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I have looked for mentions of violence in yesterday's huge rally, and to the great credit of the protesters, I did not read of a single incident.

I know very little about Obrador, but I like very much his 50 promises to the Mexican people if he should win.

Especially promise #36 --

Enforce the principles of non-intervention, self-determination of peoples and peaceful solutions to conflicts.

Last week Obrador was quoted as saying:

"We will go along watching the opinion of the people," he said. "If the people say that we have to carry out actions of civil disobedience, rough and forceful, we will carry them out. If the people say that we should act with less belligerence, that's how it will go."

If Obrador seeks to be a leader in favor of "peaceful solutions to conflicts", I would expect him to do more than just let the people determine how much "belligerence" they should act with.  Also, what exactly what does he mean by "rough and forceful" civil disobedience?

I certainly hope something was lost, or altered, in the translation.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Mon Jul 31st, 2006 at 01:15:51 AM EST
Possibly lost in translation, and he possibly means road blocks and other riskier forms of civil disobedience.

Days ago, Reuters wrote about and quoted AMLO:

Despite strong rhetoric about a "dirty war" against him, Lopez Obrador has kept protest rallies by his backers peaceful. This week, supporters protested in the lobby of an upscale hotel and lit hundreds of candles in the Zocalo square.

The leftist plans to announce a civil resistance campaign at a rally in central Mexico City on Sunday as the next step in pushing for a vote-by-vote recount.

"We are not going to sit here with our arms folded," he said in an advance copy of the interview made available to Reuters.

Asked whether civil disobedience could include blocking roads and taking over Mexico's international airports or highways, Lopez Obrador said: "Everything that could mean civil resistance. Everything that could mean defending the vote, defending democracy. The limit is nonviolence."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jul 31st, 2006 at 08:02:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am pretty sure there was something more to it, such as a reference to historical action.

This is from his speech at his second rally which is basses of his "civil peaceful resistance."

To carry out starting this week the first actions of civil peaceful resistance. For that purpose a citizen committee will be formed to decide what type of actions and in what circumstances they will be carried out in practice.
Our MSM have been trying to nail down this guy as someone looking for violent solution. Here is an OpEd for an example of this tactic  
Meanwhile, Lopez Obrador has given his adoring supporters ambiguous directions. He prompted two protest rallies in Mexico City, one reportedly the largest demonstration in the country's history. These were peaceful ways for Lopez Obrador's followers to vent their frustration.

But Lopez Obrador has not spoken out forcefully enough against violence. On July 18, some of his supporters kicked and jeered at Calderon's car, and a left-wing Mexico newspaper warned that both Lopez Obrador and his followers were behaving recklessly. When his supporters chant, "Without a solution, there will be revolution," Lopez Obrador fails to stress that violence can't play any role in it.

I haven't seen that article, but this is the same thing that was said about the immigration rally here in the US. When you have that large of a crowds, you will always have an assclown who will take advantage of it. And those assclowns are called operatives meant to create havoc so the Mexican wingnuts can say "Gotcha!"

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. - Gandhi
by XicanoPwr (chicanopwr at gmail.com) on Mon Jul 31st, 2006 at 08:30:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I read that article as well.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

I was so frustrated and exasperated when massive rallies had literally no effect at all on influencing public opinion, much less changing the U.S. government's decision to invade Iraq (mainly due to adverse and/or non-existent media coverage.)

On the other hand, would I have been in favor of more demonstrations, for a paralysis of the country through civil disobedience?

I have yet to think it through, but as with Florida fiasco in the 2000 U.S. presidential elections, as with the alleged vote-rigging in Ohio during the 2004 U.S. presidential election, I think the reason that I decided to "let it be", despite my intense outrage, was that I recognized that even if some wrongdoing had occurred -- deception of the people by the government with respect ot Iraq, vote-tampering with respect to the presidential elections -- the basic balance of opinion in the country was nevertheless too close, and not in favor of my own position by enough of a margin to disturb the entire country just to promote my own political stance.

Having said that, what percentage of the U.S. south was in favor of civil rights, and what percentage of India was in favor of independence from Britain, when King and Gandhi incited massive action through civil disobedience in those two countries?

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Mon Jul 31st, 2006 at 07:50:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. Political protest is as much about standing up for your ideas and trying to convince others with your stand than showing your numbers.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 1st, 2006 at 06:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Protest, I have no doubts about.  It's civil disobedience that I am less sure of.  (Violent civil disobedience is unjustified no matter the cause, in my mind.  But even non-violent civil disobedience must be used very judiciously, I think.)

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Tue Aug 1st, 2006 at 06:44:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the basic balance of opinion in the country was nevertheless too close, and not in favor of my own position by enough of a margin to disturb the entire country just to promote my own political stance.

It is exactly when the balance of opinion is too close that protest is necessary. If the balance is clearly one way or another there is no need for the majority to demonstrate nor a chance for the minority to change the balance.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 1st, 2006 at 06:32:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the balance is clearly one way or another there is no need for the majority to demonstrate nor a chance for the minority to change the balance.

Except in the all too common case where a minority has disproportionate power with which it can impose its will against a majority.  In that situation, civil disobedience is clearly in order.

As for the "too close to call" case, I need to think about it more.  What percentage of the French population was against the CPE law when it first was passed?  I guess in that case, it was not so much how many people were for or against it, but how many people were even aware of it, or cared about it.  I guess that is another constructive function of protests, and perhaps, yes, civil disobedience: raising awareness and educating the third parties about the issue.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Tue Aug 1st, 2006 at 06:43:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Among the white population of the South? about ten to fifteen percent.

In India, independence was much more popular.

One thing to remember is that the British Government was pro-independence too, and the US federal government was very much pro-civil rights starting with the Truman administration.

In order for popular revolution to prevail in most countries, you have to have the partial support of the "enemy." If the federal government was against integration it wouldn't have happened.

by messy on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 11:35:59 AM EST
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What massive rallies against invading Iraq? Are you saying that there were some? (Anti-American rallies in Europe don't count.) As far as I know, there was little opposition to the invasion of Iraq until things fell apart. The leadership of both American parties supported it--to the regret of many of them later on...
by asdf on Thu Aug 3rd, 2006 at 09:24:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to agree the US rallies in the winter of 2003 were pathetic. I was there in LA and can attest to that.

The massive rallies in Rome, Madrid and London do count.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2006 at 09:35:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they were Anti-American rallies, then surely the French rallies would have been gigantic too, seeing how more anti-American they are than, say, the Brits. But they weren't. Could it be because in Madrid and London people demonstrated against their government's involvement in the war? Or are the French just bad at demonstrating?
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Aug 3rd, 2006 at 09:48:01 AM EST
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