AMLO's numbers as always dwarfed his diminutive rival's - the PAN reportedly padded out the crowd by requiring the compulsory attendance of Catholic school children and their parents. and the wealthy burghers in the south of the city were said to have obligated their servants to attend.
While the President-elect swore vengeance on his enemies across town, AMLO did not. As always, he let his furious flock call Fecal bad names but eschewed even mentioning his rival. Lopez Obrador had other plans. The seven week, seven mile encampment of his followers that so vex upper and middle class "capitolinos" would stay in place through Friday night, September 15th, the eve of Mexican Independence Day when AMLO intends to deliver the "Grito" of "Viva Mexico!" to the multitudes gathered in the great square, an honor reserved for the President of Mexico.
But rather than challenging the Mexican military, AMLO's people will then dismantle their encampments and retreat from the Zocalo for 12 hours to allow the Generals and Admirals to conduct their traditional Independence Day parade. "The army belongs to the people, not the government - we have no argument with this institution," AMLO explained seeking to mollify his militants who are reluctant to step back. "Many members of military families voted for us July 2nd. And besides the troops are so badly paid that they can't even support their families."
Once the military procession which always features tanks and jet fighter planes is done with - Vicente Fox will wave it on from a balcony of the National Palace and receive it at the newly refurbished (by the PRD Mexico City government) Angel of Independence - an expected million delegates to Lopez Obrador's National Democratic Convention (CND) will retake the Zocalo and sit in session to install AMLO as the legitimate president of Mexico.
But Fox, who was prevented from delivering his State of the Union address to congress September 1st when Lopez Obrador's senators and deputies stormed the tribune, is said to be obsessed with decrying his final Grito from the presidential balcony overlooking the Zocalo. Cornered between his hubris and personal ambition for a notch in history, and the huge angry crowd seething in the plaza below, the outgoing president could make a fatal mistake by turning the military and/or the military police on AMLO's people to force them out of the Tiennemens-sized square that sits at the heart of Mexico's political life, a move that indeed invokes both Tiennemens and Tlatelolco where in 1968 hundreds of striking students were massacred by the paranoid, anti-communist president Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, and a wound that has never closed here.
As Sub Marcos so eloquently waxes: "Welcome to the Nightmare."
John Ross's "ZAPATISTAS! Making Another World Possible - Chronicles of Resistance 2000-2006" will be published in October by Nation Books and the Blindman will set out on a tour of the left coast from border to border and beyond to flog it. But before the flogging comes the honeymoon. Sasha Crow and John Ross (they met while human shielding in Baghdad) will be traveling in Turkey and Greece for the next few weeks.
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