MEXICO CITY – Tens of thousands of Mexicans took to the streets on Sunday in at least 18 cities around the country to demand “respect” from US President Donald Trump, shouting slogans for unity and symbolically knocking down the wall he intends to build along the US-Mexico border.
The marchers, organized by civil associations under the hashtag #VibraMexico, flooded the streets in a “nonpartisan and peaceful” way, as per organizers’ requests, to demonstrate their patriotic pride and call for respect for the rights of undocumented immigrants in the United States, whom Trump has said he wants to deport.
The largest demonstration was staged in Mexico City, with some 20,000 in attendance, according to figures provided by the capital’s Public Safety Secretariat.
The protest’s aim was to “send a message to the US president,” one of those participating, Gabriela Torres, told EFE.
That message is “that we’re angry, he has insulted us, he’s an abusive man who doesn’t respect us,” she said.
Along with her, many of the other marchers expressed their disagreement with Trump’s policies, calling him a “narcissist and a psychopath” and identifying him with the Antichrist and Adolf Hitler.
The posters, written in both English and Spanish, carried by the crowd included slogans such as “Bridges, not walls,” “Mexican workers have helped build the US” and “Make Mexico Great Again,” the latter playing off Trump’s well-known campaign slogan.
Despite the fact that the demonstrators did not assemble specifically to protest against Mexican President Enrique Peńa Nieto, although they did demand “good government,” numerous signs could be seen in the crowd addressing the national political situation with phrases such as “Mexico’s biggest problem is corruption,” and “With or without a wall, they’re robbing us at home.”
Chanting slogans such as “Out with Trump!” and “Mexico! Mexico!” the Mexico City marchers eventually arrived at the Angel of Independence monument on the Paseo de la Reforma, where they sang the national anthem accompanied by a band.
At the foot of the monument, a group of people in multicolored shirts disassembled, little by little, a symbolic wall made of cardboard boxes that had the words “racism, homophobia, discrimination, fear, intolerance and exclusion” written on it.
Maria Elena Morera, the head of the Causa en Comun organization – one of the march organizers – said she was “happy” with the massive response and because the people had turned out to “defend the rights of everyone.”
“We’ve never received such a strong threat from abroad,” the activist said.
In addition, similar – though smaller – marches were staged elsewhere, the one in Guadalajara drawing 10,000 people. Other cities holding anti-Trump marches on Sunday included Villahermosa, Morelia, Merida, Monterrey and Tijuana.