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Fun while it lasted

21 September 2020

The airing of grievances is not limited to Fesivus in this country, but are seen as something worthy to be ndulged in every day here in la Capital.  For or against one or another government policy, or lack of action, or action, deed or misdeed, there’s at least one good sized demonstration a week.  One develops an eye for the commitment the demonstrators have to the cause by the style the demonstration takes.  A color coordinated mega-march is usually a made-for-TV, issue of the week, demo:  generally some generic “issue” that nobody is really for — like crime, although really just meant to advertise one or another political factions’ proposals to “do something”.

When the demonstrators’ aren’t color coordinated, how seriously the grievance is, or how ephemeral the issue, is not always determined by the number of demonstrators.  Staying power is a better gauge.  Not so much the “commemorative” demonstrations (like the one every 2 October, remembering the 1968 massacre in Tlatelolco, attracting not just the grand-children of the original dissidents and victims, but updated constantly with new and improved grievances), or not necessarily those that up their game (the feminist demonstrations that led to wide-spread vandalism and … although certainly getting the attention of the authorities… may have seriously cut into public support for the demonstrators’ issues) but those that show a willingness to stay the course.

Which FRENAAA (FRENte NAtional Anti-AMLO) has spectacularly failed to do. FRENAAA was the brainchild of Gustavo Lozano, the director of FEMSA, aka Coca-Cola, Oxxo, etc. In other words, a big, big, big, business guy, who is used to getting his own way with governments that are supposed to do things his way.  Not just satisfied with whining that the present adminstration is so unfair in expecting big businesses to actually pay their taxes, and public heath measures are likely to cut into his sales of “las aguas negras de los imperalista gringas”  but that AMLO is a “danger to Mexico” and a Hugo Chavez in the making.  Or Stalin… or Hitler… or… well, whatever bad guy you want.

Although FRENAAA is said to include 67 separate organizations it seems mostly to be a motley crew of racists, reactionaries and disgruntled old political hacks … or perhaps those who object to a crackdown on corruption (i.e., racists, reactionaries and disgruntled old political hacks).  Their previous demonstrations, mostly in cars (in a country of poor people) attracting nothing but giggles (dismissed as the “march of the Fifis”… the elites… and jokes about rich suburbanites getting their maids to make their protest signs), the next step was to occupy the Zocalo ad DEMAD (yes, DEMAND) the commie quit.  Denied access to the Zocalo, FRENAAA, tried to pull off the same tactic AMLO himself used back in 2006, setting up a tent city to block main streets.  AMLO’s tent city lasted a couple of weeks, and brought international attention to what is now generally recognized as a stolen election and was the nucleus of what is now the ruling Morena party.

FRENAAA’s tent city lasted… oh… a couple hours.  Maybe.  AMLO just said they had a right to protest and he didn’t think they’d be around all that long.  Seems he was right. After setting up tents at the corner of Reforma and Juarez, Lozana apparently got bored with the whole thing, claimed he wasn’t feeling well, and left in a taxi for parts unknown.  The “occupiers” spent most of the afternoon shopping or hanging out in local businesses.  And, this evening, the tents appeared to be empty… their occupants (er… committed occupiers) either having gone home, or staying in hotels.

One would like to think the COVID-displaced denizens of back street hotels (aka sex workers) and the homeless, are taking advantage of the temporary housing. To each according to his or her needs.

Sources:  Milenio, Proceso, SinEmbargo

 

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