Things That Matter

Mexico City Taxis Came Full Force To Block Major Streets And Tourist Attractions To Get Ride Sharing Apps Banned

Taxi drivers came out in full force across Mexico City, blocking streets, tourist attractions, and major intersections. They’re protesting what they say is unfair competition from ride-sharing services like Uber, Cabify, and Didi.

They want the apps banned in Mexico.

Their bloqueos of some the city’s most important streets and attractions made news around the world.

Credit: @AFPMexico / Twitter

The taxistas started congregating in the zócalo (the city’s giant public plaza) around 6:30 am, while roadblocks started going up at 10:00 am all around the capital. and were expected to remain until noon. Drivers were even blocking major entry points to the city along highways from Pachuca, Toluca, and Cuernavaca.

Taxis were even suspending services in districts across the city.

The drivers complain that inconsistent regulation creates an uneven playing field for them to compete with ride-sharing, and want more robust regulation of their competitors. One of their biggest complaints is that taxis in Mexico City have to be painted a certain way – white and pink – which can cost up to MXN$2,500 (about $125 USD).

Several drivers said the ride-hailing apps have cost them 40% of their earnings.

According to some estimates, Mexico City is home to the world’s largest taxi fleet.

Credit: @fastpacific / Twitter

With that many cabs out there, it kinda makes sense how they were able to bring the city to a standstill with their demonstration.

Many across the capital were shocked by their tactics.

Credit: @pqblair / Twitter

Drivers would form giant groups of taxis and invade entire districts, intersections, plazas, and major tourist attractions. They succeeded at shocking residents and tourists alike while snarling traffic across the city of more than 20 million people.

At one point, taxi drivers enlisted the help of bus drivers to help block streets.

Credit: @lad_left / Twitter

Now imagine trying to get through the city’s narrow street or already traffic-chocked streets with gangs of taxis and giant buses…

Mexican Twitter was full of opinions on the taxi strike and taxi drivers themselves.

With the strike bringing much of the city to a standstill and the already negative attitudes towards taxistas in the city, many were not happy.

In an all too common sight in Mexico City, videos emerged of taxi gangs attacking Uber drivers.

These attacks on Uber drivers are nothing new. When the ride-sharing app first arrived in Mexico City, it was common for drivers arriving at the airport to be pelted with rocks.

And people are fed up.

Credit: @chromaticexplor / Twitter

Most people on Twitter had the same feelings and thoughts – either evolve with the industry or you’re going to go extinct.

Residents were quick to call out the taxi drivers on social media for the reasons why they’re losing to Uber.

Credit: guruchuier / Twitter

Basically saying that if drivers cleaned their cars, were friendly, and didn’t try to rob you with high fares, they wouldn’t have to worry about competition from Uber.

The memes out on Mexican Twitter in response to all of this were pretty amazing.

Credit: @lapnayh / Twitter

Translation: “It’s not you, it’s your bad service.”

And apparently, the taxi strike happened to fall on World Bike Day…

Credit: @BiciManager / Twitter

Leading many to suggest taking your commute into your own hands while helping the environment – ride a bike!

All of this had many dreaming of a Mexico City without taxis.

And the people were totally here for it.

The General Manager Of A Pro Softball Team Used Players To Promote Trump’s Anti-Black Lives Matter Message So The Entire Team Walked

Entertainment

The General Manager Of A Pro Softball Team Used Players To Promote Trump’s Anti-Black Lives Matter Message So The Entire Team Walked

bl26softball / Instagram

This week, the pro women’s softball league held its first game in Melbourne, Florida. Soon after the game finished, every member of the Texas-based team called the Scrap Yard Fast Pitch, quit. The reason? The team’s general manager Connie May tweeted a picture of the players standing during the national anthem and tagged Donald Trump.

The women players decided that they’d had it.

In a post shared with Donald Trump on Twitter, May indicated that the members of his softball team are opposed to the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to the New York Times, the team received numerous texts and notifications of the post once they’d finished their game and returned to their locker room. The image was posted without their knowledge or consent and clearly used by May to promote a political message. The woman say that their standing for the flag has nothing to do with their political views.

Speaking about the incident, The Undefeated reports that “When May was brought into the locker room following the game, players expected an explanation.” May instead attempted to justify her post and at some point said “All Lives Matter.” Having heard enough one of the team’s members Kiki Stokes walked out. Soon after the rest of the team (which has only two Black members) followed. Kelsey Stewart, one of the Black players, was not at the game as wrote her teammates with a screenshot of the tweet saying “I am not going to ever be a part of this organization whatsoever.”

Fortunately, the softball team backed Stewart and Stokes.

“Moments later, her teammates took off their jerseys and followed her,” The Undefeated reports. “Every player in the locker room was done after that moment. They would no longer play for May or the Scrap Yard organization.”

Speaking to the New York Times, Cat Osterman a member the team said “The more we talked about it, the angrier I got, and I finally just said, ‘I’m done, I’m not going to wear this jersey. We were used as pawns in a political post, and that’s not OK.”

