Flying protest banner disrupts Mexico President’s commencement speech

    In a creative act of protest, as Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon delivered a commencement address to graduates of Stanford yesterday, according to the San Jose Mercury News:

    …a small plane flew overhead pulling a banner protesting the president’s use of the military in his war against the drug cartels, which has cost some 40,000 lives so far. The banner read, “No + Blood — 40,000 dead. How many more?”

    Outside the stadium, a handful of protesters, a few of whom traveled from Mexico City, criticized Calderon for spending resources on fighting cartels instead of on education and other social programs.

    “People join drug cartels because they are poor,” said one protester who refused to give her name and instead identified herself as Margarita Zavala, the name of the president’s wife. She carried a sign that said, “Calderon stay here. Mexico is better off without you.”

    “What are you going to do, kill all the cartels?” she said. “Well, that’s half your country.”

    While I like this tactic, from the above video, it’s difficult to tell how easy it was for those attending the ceremony to read the banner. Had the plane been able to fly lower or closer (or even drop leaflets over the crowd) it might have caused more of a scene.



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