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Hey, you got a better idea?

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday September 6, 2006 03:28 PM

People are always asking me what they should do instead of voting my the Democrats. My answer these days is, "One word: Mexico". My man Lopez Obrador has got the Houston Chronicle (among others) eating its own eyelids in frenzy:
Lopez Obrador's continuing fight frustrates many

... Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is continuing his quest for revolution and promises to set up a shadow government aimed at toppling Calderon....

"Lopez Obrador is destabilizing the country," Mexican writer [Homero Aridjis] said. "Mexico is on the verge of a nervous breakdown."

Lopez Obrador's tactics — which include plopping tent cities, full of his supporters, in the middle of Mexico City's clogged thoroughfares — have won him at least as many enemies as friends....

"We don't want more of the same," said [Lopez Obrador], who sleeps alongside loyalists in tents in the Zocalo, the massive Mexico City square built atop the ruins of an ancient Aztec capital.

His followers include university students, street vendors, farmers, union leaders and even some U.S. residents, who traveled to Mexico City to support his cause....

But many Mexico City residents wish the tent dwellers would go home.

"They're bums," taxi driver Armando Leon grumbled. "They get paid to sit there and block traffic."

... Carlos Chavez, another Chicago resident watching the Lopez Obrador rebellion unfold, said he's deeply disillusioned.

"When I came here three days ago, I wanted to cry," said Chavez. "There's no respect in Mexican politics," he said, just insults, low blows and profanity....

"In the United States, there are a lot of people who don't like George Bush. But he's still the president of the United States," Chavez said. "In Mexico, the concept of 'let's agree to disagree' doesn't exist yet."

Others complain about Lopez Obrador's apparent disregard for motorists and merchants who must endure his movement's tactics. Businesses this week sued the Mexico City government, claiming that the tent cities had cost them tens of millions of dollars.

Really, this is the most encouraging development in a long time, and how I wish us gringos could take a leaf from our neighbors' book. "What should you do," O recovering Democrat? Just about anything, as long as it stops traffic.

Comments (3)

Lopez Obrador's shadow government is also setting up a treasury department to collect taxes. He was the mayor of Mexico City for several years. Mexico City has one sixth the population so he has nuts and bolts experience. He is definately the man for the job. He is tenacious and smarter than they. It will take an assassination to make him go away.

Independent of Lopez Obrador are two other powerful movements. The APPO has shut down and all but taken over Oaxaca and in some ways is providing a model for the future. The Zapatista's "La Otra Campana" is laying low but they are very busy organizing and have some serious potential.

The neoliberals have their hands tied somewhat by the memory of the Tlatelolco massacre of '68 and more recently by the military reaction to the Atenco uprising of May this year. In addition, all three groups are using a Gandhi like strategy. Nonviolence makes it a little more difficult to launch the military, but also the Gandhi strategy of "there's more of us than them so we can ignore them and set up parallel institutions" is difficult to deal with. The Zapatistas already have experience with this idea with the autonomous areas in Chiapas.

The Mexican press is limited to two companies instead of the USA's five companies, so this is also a laboratory for the study of how a mass movement happens with a "news blackout".

If Mexico rolls over and then links with Chavez that will something to behold.

If all this wasnt bad enough, they have just discovered a huge pool of oil in the Gulf. The oil in Mexico is state owned. Two of the major items on the neoliberal agenda for this next term is the privatization of the oil industry and the Plan Puebla Panama (designed to shut down the LA shipping unions among other things). Lopez Obrador is dead set against all this. I suspect the neoliberal anxiety over this election is akin to the anxiety over needing to get Bush in so they could launch on Iraq. I've read in a couple of places that the CIA, etc. has already deployed.

There is a bit of "La Otra Campana" developing in LA and New York. The great thing about the Mexicans is they generally know exactly what is going on "neoliberal" agenda wise.

This is a major problem and the Washington Consensus are shitting their pants and yet...not a word out of the corporate media. Shhh, don't disturb the sheep.


Of course we dont have an opposition party here that can call up a million people to camp out in the center of Los Angeles or NY.

Still, we have an issue that could mobilize a lot of people -- the predicted and currently said to be inevitable bombing of Iran. When we wake up some morning and learn that the bombing has started, what will we do then?

Certainly there will be demonstrations, but we need to think in terms of on-going disruptive actions that will impact business. But how do we do that? Moveon has the size to do it, but they wont. Code Pink? Answer? Not big enough. Who's got a national mailing list (email list) with fire in the belly to get it going? SEIU? Some teachers' or nurses union? Any ideas?


u have my personal word
there will be no US bombing of iran
under present conditions

so hold that emergency mobilization plan
i give u the high sign

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