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LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

The Present and Future Grow Out of Our Past

México and the United States remain joined at the hip, but these two nations draw from quite separate origins and histories. Each and every week, our México Solidarity Bulletin brings you stories that illuminate those conditions and situations that distinguish our two countries and those that bring us together.

Christina Heatherton, a professor of American studies and human rights at Trinity College, recently published Arise! Global Radicalism in the Era of the Mexican Revolution (University of California Press, 2022).

“Into the early 20th century, everything from colonial dispossession and imperial rule to military aggression and capitalist immiseration were constantly forcing people to move. There are astounding ways in which that movement produced unanticipated alliances and political formations. The Magon brothers had to flee México to the US. The party they formed played key roles in strikes leading up to the Mexican Revolution, but they also did significant organizing of US workers into the IWW.” Read more.

Vicky Hamlin edits our México Solidarity Bulletin cultural coverage. Her father, Marston Hamlin, spent time at the Taller Gráfica in México City.

“The Taller, founded in the 1930s, would become a hotbed for revolutionary-minded artists, supporters of the ideals of the Mexican and Russian Revolutions, then still recent events. Their art carried messages supporting social change that were accessible to all. It’s a Western elitist view that socialist artists produced ‘propaganda’ and not art. México had a different tradition. The Taller produced posters in the 1930s to help President Cárdenas promote his social programs. During the same period, artists in the US were similarly hired to promote FDR’s New Deal, and Mexican and US artists collaborated during those years.” Read more.

Mónica Moreno Figueroa, a Black-mestiza sociologist, has focused on "race” and racism in México and Latin America.

“México experienced centuries of mixing before colonial rule ended. After the Mexican Revolution in 1910, mestizo was adopted as the national identity and became a building block of the new nation, to supposedly create unity without racial distinctions. So the designation of mestizo and the promotion of mixing, mestizaje, was a conscious ideological and political project of national formation in the 19th and 20th centuries. But mestizaje has also been a basis for racism, an assimilation project that promotes whitening and cultural homogenizing while, at the same time, excluding the complex reality of the Indigenous and Black nations that ended up in what is now México.Read more.

Anne Lewis makes media that creates opportunity for social change. She has documented the life of the radical labor organizer Emma Tenayuca.

“It was 1938. Pay was 6 cents a pound. When the company slashed the wage to 4 cents with no warning, the workers’ indignation boiled over. Some 10,000 Mexican@ men, women, and children went out on strike: It was a community uprising! Emma had joined the Communist Party and organized the unemployed. She became known, beloved even, for her fiery speeches and uncompromising defense of working people. Based on that reputation, she was elected by the pecan workers to lead their strike. She was all of 21.” Read more.

An auto worker for 28 years in Minnesota, Rob McKenzie wanted to find the truth about an attack on fellow Ford workers at a plant near México City in 1990. He shares that truth in his book, El Golpe: US Labor, the CIA, and the Coup at Ford in México.

“When Ford cut wages by 40 percent, workers threatened action. When they came to work, there found 300 thugs posing as employees wearing Ford plant uniforms inside the facility. Nine workers were wounded by gun fire and one died. This was a massive operation, above and beyond what it would take to resolve a simple labor dispute. It seemed like an attempt to wipe out an entire movement, not just at Ford, but in all México. As I kept investigating, the shadowy forces behind the assault began to take more substantial shape in the form of the CIA.” Read more.