In a show of solidarity, USSSA Pride (who played against Scrap Yard Dawgs in Monday’s game) suspended the rest of their planned games.

The two teams were on each other’s schedules which means USSSA is likely refusing to win by default.

No doubt it’s pretty powerful these women decided to quit their jobs to stand with Black Lives Matter and their Black teammates. Speaking about the incident Natasha Watley, the first Black player to play with USA Softball at the Olympics called the move “powerful.” “Not one of them stood back and said this doesn’t really affect me, I’d rather play,” she said adding “We’re already getting paid pennies and now we’re going to get paid nothing to stand up for this. That’s how much it matters.”

This Is What Mexico Looks Like As It Reopens During A Global Pandemic

Things That Matter

This Is What Mexico Looks Like As It Reopens During A Global Pandemic

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Step outside into Mexico’s capital (home to more than 20 million people) and you’d be forgiven for not realizing we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic that’s killed more than half a million people.

As of this week, several Mexican states have entered the initial phase of reopening and Mexicans are taking full advantage of the newly found sense of ‘freedom’ – visiting restaurants, cafés and shops in droves. However, experts warn that Mexico will likely follow the dangerous path of the United States – which opened prematurely and is now having to shut down businesses once again as cases reach record levels.

Here’s an inside look into the daily reality of Chilangos (as residents of Mexico City are called) and what the future holds for the country amid Coronavirus.

Mexico City – along with 17 other states – have entered the first phase of a gradual reopening.

Despite being home to the largest number of active cases across Mexico, the capital joined 17 other states in a phased reopening this week. Mexico City lowered its contagion risk from a level red (the most extreme) to level orange, which permits some businesses to reopen.

However, Mexico City – on the day of the reopening – saw a record 5,432 new cases and 638 confirmed deaths. Mayor Sheinbaum said that the switch to orange was possible because hospital occupancy levels are at 59% and trending downwards. But to many, the government is prioritizing the economy over public safety and health. Several government officials insisted that it was safe to proceed to the reduced warning level but health experts disagreed.

The mayor stressed that if hospital occupancy levels go above 65% again, red light restrictions will be reinstated. She urged residents to continue to take precautions to reduce the risk of infection. People should continue to stay at home as much as possible and the use of face masks in public places remains mandatory.

Along with Mexico City, 17 other states moved into the orange phase of reopening – including tourist hotspots of Jalisco, Veracruz, Quintana Roo, and Yucatan.

The federal government instituted a traffic light system to simplify the risk management of Covid-19

Credit: omgitsjustintime/ Instagram

Shortly after the Coronavirus outbreak began, the federal government instituted a color-coded risk management system to simplify its messaging. With red being the highest risk level and green being the lowest, every state until June 15th was still in the red level.

As of July 1, 18 states are now in the orange level. This means that restaurants, cafés, and shops can begin to reopen with reduced capacity. Hotels and markets will also be allowed to resume service, meaning that tourism will likely begin to pick up again very soon.

President AMLO has been eager to get the economy reopened after it was reported that at least one million formal jobs have been lost and the country’s economy is expected to shrink by 8.8% this year.

On the first day of reopening, shops in Mexico City’s historic center were jammed full of shoppers.

Credit: Raul Hidalgo / Getty Images

The city’s historical center is a hub of economic activity. You can literally find pretty much anything you could ever want in these cobblestones streets. The district is home to more than 27,000 businesses and as of this week they’re now permitted to open once again. And resident wasted no time in hitting the shops.

Long lines formed outside shops with few people wearing masks and most stores not truly enforcing social distancing requirements. Some offered antibacterial gel and took people’s temperatures before allowing them to enter.

Officially, shops and businesses with an odd street number are permitted to open three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, whereas even-numbered shops can open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

In order to prevent crowds from accumulating and promote social distancing, 31 streets were converted into pedestrian-only zones.

Restaurants, cafés, and shopping centers are all open for business – with some protective measurements in place.

Credit: omgitsjustintime/ Instagram

Even before the official change to semáforo naranja, several restaurants and cafés were already offering dine-in service. But now restaurants are officially allowed to operate at limited capacity, while staff are required to wear masks and shields, and restaurants are’s allowed to play music or issue reusable menus.

Street markets, known as tianguis, will also be allowed to restart which will help many of the city’s informal workers. And the following week, department stores and shopping malls will also be allowed to reopen at 30% capacity and with limited hours.

Mexico is hardly finished with the Coronavirus threat – in fact, cases have been reaching record levels.

Credit: Covid.gob.mx

Although not yet at the levels seen in the U.S. or Brazil, Mexico has been struggling with its response to the Coronavirus pandemic. As of July 1, the country has had more than 225,000 confirmed cases and almost 28,000 deaths, with Mexico City being the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak.

And the worst doesn’t appear to be over. In a Covid-19 situation report published Monday, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security noted that Mexico had reported a decreasing daily incidence for three consecutive days.

“However, Mexico does not yet appear to have reached its peak,” the report said. “Based on recent trends, we expect Mexico to report increasing daily incidence over the coming days. Mexico is currently No. 6 globally in terms of daily incidence,” it added.