Monday, June 17, 2024

Anti-AMLO protest announces withdrawal from zócalo

Protesters opposed to President López Obrador and his government continue to occupy Mexico City’s central square even though the movement’s leader said that their tents would be removed on the weekend.

Members of the National Anti-AMLO Front (Frenaaa) converged on the zócalo, as the square is commonly known, on September 23 after having camped for five days on a nearby avenue.

They are calling for the resignation of the president, commonly known as AMLO, asserting that his government has mismanaged the coronavirus crisis and associated economic downturn, and is turning Mexico into a socialist country among a range of other complaints.

Frenaaa leader Gilberto Lozano said Saturday that the tents that have occupied the zócalo for almost two months would be removed because protesters participating in a mass anti-AMLO march planned for this Saturday will need the space for a rally after they arrive from the Monument to the Revolution.

“It’s obvious that we have to clear the zócalo so that our mass gathering can end there,” he said in a video message.

“… During this weekend we’ll remove the camp,” Lozano said, adding that Frenaaa had “intelligence information” that suggested that the federal and Mexico City governments are seeking to stir up violence at the zócalo that would dissuade people from attending Saturday’s march.

Anyone still camping in the zócalo on Monday will not be considered part of Frenaaa, he said.

Despite his claim that the square would be cleared, a sea of tents continued to occupy it late Monday afternoon.

Government supporters, some of whom travel to the zócalo to yell insults at the protesters, claim that many of the tents are unoccupied and have been pitched to give the impression that the anti-AMLO movement is bigger than it really is.

The newspaper El Universal reported Sunday that there were few people among the tents and that those who were there appeared to making preparations to leave.

López Obrador addressed the ongoing protest camp at his regular news conference on Monday morning.

“They announced they were going to withdraw but they haven’t done it yet,” he told reporters at the National Palace, located opposite the zócalo.

“It appears that there are problems inside this organization [Frenaaa]. … If the aim [of the protest] is for me to go, there is already a mechanism; the [midterm] elections are coming [in 2021] … and then in 2022 there is the revocation of mandate process,” López Obrador said, referring to the referendum he plans to hold on his leadership.

“There is a pacific and democratic way, if the people tell me to go [I’ll go]; in democracy the people install [their representatives] and the people remove [them].”

The president said previously that he was happy that people were protesting against him because it meant that his government is changing Mexico for the better.

“Those who benefited for a long time are now protesting and they think that the times of abuse and corruption are going to return,” López Obrador said when Frenaaa first set up its camp.

“That’s why I’m happy because imagine if the conservatives didn’t protest, I would feel frustrated.”

Source: Milenio (sp), El Universal (sp) 

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