March to protest disqualifiations surprisingly succesful

July 13, 2008

There was a march today to protest the disqualification of politicians to run un the upcoming regional elections by Comptroller Russian, a.k.a. Ruffian.

I was surprised by the crowd, it was modest, but since the permit was not granted until Friday, I thought there will be fewer people than there were. It was hot, very hot and it was uphill most of the time as the route was through Caracas, down Libertador, then up to Avenida Sucre, up San Bernardino to Avenida El Panteon towards the National Library and finally, almost the Supreme Court. Almost, because they placed tanks about 500 meters from the Supreme Corut building.

The fact that we were able to go right through barrios previously considered as Chavistas, tells you a lot how much things have changed. The only other march to go to the Court, was sent through the Cota Mil highway in the north of Caracas and even then, cops had to line up on both sides of the last kilometer to stop Chavistas from attacking the marchers.

Not this time around. Except a couple of very minor incidents, a construction worker insulting marcher and a group from Chavez PSUV party with red shirts hollering at the marchers, there was little heckling, a signal of how much Chavez’ popularity has dropped. In fact, by the end of the march, in what used to be the hardest core Chavista areas, it would seem as if the people were cheering the marchers the most.

While many candidates were present, clearly Leopoldo Lopez, who is disqualified to run for the Metropolitan Mayor office, seemed to be the dominant figure at the march, both in posters and in his presence everywhere.The march was cheerful and fun, even if extremely tiring because of the heat.

More pictures here in the pics section

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