no sign of the indigenous people on that day, and everything seems to beunder control.16 January, at daybreak. A labor union leader and two leaders of the social movements are arrested, forcibly taken from their homes by menwearing hoods. Despite the fact that no one is able to explain this arrestat the time of the event, the press later reports that the armed forces haveagreed to permit the indigenous march on Quito on the condition that thelaborunions,thesocialmovements,andtheDemocraticPopularMovement(MPD)—a political party with Maoist tendencies—not be involved.Monday, 17 January. The indigenous people begin to arrive inQuito,atﬁrstbythemajorhighways,someinbuses,someinrentedtrucks,others on foot, and in small groups so as not to arouse suspicion. Policecontrol and militarization on the roads are strengthened. People are forcedoutofthebuses;trucksandsuppliesareconﬁscated.Manyofthe
choose to walk; women, men, and children dodge the police andthe armed forces, taking secondary roads or mountain footpaths in thedarkness of the night, or, when there is an opportunity, hiding under fruitsand vegetables in the back of produce trucks on the way to market. UponarrivalinQuito,theyscattertosmallneighborhoodssoastobeabletomoveunsuspectedtowardtheirﬁnaldestination:theParquedelArbolito,situatedbehind the Casa de Cultura (House of Culture), a place that, both in nameand function, ironically singularizes, homogenizes, and “folkloricizes” themillennial cultural diversity of the nation. On Tuesday, the press reportsthat ﬁve thousand indigenous people have arrived. Less than twenty-fourhours later, this number has more than doubled.Meanwhile, despite strong militarization, the indigenous peoplehaveblockedthemainroadsinmostoftheprovinces.Apparently,thearmedforces are giving their implicit support to the indigenous people—how elsecould the indigenous people take over roads and come by the thousandsfrom the countryside to Quito?In the principal cities and county seats, there are demonstrationsandmarchesthatcontinuallygrowinstrength.AndinQuito,sinceMonday,17January,thePeople’sPopularParliamentforNationalSalvationhasbeeninsession,presidedoverbyMonsignorAlbertoLunaTobar.
ThisPopularParliament intends to build a new political authority, an alternative to thenationalCongressandaparticipatoryspaceinwhichthepeoplecandiscusssocial, economic, and political problems and collectively make proposalswithouthavingtogothroughthebureaucraticmechanismsoftheelectoraland political party structure.
Its development began several weeks before,