Chronicle from Mexico

Mexico City, 15 of June, 2012.

It all began with only five of us arriving at the time and place. We decided to go to Buenavista, where people take the suburban train. On the way, on the subway, we decided to “vagonear” (inform people about the “yo soy 132” movement and the elections) we covered our faces with tape reading Televisa and TvAzteca (the two main television monopolies in Mexico responsible for inflating Peña Nieto’s popularity) and we handed out flyers. We got a good response. On one of the trains two men started talking with me, and when I had to get off, I could see them still talking amongst themselves. When we arrived in Buenavista we asked two guards if we could stage our demonstration there. One of them told me, “If it were up to me, I would say go for it, but you can’t, you’ll get kicked out. Look, if you stand there those public phones are, that’s ok. Oh, and give me one of your flyers, won’t you?”. Then a girl who was coming back from other brigade work joined us.We went outside where the phone booths are, some of us holding up signs where it read “Critical Vote, Free Vote, #YoSoy132”, “Informed Vote, Free Vote, #YoSoy132”, and we had eyes and mouths covered in tape that read “Televisa” “TvAzteca”. Some others of us started handing out flyers with our mouths taped in the same way. We improvised some signs with the image of a television, and we stuck it to our chests. People took our flyers, and others saw and came back to ask us for more, they waved at us, they shouted “I am also 132!” They asked for information.At some point I saw that the guys with the taped up eyes were talking to three men, and then I saw the men grab the flyers from their hands and then… they began handing out flyers as well! Minutes later, I saw two other guys who were talking to those of us with signs, and I came close and saw them also joining in the handing out of flyers. Then, suddenly one of them stopped and said, “Oh! I’d forgotten I have the BIG sign with me”, and he opened his backpack and brought out a huge cloth sign that read “Movement for the truth #YoSoy132”, and him and his friend put it up. We were no longer five people.We continued handing out pamphlets, and people kept asking us. People in cars waved, and some reggaetoneros walked by singing “You know it, man! Cool!”. A girl and her boyfriend stopped in front of us and he said, in a joking manner, “We are bullshit”, and they continued on their way. A lot of noise was suddenly being made. Juan was talking in a loud voice with his eyes taped up, and three people were looking at him, another two taking photos and video. Minutes later I turn towards him and seven young kids are with him holding signs. I have no idea where they came from, or when they joined in. The new members start improvising new signs, then one of them says: “So? Should we get the performance going?” And they began a dialogue they had prepared, talking about the lies of the media, the movement, and Peña Nieto. By then we had about thirty people around us, listening, looking, readin the signs, and most importantly, talking amongst themselves.

At some point, the young kids got tired of talking, and that’s when the most amazing bit of the afternoon happened. The pedestrians, those who had stopped to observe us at first, now started participating, they took the stage. One man told us, in a loud voice, about the corruption that happens everyday in the government office where his brother in law works. Another person asked us, please, for the movement to not end on the 1st of July, after the elections. The people put their voices into the mouth of the movement.

In the end, several small groups of people were left, talking amongst themselves. Many hands were shook, several phone numbers were exchanged. The young kids who showed up out of nowhere said goodby, some had to go as far as Izcalli, others to Tlalnepantla. We affectionately said our goodbyes, we called each other brother, sister, carnalito, carnalita. Hugs, strong hand shakes, kisses on cheeks.

We were there for three hours and a half hours. I was amazed, we were amazed.


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