While in Europe the right to the city grew out of deep intellectual debates, in Latin America, and especially Mexico, its roots lie in historical student struggles, in the poverty of working-class neighbourhoods and in anti-establishment slogans demanding more social participation and democracy.
Many of the elements that formed the Mexico City we know today – as a space of solidarity and resilience – were consolidated following the painful events of 1968, which remain in our collective memory. The 1968 movement was more than a student movement. A frustration was released that had built up over many years in the working class, in the teachers’ and railway workers’ movement, and in many families and groups of people who demanded an end to police repression and freedom for the political prisoners of the regime in power at the time. 1968 was the year Mexican society demanded the right to protest and to occupy public space as a means of resisting the oppression and despotic power of an authoritarian government.