The small group was surrounded by tents and banners featuring ideological messages that read, “The working class will win the fight in the streets,” and “Sit-in for the 43 missing students, for all disappeared people and for the political prisoners.”
Organized by the East Front, an organization based in Mexico City that fights for the rights of activists and the working class, the sit-in began four days ago.
The group hopes to maintain pressure on the administration of President of Enrique Pena Nieto in the case of the 43 missing students, who disappeared Sept. 26 after clashing with police in southern Mexico.
The East Front said it also wants to put an end to the persecution of civil and political organizations and social activists.
“During the day, some of us keep the guard while other protesters are working or raising awareness among the population about all the injustices in this country,” said Luis Barrera, a member of the East Front. “At night, we are around 80-100 people to speak and share ideas. Most of us sleep here.”
The group is fighting for not only the missing students, but for the missing thousands who have disappeared in Mexico.
“Not a day goes by in Mexico without people disappearing, a situation caused by repressive politics,” said Carlos Esteban, another member of the East Front.
The most recently available statistics show that more than 22,000 people are currently listed as missing in Mexico, a country of about 122 million.
The East Front, which is working closely with civil and political organizations in the state of Guerrero where the students disappeared, will march Dec. 31 in support of and with the relatives of the missing students.
A few miles from the tents, city workers were constructing the stage for the New Year’s show, a location that demonstrators say is not the same as in recent years.
“The government used to organize the show a lot further than here. We are convinced that they want to disturb our movement, but we won’t argue with them,” said Barrera. “We will organize cultural activities here to raise awareness of the population about the repression of the state."
Activists who are detained in various jails in Mexico City plan a hunger strike beginning Jan. 1. to raise awareness of their plight.
“The members of the sit-in will organize a massive fast here in support with these prisoners who must not be detained,” Barrera said.
The attorney general has not commented on the demonstrations outside of his office.