When Marching Makes You Feel More Free

March 8 march in Prague. Photos by: Petr Zewlak Vrabec (A2larm.cz)

On March 8, 2019, International Women’s Day, I had the opportunity to be part of a march held in the Czech Republic. It was the first time I was able to do so for a truly just cause and the experience was intense. There I could verify that each person was free to say and act as he wished, many women and men were carrying signs with slogans in support of feminist movements. Being from Cuba I did not know what it was like to march like this. On the 1st of May I never did it because I was not and I am not in favor of those marches organized at the convenience of the Cuban State, where you will not find a person carrying posters demanding their social rights, such as increase in wages, or improvements in their jobs.

Nor did I feel very comfortable in the marches promoted by Mariela Castro and CENESEX, which are held once a year and where everything turns into a carnival event. This march is little more than dancing around in sandals in a conga line in the streets, and nobody dares to carry posters demanding rights for the LGBTIQ community, and when someone dares to take out a poster that is deemed to be inappropriate, the police immediately arrive and order you to stop.

There you will only find slogans of a political nature such as: Socialism Yes, Homophobia No, which have nothing to do with the gay rights’ movement, and social struggles. These are marches that really do not serve to bring about changes on an island that increasingly takes away fundamental human rights from its citizens, with a government that somehow deceives its own people by letting them act how they want to a certain extent, but making it clear that you cannot go beyond what is permissible. Cuba is a fake country, with marches that are also built from that falsehood.

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