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Bolivia's Middle Class Takes to the Streets

Social Movements Stick Together, Face the President, as Middle Class Takes to the Streets

March 10, 2005
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Dear Colleague,

Acting Publisher Luis A. Gómez continues his reporting from the streets of La Paz, Bolivia. In the last twenty-four hours, the Bolivian social movements have intensified their protests, energized by the new, unprecedented levels of cooperation between their organizations. Grassroots social organizations have overcome their differences with Evo Morales’ Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party and are on their way to meet with the president as a united front. The diverse groups’ common cause and the main issue they will raise with the president is the issue of Bolivian hydrocarbons. The people feel betrayed by Mesa, who has, they say, been caving to corporate pressure and weakening proposed legislation meant to put natural gas and other resources back into the hands of the Bolivian people.

Meanwhile, around 10,000 people gathered today in front of the national palace to support Mesa and oppose the protests. Gómez reports that the crowd overwhelmingly represented Bolivia’s small middle class, especially government employees who were given the day off from work to attend.

Don’t miss Gómez’s report from last night, “Between Political Plots and Mesa's Apologies: The Movements Begin to Radicalize,” in which he lays out the tactics of this new nation-wide alliance of popular organizations, who were prematurely pronounced dead on the arrival of Mesa’s successful political maneuvers and Tuesday night approval from Congress:

And in his update early this afternoon, “While the Social Movements Stick Together, the Middle Class Takes to the Streets,” Gómez reports live from the pro-government rally in La Paz, and also describes how the MAS and other social organizations are preparing to meet the President and present their demands:

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor, Narco News


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