Friday, September 19, 2008

Welcome To Democracy

Venezuelan student yells at an anti-Chavez rally in Caracas.

Today was a first. I witnessed a non-violent protest outside one of the Iraqi ministries; eighty or so people with signs and banners in Arabic protesting the forced eviction from "their" homes. Well, they're really not "their" homes, but more accurately the homes that these people are squatting in, the owners having been displaced, are now returning and want their houses back. The government is forcibly evicting the squatters.

The point is that this is the first open, non-violent protest that I've seen here. Welcome to democracy! It won't be long before we start seeing heavy-handed police tactics complete with gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Then you know you've really arrived on the democratic stage.

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