There are many freedoms people take for granted. One of them is the freedom to protest. On Sep. 26, 43 students went missing from the Ayotzinapa Normal School in Mexico after doing just that. Some believe that the Mexican government is responsible for their disappearance.
The disappearance of these 43 students aroused protest in Mexico and in countries around the world. On Nov. 20, students around the world wore black in solidarity for the families of these missing students.
Group pictures of students wearing all black were posted on social media using
#AyotzinapaVive (Ayotzina for life). The hope of this movement was to let the Mexican Government know that people around the world are not okay with 43 people vanishing.
The Wilson College Spanish Club, with help of the Black Student Union, invited students, faculty and staff to join the world wide movement. Christina Gonzales and Assistant Professor of Spanish Amanda McMenamin, Ph.D both made Wilson part of this protest.
“I found out about the movement through the news,” said McMenamin. “In Hispanic Film Studies, issues of social injustice like the ones happening in Mexico become the keystone of the class.”
Students and faculty met in Lenfest Lobby on Nov. 20 to join the movement. Those present posted pictures holding the face of one of the 43 missing students and uploaded them to social media using #Wilsoninaction and #AyotzinapaVive.
The Ayotzinapa Vive official Instagram page has reached over 7,000 followers, and the picture of the Wilson community members in Lenfest Lobby was shared on the page.
“There are a lot of things we should protest about. Our news is not important unless they are affecting us,” said McMenamin. “This social movement makes a powerful statement when countries around the world join together to say ‘we know about this, and it is not okay.’”
This is the first time Wilson has been involved in an event like this. There have been protests, but they mainly concerned local occurrences. The power of protest, especially a worldwide protest, is part of the Wilson experience.
Students have a voice in the college experience. #AyotzinapaVive allowed students to take action outside of class.
“Whatever the issue you are passionate about is, use the tools you have at Wilson,” said Christina Gonzales. “Use Wilson as a platform to have your voice heard.”
43 students went missing for trying to use their voice. These students are presumed to be dead but there is no DNA proof yet. Many of their families are still hopeful that their children will come back home. Thousands of people stood together with them to protest and demand justice.
“The best justice these 43 missing students can get is to be remembered,” said McMenamin. “Let it be known that it is not okay.”
Wilson College and students around the world have spoken: “I am Fed Up.”