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Utopian Dreams

I like to imagine utopias. Everyone should imagine utopias, Paulo Freire told us that. It is good for the heart, to think we can be better than what we are. It is good to imagine new, to create the good. And right now, I hope they are imagining utopias in Mexico, a land where utopian dreams are put into practice. Just think of La Realidad.

They marched in Mexico City. They marched because the “narcogobierno” is killing, torturing, and kidnapping students. They marched because they are “hasta la madre” [fed up]. They marched because of the impunity. They marched because the people see the return of the “guerra sucia” [dirty war]. They marched!

The week before the students of “Poly” marched as well. They marched because they demand quality education and democratic participation in how their university is managed. They marched because they are “hasta la madre”, as well. They marched because they recognize government policy is meant to deskill them and make them low-paid service workers. So, they marched!

Before them were the marches against privatizing PEMEX. And before that, the teachers marched and occupied the historic city center. And before that, the farmers. And before that, the unions. And before that, the Zapatistas. And before that, ’68. And before that, and before that, and before that! They marched!

Mexicans have marched. They use their feet and express their discontent. They stand together and shout, “¡Vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos!” [alive you took them from us, alive we want them back], “¡Ni PRI ni PAN ni PRD!” [neither PRI nor PAN nor PRD], and “¡Todos somos Ayotzinapa!” [We are all Ayotzinapa]. For Ayotzinapa could be substituted Tlatlaya, Atenco, Tlatelolco or Galeano. The list is long, the crimes egregious, the pain real!

Can parents’ tears wash away the pollution that fills Mexican society; the venomous economic oligarchy, the patronizing and twisted political class, and the sickeningly violent narcos? For words no longer suffice! This is what Javier Sicilia led us to know. After all this violence, there are no words! The only thing that remains is silence to confront the darkness. Silence, like Zapatistas crossing a platform, which was the BOOM! A deafening silence bringing with it the tsunami of justice, the outpouring of emotion, and the utopian demand to “be realistic and demand the impossible”!

For now, Mexicans must dream and they must imagine, as they have done before and will do again. For now, the impossible is needed. For now, I just imagine skipping down Insurgentes and shouting:

¡Ni PRI ni PAN ni PRD!

¡Viva Mexico! ¡Viva!

¡Viva la utopía! ¡Viva¡

¡Viva la Revolución! ¡Viva!

Andrew Smolski is a writer based in Texas. 

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Andrew Smolski is a writer and sociologist.

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