Board of Bustees: on November 6 those arrested in protests showed up at a Justice of the Peace office. But police and prosecutors were not ready with witnesses and proofs, so their hearing was put off. Here ClaraMENTE notes that the police say that they were attacked with rods and sharp implements, but they have not seized any such things. (This graphic doesn’t come with copyright notice attached and is a legitimate part of the public discussion. But don’t follow ClaraMENTE’s work only when pirated here — go to their Twitter feed.) It’s reported, by the way, that National Assembly president Marcos Castillero has offered to use his influence to get the charges dropped if the protesters join his “dialogue.” But of course, political manipulation of the justice system is one of the very things that the protests are about.
From the Twitterverse, the constitution games continue
The National Assembly, with riot police and a temporary fence to keep people at least a block away from their building, has installed nails at the top of their fence to keep anyone from scaling it again.
Meanwhile, Assembly president Marcos Castillero went to the temporary cyclone fence and spoke through it, inviting protesters to come talk at 9 a.m. the next morning. As in, ‘forget classes, forget your jobs, and come in at my convenience for my show.’
Factions of the political parties are trotting out their paid student “spokespeople” for something that’s supposed to look like negotiations.
Perhaps some sterile old Leninist factions will use the occasion to rekindle arguments about who is “the vanguard.” And there are those who say that to talk is reasonable but to expect that it means anything or changes anything is not. And others who argue about whether it might be more productive to talk to the legislature, which can change its proposal, or the president, who has no direct power in these matters but can often whip deputies into line by selectively halting national government funds for projects in their circuits.
Divisions below are the fond hope of the establishment above. These sorts of ploys have worked in the past.
“The government’s frustrated attempt to use false adversaries to break the mobilization of Panamanian youth in Plaza Cinco de Mayo reminds me of President Varela’s attempts to break the teachers’ strike in the Ngabe Comarca in 2017.” This tweet is by AEVE teachers’ union past president and activist Yadira Pino.
Desde el Twitterverso, los juegos
de constitución continúan
La Asamblea Nacional, con policías antidisturbios y una cerca temporal para mantener a las personas al menos a una cuadra de su edificio, ha instalado clavos en la parte superior de su cerca para evitar que alguien vuelva a escalarla.
Mientras tanto, el presidente de la Asamblea, Marcos Castillero, fue a la cerca temporal del ciclón y habló a través de ella, invitando a los manifestantes a hablar a las 9 a.m. de la mañana siguiente. Como en ‘olvida las clases, olvida tus trabajos y entra a mi conveniencia para mi espectáculo’.
Las facciones de los partidos políticos están sacando a sus “portavoces” estudiantiles pagados por algo que se supone que debe parecer negociaciones.
Quizás algunas facciones leninistas viejas y estériles aprovechen la ocasión para reavivar argumentos sobre quién es “la vanguardia”. Y hay quienes dicen que hablar es razonable, pero esperar que signifique algo o cambie algo no lo es. Y otros que discuten sobre si sería más productivo hablar con la legislatura, que puede cambiar su propuesta, o con el presidente, que no tiene poder directo en estos asuntos, pero que a menudo puede poner en línea a los diputados deteniendo selectivamente los fondos del gobierno nacional para proyectos en sus circuitos.
Las divisiones entre la gente de abajo son la gran esperanza de los poderes reales de arriba. Este tipo de tácticas han funcionado en el pasado.
From the Panamanian Youth Movement, one of the campus left formations: “The PRD’s old tactics — they ask for dialogue, but with whom do they talk? With themselves!”
A group of students held a press conference, at which Angely Ibarra purported to speak for the protest movement. Here, ClaraMENTE points out that these supposed spokespeople are on legislators’ payrolls.
“What more disgusting play by the executive? While we were being entertained by the president of the National Assembly, Marcos Castillero, in Plaza Cinco de Mayo, at the Presidential Palace they had a theatrical montage of a dialogue table set up.”
Another objection to a “representative” who is on the government payroll and who has not taken part in the protest movement.
The protests do continue, today with young people outside the legislature. A labor march led by teachers is in the works for coming days. The basic point of most of the protest movement and its supporters of all ages is that a legislature that’s intent on preserving and extending its privileges and immunities while not at all interested in any democratic reforms will not be a trusted proponent or intermediary in any process of constitutional change.
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