As of 10:40, Caracas remains remarkably free of violence as anti-government protesters congregate at seven points and start marching towards the East Side. Aside from a single teargas volley on the Panamerican Highway and some incidents in Maracay (150 km. West of Caracas), the morning’s been calm.

That, in itself, is big news. The worst case scenario today was violence early, chaos able to choke off the demonstration before it really took shape. It didn’t materialize. Instead, the government seems to have concentrated on blocking off access points to the city. But there don’t seem to be many National Police or National Guard units at the gathering points  themselves.

And while civilian motorcycle thugs have been deployed to block off the Coche-Valle Highway, they don’t appear to have been called out to intimidate or attack the opposition marchers.

In a sign that the chavista counterdemonstration in Plaza Venezuela is a bust, El Pitazo reports that the tarima (stage) has just been taken down there.

People are still getting around the road blocks the Security Forces are placing around Caracas with their feet.

I honestly can’t remember seeing anything like this before.

Stunning scenes.

The Prados del Este marchers are on the move:

The west side gathering points have done well.

Our own Lissette González is impressed with the turnout in Santa Fe.

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Calm, at least in the first half of the march, was one of the most important ingredients for success on September 1st. Thank heavens it’s been calm.

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