A Protest’s Last Resort / 14ymedio

An ingenious way to demand, in the first person, that a sewer leak be fixed. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 9 January 2017 — The residents of a central street in Old Havana exhausted every way to get a sewer leak fixed. For weeks they had complained at the “Accountability Meetings” of the local People’s Power, reported the problem to their polyclinic, and written letters to the Havana Water Company; but the hole is still there.

The desperate residents’ last resort has been to make their dissatisfaction known through the hole itself. Handwritten on a piece of cardboard, an ingenious demand to fix the break is written in the first person: “How long am I going to be like this? I have been like this for three months already and no one does anything. Will it take a death to resolve the problem.”

The initiative is unusual in a country where showing a poster with demands may be the shortest way to a prison cell, but the text has managed to survive several days in the midst of the daily bustle, because it mixes the despair and distrust of the citizen with that humor that relaxes tensions and makes you smile whether in a maternity ward or a funeral parlor.