for example the political prisoners from organizations in the state of Mexico, the teachers in various states of the country, the social organizations in Chiapas and Oaxaca, the arrest of leaders and members of the Community Police and the people’s self-defense groups, and the assassination of social leaders such as most recently the leader of the FNIC [National Indigenous Peasant Front], a member of the FUL-APPO [United Front of Struggle – Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca] in the state of Oaxaca) and the general repression against the peoples such as took place in the Isthmus of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Michoacan. However, despite these severe blows, the mass movement remained mobilized and seeking unity during February, March and April, and this made possible an effective opposition to oligarchic policies. It developed a tactic of elevating the forms of organization and struggle, with slogans, for now, of opposition to the structural reforms and to the entire policy of the regime, but which projected the possibility of offensive slogans: for the overthrow of the oligarchic regime.
The National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) took up the baton of the struggle from the beginning of February, against the educational reform and all structural reforms. At the national level they carried out several demonstrations and began escalated work stoppages in the states in which they had greater presence (Oaxaca, Michoa- can, Guerrero and Chiapas) leading to a national strike. They developed a work of unifying and bringing together national movements, and unitary work in the states. This policy led to its first success with the breaking out of the first indefinite strike of the teachers in the state of Guerrero led by the CETEG [State Coordinator of Education Workers of Guerrero] on February 25, 2013, which would be reinforced by a mass picket in the capital of Guerrero and which gave rise to a broad process of unity in that State: the Popular Movement of Guerrero (MPG) that for more than two months managed to put the government in check and gave confidence to the mass movement nationwide.
In those two months in the capital and in the regions of the state, the marches, pickets, blockades, taking over of radio stations, the mass marches and confrontations with the regime showed a rise in the forms of struggle. In the same sense, the formation of the Popular Movement of Guerrero as an assembly of the various movements, and its replication in unitary assemblies in the regions and localities showed an elevation the forms of organization of the movement. This was true although it was not fully able to move from slogans of opposition and demands to the policies and political slogan of “Down withf the Authorities in the State,” although this was discussed in the MPG and there were plans to raise the slogans of struggle toward a revolutionary perspective.
At the same time the popular masses developed a growing movement of community police and self-defense groups in the states of Guerrero, Michoacan and Oaxaca, as armed bodies of the peoples and communities themselves, resulting from the assemblies of their respective peoples, created to fight organized crime and its allies: the federal army, federal police, state and municipal police and the petty tyrants and transnational companies (mining, energy, etc..) established in their territories. The elevation in the forms of struggle on the national level had a success in the national day of struggle of May 1, which meant the direct continuation of the battles of December 1 (the day that Pena Nieto took office, which saw a violent confrontation with the regime) and January 31, the teachers’ strike, the Popular Movement of Guerrero, etc. May 1 was an illustration of the growing willingness of the masses for street fighting, to raise the forms of struggle and the slogans of the mass movement, amid the wave of forceful protests on May 1. They exceeded those of the “corridor for the proletarian revolution” in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacan and Mexico City, with direct confrontations in the cases of Oaxaca and Guerrero, in which on May 1 several people were taken prisoners, whom the political mobilization of the masses managed to free some days later.
The escalation in the forms of organization of the mass movement is reflected in the formation of the United Front of Struggle in Oaxaca on May 11, a direct continuation of the process of APPO in 2006; the holding of the 4th National Convention against Imposition in Huexca, Morelos on May 11 and 12; the 7th and 8th Meetings of the Social Congress Toward a New Constituent Assembly, the reorganization of the student movement in the Student Metropolitan Meeting, the formation of the Metropolitan Meeting of the Popular Assemblies in Mexico City, the Meeting of Organizations of the Federal District (Mexico City) towards a United Front and the process towards the Congress of Workers in Mexico City, among others. The days of mobilization of May 1 and of the teachers in the states (Guerrero, Michoacan and Chiapas, here we managed to win the sectional leadership) was followed by the great unitary day of mobilization of August 13 and will continue to develop towards September 13, agreed to as a day of demonstration against the structural reforms and neoliberalism, by various organizations of unity and movements across the country.
On August 13, a demonstration was held against the energy reform and neoliberalism in the Federal District, headed by the unitary process in Mexico City. Afterwards the megapicket of teachers and popular groups took place (August 19, 2013), the siege of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate (August 20, 2013), the siege of the airport, the imperialist embassies and the media, the march of August 28 led by the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) and Mexican Union of Electricians (SME), the mobilization of August 31 against the energy reform, and the national day of mobilization on September 1 in the capital of the country and in the states during the report of Pena Nieto. A day of action is planned with demonstrations called for September 8, 12 and 13, also against the energy reform.
From August 19 to September 1, the protests headed by the CNTE showed a concrete reality: the mass movement responded to the imposition and aggression of the oligarchic regime by elevating its forms of struggle and organization, sharpening the class struggle and the confrontation of the masses against the regime in the service of imperialism. The elevation in the forms of struggle against the regime was expressed in mass action, of long duration and continuity (in August, the mega-picket, the siege of the legislatures, of the airport and the media lasted weeks). These exceeded the large marches and actions that lasted a few hours (on January 31 and May 1), and gave continuity to the rise in the forms of struggle achieved by the MPG in recent months (the actions of long duration, blockades of the highway, seizures of the local Chamber of Deputies, siege of the local executive power, the mega-marches, etc.), moving the battle front from Guerrero to the capital of the country.
Meanwhile the escalation in the forms of organization was evident in a closer cooperation and articulation of the members of national, state and sectoral unity, ending with the unity of action in the popular teacher picket, the unitary mobilizations of the day of struggle; the emergence of a national assembly of teachers and the people of a united front character (with coordination and to a certain extent leadership), and the growing closeness of the unorganized masses to the struggle against the regime, resulting in the joining some of the groups of the United Front (people’s assemblies, united fronts on a state, sectoral and thematic basis) and unitary mobilizations.
In the present situation of the sharpening of the class struggle and an ever better relationship of forces in the mass movement, the main tactical challenge for the movement and the process of the United Front is to pass from the slogans of opposition: Against the educational, energy and tax reforms and all structural reforms and neoliberalism, and “Mexico does not have a President!” to offensive slogans: “For the fall of the regime headed by Pena Nieto, for a regime of the popular masses, for a new Constituent Assembly and a Constitution and a people’s democratic regime, paving the way to socialism.”
As part of the popular tactic, the momentum and consolidation of the members of national, state and sectoral unity, the building of rank-and-file assemblies, of Soviet organs (of insurrection and the new power), towards a United Front of all the people, is continuing the process. In this the conscious element is playing its role; that is, the work of the revolutionaries and communists has been a factor of articulation and organization that has contributed to leading the masses in actions of concrete mobilization and organization. Counterrevolution and Revolution, with their forms of organization and their respective forms of struggle, with their political slogans and objectives of the moment, continue confronting each other in the country.
The great day of teacher and popular struggle headed by the CNTE, the actions of September 1, of September 8, 12, and 13, which will be held against the energy and tax reforms, the demonstrations of October 2, December 1, and the coming months will show which tactics will lead to concrete successes. For our part we communists will put all our efforts, all our work into making the tactics of the proletariat and the popular masses win, toward the overthrow of the regime and toward the Proletarian Revolution.