#9N Commeth

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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.

1 COMMENT

  1. When did this start? I’m first hearing of this NOW. Granted I refuse to watch Globo these days, but I read like six newspapers online everyday…

  2. “Se acabó la guachafita” is a brilliant slogan, firstly, for the reasons Quico mentions about being a generalized cry for ¡BASTA!, this is too much and we want you to stop, and secondly, it’s just a great word (and I get very happy when I find out we share an expression with susmercedes los venecos).

  3. Prácticamente nadie de mi círculo social quiere ir mañana. La mayoría de mis amigos cree que detrás de la convocatoria hay una agenda oculta, promovida por grupos abstencionista y por doñas histéricas del este de Caracas. Yo, lo admito, también tengo mis dudas, porque los pescadores en río revuelto abundan, pero aún así pienso ir mañana, así sea con algunas reservas, precisamente porque estoy harto de “marcha as verbena, the marcha as jodedera, the marcha as chance to go hit on cute girls.“. Esa vaina de las marchas-culitos-rumbitas puede que le haga más daño a la oposición que una convocatoria espontánea cuyo espíritu sea la rabia reivindicativa y no el faranduleo.

    • También hay un absolutismo y censyra en la oposición a la marcha que es sorprendentemente muy parecido al chavismo, cualquier cosa que no venga de una orden de la MUD es “oscura”, “una mano peluda”. No es admisible la posibilidad de que un grupo de ciudadanos se haya hartado de una situación económica tan horrible. E independientemente de que haya alguna mano peluda atrás, si ha logrado algo de indentificación entre personas nos radicales algún sentimiento existente en un sector se identifica con esto.

      • La marcha está siendo convocada por jóvenes que como muchos en el país están cansados de toda la situación que nos embarga. No hay agenda oculta, simplemente cansancio, agotamiento y las ganas de un cambio pronto. No se promueve la abstención, se está de acuerdo en que hay que votar masivamente el 8 de diciembre, y aunado a eso la protesta de calle es necesaria ante un desastre que ya pocos aguantan. Tanto Henrique Capriles como Leopoldo López salieron a manifestar su apoyo, así que no es absolutamente nada en contra de la MUD.

  4. I’m sorry to be an aguafiestas, and I really hope that I’m wrong, but I think NOTHING will happen after tomorrow. I think the government will easily find a way to defuse the whole thing and any possible aftermath… if it ever turn out to be significant enough. Still, like I said before, I hope that instead, tomorrow will go down in history as a pivotal moment in the redefinition of Venezuela. I have been proven wrong 🙂 so I have hope.

    • Oh I agree, César. It could very well come to nothing. Even if it does, that wouldn’t be a good reason not to turn up, though. The reason to protest right now is that this shit is unacceptable. That’s all.

      • Of course! Last week I went to a rally in support of the public hospital in the Spanish town where I currently live. Regional government is planning substantial cuts in its funding, so I joined the rally, which was massively attended. At the end of the half-hour walk, with local and regional police support to organize traffic, etc., we reached the hospital and there was already a well lit stage on the square directly across from the hospital main entrance. Gathered there were the “Save our Hospital” movement organizers, and the mayors of the five towns that are served by the hospital (I understood then the massive turnout). Everyone took their turn to talk briefly and it was so refreshing. Concise, informative, and to the point, no political/partisan shouting and finger pointing. After 20 minutes, it was over and the rally dispersed calmly. The evening continued normally, without unnecessary disruption or chaos, and I went home with a feeling that not only the rally was worth it, but that the whole movement to save the hospital was making a difference.

  5. I don’t understand why people are opposing this protest. We’re on the breaking point, people are tired, angry, worried, and most of all, on the brink of explosion. What better way to channalize those impulses than a healthy fight-for-your-right (without the “party”) uprising of citizens that have a CONSTITUTIONAL right to manifest their discontent with the economic and social collapse that is today this confusing mush we insist on calling Venezuela, instead of having it build up into an incontrollable frustration that snowballs until it overrides all common sense and civility.

    I’ve read all sorts of bullshit, from all corners of my world. But in the end, these manifestantes are adults who have a need, as citizens of this damaged country, to stand up and defend the crumbs left of this land. I also sympathize with the iniciative, because, when the oposición wanted to go on marchas and was obligated to ask the governmet for permission, citizens were apalled, but we asked for permission anyway, just to express our right to protest, and today, some of those same people decided that they got tired of waiting for some political head to say “hey, our country’s in the toilet, let’s just not agree with this” and decided to shout it out themselves, and are being censored by some sectors in that same opposition that tamely asked for permission to dissent years ago.

