It appears public, peaceful protesting has come under attack. Last week a brave Rosina Gonzalez, along with 5 other activists, of Greenpeace Mexico took to the streets to demonstrate their support for clean and safe renewable energy. Here’s Rosina’s story:
“You might not agree with my struggle, but if you believe in democracy and free expression, then please keep reading.
My name is Rosina González. I am 26 years old, native to Puebla, Mexico. I grew up with a lot of direct contact with nature, and like everybody else around me, I was a witness to how human beings damage our environment. People cut down our forests, pollute the water, and throw garbage on the street, believing there will be no consequences.
I received a degree in Physical Culture, and I have been teaching elementary and preschool. But I have always wanted to do something more for the planet. Why?
The answer is simple: I’d like this world to be in better shape than when I found it.
I knew I had to act, that I should not remain silent, just watching our environment’s deterioration. So I became a volunteer in civilian organizations, which always need working hands.
Six years ago, I joined Greenpeace seeking global change. First I worked in my country, where there are lots of challenges. One of which is our reliance on fossil fuels like the oil, gas, and coal we burn to produce electricity.
Last December, energy reforms were approved enhancing our oil dependence. The reforms did not seem to accept that these resources were becoming exhausted and that their extraction is increasingly expensive, dangerous and dirty. What’s worse is how it appeared government did not care about the risk we are being exposed to. We need to stop our addiction to fossil fuels and start minimizing the enormous environmental impacts now!
On March 1st, five other activists and I were detained illegally after a peaceful demonstration at the Pemex building located in the Port of Veracruz. We demanded the Mexican government to comply with its legal obligations for more renewable energy, which are essential to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our country and to the world.
When we were arrested, we were never told what the crime was. We were taken first to the Naval Unit in Playa Linda and then to the Federal Public Prosecutor, where we were left in a van for several hours. Then, Pemex blamed me for the alleged damage to a lamp, which they have yet to prove. For this offense I could go to prison for 4-10 years.
Even if you disagree with the strategies I have chosen, I'm sure you can agree with me that we all have the right to express ourselves freely and should not be persecuted for it.
I am infinitely grateful for your solidarity. I am really moved by the support I have received from thousands of people. It makes me stronger. Today, I know I am not alone, that many of us want a better, greener and fairer world. No matter how hard they try, Pemex will not silence us.“
Click here to send Pemex Director General Emilio Lozoyo a letter to drop the absurd charges against Rosina and stop criminalizing peaceful protest.
Visit www.saverosina.org for more updates.