Chairs fly at political meeting, holiday bash in Mexico City
Dec. 16, 2017
MEXICO CITY (AP) — A dueling political meeting and holiday concert turned ugly in Mexico City on Friday with members of rival political parties hurling chairs at each other in the main square of a picturesque southern neighborhood.
A brief video clip that circulated online shows more than a dozen folding chairs flying through the air as music blares from loudspeakers.
El Universal newspaper said the confrontation in the residential and touristy borough of Coyoacan was between supporters of the Morena and Democratic Revolution parties.
It reported that Morena organizers said they had asked since early December for permission to use the plaza for a political rally, but the Democratic Revolution-controlled borough held a holiday party in the same place. One Morena supporter alleged it was staged to disrupt the meeting.
The borough blamed the brawl on Morena organizers and rank-and-file party members, however, saying in a statement that it had told them about the concert well beforehand and denied the permit application.
"Members of the Morena political party ... tried to set up tents and chairs despite having been advised there would be no space for their event. ... Later on, through acts of violence, they tried to install themselves risking the well-being of national and foreign visitors who were enjoying the Christmas event planned by the borough," it said.
The planned meeting was between Morena presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and mayoral hopeful Claudia Sheinbaum, according to El Universal.
Lopez Obrador is a two-time Democratic Revolution presidential candidate who broke with the party in recent years and founded Morena. Both are leftist parties vying for much of the same electorate ahead of presidential elections July 1.