Forty years ago, showing inconformity publically was a challenge. Marching, shutting off streets, and occupying plazas demanded a great deal of courage: it was to challenge an authoritarian government, which perhaps wasn't essentially repressive, but nor did it hesitate a great deal before crushing the opposition. With the downfall of that regime, that sense of public demonstrations also disappeared, and they were transformed into parodies, into instruments of pressure for unscrupulous leaders...There's a fundamental incongruence to a country in which voting abstention rates are often close to two thirds of the electorate, but in which traffic-snarling, commute-lengthening, potential customers-offending marches are more common than full moons. I hate to sound like a crotchety old man, but marching on the capital to protest something as banal as increases in the price of diesel fuel --and I don't mean to understate its importance to certain industries, but let's not mistake cheap gas for an inalienable right-- is a bit cynical. An eminently reasonable proposal to address this: anyone who hasn't voted in three of the last four gubernatorial, presidental, or congressional elections in his or her state is banned from marching on the Zócalo. Violators will be exiled to northern Greenland.
(Yes, I am still bitter about the de facto increase in taxi rates that AMLO's protests forced upon me in 2006, when I was living in Mexico City.)