Alleged Provocateurs Planned Violent Acts Two Weeks Before #1DMx Protests

More details have emerged about the alleged anarchist provocateurs who were paid 300 Mexican pesos to incite acts of vandalism and violence during Saturday's #1DMx protests against Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. (Pictures from #1DMx can be found here.)

According to news reports from Mexico, the provocateurs planned their attacks at least two weeks before the December 1 protest date. The newspaper Reforma reports that social media played in a key role in gathering those interested in committing violent acts. There was also a physical meeting where the agitators discussed details on how it they would commit the acts of vandalism, and that those details were later shared on the Internet.

CREDIT: Eneas De Troya

It is still not known who in fact organized the actual acts of vandalism during #1DMx.

Student movement #YoSoy132 has already gone on record to distance itself from last Saturday's violence. We asked their international media arm if the movement thought that Peña Nieto and the Instructional Revolutionary Party (PRI) were organizing provocateurs. This is what they sent us via email:

You claim that EPN and the PRI have sent infiltrators to the movement?

That is right. There is growing evidence that the old tactics were employed again to try to diminish a genuine pacifist movement by turning the public opinion and giving the impression that the movement is “violent” (Using again the commercial-­‐private-­‐official #Televisa and #TVAzteca duopoly, which owns 30% of the open channels in Mexico, a country with 19% of internet access). It is imperative to break this social information barrier. It is important to mention that as #YoSoy132 movement, we are sympathetic with the causes of the genuine Anarchist movement in Mexico. It is still unclear to us, whether or not some genuine Anarchist participated in vandalism (maybe more close to the truth as you only need a few infiltrators to get a lot of people in chaos).

If anyone that was identified previously with #YoSoy132 and unequivocally had participated in violent acts, him or herself is automatically out of the movement (General Principles of #YoSoy132). However, given the irregularities and inconsistencies in the accusations, we decided to ask for the release of all the comrades as we cannot risk at any time that an innocent would go to jail for 5-­‐30 years!

We demand an investigation and an official explanation about the rubber bullets used for the first time in Mexico, breaking the police protocols to only shoot up to the air. Also, we demand an investigation on the infiltrators and the persons or groups behind them, answering the question: Who paid them?

 

Penn State Sorority Under Investigation for Racist Mexican Costume Pictures

Looks like Halloween 2012 was the year of sorority sisters dressing up in racist Mexican costumes with sombreros, sarapes, mustaches, black shoe polish, and signs that say "Green Card," "I don't cut grass, I smoke it," and "Will mow lawn for weed and beer." Just as we were starting to file away a story from Baylor University involving the many of the aforementioned items (plus your very own border fence!), a story out of Penn State says that the college's chapter of Chi Omega sorority is now being investigated for the following photo, which appeared on Tumblr:

As Penn State's Daily Collegian reports:

Due to the discovery of an “offensive” photo by the Penn State Panhellenic Council, one sorority at Penn State is under investigation by the PHC's executive board, according to a statement released by the board.

Jessica Riccardi, the president of the Nu Gamma chapter of Chi Omega, confirmed that her sorority was under investigation by releasing an apology.

"Our chapter of Chi Omega sincerely apologizes for portraying inappropriate and untrue stereotypes. The picture in question does not support any of Chi Omega’s values or reflect what the organization aspires to be," Riccardi (junior-marketing) said.

The Panhellic Council said the following in a statement, according to OnwardState.com:

“The Penn State Panhellenic Council recognizes the offensive nature of the photo and is therefore taking the matter very seriously. We are addressing the situation immediately with the members of the chapter in conjunction with their national headquarters. The Penn State Panhellenic Council does not condone any form of derogatory behavior from any of our members. Our Council and all its members strive to hold ourselves to a high standard and are disappointed by any failure to meet these expectations.”

OnwardState.com also ran a statement by Penn State's Mexican American Student Association:

The Mexican American Student Association is disappointed in the attire chosen by this sorority. It in no way represents our culture. Not only have they chosen to stereotype our culture with serapes and sombreros, but the insinuation about drug usage makes this image more offensive. Our country is plagued by a drug war that has led to the death of an estimated 50,000 people, which is nothing to be joked about.

