There was a great deal of confusion yesterday concerning circulated press releases that claimed Yo Soy 132 was part of a “coalition” planning to protest Saks Fifth Avenue yesterday evening. As it turns out, Yo Soy 132 did not endorse the event and was not part of any coalition.
“Yosoy132internacional and YoSoy132NY were told on short notice of this act. According to our character assemblies, do not have the time to discuss the organizational and logistical details of this event and the convenience of our involvement. Therefore, following the democratic principle governing all meetings of #Yosoy132internacional, we decided not to participate in these events. We reiterate our solidarity and respect for the cause of Occupy Wall Street and our sincere willingness to strengthen dialogue with them,” the group states on its New York chapter website.
A report in La Jornada states Yo Soy 132’s decision not to participate was made because of political disagreements between the groups:
“In light of the peaceful protest called by the Two Nations organization, the decision to not participate was made because Democratic party operatives were involved, a situation that goes against the principle of nonpartisan Mexican student collective.”
The remark may be a reference to Two Countries One Voice leader Andres Ramirez, who began his career in Washington, DC, working as a legislative aide to US Senator Harry Reid, and then worked for Nevada Governor Bob Miller in the State of Nevada’s Washington, DC, office. Ramirez later joined numerous political and advocacy campaigns. Most recently, he served as the senior vice president of the political and advocacy think tank NDN. Currently, Andres serves as the vice chair of the DNC Hispanic Caucus where he is tasked with helping the DNC develop and implement its Hispanic engagement strategy.
“In order for [Yo Soy 132] to endorse any kind of action or event, they have to discuss it with their leadership and then they have to vote and decide on endorsing or not endorsing anything,” says Juan Jose Gutierrez of Two Countries One Voice, who claims the denied endorsement was more logistical than political. “What happened with Yo Soy 132 was we invited them to send representatives to join us as individuals, who happen to be members of Yo Soy 132 to support our action this week in New York, and they agreed to send three or four of their members that were scheduled to be here, and they wrote us a letter at the last minute, saying because of logistical problems they’d run into they would not be able to be with us, but that they support what we’re doing and that they hope in future actions they will be able to be physically and personally with us.”
Aaron Black is an Occupy organizer who had one of his quotes attached to the original, misleading press release.