#9N Commeth

bxtmap4iyaadg2fTomorrow, Venezuela will see something it’s never quite seen before: a proper peer-to-peer, no-visible-head, Istambul/Sao Paulo style 2.0 street protest.

It’s hard to know just how successful the call to “self-mobilize” might be, precisely because nothing of this sort has ever been tried before in Venezuela. In the climate of heavy threats and intimidation that has greeted the run-up, there’s no shortage of reasons to worry

Personally, I can’t help but sympathize with the initiative. It’s about time we do away with the culture of marcha as verbena, the marcha as jodedera, the marcha as chance to go hit on cute girls. Ours is a country where protests have always been called by candidates or by  talking heads on Globovision, and set out complete with a tarima, music, speeches and bailoterapia to round it all off.

They sure were fun. But we’re way past that. For one thing, our heads ain’t talkin’ on Globo anymore. For another, the clusterfuck the country has become is no longer fun for anyone. The time for bailoterapia is long past. 

As befits an Anonymous style headless movement, #9N’s themes are broad, even vague. It’s not about MUD or about being in favor of or against voting next month or about HCR’s leadership or about any of that Inside Baseball stuff. It’s much more primal than that. It’s about a guttural BASTA! A criollo dégage!

Is that a weakness? Not if you ask me.

It’s easy to overthink it. Sometimes you just need to protest. Because the situation demands it. Because the system you’re stuck with is untenable, unacceptable, insoportable.  Different aspects of it make it unbearable to different people. The point is that, these days, it’s easy to sense that its untenability is building towards some sort of critical mass.

And if our political leaders are too cautious to call their people out, it was only a matter of time until the people called themselves out.