Take it Back and Keep it: Strikes, Autonomy, and Legacy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico

Andalusia Knoll

For those of us who identify as anti-globalization movement alumni, 1999 was a pivotal year. Following an enormous Reclaim the Streets solidarity action in New York City, I walked into my university cafeteria elated at headlines announcing that over 50,000 people had shut down the WTO summit in Seattle. As my comrades and I celebrated the news, a cafeteria worker started telling us about a large student strike happening in Mexico City; he knew only a few details, but told us that tens of thousands of people were involved. As a student engaged in radical left organizing, I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it. In retrospect, what dismays me most is my failure to investigate it any further. Twelve years later I found myself taking a course at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where I learned that those strikers in 1999 were struggling against the same neoliberal order that we had been protesting, but in a much more personal context.

The 1999 UNAM strike was instigated by the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 and the simultaneous uprising of the Zapatista National Army of Liberation to oppose its implementation. The Zapatista uprising had a profound effect on the UNAM strike, where students, inspired by the Indigenous rebellion, adopted models of horizontal organizing. The strike was a direct response to what students viewed as an attempt to privatize UNAM, just one part of a larger neoliberal state project.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the late ’90s and early 2000s were key years for US and Canadian social movements; tens of thousands of us collectively stuck a wrench into the gears of unfettered capitalism, but a decade later it is difficult to feel the impact that our efforts had. While summits were shut down and strong radical left alliances were built, I can think of only a few institutions, collectives, and autonomous spaces that live on from that time.

The opposite can be said about UNAM, where to this day there are collectively run art spaces, co-op cafeterias, hydroponic gardens, radio stations, graphic design collectives, anarchist libraries, and theatres – many of which emerged during the 1999 student strike.

As we see a resurgence of international student movements – from the Chilean student uprising to the Québec student strike to the Yo Soy 132 movement in Mexico1 – it is especially useful to reflect upon the history and legacy of the 1999 UNAM student strike. How can such ruptures in the static order become long lasting models for social change? How do mobilizations that start with one specific demand and affect a specific demographic blossom into a widespread popular movement?

A History of the Strike

UNAM was founded in the early 20th century in compliance with the third article of the Mexican Constitution, which stated that all citizens had the right to a free secular education. The university was declared autonomous both because it manages its own budget – which is as large as that of many Mexican states – without interference from the government, and because local and state police are prohibited from entering any of its campuses.2 Over the past century, UNAM has grown to be one of the largest and most respected universities in Latin America and a bastion of leftist intellectuals and vibrant student movements. Throughout its history, the university has been home to many student organizations of various leftist ideologies, from Marxists to anarchists and everything in between. UNAM students were among the hundreds of people brutally murdered during a student protest in 1968 leading up to the Olympics, known as the Tlatelolco Massacre.3

In 1997, the IMF, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank released a joint statement recommending that Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo privatize energy reserves, archeological zones, and education to make the country more “efficient and productive.”4 In compliance with these recommendations, UNAM implemented a reform that denied automatic passage for students attending UNAM-affiliated high schools, which meant that students had to pass a competitive entrance exam in order to enroll. UNAM is one of Mexico’s only free universities; if high school students failed the entrance exam, and were not accepted at the few remaining public universities, their only alternative was to apply to private universities. Aware that this was likely the first in a series of neoliberal reforms to their public education system, students and professors began organizing. They reached out to the student body and formed committees to demand the return of automatic passage and to strategize responses to pending reforms.

Resistance efforts involved established organizations like En Lucha, a Marxist-Leninist group made up of students and professors that was active in the 1968 student movement, as well as younger groups like the Council of Metropolitan Students (CEM), which drew inspiration from the Zapatistas. The incentive for a mass strike catalyzed in 1999, when UNAM Rector Francisco Barnés introduced the General Rules of Payment, stating that future students would have to pay 20 days of minimum wage in tuition – roughly equivalent at the time to 120 USD.5 Organized students knew that this was part of the larger move to privatize education. They believed that the implementation of this tuition would serve as a first step to get students to accept the idea of paying tuition. From there costs would rise until the university would cease to be a so-called burden upon the state.

Students immediately tried to speak with the Rector. They conducted large consultas (opinion polls) and organized awareness-raising marches on and off campus. When it became clear that the university administration was not open to dialogue, student organizers conducted a more comprehensive consulta. Results showed that over 100,000 members of the close to 300,000-person university community were willing to strike if the administration refused to back down on the tuition hike. On March 11, 1999, 23 UNAM campuses participated in a paro,6 suspending all activities for the day and calling for discussions with the university administration, who refused to meet with students.

