PGA closing: No mass mobilization – but a migrant march after all…


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It was quite a contrast: Minutes ago, the PGA delegates had passionately discussed the draft resolution of the meeting. Now, things got slightly more formal, when an announcer welcomed the Mayor of Mexico-City (more correctly: Head of government of the Federal District),Marcelo Ebrard, to present said recommendations. After that, civil society business went back to usual, with a cheerful march closing the PGA proceedings.

The comparatively solemn MC announcing Ebrards’ entry reminded me of his completely over-the-top colleague during the “official” Manila GFMD proceedings. The announcements of the Filipino colleague sounded to me as if James Brown was about to enter the stage at any moment and I actually expected to hear “Let’s get ready to rrrumble…”

Speaking of comparisons with the Philippines, before coming the Mexico-City, I had expected a mass mobilization similar to Manila, where 1000s of migrants and activists went to the streets. These are, after all, the capitals of major “labor-exporting” countries with millions of people living there, most of whom have personal connections to the issue of migration.

Albeit, it did not happen. Reasons given were that the social movements in Mexico are actually more active outside the capitol , that they need longer to mobilize in significant numbers and that in line with the strategy of inside-outside relations to the GFMD, the focus for this year was put on deliberations and negotiations.

But my worries that I would not hear the familiar slogans like “migrants rights – human rights” or “the people-united-will-never-be-defeated” were put to ease, when a march of the remaining members of the ca 800 PGA participants formed and moved from the San Hipolito location to the cultural diversity fair at Alameda park.

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About Stefan Rother

Lecturer and Researcher at the Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg -- Freelance journalist -- You can find my CV at the links below:
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