#ALaCalle 2.0: Piquetes Express Edition

Unidad Nacional Azul y Blanco called for nationwide picketing, starting at 2 pm, Managua time. At around 9:30 am, the Orteguista Police announced that “it will not permit any activity that alters public order, threatens the constitutional right to work, the right to free movement, and the physical integrity of people, families, and private and public property.

Last Saturday, the police arrested and then released over 160 protesters. Arrests are expected today as well. The police is already mobilized in Managua.

Heavy spec ops presence around police headquarters in Plaza del Sol. Do they expect an attack there?

In anticipation, UNAB issued ten recommendations to anyone who wishes to picket.

  1. Your picket should not last too long. (5 minutes max)
  2. Have an escape route. Your route should be clear, secure, and you would have transportation available to take you to a safe place.
  3. Plan every step you will take ahead of time.
  4. Make sure the police is not nearby. Recommended distance from the police is about 3 miles (5 kilometers).
  5. Carry a change of clothes to cover the garments you plan to wear during the picket (most picketers opt for blue and white, which could make them an easy target for arrest).
  6. If you bring flags, leave them in place after you’re done (if you get caught with a flag, the flag could be used as evidence against you)
  7. If you´re not in charge of communication or documenting the picket for your group, leave your cellphone home.
  8. Cover your face. If you´re afraid of being targeted later, keep your identity hidden by covering your face.
  9. If there is an attack of an arrest, film it. Any kind of situation that threatens security must be documented.
  10. If you get arrested, yell our your name. Yell your name several times. Make it known that you’re being taken away. That way, it will be easier to find you and to organize and activate support and pressure for your release.

The first images from the pickets are beginning to pour in.

This post will be updated regularly throughout the day.

2:30 pm –

Downtown Managua

Metrocentro. This gentleman says he isn’t scared

More pickets, unidentified location

4 pm

Inmates at the Modelo Prison got out on the roof again. They’re protesting.

People continue protesting at Metrocentro

“Yes we could”

And… the chair

This group even brought a banner.

Lolo Blandino came out

And at the traffic light at the Club Terraza

Journalist Lidia Lopez reports “Piquetes Express” in Las Colinas and Galerias de Santo Domingo.

People picketing in Matagalpa, apparently for over two hours

All the while, police presence is intense there too

This is Somoto, departamento de Madriz.

Unfortunately, reports from Carazo indicate that there’s strong police presence in Jinotepe. Police are on the hunt for dissidents. No news about arrests.

5 pm

#ALaCalle protests happening in Mexico

The even danced a little bit.

And Miami

Zaragoza, Spain

and Panama

Washington, DC

But not everyone in Nicaragua supports the idea of Piquetes Express. Journalist Lidia Lopez found these three women who are Ortega supporters. Apparently, they were yelling, “Stop the hate, stop the fake news,” and “we want peace”. This happened at Metrocentro, the site of what seems to be the largest Piquete Express.

Picketers decided to disband soon after. No one wants to give the police any excuses to crack down.

According to Trinchera de La Noticia, there were hundreds of people at Metrocentro. There were no incidents and no arrests. The police showed restraint, though it was all over Managua. Mind you, I’m not commending the police for simply DOING THE JOB THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOING ALL ALONG, rather than stepping all over the Constitution.

Final update

We know that the police were deployed all over Managua. Here’s a supercut, courtesy of El Nuevo Diario

They photographed people at Metrocentro, and probably elsewhere as well. There is no reason for this kind of surveillance over the activities of private citizens ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.

But they did not stop people from protesting. Presumably, even the management of Metrocentro joined in, by allowing its main gate to be closed to the police.

And that’s a wrap.