On March 24, students held a second paro; this time, they blocked all major routes to the main campus and issued their first declaration: “Barnés has closed off all possibilities to dialogue. Facing this deadlock, University authorities have left us with no other option but to strike.” With this declaration, organizers aligned themselves with previous student movements, specifically the 1986 student strike that forced the university to abandon a series of reforms. Students of the 1999 strike made a call out to “social organizations, all universities across the country, primary and secondary teachers, electricians and all workers to unify resistance, to join together to stop the project that this country’s government is imposing.”7

On April 20, 1999, UNAM’s student body began a mass strike. The newly formed General Strike Committee (CGH), a democratic body that opposed the secretive mechanisms of the university bureaucracy, created a list of six demands, which served as the basis for the strike. These were:

A. The cancellation of the introduction of tuition and registration fees;
B. Guaranteed entrance to the university for all students studying in the affiliated high schools;
C. The creation of a democratic congress that would be respected by university authorities;
D. The destruction of the espionage apparatus surveilling students and teachers participating in the movement;
E. A full school calendar after the strike ended;
F. A severing of ties between UNAM and a national testing agency, which limited students’ university choices.8

These demands were developed through a democratic process that included students from UNAM’s central campus as well as other campuses across Mexico City. Each department held its own vote on whether or not to participate in the strike and most decided to stop all classes within two or three days. The decision to strike came later for some departments – such as the Faculty of Law – due in part to the activities of porros, professional student agitators with links to the government. But within a week all students on the main UNAM campus were on strike, followed soon after by UNAM campuses across Mexico City.

The students most involved in the strike lived on campus; they turned classrooms into dormitories and faculty buildings into quasi-communes that met all their basic needs, like food, shelter, and security. Students formed committees to print and distribute propaganda, communicate between the different campuses, conduct outreach to the surrounding community, and visit other universities across Mexico to rally support for the strike. Many students thought the strike would last for only a few weeks, but it continued for over nine months.
Each department and campus had their own meetings throughout the week and sent delegates to the weekly CGH meetings, which sometimes lasted for many hours or even days. Decisions were made democratically by consensus when possible and when not, by majority vote. The committee borrowed some of its structural form from workers’ unions but was also deeply influenced by the Zapatistas and other horizontal movements. They attempted to avoid the creation of prominent leaders. In a retrospective article on the strike published in the magazine Palabras Pendientes, members of the Comité de Lucha por el Movimiento de Emancipación Nacional (COLMENA) wrote that the “CGH was distinguished by an eagerness to amplify the maximum discussion possible between movement members in such a way that it would eliminate the possibility that one lead group could decide the future of everyone without the consent of the majority.”9 I do not mean to deny the existence of factionalism within the movement, but on the whole it seems that those involved strove for democratic consensus.

The CGH regularly conducted polls of the general population to gauge the levels of support for the strike. Students opened voting booths in metro stations and asked each passing commuter to fill out a five-question survey. On May 27th they surveyed 25,000 people, a majority of whom favoured of the strike. Students knew that support from the general population was essential to winning. Students’ family members donated tortillas to the communal kitchens, helped conduct outreach, and volunteered with security brigades on the campuses.

Over nine months into the strike, federal police forces raided the main campus at 6am and entered the Che Guevara Auditorium, the hub of the strike. Police infiltrators pointed out those most centrally involved and, in the end, close to 1,000 students were arrested. Many were released within a few days but some, who had warrants for their arrests, spent over five months in jail. This violent raid chilled the movement, debilitating and demoralizing many of its active members – all while the university administration finally agreed to rescind the tuition hike. Students shifted gears from organizing around free public education to fighting for the liberation of their incarcerated comrades, and the university tried to restore order and proceed with the semester. Many students who were active in the strike dropped out after finding it impossible to continue their studies with their comrades in jail; some never returned to finish their degrees.

However, many of the spaces and collectives that played key roles in the strike continue to be important today. Part of my intention with this article is to illuminate the strong legacy of creative resistance to neoliberalism by students at UNAM, with the hope that students struggling elsewhere may use it to strengthen their own movements. This is not meant to be a comprehensive report, nor do I pretend to understand all the various collectives, structures, and debates that existed during this crucial moment in Mexican history.

