pdf Popular

"We are fingers of a hand that make a fist": Working class alliances in Colorado River water protests in the Mexicali Valley, Mexico

Benjamin P. Warner
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of New Mexico; bpwarner@unm.edu

Anthony Meluso
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of New Mexico; ameluso@unm.edu

ABSTRACT: This article explores recent water protests across northern Mexico which emanated from the Mexicali Valley in Baja California, Mexico. Beginning in 2015, communal farmers and industrial labourers, among other groups, aligned under the banner of Defense of Water to protest the construction of a United States-based beverage production facility. Through interviews, participant observation and archival research, we study this social movement through a class-based, historical lens to show how the meaning of water presupposes and represents a century of class politics that has allowed seemingly disparate groups to find meaning and build alliances within it. It is this history that has allowed protesters to achieve shared goals.

KEYWORDS: Social movements, class analysis, longue durée, Colorado River, Mexicali, Mexico