Rodríguez was one of several young workers and students who were repeat visitors to Pathfinders bookstand. Two days earlier he had been part of a demonstration of several thousand in Guadalajara protesting the Mexican governments plans to open up the state-owned electrical industry to foreign capitalist investment and to add medicine, food, and books to items subject to an already unpopular value-added tax. In the days preceding the book fair, protests by union and peasant organizations were held around the country, with 100,000 converging on Mexico City on November 27. (See article linked below).
The Guadalajara International Book Fair is one of the largest in the Americas. This year more than 1,400 book distributors and publishers are at the fair. As in previous years, it is expected to draw several hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Alejandro Hernández, another young man who visited the Pathfinder stand, said he had been part of a welcome in Guadalajara for a contingent of peasants from the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas who had traveled on to Mexico City. Pointing to Pathfinders books on the Cuban Revolution, he said, Im interested in the mass movement and particularly the peasant resistance in Mexico. He and his friends bought Pathfinder catalogs and said they would like to get some of these books into the hands of peasants and other militants they have met.
A cashier at the food stand near the Pathfinder booth commented to booth volunteers that the Pathfinder stand was almost always crowded.
Juan Antonio Atilano Montes, a student at the University of Guadalajara, was one of more than 30 people who bought Che Guevara Talks to Young People in the first two days of the fair. Ive already got books about Che but written by others, he said, referring to Ernesto Che Guevara, who was a central leader of the Cuban Revolution. What I really want is to read his views, his speeches.
Volunteers at the Pathfinder booth sold 113 books and pamphlets on the first day, mostly in Spanish. Other top sellers included The Second Declaration of Havana and Malcolm X Talks to Young People. Also popular were several issues of the Marxist magazine Nueva Internacional, including those titled The Opening Guns of World War III and U.S. Imperialism Has Lost the Cold War.
Mexico rally: No tax hike, privatizations
Pathfinder supporters in striking distance of book sales goal
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