The Media Counterattack

In their attempts to repress the student movement, the university rector and the conservative federal government attacked with the most powerful weapon they had: the corporate media. Televisa and TV Azteca, the country’s two television monopolies, routinely portrayed students as greedy, unruly, and selfish. In I am a Striker and I am of UNAM, José De La Rosa explains:

The mass media covered the [university’s] initiatives in a subtle and biased way, showing the benefits of the inclusion of a private initiative in superior public education and portrayed the possible privatization as something natural for the times. Meanwhile the business men rubbed their hands, taking sides with the mass media about the University’s situation and planting the possibility of investing in it so that it would cease being a burden for the state.10

When UNAM’s administration first announced the tuition increase, the Rector tried to make clear that it would not affect those currently enrolled – an obvious attempt to divide the student body. Corporate media fanned the flames, reporting that the tuition hike would only affect certain students, depending on their level of study. Nonetheless, students chose to defend everyone’s constitutional right to education.

Gustavo Magallanes, a physics student and member of the Frente Zapatista de Liberación Nacionale, argues that the media continually attempted to create fissures in the movement:
The mass media created two kinds of strikers – the “Ultras” and the “Moderates” to divide the movement, and also invented leaders of the movement within their coverage. They criminalized the students whose demands ran deeper than the tuition hike and who were willing to take riskier steps to achieve the six demands, including taking over the media and key buildings of the university.11

The media’s tactics not only attempted to divide the movement but also to uphold a patriarchal and hierarchical order that students said didn’t actually exist within the movement. Estrella Soria was part of the Consciousness and Liberty Collective, whose members were mostly women. The mass media repeatedly focused on the participation of one male member of the group, Alejandro “The Mosh” Echeverria, but never noted that he was part of a collective or mentioned the work of the female members.
Students struck back with counter-information, creating the radio station Ke Huelga, which loosely translates to “What a Strike.” A group of Engineering students banded together to assemble transmitters, antennas, and other necessary equipment to construct an unlicensed station tucked away in the Faculty of Science. Ke Huelga became the glue of the movement: close to 24 hours a day, its programmers broadcast student assemblies, announcements, music, and helped facilitate internal communication between University City and the outlying campuses.

At a UNAM campus far to the south of the city, students, with the support of Ke Huelga members, formed a radio station called Sublevarte with a similar mission. Sublevarte was a horizontally organized collective that drew inspiration from communiqués by the Zapatistas. Collective member Gandhi Noyola says:
With this work we demonstrated that we weren’t just part of Generation X and that we weren’t just “globaphobics” but instead part of a global movement of other youth who dressed just like us and had the same demands as us concerning education and access to the media. This helped us feel that we were part of something much more important than just our own reality and allowed us to give our time, our efforts and our lives to this movement.12

Sublevarte built on global movement synergy by coordinating international graphic campaigns to produce posters in support of global public education.
While Ke Huelga and Sublevarte both fostered international alliances, the primary focus of each was relationship-building with UNAM’s surrounding communities. Their broadcasts reached tens of thousands of people daily. “UNAM is a university by the people for the people and it has to be for the people. You don’t have to have a student ID to participate in the movement,” says Soria.13 These broadcast efforts to build community support were bolstered by student brigades doing hand-to-hand flyer outreach throughout Mexico City’s packed transit network and visiting other public universities across the country.

When the police brutally repressed the strike, they could not put an end to Ke Huelga; a few students managed to escape with the equipment and some of the most important archives of discussions and student forums. Within two months, they were back on the air and played a key role in disseminating information about the incarcerated. A decade later, Ke Huelga can still be found in their small booth in the Faculty of Science: “Free social movement radio, broadcasting against power in the Monstrous City.”14 In resistance to state power, Ke Huelga broadcasts without a license, which is a punishable offense of up to two years in prison. The Mexican government has never forcibly tried to shut down the station, thanks in large part to its location at UNAM, where state authorities are not allowed to intervene. Members say that over the years they have suffered from interference and hacking, but they continue to broadcast and are usually able to overcome the interference and transmit online.

At any given moment you can tune to Ke Huelga’s FM station and find a commercial-free mix of music never heard on Mexican airwaves, including reggae, political hip hop, traditional Son Jarocho music, news, and interviews about current struggles. At convergences and mobilizations across Mexico, members of the Ke Huelga collective can be found conducting live web streams that are also aired live over the station’s FM broadcast. From the 2006 uprising in Oaxaca to the 2010 COP16 climate talks to free media gatherings to Indigenous anti-mining encuentros, Ke Huelga is present.

