Los Angeles: Thousands March and Rally for Missing Mexican Students

November 24, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Thousands of people from Mexico, young and old, took to the streets of Los Angeles Thursday night, November 20, to protest the disappearance and possible mass murder of 43 college students who were last seen in police custody in the city of Iguala on September 26, and who were reportedly turned over to drug traffickers and murdered. This date was the anniversary of the 1910 Mexican Revolution, and it was marked inside Mexico by one of the largest anti-government outpourings of protest yet at this likely massacre of the 43 students.

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In Los Angeles, three protests converged in front of the Mexican consulate near MacArthur Park. The largest was a march, estimated at more than a thousand, of people who had come together to watch President Obama’s speech on immigration at historic Olvera Street. They then marched more than three miles, carrying handmade signs and banners, chanting the whole way to the consulate. There, people took over the streets, expressing their rage at this horrific crime. Some held individual pictures of the 43 students, and photos of many of them were planted in the grass. The father of one of the missing students spoke at the rally.

The people repeatedly counted to 43 and called out for justice. Another chant demanded, “They took them alive; and alive we want them back”—because many people do not trust the Mexican government and don’t believe its version of what happened to these youths. And over and over the protesters raised the demand that Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto be removed from office.

The kidnapping and likely murder of these students has struck a powerful chord among the Mexican people; it has unleashed a sentiment that what is happening in Mexico—the disappearances and killings, the violence of the drug traffickers, together with the collusion of the police and government officials—has to end. A woman expressed the sentiments of many people: “I feel horrible, and tired. Enough. And it’s not only 43. There are thousands and thousands.”

There were many Mexican-born high school and college students there who are very angry and impatient. A high school student spoke passionately about how she sees the situation:

I’m Mexican, and I’m tired of the murders and kidnappings that constantly happen in Mexico, and I want it to end; and I want my narco-government to end; and I want this to stop. So that people my age, people going to college, don’t have to fear getting an education. I want my people free. I want my people to not die on the streets, every day. I don’t want them being kidnapped; I want them to be free of this.

We are tired of living in fear, of the drug traffickers and the government; knowing they [the government] are working with them, knowing they will never protect us. We are tired of this.

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