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Mexico City Study Tour - May 19 - May 27, 2002

Chuck Morse writes "Dear Friends and Comrades,

The purpose of this letter is to inform you about a very special opportunity to study the history of Mexico City's social structures, the opposition movements that have challenged them, and to meet many of the great activists that live and work here.

Mexico City Study Tour
May 19th - May 27th 2002

http://www.social-ecology.org/programs/winter/mexi co.html

The Institute for Social Ecology will be hosting a 8-day study tour to Mexico City in May 2002, facilitated by Chuck Morse.

Mexico City is well-known for its corrupt, decadent elites and the misery they have imposed upon its residents. What is less well-known is that it has a long history of radical movements that have resisted the elites and fought to remake the city according to the demands of democracy, justice, and sustainability. In fact, the physical and social form of the city itself has been constituted by the enduring conflict between these two tendencies.

Participants in the ISE's Mexico City Study Tour will learn about this dynamic city in comprehensive and participatory way. Taught in English and directed toward students from the United States, it will be divided roughly between classroom discussions facilitated by Mexican activists and hands-on, experience-based explorations of the city. The program will focus on the history of the city, walking tours through it, and meetings with Mexican activists. Throughout the program special emphasis will be placed on the contributions and dilemmas of Mexico City's anti-authoritarian movements.

Classroom lectures will focus upon the evolution of Mexico City's social structures and the opposition movements that have challenged them. For example, we will explore Spanish colonization and resistance to it, the Mexican revolution (especially its anarchist tendencies), as well as the globalization of Mexico City and the movements against it. These wide-ranging lectures will be designed to give students a deep appreciation of the social conflicts that animate the city.

The program's second focus will be upon hands-on, experience-based tours of the city, in which we will visit sites that physically embody the historical issues we have studied in the classroom. For instance, we will visit sites associated with the Aztec empire, those connected to anarchist participation in the Mexican Revolution, and the National Autonomous University, which recently experienced an enormous and very radical student strike against austerity measures.

The program's final emphasis will be upon visiting and talking with Mexican activists in more informal settings. These meetings will allow students to learn about contemporary struggles and form comradely relationships that will hopefully be useful for joint projects in the future.

Students will be expected to participate actively in all aspects of the program as well as give a small presentation at the conclusion.

The program is limited to 10 students. Housing and food expenses, but not airfare, are included in tuition costs. For information on application, credit, and fees please visit our application section.

(For more information, please go here: http://www.social-ecology.org/programs/winter/mexi co.html )


Tentative Schedule:
The following tentative agenda is subject to change between now and the program (although it is unlikely to change significantly).

May 19th -- Sunday
We will pick students up from the airport and, in the evening, hold an introduction and orientation to the program.

May 20th -- Monday
This day will include a class the social structures and contradictions of the Aztec Empire. We will also visit the Templo Mayor (the Great Temple), a sacred Aztec site in the center of Mexico City and meet with Indigenous activists in the evening.

May 21st -- Tuesday
This day will include a class on colonization & resistance to it, a visit to associated sites, and a film or cultural activity in evening.

May 22nd -- Wednesday
This day will include a class on the Mexico Revolution, particularly its urban dimensions and the anarchist role within it. We will also tour through Mexico CityÕs historic center to see sites connected to Revolution and, in the evening, meet with contemporary activists that maintain the Revolution's most radical traditions.

May 23rd -- Thursday
This day will include a class on the industrialization of the 1940Õs and the consequent labor unrest. We will very likely make a visit to a radical labor union.

May 24th -- Friday
This day will include a class on the student movement of the late 1960Õs (particularly its urban and anti-authoritarian dimensions) and also the student movement of the late 1990's. We will visit UNAM (the National Autonomous University of México) and the Ciudad Universitaria. In the evening, we will participate in a discussion on the struggle to prosecute those who committed crimes during the Òdirty warÓ against students and leftwing activists.

May 25th -- Saturday
This day will include a class on the massive earthquake of 1985, particularly the social and ecological conditions that made the city so vulnerable and the self-organized citizenÕs groups that responded to the calamity. We will also visit Tlatelolco (Plaza de Las Tres Culturas), the site of a 1968 massacre of student activists and the epicenter of the 1985 earthquake. We probably have a party in the evening.

May 26th -- Sunday
This day will include a class on the globalization of Mexico City and the resistance movements that confront it. We will also visit communities that are mobilized in resistance. In the evening we will have student presentations and a party.

May 27th -- Monday
We will have a closing activity and bring everyone to the airport.

for more information, please go here: http://www.social-ecology.org/programs/winter/mexi co.html"