How To Start a Peaceful Revolution: A Melton Share Session with Ricardo Velázquez
Based on Gene Sharp’s “6 steps to start a peaceful revolution,” the most recent Melton Share session on November 23rd featured Mexican activist Ricardo Velázquez, who demonstrated how to apply each step by using the example of Mexico, its current situation and his own personal story.
Currently, 43 missing Mexican students are in the focus of media attention. Their disappearance brought back massive demonstrations to Mexico’s streets. Since the presidential elections in 2012 Mexican citizens have been protesting increasingly against government, its involvement in the drug business and its neoliberal reforms. Government reacts with police, army and drug cartels by beating, kidnapping or killing activists. Mexico’s citizens are furious and recently the magazine The New Yorker asked: “Could Forty-Three Missing Students Spark a Revolution?”
Ricardo Velázquez is an activist working for a peaceful Mexican revolution. A psychologist and activist, Ricardo has worked at the Mexican Secretary of Public Education for the last four years, and last year took a leading role in a movement to avert privatization of the Mexican public school system.
His passion to work with people on self-empowerment to build a democratic basis for peace and human rights put him into the center of many political problems. Thus, this year he and his wife, Melton Fellow Juli Maier decided to leave Mexico and continue their activism from abroad. He now working on a Masters in Intercultural Conflict Management at Alice Salomon University in Berlin and together with the NGO “Mexico via Berlin” he has organized a petition against the security pact between Mexico and Germany.