    Sometimes, the right way to go is spontaneity.

  6. Creo que el principal problema de esta iniciativa, es que es promovida por puras personas que viven fuera del país, muchas de las cuales hablan de soluciones que no están dispuestas a asumir. La protesta siempre es importante, vamos a ver como sale la cosa mañana. And forgive my spanish.

    • No sé si venga realmente de fuera. Sé que los chavistas están diciendo eso, pero siempre lo dicen. Esperemos que eviten las provocaciones de los chavistas.

      No hay problema con que escribas en español, pero entre sujeto y predicado no se coloca una coma (“iniciativa es”) :-p

    • Andrés – hoy es el nueve. No pasó NADA!! Capriles el marico asesino ni siquiera dio la cara. Es nada más y nada menos que un liderazgo de cobardes y apátridas.

      Más personas comprando en Daka de Colinas de Bello Monte que los llamados autoconvocados de Plaza Venezuela.

  7. It does sometimes happen sometimes that the people are way ahead of their leaders. The leaders are so intent and focused on a long-term strategy, they fail to recognize and seize the moment when it is upon them. I felt that way about Capriles when he canceled the planned protests after the trampa in April after government threats of violence.

    In any case, I (for one) will be glad to see any Venezuelans showing some backbone and some real spirit of independence.

    Live blog? 🙂

  8. First, this is not really a self convened rally in the sense that is not spontaneous. Also is not a headless movement, someone is calling and organizing the call for the rally, we just don’t know who it is. Because it is anonymous and a little vague in its purpose it is up to the imagination of the “followers” (the participants) to construe the purpose and give some qualities to that anonymous leadership. Some will be suspicious of their hidden nature, others will believe is actually the people that are leading the movement, many may give it mythical qualities.
    If the rally turns out to be a success in terms of size and impetus, who will collect that political capital? What will they do with it? What would be their next steps?

    • There is a romantic notion in the idea of a self appointed, self governed movement. An idealized purity of purpose an unselfishness that eliminates the possibility of a hidden agenda. It also comes from that fallacy, often heard in Venezuela, that the people can never be wrong. In history there has never been a real self governed movement that has accomplished anything of importance. Groups of people do not organize themselves, in anything different than chaos, without some leadership. Even when some protests may break out spontaneously (not the case here), some group always becomes the de facto leader of the subsequent movement or it fizzles out rapidly.

      On the other hand there is also some romanticism and mysticism associated with the idea of a hidden leader. A messiah that will be revealed in due time. Someone (or some group) better than the current known players. The advantage of the veil is that any qualities are possible and imaginable behind it.

      After #9N, if “we self convoke ourselves” to burn Miraflores, or to abstain massively on 8D, or to vote massively on 8D, or to repudiate Maduro, or to repudiate the MUD, or to….
      … what would you follow?

    • To finish my thoughts on #9N. Whether hidden messiah or self governed movement, in the best of cases it won’t be more than a mirage. In the worst of cases it may become a distraction, a split, a division or a derailment of the current unitarian movement. After all is not that difficult to whip up the masses into self defeating actions if you know which buttons to push. Ask Chavez.

      Granted, it may also become another positive leadership, even a better one, even a much better one than the ones we have now. What are the odds?

      • Exactly Wikipedia is not self organized or self organizing. It has a very well defined structure and procedures that allow people to contribute and maintain it. It doesn’t just work by itself. It’s actually a complex mechanism similar to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace (remember that one?) and other massive cooperation systems. Let’s count also open software in the mix.

        The problem with a movement that proclaims to be self appointed and self organized is that first of all is not true, it starting with a false premise, but most important is: who is going to make use of the political capital generated?. If no one organizes it, then anyone can co-opt the movement and cash in that capital. If someone organizes it then it is important to know what they stand for.

  9. “Se Acabo La Guachafita”–A good middle-class (what’s left of it) initiative, but, until the vast majority of the lower classes (the vast majority of Venezuela’s population) feel and act this way, I doubt (hoping I’m wrong) if anything comes of this, and, worse yet, if turnout isn’t really big, then it will be a terrible sign of failure for the Oppo and for any expectation of a return to sanity in Venezuela anytime soon.

    • I do not worry about what happens if it fails because in that case is nothing more than a trial balloon (“globo de ensayo”) from some unknown group. It doesn’t really compromise the opposition in general.

