Brigada 97 (Deportivo Guadalajara)

To talk about Guadalajara is talking about a social phenomenon around the country, since its immense achievements are based in pure talent from Mexican players only, for more than 100 years of existence in Mexican football. 

The "Sacred herd" is considered as the most popular team in Mexico thanks to its roots and tradition.

The origin of the squad goes back to 1906, those were times of a Frenchified Mexico following the Porfiriato (dictatorship in Mexico in the late nineteenth century, early twentieth century ), when a Belgian trader, Edgar Everaert, a Frenchman named Calixto Gas and warehouse workers of Mexico City's warehouse – French factories, headed by Gregorio and Rafael Orozco brothers founded the Union FootBall Club, for the name there are two versions; one because it represented the union between Mexican, Belgian and French, the other version relates to geography, because the sport was practiced at the intersection of Union and Lafayette Avenues in the Moderna suburb. These precursors of Guadalajara football did not think or considered the phenomenon created with the passage of time.

In 1908 the associates reached an agreement to rename the club like the city itself, because it would give more identity and significance as European clubs at the time, also during a meeting attended by the Mexican partners it was agreed that this team would only use Mexican players and therefore changed the final name to Club Deportivo Guadalajara. During the amateur era, Guadalajara won 13 titles in the Western league as well as sympathy from the Guadalajara football fans.

Then in 1943 the club is admitted to professionalism in the First Division where they have written the name of Chivas Guadalajara in golden letters with a historically attractive football, backed by an impressive record of 11 league titles, a popular effect and influence generated by the squad that where it plays in any stage of Mexico and the United States it will be followed by Mexican co-nationals who live in those places, as the song says "Throughout Mexico there is always a Chivas brother."

In recent years the mismanagement of the club have caused a distance between the supporters and their the team thanks to bad decisions, lack of results, above all, lack of identity and lack of respect for the traditions of the club.

Brigade 97 was born in June 2013, since the managers of our team, Club Deportivo Guadalajara (known as Chivas), decided to eliminate groups of supporters (barras bravas), several fans who belonged to those different groups decided to start a project with a strictly antifascist position and stand, an idea that already was in project years before but never took off.

The first meeting was attended by only four people in which our position and ideals were decided, to work in and outside of the terraces, and of course also our name. We chose the name BRIGADE 97, the reason for the name was that in 1997 several of us lived our tenth league title of the club Guadalajara, for most of us the first one; there we also decided to have a second meeting which later was attended by about 20 people.

Our story starts with the first game of the season, which little by little as the season ran our movement will integrate more people that made the rest of supporters notice our existence as an alternate group, some of them supported us , in order to show our position inside the stadiums where Chivas plays.

In the streets, BRIGADE 97 has attended demos for social justice in Mexico, like the struggle for the teachers' union of the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE), where teachers defended free and quality education in the country; oil defense, as the federal government tries with reformist policies to privatize our natural resources; Labor Day, where we demanded recognition for the rights of workers; in rallies showing solidarity to the Palestinian people, where we expressed our opposition to the Israeli state and the genocide in the Gaza Strip; among other activities.

The group also launched a campaign called Anti-Vergara movement, in which actions like pasting posters on the streets of the city and inside the stadium are included, showing the repudiation of mismanagement and the attempts of undermining the traditions of our team, actions historically made by the businessman and actual owner Jorge Vergara that bought the club in 2002.



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