¡Jódanse! / Elizabeth Araujo

Fuck Off!

is a city that sometimes shrouds itself with frightened people, who glance at each other sideways, without opposing any words against the irate, menacing gesture of those in power who are supposed to defend social causes affecting the rights of other citizens.

Last Saturday a group of angry men, yelling slogans in support of the government, decided to close down one of the streets opening onto Baralt Avenue, right when we were about to pass through. Revolutionary logic indicates that no other priority exists beyond a demonstration of red t-shirts. It doesn't matter if everyone else gets trapped in their cars and buses in the middle of the clamor, while the police officers decide between a resigned look or indifference to the complaint, if anyone even dares to demand explanations.

Pro-government abuse, now turned into an intrinsic right of the Bolivarian process, ends up being imposed onto the rhythm of a city whose two mayors intend to maintain it in anarchy, and maybe a newspaper article will explain the reason for the shouts charging interest from the collective inconvenience. That's how it happens at the cedula ID card operations, or with the take-overs of buildings by families who need housing, or with the improvised Mercal [government-funded grocery stores] markets on Bolívar Avenue, in the same way it happens with imposed TV & radio transmissions on a Saturday night, for example, because the president feels like presenting the report of his anti-imperialist ideology in front of comrades who chant his name in a theater, at the edge of ecstasy.

In fact, one could reasonably admit this is how revolutions are imposed in the type of ideological battles where old ways of thought are expelled. But at this pace, the conversion never arrives, it gets stuck in the imposition of the one who thinks of himself as the strongest, with guns at his waist and motorcycles disturbing drivers, or in the order "from above" that forces all employees at government ministries to attend pro-government rallies. That midday on Saturday was no different from the day before when the OPEC meeting served as a pretext to shut the highway and avenues, with no warning to the press and no apologies. So now the driver, the bus passengers, those trying to pass through a street blocked by guards and Disip agents should all know that whoever is in charge does what he wants, and if there is room for any response it is the one given by a motorized police officer to the woman who dared to protest with a little too much decency: "And what about us?" The man looked at her, accelerated his machine and let loose a "Fuck off!" so convincing, it explained the essence of this revolution.

{ Elizabeth Araujo, TalCual, 6 June 2006 }

No comments: