The last trip I wrote about on here was one I took to Puerto Rico (and Martinique, which I am yet to write about) which happened pretty much exactly when the trouble started here in Mexico. I don't want to write too much about the beginnings of it all now (because it would simply take too long to explain), but here is a post I wrote closer to the time to give you a little more background information:
Unfortunately, just two weeks after I submitted this article, I had to leave the country due to the events that had taken place on my university campus. It was an incredibly painful experience for me, having to say goodbye on such short notice to a group of people I had grown to love so much, not knowing when I'd be able to return or if they'd ever be able to come and visit me. I also felt so helpless, having experienced first had in the marches just what the state was/is capable of doing to innocent and peaceful protesters, and entirely unsure of what I'd be able to do from so far away.
I wanted to share some of my photos from the peaceful protests that took place over the time I was here, just to give a little insight into the reality of the situation that the Mexican people were facing. The movement was powerful and strong, but above all it was peaceful, yet that doesn't seem to make the government listen, nor does it stop violent actions against innocent people.
About 10 minutes after the last picture, just before the second wave of running as the police stormed the main square. Gun shots, explosions and people panicking like crazy. We continued running for 10-15 minutes more after this (time gets a bit blurred in my head, it was all a bit surreal).
This is how the state reacts to a peaceful movement.
It's quite a weird experience for me now, writing about all this retrospectively. It was all so real at the time, so intense and emotional and yet for some reason, all that has died down so much since December. I was convinced that I wouldn't be able to come back after Christmas, but now here I am, having lived another two months in the country with hardly a word from the uprising that seemed to be upon us just months ago. It's now a running joke that the revolution took Christmas holidays and didn't really revive itself afterwards. I've heard of marches and meetings around university since I came back, but the spirit hardly seems as strong as before I left. Maybe I'm wrong or just a little out of the loop now, but it already feels like everything we went through is now just part of history, stories to tell and not much more.
I can say however, that so far I have got so much more than I bargained for from what was supposed to be a chilled out year abroad. Experiencing injustice firsthand is something that us white, privileged westerners are fortunate enough to be able to avoid, sometimes for our entire lives, making it a lot easier to turn a blind eye from problems in the world will never really affect us. I have to admit that over the past few years I lost a lot of my 'change the world' spirit, due to growing up and illness and the numbness of the world, thinking that there is SO much bad, that my wanting to be good would never really make a difference. But what happened here really brought that back in me, and it's back with a vengeance. I am yet to figure out just what that means for my future, what am I going to do or who I am going to be, but I do know that I can no longer continue to sit back and just watch.
Sorry for the disturbances. We are changing the country - WORLD.