      I worry about what happens if it is successful. What would it mean to have another opposition group pulling a section of the people in a different direction. I fear it would mean an end to the unity of the opposition.

  10. Finally a brilliant idea by the opposition, I love it! Bypass the politicians, keep them guessing, go rt instead of left, go left instead of right.

    Way to go!

  11. “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. ”

    Says the guy half a world away… Yeah, go outside and be killed because enough is enough. Meanwhile, I’ll blog and give interviews about it on the NYT. Clowns, we’re all clowns…

    • Este fin de semana sucedió lo que el RÉGIMEN quiso que sucediera tal cual lo planifico, fíjense ustedes:
      1.- Pagó los electrodomésticos al dueño de DAKA (un boliburgues forradisimo en $$$)
      2.- Luego hizo el llamado a el “saqueo” de los negocios DAKA (no hubo quien lo impidiera) pues estaba todo programado.
      3.- Creó con eso la cortina de humo para tapar la marcha de los auto-convocados en todo el país, mandando a la gente (escualidos y rojitos por igual) a “saquear” en lugar de protestar.
      4.- Puso a los bobolongos de la MUD, empezando por Capriles a hablar del escandaloso “saqueo” de DAKA.
      5.- Leopoldo Lopez, Maria Corina y Capriles “apoyaron” la marcha de los auto-convocados pero no asistieron a ninguna, que casualidad!
      6.- La cortina de humo de DAKA creó indignación entre los venezolanos decentes y honestos refrescando las ganas de votar para el 8 de Diciembre para que la oposición gane muchas alcaldías y así quede legitimado el CNE fraudulento y el Maburro.
      El plan del régimen de perpetuarse en el poder sigue intacto. Tienen todo negociado con la MUD. Maburro se queda con la presidencia ilegitima a cambio de una buena tajada de alcaldes y concejales para la MUD…que se conformara con esas parcelitas de poder.
      SE DAN CUENTA CUAN MACABRO ES ESTE RÉGIMEN Y CUAN SINVERGÜENZA ES LA MUD???? No vayan a creer ustedes que esto es todo una obra de ingeniería chavista…esto es planificado desde Cuba…no por nada se han mantenido en el poder por 60 anios a pesar de toda clase de sanciones y embargos.
      Llegara el 8 de Diciembre, ganara la MUD sus famosas alcaldías y dirán que han ganado espacios perdidos y luego escucharemos al imbécil que ocupa la presidencia decir exactamente esto:
      http://youtu.be/e5-XRE2ygrs
      La MUD tendrá que cocerse la boca sobre el escandaloso fraude del 14 de abril y nosotros quedaremos como unos perfectos estafados con un Maburro legitimado! Y nos habrán visto la cara de borregos tanto el régimen como la MUD, y así nos llevaran de elección en elección con un CNE fraudulento…después de las municipales vendrán las legislativas y luego nos harán esperar hasta el 2016 para el revocatorio, que les parece? Si no hay país hoy, no quiero ni saber lo que sera Venezuela en el 2016.
      SE LOS DEJO PARA LA REFLEXIÓN

  12. I, for, one, went. Alone, everyone else had some reason not to. go. Wasn’t that bad, considering the absence of fatherhood. There were few polititians, and they remained in the corners. I heard some people talk, two, three minutes, no megaphones, no nothing.
    The general proposal is to get together there every saturday morning.
    There. The car is not the best place for this.

    • I respect those who took the initiative and courage to participate in the protest as opposed to looting the DAKA stores like the regime meant for many to do. Having said that, I need to share with you some knowledge about civil resistance and disobedience. We cannot expect to weaken the regime by organizing a protest every Saturday. The country is chaotic as it is. What’s needed is an organized GUARIMBA for a couple of weeks. It’s the type of civil resistance that the regime fears and Chavez himself promoted when he was released from prison by Caldera. Realistically speaking we cannot do any harm to the dictator by resorting to the classic “marchas”. We must look at the strategies that yielded results in other countries and adapt them and apply them in Venezuela.

  13. Congratulations, Diana. Attendance looked weak. Applaud that politicians generally held back from getting involved, at least in this instance. And I support more Saturday gatherings — of all Vzlans, no matter what their political stripe. Wonder if that means other saqueos announced by the regime, each Friday? Until 8D? That is, to defuse the gatherings.

  14. El 9N es sólo el comienzo, nos pensamos mantener en las calles, las protestas seguirán hasta el final de todo. Este video explica cómo, véanlo!!!

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