Proyectos Estudiantiles

Each of UNAM’s academic departments played its own role during the strike. On the first day, science students took over their cafeteria and converted it from an elite, privately-run operation to a free cafeteria, serving 3,000 meals daily to the strikers.
The Faculty of Science functioned as a nucleus for strikers because it was one of the few university faculties that had its own printing press. Tens of thousands of pages of propaganda were printed there, and students from various faculties and campuses would visit to pick up strike materials. While visiting they would grab a meal at the collective cafeteria and speak with other strikers.

Over a decade later, the Science Café is still collectively run and provides thousands of meals weekly at an affordable price. A plate that includes a main course, a beverage, soup, and unlimited tortillas costs only 18 pesos, less than 1.50 USD. The cafeteria’s regular diners often point out that before the strike they couldn’t afford anything there.
When I first ate there I thought it was a typical university cafeteria with student employees. In fact, it is owned and run by over 60 students, who manage all of the cafeteria’s operations and play an equal part in decision-making. A large percentage of UNAM’s students need to work while at school to support themselves and their families. There are few jobs available at the university, and the Science Café is a particularly desirable employment option; the hourly wage is significantly higher than Mexico’s paltry minimum wage. Work shifts in the cafeteria are called scholarships and come with the responsibility of playing a key role in its general operation.

Berenice Basilio has been involved with the cafeteria for many years and is committed to the collective, horizontal values that it promotes. In my conversation with her, she told me that many students begin working there at first because they need a well-paying job, but they quickly grow engaged with the collective process:

The cafeteria is a type of school of formation; we don’t know how to do everything and never stop learning new things every day. Here, each person’s word and vote is worth the same. It is a real democracy that is in continual formation with certain ethics and student initiatives to make decisions, to criticize and be criticized.15

Basilio acknowledges that it can be very frustrating for students to attend long meetings, where extensive debates occur over subjects as mundane as which coffee machine to buy. But she also mentions that many students graduate and work in the food industry – or in most any other job – where they have no say in the operations of the workplace. They return to dine at the cafeteria and talk about how much they miss the meetings and genuine collectivity around decision-making. She says that many workers may never go on to be involved with collectives or social movement work again, but hopes that they take a little of what they learned and gain more control in their future workplaces. The cafeteria serves as a model of prefigurative organizing, where workers enact within their workplace the kinds of social relationships they seek for their entire society. 

On most afternoons, cafeteria workers clear the tables and the space turns into a lively environment of Salsa, Capoeira, and self-defense classes that are paid for by what is commonly known in Mexico as “voluntary cooperation,” akin to pay-what-you-can setups. Flyers on the wall advertise ska concerts, Zapatista solidarity workshops, and anarchist movie screenings.

Above the Science Café is a hydroponic workshop that provides thousands of fresh vegetables to the cafeteria. The produce is grown with potable drinking water, which is unfortunately not the case for most other vegetables sold in the city. The hydroponic project offers frequent workshops for both students and members of the public to learn the basics of hydroponic agriculture. These skills are very applicable to the general population in Mexico City, where rooftop gardens are increasingly abundant.

The Faculty of Science is also home to Eduktodo, a student-run project thats aims to make university education more affordable for people by creating PDFs and photocopies of the most expensive course textbooks.

These projects together comprise the Proyectos Estudiantiles de la Facultad de Ciencias, whose principle objective is to create an environment where students can complete their studies, especially those who are low income.

The Che Guevara Auditorium

The Che Guevara Auditorium, more commonly known as “the Che,” has been a central organizing space for student movements and strikes throughout the history of the university. Located in the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, it has hosted thousands of general assemblies and meetings of strike committees.

When the police brutally repressed the strike at the break of dawn on February 1, 2000, the auditorium was the focal point of their operation: students had been holding a multi-day meeting of the General Council of the Strike there to brainstorm strategies for combating a potential raid.

The university was completely closed for three weeks following the raid. During that time, the administration tore out all the chairs, curtains, and projectors, along with all of the equipment that enabled the space to function as a movie and performance arts theatre. Students say the university administration thought that it could break the resistance movement by destroying its central organizing space, but stripping the space did little to prevent students from using it as they did before.