UPDATE, December 5, 10:45 EST: Yahoo! News reported that it received a statement from Penn State. Here is what the statement said:

"This photo has been brought to our attention, and we have looked into the issue," Lisa Powers, director of public information at Penn State, said in a statement to Yahoo News.

"The students in the photo are within their First Amendment rights to express themselves in this way," Powers said.

"Although we are certainly appalled that they would display this level of insensitivity and lack of judgment."

Furthermore, Powers added, "These costumes and this group do not represent fraternity and sorority life at Penn State, nor the 95,000 students who attend our university. The Chi Omega sorority sisters have expressed deep remorse over this incident."

There are First Amendment rights, and then there is being ignorant. Ignorant people still have a right to free speech. Just don't post it on the public Internet if you don't want a reaction.

Baylor University Responds to Racist Mexican Social Media Images Posted on Student’s Pages

This morning we talked with Lori Fogleman, Director of Media Communications for Baylor University, about a series of public social media images that were posted on the public Facebook and Instagram profiles of Baylor student Hannah Ray. These public images show five young women dressed in sombreros, sarapes, mustaches, displaying "Green Card" signs, wearing what appears to be black shoe polish on their faces, and scaling a "border fence." The pictures were public images available on both social networking sites, before they were taken down last Friday night.

Fogleman confirmed to us that Ray is a student at Baylor, and also said that Baylor has "no idea where these images came from, or where the party was held."

In addition, Fogleman added the following:

Without hesitation, Baylor is an academic community that does not and would not tolerate racism on our campus. If there is an offensive act on our campus and it's brought to our attention, we have established numerous processes for people to report anonymously issues of any kind. So if brought to our attention, then those alleged incidents are thoroughly investigated by the university.

Fogleman told us that she did not know if this specific story was reported through the processes that Baylor has implemented, and did reiterate that "if there is an offensive act that occurs on our campus and it is brought to our attention, through these mechanisms, then we do thoroughly investigate."

Located in Waco, Texas, Baylor is a private Christian university founded by Texas Baptists and charted by the Republic of Texas in 1845. It is a nationally recognized academic institution and one of Texas' most revered colleges. According to some reports, the university has had other isolated incidents surrounding race and ethnicity in the past few years.

Fogleman also added that the Baylor community is growing more and more diverse each year, and it is something that the Baylor community celebrates.

"Our student body this past semester was the most diverse in our history, and it continues to increase. Our minority enrollment is over 33%. Our Hispanic is up to 13% of our total student body, and it continues to rise, especially as Texas' demographics do. We fervently believe that a diverse campus community adds immeasurably to the richness of the conversation among our students."

Baylor's website includes two statements that echo what Fogleman shared with us. These statements and other information are shared with all students. One statement is the university's Statement on Multiculturalism:

Baylor University recognizes the changing demographics of our nation and how those changes will directly affect our University community. Therefore, Baylor is committed to a policy of inclusiveness, understanding, and acceptance of all regardless of race or ethnicity. Consistent with this statement, Baylor will continually strive to challenge and educate all members of the University community through cultural awareness programs and by precept and example.

The other is a statement about the General Expectations of Baylor Students:

Baylor University is controlled by a Board of Regents, operated within the Christian-oriented aims and ideals of Baptists, and affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, a cooperative association of autonomous Texas Baptist churches. It is expected that each Baylor student will conduct himself or herself in accordance with Christian principles as commonly perceived by Texas Baptists. Personal misconduct either on or off the campus by anyone connected with Baylor detracts from the Christian witness Baylor strives to present to the world and hinders full accomplishment of the mission of the University.

"We're so committed to enriching the fabric of our university," Fogleman said. "Our student body continues to change and we are the better for it."

VIDEO OF THE DAY: “Abuso de poder” by Gabylonia

This week Venezuela's Gabylonia has been running on our playlist.

Give it up to "Abuso de poder." The beginning of the video is raw, and when the beat drops, it gets real. For more on Gabylonia, check out Twitter and Facebook.