Tuesday, May 02, 2006


A day-long protest dubbed "A Day Without Gringos" drew thousands of Mexicans into the streets on Monday and kept many away from U.S.-owned supermarkets and fast-food restaurants to support rallies in the United States demanding immigration reform. Subcommandante Marcos joined the rally in Mexico City and led a march to the U.S. embassy there.

The article below is from the Spanish news agency - EFE.

"Marcos" leads march supporting Mexican emigrants in U.S.

Mexico City, May 1 (EFE).- The head of the Zapatista rebels, Subcomandante Marcos, on Monday joined the business boycott staged by Mexican emigrants in the United States and led a protest march to the U.S. Embassy in this capital.

"We will expel the capitalists from Mexico, including the big U.S. capitalists," Marcos told the rally of some 3,000 people in front of the U.S. mission here.

The leader of the Zapatista rebels - who now eschew armed struggle for grassroots activism - has been traveling around the country for the past four months on a tour he calls "the other campaign" to differentiate it from the electoral activities of the political parties in the runup to July's presidential and congressional elections.

"We're joining the boycott against all the U.S. products that circulate in Mexican territory," Marcos said.

After the rally, Marcos, with his traditional military garb and with his face covered by a hood, headed a march designated "The other May Day," in which hundreds of people, among them some Italian and French tourists, participated.

The political parties also held a meeting in the lower house of the Mexican Congress to express their support for the emigrants fighting in the United States for favorable immigration reform in that country.

In the Mexican capital, spokesmen for the local Wal-Mart stores told EFE that their sales had not been affected by the so-called "commercial boycott," while the fast-food chain McDonald's refused to provide any information on their own sales.

In the northern industrial city of Monterrey, a group of women passed out tacos in front of a McDonald's as a sign of support for the boycott.

In Nuevo Laredo, some 300 people carrying signs with slogans against U.S. President George W. Bush blocked the international bridge and tried to prevent the passage of vehicles and people into the United States, causing friction with those who were crossing the border.

In Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, about 1,000 people blocked the Cordova international bridge for about 40 minutes and Mexican authorities said that the protest definitely had affected the flow of traffic across the international boundary.

At other international bridges there were also demonstrations that reduced the number of crossings. EFE ea/bp

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