Students and riot police face-to-face – and who are the students?

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There are marches and mobilizations every day in Nicaragua these days – in special  in Managua.

Yesterday afternoon students were planting trees to replace the burnt down “Trees of Life” or “Arbolatas” (something like “can-trees”) at la rotunda Jean Paul Genie. They also buried 63 crosses at the round-about, honouring the dead during the riots (according to the HR-organization CPDH, 63 according to other sources somewhere between 30-80).

When we passed by later on, there were mobilizations by the round-about and in the surroundings. They seemed peaceful, though.
But this morning we woke up to the news that supposedly the JS, the young Sandinistas, had ripped up the crosses up during the night. I feared that the announced student march from the UCA, the Jesuit university, to the National Assembly, consequently, might become violent.

But it did not. The encounter with riot police – face-to face – was non-violent.

One of the students, Sating Onsang , I met by the UCA before the march, did comment:

– It is a form of repression: “Do what we tell you to”, Sating Onsang said
Then he added:
– But they (the JS), are like us: young Nicaraguans – brothers and sisters.

Since the protests started, I have had a hard time figuring out who the students are: What are the organizations? Divisions? Agendas? Are they willing to participate in a dialogue – or not? From one minute to the other a new division is born, or students leave one to join another.

The divisions have given press-conferences and leaders – at least for the day – have talked to media.

Sating was preparing himself for the march with others, students from different universities, mainly. He himself is from Upoli, where the protests survived for the longest time and where, in fact, supposedly some 100-150 students still are barricading.

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Sating Onsang took part in the protests from the very beginning and was barricaded at Upoli for nearly a week.

 

 

It is very confusing and although I have read media and talked to several students who have participated in the protests, I have not got much wiser. Like NY Times wrote:
“lack of a clear leader helped the students because it made the movement harder to quash. But the same leadership void also makes it more difficult for them to choose goals and strategize”.

Now, writing this note, news on the students demanding a dialogue in sex days comes in:

These students supposedly belong to the movement of the 19th of April. But whom do they represent?

I asked Sating about these things. This was his answer:
– All the universities fight for the same, and under the same symbol of the 19th of April. We do not have consensus, though, and are divided according to the different universities.
– There is also one particular thing: While Upoli has a broader agenda and includes the whole society demanding eg. free and immediate elections, the other universities concentrate more on issues related to the universities.
– The aim is, though, all of us to get together in one movement.
He added:
– But is not only a fight of the universities – it is of the whole nation.

Then he set off, with some 100 other persons, well knowing the riot-police were waiting on the way.

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Grandmother, mother, and daughter join the march

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This is what meets the students halfway to the National Assembly

 

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Roman 8:31: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

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Riot police in two lines – but citizens go in between

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National Anthem in front of the police, and the protest ends

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