Saturday, December 6, 2014

No Matter Which Way You Look

Demonstration in the zocalo of Oaxaca
For most of my life, I have been a firm believer in evolution. It seemed logical that as the millenniums passed, (wo)mankind would progress in a manner that would lead to a more peaceful and harmonious existence. I never expected that we would arrive at a perfect world, but I figured we would be able to look back and say, "Wow! Glad we have gotten our act together some since those days". The state of the world today has me seriously wondering if we have, if we really have learned anything from our numerous mistakes on this planet.
At first I thought that perhaps I was mistaken about what evolution was supposed to be, so I looked in up the Merriam Webster online dictionary:
1) :  a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state :  growth (2) :  a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance.This did not seem to be what was taking place in Mexico.The disappearance of the forty-three students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, has thrown Mexico into a state of rage and unrest. There has been sustained outrage the likes of which have not been seen
in Mexico for many, many years. Not a day goes by without a front page story about the situation here. And as the communities continue to look for real evidence concerning the disappearance of their loved ones, more graves are found and DNA analysis confirm the remains are not those of any of the forty-three students! Who are they then? How many more are there?
The demonstrations grow and the government crackdown on them becomes stronger.
Zocalo in Oaxaca
Street art
Today's headlines of La Jornada show a 18 year old youth in Chiapas lighting himself on fire in front to the government building to demand the freedom of his uncle, a campesino leader held since last May on trumped up charges. Popular protest art is again filling the streets and zocalo of Oaxaca. Roadblocks are an everyday occurrence here, and it polarizes the community at times. Frustration and a sense of total mistrust of the government fill the air.

Roadblock on one of Oaxaca's main streets
But no matter which way you look, north, south, east, or west, it seems to be the same, injustice abounds. As the banner on the bus reads: If there is no justice for the pueblo, there will be no peace for the government. I have no photos of Ferguson or Michael Brown. Nor of New York City and Eric Garner. They are not necessary, your eyes have seen it all. And it appears that people everywhere have had enough, ¡Basta! Maybe this is evolution in process, if it can stay peaceful and focused on meaningful change. There are indeed signs of that here and in the US. Tomorrow there is a gathering and concert calling for justice and solidarity with Ayotzinapa.
And later this month there is another gathering of hope on the coast of Oaxaca calling for the defense and autonomy of territory.

So as people in Mexico and Ferguson, and New York fill the streets to call for justice, let's hope that someone listens. And may some of those who listen be those in power who can decide that indeed "enough is enough!", and take action to bring about real change. Then I can go back to believing in evolution, in believing that when my time comes to leave this earth, I will feel that we are a kinder and juster species than when I first set foot here.