Saturday, May 20, 2006

Globalisation from Below

(Greek demonstration aganist Mexican police brutality in San Salvador Atenco. Photo: Jornada)

There is a lot of talk about globalisation these days. By "globalisation" is generally meant the economic activities of outsourcing of jobs, investments across borders, the free movement of capital, etc.

There is also a globalisation from below. Ideas and information travel quickly in the epoch of the internet. Like when thousands of people walk in demonstration in 22 countries (so far) across the globe in protest against the Mexican police brutality in suppressing popular protests in a small town some 25 kms outside of Mexico City. A 14 year old boy was killed by police gun fire, and more than 200 people were arrested. During transport to the prison a number of women arrested were violated and sexually harrassed by the police.

The people in Salvador Atenco were selling flowers in a place where Wal-Mart planned to build one of their giant stores. The police would evict them from the square. And then some machete wielding peasants who had some years ago protested against the building of a new airport to Mexico City came to their help, and a confrontation with the police evolved. This is one of the stories about the events. Another story claims that the police had been hiding out in the place for a couple of weeks awaiting the arrival of the Zapatistas "Second Campaign". Anyway, there's not much doubt about the police actions taking place as portrayed. 5 foreigners happened to be in the place and they were also taken lovingly care of by the police. And they have given accounts of the events after coming home.


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