As of today, Wednesday, October 21st, Cusco lives a general strike against law DL 11 98. It provides giving in concession the various archeological sites. On this first day of strike the central streets of the city filled with people who, like a spider’s web arrived group by group in the Plaza de Armas, the city’s Main Square, to make their protest known and felt. This strike of 48 hours is programmed to continue through tomorrow, Thursday.
All the businesses of Marquez Street, the Sun Avenue, San Francisco and, indeed, the whole city, were closed for their workers to join the protest. The workers of the city’s markets, its commercial centers, its district and provincial municipalities, such as Calca, Urubamba, La Convención, Anta, and Espinar arrived to join a single voice of protest. They shouted: “Cusco, united, will never be defeated.” “Cusco is not merchandise, it is a wonder.”
With drums, whistles, and banners of many colors, letters standing out, they directed phrases to the authorities such as “Cusco is not for sale.” “No to privatization.” “Ollanta, Betrayer of Country (Vendepatria).” “We are United.” These and more filled the eyes of visiting tourists.
All the streets were blocked with stones, tires, bags of garbage, and in this way kept cars from going through. Only pedestrians could make their way. People gathered in the Plaza. They began to arrive at 10 am. Local and national media covered the square from corner to corner. Their different cameras witnessed the whole protest today.
On the other side, all the walking merchants offered merchandise all along the protest route. You could buy ice cream and novelties, water, sodas, soft drinks. The sun shone strongly, hugging the entire city and the protestors with energy.
San Francisco and the Plaza Regocijo became a food fair for protestors, passers by and foreign and national tourists.