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Reportback: Pro-Chávez Demo at Civic Center

by Viva Chavez!
More information about Pro-Chávez Demonstration at Civic Center
On Friday, September 4th, a demonstration in support of President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela was held at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco. The reason for this demo was that an ultra-rightwing extremist group had called for a worldwide protest against Chávez. In San Francisco, we decided to hold our own demo in support of Chávez.

Here are the FACTS:

A handful of anti-Chavistas were there. We had 10 people present but only 2 of us went near the anti-Chávez demonstration. We intentionally kept it a secret from them that we had other people there so that they wouldn't mess with them. These 8 people spread out around the perimeter of the demonstration, handing out flyers and telling people that the protest was in support of President Hugo Chávez.

Passers-by saw the group waving Venezuelan flags and the 8 pro-Chávez supporters handed out thousands of flyers to people explaining why they should support Hugo Chávez and, probably, most people figured the anti-Chávez protest was actually in favor of Hugo Chávez. It greatly angered the anti-Chávistas that only TWO people were disrupting their little demo by passing out pro-Chávez literature. IF ONLY THEY HAD KNOWN THAT EIGHT MORE PEOPLE WERE FURTHER AWAY, DOING THE SAME THING! We figured they would notice those 8 people -- but they never did. The 2 people who got close did a good job of distracting them. The anti-Chávistas didn't bring any flyers (well, they had maybe 20 copies of a "talking points memo" that they desperately tried to hand out to compete with the 2 protesters' 1000-some flyers) and so all they had was an incoherent banner and a bunch of Venezuelan flags, making our job much easier.

The anti-Chávistas were too busy arguing with, pushing, and trying to mess with the 2 people who went up close to them to even notice the other 8 people who were there. Every time they said "there's only two of you," those 2 people just smiled, knowing that the anti-Chávistas had been outsmarted (not hard to do). Most people didn't get close enough to the anti-Chávistas to know what they were saying and all they got was a flyer that explained in great detail why Hugo Chávez should be supported and gave URLs to good websites about the Bolivarian Revolution.

The 2 people who were close to the anti-Chávistas encouraged them to believe that there were only 2 of us present. In the meantime, we had our other 8 people calling a bunch of the local media -- radio stations, etc, and reporting on the pro-Chávez demonstration. At least 3 local radio stations put us on the air, reporting "live from the Support Hugo Chávez Rally".

But, really, there were only about 15 anti-Chávistas there. And there were 10 of us. They had all the time in the world to prepare -- they had a permit and everything and weeks to prepare for the demo but still only about 15 people showed up. They CLAIM 40 people showed up against Chávez but that is just a lie. The pictures prove that. The closest they got to 40 people is when a bunch of Japanese tourists came by to see what was going on and even then, it was only about 20 - 25 people and the tourists only stayed around for 5 minutes or so.

We only found out about the protest TWO DAYS in advance. And, in those two days, we got together basically the same amount of people and, because of our superior protest strategy of spreading out and keeping the majority of us secret from the anti-Chávistas, we were able to use their numbers to make our protest look even bigger. But, like I said, we were about the same number anyway.

Some highlights:

- The anti-Chávez protesters were OBVIOUSLY from rich families. They came to the protest from Napa and other wealthy SF suburbs. In fact, they openly admitted it. One guy who looked like he could use some exercise sneered at us that he had "more money than you'll ever have" and made a motion with his hands as if he were counting money. A suburban housewife who was there yelled: "YOU PEOPLE ARE JUST PREJUDICED AGAINST PEOPLE WITH MONEY, FROM WEALTHY FAMILIES!" Umm... yes! :) Another laughable moment is when a younger anti-Chávista was asked if he ever had a job in his life and he proudly said, "Yes, I have! I'm a full-time student!" A black homeless man who overheard this exchange couldn't stop laughing at that one. The rich kid didn't seem to understand why that was funny.

- One interesting part is that an extremely angry man in a suit showed up after someone called to let him know that counter-protesters were there and were ruining their little demo. He was extremely pissed off about this and was very aggressive and he sported a tattoo on his hand, indicating an affiliation with a death squad of some sort. One of us pointed at the tattoo and commented on it and this death squad pig replied, "YEAH, MOTHER FUCKER, THAT'S WHAT WE'RE ABOUT." We doubt that most of these wealthy suburban ex-pats understood what that meant or who this guy REALLY was but apparently he was part of the organizing. He made sure to get the hell out of there quickly, not wanting to be associated with the protest or risk arrest. However, his photo was taken and it will be compared against the database of death squad members. Per usual, the anti-Chávistas can't escape their ties to vicious, murderous death squad paramilitaries of the right-wing -- the people who are behind organizing these events. People like the death squads in El Salvador, who raped and murdered Catholic nuns and then left their bodies in a shallow grave. Paramilitaries who gunned down Archbishop Oscar Romero while he was giving Mass. The tens of thousands victims of Operation Condor or similar campaigns which tortured, disappeared and murdered so many innocent lives. This is what these people were out there protesting for.

At that point, it should become clear what sick terrorists are involved in this group, whether the airheads that comprised most of the anti-Chávista group know it or not (probably not).

- The "pro-democracy" anti-Chávistas believe so much in freedom of speech and pluralism, they took every chance they could to grab our flyers, tear them up and throw them in the garbage. This is exactly the kind of "freedom of speech" these people represent: the viewpoint of the oligarchy only, and the viewpoint of the people repressed. A perfect metaphor for the struggle in Venezuela.

- The anti-Chávistas continually tried to suggest that the 2 Chávistas close to them couldn't speak Spanish. Except, one of the protesters is a native Portuguese speaker from Latin America who also knows Spanish & English. The other was a native English speaker who speaks Portuguese, Spanish (admittedly not as well as Portuguese but certainly enough to get by in Spanish-speaking countries) and French. When the Latin American woman spoke to them in Spanish, they only replied with "no entiendo su ingles" (i don't understand your english) when clearly the Chávista was speaking in Spanish to them. They just couldn't accept that the Chávistas called them on their pathetic identity politics bluff.

All in all, it was a successful action with only 2 days warning. Our plan to distract the anti-Chávistas with 2 people worked like a charm -- they focused exclusively on those 2 protesters. The other 8 protesters stood at the perimeter, passing out around 6,500 flyers in support of Hugo Chávez and using the commotion caused by the anti-Chávistas as a way to get people's attention. Another 1,000 flyers were passed out by the 2 protesters who engaged the anti-Chávistas. Most of those people never got close to the demo to hear what the anti-Chávistas were saying so they just saw a group of people waving Venezuelan flags and reading a flyer in defense of Chávez.

In San Francisco, the rich airheads who wish for a return to the military dictatorships of old, where their families benefited from collaboration with those brutal dictatorships, where completely hood-winked into providing us with nice forum to get the word out about Hugo Chávez and his historic revolution against the Latin America of the 20th Century, where a few families benefited from the repression & near-slavery of the people to benefit military dictatorships in service to multinational corporations.

A big thank you goes out to Anita Dumont, Ricardo Ron, Peaslee Dumont and the others who not only organized an exciting forum to spread the word about the Bolivarian Revolution, but thank you also for getting so upset about the 2 Chávistas who engaged you and thank you for leaving the other 8 Chávistas alone so that they could pass out flyers explaining why a bunch of people were standing in front of City Hall with Venezuelan flags.


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Viva Chavez!
Sun, Sep 6, 2009 6:19PM
couldn't make it but helped publicize it
Sat, Sep 5, 2009 11:36PM
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