Protests This Week in San Diego Mourn the Disappearance of 43 Mexican Students
By Elena Marques
Usually writing comes naturally to me, I love sharing the art and culture of our community of Barrio Logan and the words flow easily. However as I sit to write today, there is so much to say that I am at a loss for words.
It’s incredibly difficult to describe the emotions facing the one year anniversary of the mass kidnapping of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa. So much that I found myself putting off writing this because there just doesn’t seem to be sufficient words.
After a year of lucha, marches, protests, art shows, cultural events world wide, a nationwide tour of parents and students from Ayotzinapa creating a solid and intricate network of organizers across the nation, meeting and working with monumental people here in San Diego, across the nation, and across the border, including the spokespeople from the Escuela Normal, it weighs so heavy that we face a year with no answers, no justice.
People worldwide, and right here in San Diego, have been working tirelessly to maintain life in this movement, and in the forefront of people’s minds in our own home city. There have been successes because of the movement, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights conducting an extensive investigation in Guerrero and denouncing and discrediting the Mexican government’s version of events and investigation.
While nothing new came of this investigation that activists around the world didn’t already know, it’s still a huge leap towards the rest beginning to understand the depth of the impunity and injustice far and wide.
Normalistas are so often poorly portrayed by media, as vandals, deliquents, etc., but the fact of the matter is that their only crime is being a student, poor, and indigenous. Which the mainstream media seems to leave out almost always, and only include their acts of civil disobedience without an ounce of cultural context.
The acts and manner of protest in Mexico historically can be very different than here. The media constantly fails to point this out and only shows very small snippets of seemingly violent acts. When in reality these acts are far from unheard of in Mexico, and most commonly they are used in defense of themselves, and come from anger, desperation, and exhaustion due to repression and decades of being unheard.
This quote, summed up perfectly by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decades ago, is still relevant: “It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.”
These reports that have come forward from the investigations, although they did not bring answers as to where the forty three students are, will hopefully bring forth more pressure, more force, more light, to the oppression and injustice of the human rights crisis in Mexico, and a new view of the Normalistas, who are in reality bold civil rights leaders at this point.
This is a breaking point. With the new discrediting report of the independent investigation, the Mexican government is in hot water and their cover ups are starting to crack.
More and more resistance is coming in from the outside, and now more than ever we need to stand together as this Saturday marks one year, and far beyond. If we cease to fight and lose momentum as a movement at a critical moment such as this, it’s a tragic loss. These are the moments where change is made and the road is long but the solidarity must remain.
Across the nation, world, and here in San Diego, it is a week of resistance and lucha and we hope you stand with us.
A protest march takes place in San Diego this Saturday in conjunction with events on Thursday and Friday. For information on the protest please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check www.raicessinfronteras.org or “Raices sin Fronteras” on Facebook.
Times and locations for Saturday’s march:
9 am – Chicano Park
Logan Ave. & Cesar Chavez Parkway, San Diego, CA 92113
9:30 am – Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church of San Diego
1770 Kearney Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
12 pm – Sherman Height Community Center
2258 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92102
2 pm – Chicano Park
Logan Ave. & Cesar Chavez Pkway, San Diego, CA 92113
4 pm – Centro Cultural de la Raza
2004 Park Blvd, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101