Morelia, the capital of Michoacan, Mexico, is a city of protest. We see protests almost on a daily basis for one reason or another. Many times the people are probably justified at being upset but I don’t think protesting is actually solving any problems. Maybe it changes things for a short time but it offers no permanent solution. Teachers protest, students protest, government workers protest, and the police force protests. Sometimes it gets out of hand and people get hurt. Fortunately most of the time it doesn’t go that far. Here are a few of our experiences thus far.
In the first image, the teachers are protesting. We were in our Bible ministry and we patiently waited at this very busy intersection for the parade of people to pass. Thankfully we were at the tail-end and soon we went on our way. I know Brad has gotten stuck for hours, sometimes even turning the car off to save gas. Once he left the AC on while the truck was off. You know, key half way on… and the battery died. Brad had jumper cables and someone was kind enough to jump the Denali so he could get home. Funny story but the point is that protests are disruptive and just plain stinky. The second and third images were within walking distance of our house. I drove past them a few times that day doing errands. I turned around the second time to get the photos. I do not know what they were protesting. The police set up a barricade and a camera-man was there, ready to film. But as far as I know, the people just sat around and talked! I certainly didn’t see any action.
On our way home from Ixtapa we encountered a group of protesting students at a toll booth. There are many inexpensive toll roads in Mexico to pay for the road work. Sometimes the students will take over the booths and ask for pesos to support their cause before they let you pass. At first, we didn’t realize what was happening. The kids were laughing like crazy teenagers and they had the road blocked with an orange road barrel. They realized we didn’t understand them and gave us a printout they made explaining the protest. Something about education. We gave them 50 pesos to pass.
What’s my opinion on protesting? I don’t like it. Why? Not only is it disruptive but it doesn’t really accomplish anything in the long run and sometimes causes more problems. What is the solution? Read this: Is Protest The Answer?
I just got supper on the stove and the family is all home. I have been working on this blog for a few days. At five minutes at a time blogging can take forever. I guess that is the way it is with four kids. I am going to sign off and hang with my fam. I have plans for my next blog… if I start now maybe it will be ready to publish by the end of next week ;-)
UPDATE: As soon as I posted this Brad read it and said I needed to explain why the people here continue to protest. “100,000 people protest and things change. Why? Because society can’t function when you have people sitting down in the middle of the streets, burning down gas stations, and turning over semi-trucks. This is like 100,000 people walking on Washington DC and doing the same thing. The government gives in and the people rule the country.” Keep in mind my opinion of protest still stands. I look to a more permanent and theocratic solution for all of the world’s problems.
2 thoughts on “Is Protest The Answer?”
I agree with you that protesting doesn’t help. Sure, people have the right to protest, but in Mexico not everything is what it seems. Some protests are legit- neighbors and communities spontaneously getting together and marching somewhere. But other protests are staged, with “protesters” paid to be there. Usually, this happens when political rivals are quarreling, and each will stage protests against the other. It’s not easy to see when a protest march is legit or staged, so people are usually wary of them. And they do disrupt life. I’ve been stuck in a massive traffic jam because of a protest march, in a hot car, with a screaming toddler. Not cool.
We have heard about all of those situations that you mentioned above! I am so happy that Uruapan has very few protests and they are not nearly as disruptive as Morelia’s protesting. Whew!