As many as 200,000 Mexicans, angry and frustrated at the government’s economic austerity program, staged independent May Day demonstrations on Monday and called for the resignation of President Ernesto Zedillo.
The demonstrations, which centered in Mexico’s famed central square, the Zocalo, were held despite the decision by the government-backed Confederation of Mexican Workers to cancel the traditional May Day parade for the first time in 74 years.
Labor leaders said they made their decision because Mexico’s economic woes had left workers with little to celebrate. However, political analysts said the real reason for the cancellation was official concern that the May Day parade would provide a forum for critics to attack Zedillo and his policies.
Marchers represented at least 113 independent unions.
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