Update: Early press releases for this event erroneously declared Mexico’s Yo Soy 132 would be involved with the Carlos Slim event in New York. That, in fact, was not the case. Occupy Wall Street and Two Countries, One Voice emhpasized at the event that, while there is solidarity between the movements, Yo Soy 132 was not participating in the event.
I spoke with several organizers and activists about how so much information could have been circulated, claiming Yo Soy 132 would be participating in the event, and my sources blamed miscommunication among the groups, though a report in La Jornada suggests the disagreement was actually of a political nature:
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 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.
Like the American Occupy Wall Street movement, Mexico’s Yo Soy 132 has gone international. According to the movement’s activists, more than fifty groups now operate under the 132 banner in parts of North America, Europe, South America, Australia and even China.
The movement’s growth and expansion have ensured that wherever Institutional Revolutionary Party presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto travels, he encounters another protest.
Also similar to Occupy, 132 is a big tent movement consisting of a wide array of grievances, including media, political and economic monopolization, indigenous and migrant rights, educational access and environmental protection, among other issues.
In a July 27 manifesto, the 132 Movement defined itself as a non-partisan, autonomous, anti-neoliberal and peaceful force. The 132ers advocate for a free, scientific, humanistic, high-quality, and diverse educational system that is “guaranteed by the state at all levels as a constitutional obligation.”
Now, 132 has joined forces with Occupy and dubbed itself “Two Countries, One Voice,” and is targeting Mexican magnate Carlos Slim, whom Forbes recently named the world’s richest man. As of March 2012, Slim and his family were worth $69 billion.
This evening, the coalition plans to occupy Saks Fifth Avenue where Slim has a good chunk of ownership. Protesters say the action is directed agains the “1 percent of the 1 percent.”