The auditorium still serves as a central organizing space, although it is less student-driven and more orientated to social movements in Mexico, especially autonomous and anarchist youth movements. The Che houses a vegetarian lunch café, art gallery, large theatre space, anarcho-feminist library, and workshop space. Each project operates autonomously but together they share a collective anti-capitalist vision of “Solidarity, Autonomy, Independence, Horizontalism, Self Management and Mutual Aid.”16

When I studied at UNAM, I had the opportunity to eat a cheap and healthy lunch daily at the café and drink Zapatista coffee provided by Café Al Boicot. In the auditorium, I participated in an Anarchist Congress attended by collectives from across the country, a cultural event on autonomy in Indigenous communities in Oaxaca, a movie screening about Mumia Abu Jamal, and more. Each week, workshops that range from batik to book-making to nutrition to yoga take place on a purely pay-what-you-can basis.

Above the auditorium is an anarcho-feminist space called ni ama ni esclava, which loosely translates to “neither housewife nor slave” in English. Amparo is active with various anarchist projects on UNAM’s campus. She helped start ni ama ni esclava, and emphasizes in my conversation with her that it is important to collectively “listen, inspire, [and] conspire, [to collect] fanzines, books, audio pieces, and… view documentaries that prioritize liberating ourselves from patriarchy.” She suggests that people often focus on “a hierarchy of oppression, starting with capitalism, then violence, racism, fascism – without challenging patriarchy.”17 At one of their early events, ni ama ni esclava hosted the feminist hip hop collective Las Krudas and showed a documentary about Assata Shakur of the Black Liberation Army. Amparo was studying in one of the UNAM high schools when the 1999 strike happened and was very involved in the student movement. She stayed politically active and says she got involved with the Che to help defend it against the repressive efforts of the university administration.

Each year, the administration threatens to “reclaim” the auditorium and operate it within the university structure. There is always resistance, but the reality is that the Che is a very large space and it is questionable how long it will run autonomously with little funding.

Amparo adds that UNAM plays a huge role in the “political circus and pigsty of the government… They want to have as much influence as possible over it.” She believes she and her fellow anarchists will always be targets of the government. Despite these threats of repression, those within the Che are strong, with a lot of support, and have staved off all university and government attacks. University authorities are trying to avoid a repeat of the brutal raid in 1999; they know they will not be able to evict the Che without a fight.

The Legacy Within

Within all of the occupied, autonomous spaces in UNAM, another part of the strike’s legacy remains omnipresent – the part that occupies the hearts of the strikers. It’s hard to pass a single week in Mexico City’s social movement spaces without someone making a reference to the “Great Strike” of 1999.

Mariana of Sublevarte spoke to me about how, during the strike, everyone “built a new family… You realized that you were part of something much bigger.”18 She also talked about the importance of collectivity and horizontalism after the strike. After it ended she was unable to attend classes because of her disgust at the brutal police repression and imprisonment of so many comrades. She dropped out and found a job in the private sector, which was a complete shock for her after living so closely among fellow organizers and political allies for many months. As I sat with Mariana, Gandhi and another Sublevarte collective member, Conejo, it was clear that their experiences as strikers will never be forgotten. Their profound sense of camaraderie and collective faith is invoked through their jokes, strike stories, and most importantly through their continued commitment to working collectively on the production of political art. Sublevarte members are not alone in their commitment to collective, movement-based work. Apart from economic migration, Mexico is a much less transient place than the US or Canada; many people live in their city or community of origin for most of their lives, which, for activists, means cultivating long-lasting comradely relationships. In fact, many professors who played key roles in educating and mobilizing students to strike in 1999 were themselves strikers in 1968 and 1986.

Véronique Marsan was a Science and Humanities student in Montréal in 1999 when she heard about the UNAM strike and travelled there with a few other students to attend a gathering organized by the strikers. Marsan wanted to learn how the students were organizing and to use this knowledge in her defense of public education in Canada. She believes that the legacy of UNAM’s strike can be felt in today’s student strikes in Canada, and that Mexican students have played an inspirational role to student and anti-globalization movements over the last decade.

A year after the strike, the Zapatistas’ March of the Color of the Earth travelled the country, from southern Chiapas to Mexico City, and brought their demands of autonomy and peace for Indigenous communities to the federal government. Many of the students who had participated in the strike joined the march and encampment. In 2006, when the community of San Salvador Atenco, located right outside of Mexico City, was repressed for successfully warding off a government airport on their communal farm land and for being a generally powerful force of campesino leaders, former UNAM strikers were there in solidarity. As Subcomandate Marcos and the Zapatistas toured the country during the Other Campaign that same year, former UNAM strikers marched alongside them.

