Rush Hour Picket Demands U.S. Government Withdraw Support for Honduran Coup Leaders
BOSTON/Boston Common - A rush hour picket in support of the democratic resistance movement against the Honduran coup d'etat was held on Tuesday by about 25 activists from several area organizations with connections to Central America - including Proyecto Hondureño, Centro Presente, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, and others. Participants leafleted passers-by and set up a table where people were encouraged to sign petitions to the U.S. government demanding that help reinstate elected Pres. Manuel Zelaya - who was arrested and exiled to Costa Rica on June 28th by the Honduran military - by breaking off all ties to the Honduran coup leaders and their de-facto government.
Organizers made brief speeches through a megaphone in an effort to explain their position to onlookers. Among them was Simon Rios of the Committee in Solidarity with the Honduran Resistance and Proyecto Hondureno who gave his perspective on the coup, "So, let us ask, why do the Honduran military brass, business elites, the courts, and the high offices of the political parties endorse these actions? And why do the unions, the campesino organizations, the ethnicities, the popular bases, the advocates of human rights, the rising masses of Hondureños, in addition to every country in the world condemn this coup d’etat? What was the real crime of Manuel Zelaya, the actions that would activate the spirit of dictatorship in the hearts of Honduras’ old rulers?
"Zelaya was a traitor to his class, and his crimes were numerous. One, raising the minimum wage. Two, providing free meals & entry into the public schools. Three, ending the concession of new mines to foreign companies. Four, attempting to nationalize Honduras’ energy infrastructure. Five, having initiated the process for Cuba’s re-entry into the Organization of American States. Six, planning to close down the sole US military base in Central America. Seven, and finally, encouraging the process of creating a constitution that would include the participation of the Indian, the unionist, the Afro-Honduran, the woman, the campesino, the maquila worker, and all those sectors of society marginalized throughout the history of the country."
Rios concluded by explaining the protestors demands to the U.S. government, "President Obama speaks of our hypocrisy in condemning US intervention in some countries while calling for it in others. But what Obama can’t see, or refuses to see, or pretends not to see, or is prevented from seeing, is that what we are calling for is non-intervention. To sever ties with the golpistas [coup supporters - Ed.]. To freeze their bank accounts. Revoke their visas. Boycot their products. Anything short of these actions, the continuation of business as usual, amounts to the active support of the coup regime, and it is this we are opposing."
The picket dispersed after about an hour. There was a light police presence at the picket, no counter-demonstrators and no arrests.