The people, yes!
I love a parade… and I always enjoyed the Revolution Day parade. Although Vicente Fox started labeling the event a “Celebration of Sports” as a way of demilitarizing the event, and it had always included civilian units (including the under-appreciated, but wildly cheered one day of the year, garbage men) the Revolution Day parade was always meant as a celebration of the State’s power.
This year, the citizens will NOT be cheering the sports heroes, marching basketball teams and garbage trucks… nor the all important symbols of state power… soldiers, sailors, airmen, their weapons and equipment. Wednesday (yesterday), without prior notice, the reviewing stands and massive array of bleachers where removed from the Zocalo, with notice coming later that the yearly event was being cancelled.
Not that there is no parade, but it is one celebrating NOT the State’s power, but the people’s power. It is not, as perhaps some have hoped, that the state has withered away, so much as the State has become isolated, and — it seems — out of touch with its citizens. The people are marching … not from the Zocalo, but upon it. From Tlatelolco, from the Monument to the Revolution, and from the Angel of Independence, the people will descend on the Palacio Nacional to demand the state put its power in the service of its people. In 110 cities and towns around the Republic, other marches are planned. Even in Mazatlan, which almost never sees demonstrations, there will be people in the streets.
We have had mega-marches before, notably the “million Mexican March” during the Calderón adminstration, which had been endlessly pumped by Televisa, and chambers of commerce, not to mention the political parties). But those marches were meant to signal to the outside world acceptance of the “war on criminality”… the state — and the supporters of the state (the multinationals, Televisa, the political parties) — in suppressing criminal violence. With the growing recognition that the state (and its supporters) are themselves tied into that nexus of criminal violence only became clear to many with the disappearance of the 43 students. And, although the State, the “official” media, the public image makers, have done everything possible to dissuade the people, or persuade them that the 43 “disappearances” were an anomaly, it just isn’t going to work this time.
Students, their families, teachers, the unions, church groups, peasants, the middle class, will be marching demanding not only justice for the disappeared and murdered in Ayotzinga, but much, much more. A change in the political system, an end to the economic policies that invite state (and nonstate) repression, the rights of the rural and indigenous people to live without fear. The Mexican people are celebrating the Revolution in the best possible way… demanding from their government effective suffrage, no re-election (of the same old, same old parties), land, peace, education, and national independence.