On Sunday, July 1st, Occupy Santa Rosa sent a written statement and visual message of solidarity to the masses of peaceful protestors taking to the streets in Mexico City, Montreal, and across Canada. July 1 is Canada Day, as well the day of the Mexican presidential election.
This latest North American tide of peaceful, democratic protest began in Montreal, Quebec in February, when students went on strike to protest a 75% tuition hike. The protests spread and swelled when the government attempted to limit the students' right to assemble, and on the 100th day - May 22 - 500,000 people took to the streets across Canada. The protests continue daily, and have been amplified by events unfolding in Mexico.
There, the Yo Soy 132 protests were sparked on May 11, when an influential supporter of conservative Mexican presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto accused students protesting Nieto's proposals of being "not real students, but part of a mob hired by one of Peña Nieto's political opponents," according to Latin American News Dispatch. The students responded by videotaping their student IDs and posting them on YouTube. There were 131 students, and Mexicans across the country rose up in solidarity by proclaiming, - "Yo Soy 132 (I am number 132)."
The protest movements in Montreal and Mexico City have supported each other with public statements and solidarity actions. Occupy Santa Rosa is inspired by these movements and stands in solidarity with them.Since its inception, Occupy Santa Rosa has organized local peaceful protests around student issues - specifically the failure of Exchange Bank to reinstate the Santa Rosa Junior College Doyle Scholarship fund, and radical austerity cuts to the Santa Rosa City Schools budget. We will continue to proclaim education as a human right, and support the just struggles of students and youth everywhere!
"In a just society everyone is encouraged and supported equally. Not just the wealthy but everyone," says OSR supporter Jean Redus. "If we wish as a people to advance our culture, to move forward into our greatest possibilities, solid public education must be a choice that is available to everyone, and should definitely not leave young people saddled with debt that grows over their lifetime like a devouring beast."Occupy Santa Rosa calls upon the U.S. media to cover the beautiful, important protests in Canada and Mexico as they unfold, so that the 99% across North America can know that they are united in their feelings of anguish and outrage, and can be inspired by the dignity and power of nonviolent protest.
Occupy Santa Rosa supports North American democratic solidarity, not North American "free trade" and austerity programs that reward the global 1% and punish already-suffering and precarious populations. We know that we can combine our strengths and numbers and work towards a world that honors and cherishes our youth -- as an investment in the future of humanity, and the advancement of us all.
Telephone: 707-584-2000 Fax: 707-585-1363
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