November 5th was named international day of global action. International protests and demonstrations have taken place in to name a few the US, Spain, France, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Netherlands, Colombia, Italy, Croatia, Chile, Venezuela, United Kingdom, Germany, and many more. The demonstrations in demand of justice, and in the name of solidarity that the international protests serve as disallowance to the forces of silencing that have overcome Mexico over the last 50 years.
Again on November 20th it was named a Global Day of Action. Professors and students from around the world organized Teach-Ins on the events of the 26th/27th of September and the implications of these atrocities.
“Este video es un trabajo colectivo, en el que personas en distintos lugares de Chile pusieron su esfuerzo, su tiempo, su energía y su compromiso para enviar un mensaje solidario a Ayotzinapa. Este video nace para reclamar justicia, luchar contra el olvido y exigir el fin de la desaparición forzada en Iguala, en todo México, en América Latina y en el mundo.”
“This video is a collective work, in which people from different parts of Chile put their work, time, energy and their commitment to send a message of solidarity to Ayotzinapa. This video is born to reclaim justice, maintain memory, and demand the end of enforced disappearance in Iguala, and in all of Mexico, in Latin America, and in the world.”
In the Philadelphia area, there have been multiple events and protests in the name of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students. On November 20th Philadelphia joined Global Day of Protest, organizing a public vigil and protest in front of the Mexican Consulate in Independence Square through the Activist group “Unidos por México.” From their Facebook page description:
“UNIDOS POR MEXICO is an organization led by Mexican activists and allies in the states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. We are committed to demanding the protection of human rights for thousands of Mexicans, our families, and our communities.
We are Mexicans that have been forced to migrate to the United States due to the crime, violence, and repression experienced in our country. Our group is made up of Mexican immigrants, allies, students, and parents.
We understand the crisis our country is going through and the need to take direct action in order to achieve change. We reject the system that has continuously oppressed the Mexican community. We demand that those leaders, who have spilled so much blood in Mexico through their incompetence and corruption, be tried and removed.
We value and admire the initiatives taken by communities in Mexico to fight against this system and we aim to support and add to this struggle from afar. Our mission is to strengthen, organize, and unite our communities in order to put an end to Mexico’s impunity, to bring down the system of oppression, and to punish all of those who have used their positions in power for their own interest and not that of the people. NO MORE BLOOD OR COLLATERAL DAMAGE!
United for Mexico! Justice!”
The disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students is not nearly the first example of state organized terrorism in Mexico, but it is the example that has stirred the most action in people in Mexico, and all around the world. Headlines blare about a student-headed revolution beginning in Mexico, taking form in university strikes, public demonstrations, protests, marches, petitions, letters to the government, art, and perhaps most importantly a fiery passion and drive to incur change and defend human rights.
Hundreds of articles circulate daily, updating us on the latest public demonstrations. Protests in Mexico City have exceeded 80,000 participants, universities all over the country have taken to the streets, organized multiple day university strikes, and written letters to the state and country government demanding answers, resignations of leaders, including President Peña Nieto. After months of protest and supposed intensive investigation, the Mexican government has remained unable prove they have found the 43 missing students, and unable to account for their involvement in this violent crime and hundreds of others, which little by little are surfacing in mainstream media. Mexico is demanding massive transformation in the government. It is not enough to replace the central authorities of Guerrero with new crooked authorities, the repetitive scheme of corrupt and bought leaders is no longer ignored. So what is it that the protestors in Mexico and around the world are demanding? Justice and safety.
On posters, street art, chants, banners and other media we see cries for the safe return of our disappeared student peers. “Vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos,” Alive they were taken, alive we want them returned. We see shouts of solidarity, “AyotzinapaSomosTodos” We are all Ayotzinapa. We see demonstrations exposing the corruption of the government. “Ni perdon, ni olvido” Never forgive, never forget.
The massive mobilization of students in Mexico has been the strongest weapon to combat to the injustices of the government. Incredible numbers of people have taken to the streets, and demanded justice, demanded the return of the disappeared, and demanded answers in regard to the multiple unknown mass graves that have been unearthed in the search for the disappeared. These students have developed a voice of hope and strength that is being heard within Mexico, but also all around the world. It is important to recognize that this mobilization is coming from the within Mexico, from the students of Mexico, who are bravely denouncing impunity and injustice. International awareness is coming, already the world knows of the events that took place on Sept 26th and 27th. Already the world is beginning to stand behind the students in Mexico, to push and defend human rights, and to hold accountable those responsible for these injustices.