The crowd dispersed into two groups, just out of throwing range, and started sending the rocks back to the source. Windows were broken, fire in the street, shouts, whistles, banging on doors with sticks, typical chaotic behaviour - got a few good seconds of it on video and hopefully some good stills on film... this standoff lasted about 30-40 minutes, then the mob continued on its merry paint-it-black way into the center of Xela. No further resistance was met, numerous large corporation- type businesses were painted, and the cops were nowhere to be found.

I couldn't help but think that this kind of thing in Seattle would have been met after about an hour by the cops in full riot gear, tear gas, billy clubs and such, and that things would have gotten much, much uglier. From my perspective the protest was pointless and the students did not really articulate what they have a problem with other than some company wouldn't pay the extortion they were being asked to give. Guess I gotta work on my Spanish a lot more.

The next day the same students led a peaceful parade through the town, with the populace turning out to watch and cheer them on. Bands played marching tunes, the Coca-Cola van was out there playing Men At Work and Bob Marley and let one of the students read their manifesto over its PA, and even a little kid being carried by his grandmother had a KKK-type hood on. Just a tad surreal...

next transmission - Semana Santa.... gotta go help Joe get his new modem working in his computadora.

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