"Fuera carajo, vayan a trabajar"
bolivia | by Miguel Centellas | 23 Jan, 2004 at 04:48 AM | comments (0) | trackback (0)

That's the quote that opened a Thursday article on Wednesday's protest march through downtown La Paz. This makes the third march attempted since October (a really small number for the city of manifestaciones), all of which have been heckled by city residents who happened to be out & about.

What's striking about this event, though, was the level of confrontations between "passersby of different social conditions" (as mentioned in La Razón) went further than in the other two marches. Anyone that has the romantic notion that the paceño middle class "joined" the October protesters on ideological grounds — rather than just hoping to find a quick return to normality — should seriously reconsider.

The protest itself wasn't entirely illegitimate. The approximately 10,000 marchers were mostly parents of schoolchildren from El Alto (the massive slum city adjoined to La Paz) protesting lack of school supplies (items). On the other hand, Education Ministry officials point out that El Alto can't expect to receive all the available items, not when so many other areas of the country also need them. Priority in providing supplies was given to the cities of El Alto, Santa Cruz, and Tarija.

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