I am sympathetic with your goals, I really am. Do I think that education should be made affordable and available to everyone? Of course. I fully support your right to protest, to march in the streets, to hold up signs, to talk to people, to write articles, and to block traffic with your marches. My sympathy turns into fury, however, when I see vandalism and violence.
I saw someone had painted this today on the side of a building: “Pintar no es violencia es la expresion de mi lucha.” (Painting is not violence, it’s the expression of my struggle)
Really, making graffiti words and throwing paint at buildings expresses your fight for education? The expression of your fight is your presence in the street, your sign, the article you write for a newspaper, your conversation with the government. It is not the paint thrown at a bank.
You think you’re “sticking it to the man” by throwing paint and vandalizing banks, shops, and Juan Valedez? What, do you think the owners of these places are going to come out and clean up your mess? No. You know who comes to clean up? The laborers, the cleaning women, who work for those places, the workers of Juan Valedez. So congratulations, you’ve just made more work for people who already work quite hard enough. Think about who your actions affect.
You think that by throwing paint on a shop means that you’re fighting to make education available to the poor and underprivileged? Because it doesn’t. As I walked down Carrera Septima today, I became more and more angry and less and less understanding of the aims of the protestors as I saw eight or ten cleaning women outside of various buildings cleaning up the mess of the protestors. What point have you made by doing this? Because I know I don’t see it, and I’m pretty sure no one else does either.
Education is a right, there is no doubt about that. And fighting for your rights is important, but it is also important how you choose to exercise your rights in your fight. Committing acts of vandalism is not a right you have; destroying people’s property is not a right. Freedom of speech, freedom to protest peacefully, freedom to gather in public,, and freedom to education are all rights. Painting on buildings that do not belong to you is not your right.
I think it’s great that you’re out there fighting for what you believe, and I admire that. I think people should fight for what they believe in. But peacefully. That means no violence, no destruction, no vandalism. So please, think about what your real cause is before you scribble something on a building that does not belong to you.