Also in 2006, a teacher’s strike in Oaxaca against poor conditions and low pay sparked a popular uprising. Connecting the uprising to their own experiences fighting for public education, former UNAM strıkers felt bound to the struggle of these teachers and travelled to Oaxaca to protest at the barricades. Community radio played a key role during this uprising, and students who had gained technical and broadcasting skills during the strike put them to use in Oaxaca.

COLMENA writes that “to this day the Mexican state and its communication apparatus can’t stop having nightmares about the CGH as they see it present in everything they don’t like… its legacy of activists and militant anti-capitalists will surely continue provoking serious headaches [for the state].”19

Recently, a new youth and student movement has emerged in Yo Soy 132. While its focus is in part a challenge to president-elect Peña Nieto, the corrupt electoral system, and manipulation of the media, the movement also demands “a different Mexico” with “just and free democracy.” The legacy of the UNAM strike is evident not just in the demands for an end to corruption and neoliberal reform, but in the activists’ desires to create something new through horizontal public assemblies.

As someone who came of age in the anti-globalization movement, it is hard for me to imagine any one thing that has had comparable impact here in the US. When I marched in Times Square on October 15, 2012 – Occupy’s national day of action – I saw many faces I hadn’t seen since the anti-globalization era protests. Where had they been over the last 12 years? If, over all this time, we had been able to build stronger relationships, perhaps those of us in the streets in Seattle would have continued struggling together all these years. In Mexico, the many forms of political participation outside of electoral politics and the interconnectedness of popular uprisings sustain the commitment and confidence of former UNAM strikers.
It’s no surprise that so many remain committed to political struggle, considering that they lived and struggled together for over nine months in a student-run commune where their everyday actions revolved around a shared commitment to public education and collectivity. It’s important to view the UNAM strike holistically, seeing how each horizontal process built power among students, through media, outreach, and communal living. Their material needs for community space didn’t diminish after the strike ended, which is why spaces like the Che Guevara Auditorium and the Proyectos Estudiantiles de la Facultad de Ciencas still thrive today.

Some students say that even if they wanted to leave the strike behind, it wouldn’t leave them. Soria says it will always be a part of her: “We are on a path that we will never see the end of; we can’t live without it, we can’t deny it. In fact, it’s quite the contrary – we are on this path because we assume all responsibilities and choose this path, and we are actually quite happy that we continue in this struggle.”

1. “Yo Soy 132” or “I am 132” is a movement that was born in the spring of 2012 to protest Mexican presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, political corruption, and media monopolies. See: http://yosoy132.mx/.
2. The National Autonomous University of Mexico was founded in the early 1900s as a secular alternative to Catholic universities, with a decree that proclaimed it largely autonomous from the Mexican state.
3. The Tlatelolco Massacre is a bloody mark on Mexico’s history, when police snipers opened fire on a student protest of over 10,000 in Mexico City on October 2, 1968, one week before the city hosted the Olympic Games. While no exact figures exist, it is estimated that hundreds of people were killed and thousands arrested. The protest was largely organized by UNAM student groups.
4. See: Sotelo Valencia, Adrián, “Neoliberalismo y educación. La huelga en la UNAM a finales de siglo,” http://www.rebelion.org/docs/9882.pdf.
5. Ibid.
6. A paro is generally a 24-hour strike or work stoppage.
7. Yo soy huelguista y soy de la UNAM: Análisis y reflexiones sobre el movimiento universitario de 1999-2000. (México: RedeZ, 2009.) Translation: I am a Striker and I am of UNAM: Analysis and reflections about the university student movement 1999-2000.
8. Ibid. 
9. Revista Palabras Pendientes. “Huelga y Rebelion Estudiantil.” COLMENA. April 2009.
10. I am a Striker and I am of UNAM.
11. Author interview with Gustavo Magallanes, July 2012.
12. Author interview with Gandhi Noyola, May 2011.
13. Author interview with Estrella Soria, May 2011.
14. See: http://www.kehuelga.org.
15. Author interview with Berenice Basilio, May 2011.
16. See: http://www.auditoriocheguevara.org/?p=1.
17. Author interview with Amparo, May 2011.
18. Author interview with Mariana, M7ay 2011.
19. Revista Palabras Pendientes. “Huelga y Rebelion Estudiantil.” COLMENA. April 2009.