Speakers, poets, and musicians gathered in the Gordon Quad on Oct. 2 to commemorate the student massacre that occurred in Mexico City 39 years ago.
The event was held by the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, an organization promoting higher education, culture and history of Chicano people.
Those in attendance honored more than 200 students who were murdered by the Mexican government after protesting the lack of both democracy and irradiation of poverty.
The protestors had organized in Tlatelolco 10 days before the 1968 Olympic Games and were subsequently fired upon by the government. They had selected this time in order to use the publicity generated by the games to get their message out.
Professor Enrique Davalos, a teacher of Chicano studies at City College, was at the event speaking about the history of that day and the significance of it within the community.
After Davalos had recalled the events of that tragic day, the president of the City College branch of MEChA, Fredy Jaziel Carrillo, took the microphone.
Carrillo articulated the importance of the massacre of Tlatelolco in contemporary times.
“People who forget the past are condemned to repeat it,” said Carrillo.
In remembrance of those who were murdered, speakers addressed the problem of not speaking up for one’s beliefs.
MEChA club officer Juan Coronado stated, “It’s easy to make criminals out of those who speak out.”
Throughout the speeches several members of the group had urged the public to organize for the common good of the people and to make their thoughts known.
MEChA club officer Eduardo Suarez made a speech about the responsibility of the privileged to help out those who are unable to help themselves.
“We must use that privilege to build something for our people,” said Suarez.
After the speakers had presented, Carrillo opened up the microphone to the public for poetry readings.
Among the poets was MEChA officer Juan Coronado, who read poems in both Spanish and in English.
After the readings, Coronado had a statement of his own to make.
“We are not in school to be sheep,” Coronado said.
The City College branch of MEChA can be contacted at their e-mail address, [email protected]