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Feb 28, 20

Mexico City: High School Students Take Over School, Clash with Police, Declare Indefinite Strike

On Wednesday, students at the Azcapotzalco campus of the College of Sciences and Humanities (CCH) in Mexico City, a high school system affiliated with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), took over the school grounds and declared an indefinite strike in response to patriarchal violence, administration attacks, and the misuse of funds.

This action follows a previous strike that began on Monday which was called after a knife attack against a female student by two men. In an attempt to end that strike, CCH staff and teachers, accompanied by police, violently forced all students off campus early on Wednesday morning. A few hours later, a group led by women students gathered to retake the school. Clashes between school employees – who had barricaded themselves inside – and students ensued. News reports note that students were dressed in black with hoods, set fires, and blocked streets.

Fourteen people were injured and by 1pm the students had succeeded in entering the school and removing the staff. After regaining control of the campus, the Organized Women of CCH Azcapotzalco declared an indefinite strike and established a youth security committee to guard access to the campus.

On Thursday, clashes occurred between students and police at Prepa 5 (National High School #5) in Mexico City, also affiliated with UNAM. Students had previously shut the school down from February 4th to the 22nd in protest against femicides and patriarchal violence within UNAM. The school administration called in the police to prevent the students from retaking the school.

According to reports, parents opposed to the students’ actions joined the police line. Clashes lasted throughout the day with some students succeeding in making it inside. In response, the rector of UNAM ordered the school evacuated and closed to prevent it from being taken by students.

Rather than addressing the rampant sexual violence occurring across the institution, taking action against the sexual predators in its employ, or investigating findings of corruption, UNAM has instead stated it will hand its students over the police for participating in the strike action.

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