Friday, June 29, 2012

Gay Honduran Rallies:
Protesters: LA: 60, SF: 50, Chicago: 15 

The San Francisco rally marking the third anniversary of the coup in Honduras that derailed the country's democracy and unleashed a wave of attacks and killings, including the murders of more than seventy lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, attracted a core crowd of fifty supporters over the course of the two-hour event. It took place on Thursday from 5 pm to 7 pm.

We gathered at the BART station plaza located in the heart of the Latino community at Mission and 24th Street, at the height of rush hour, guaranteeing that hundreds of commuters heard our messages. Several Honduran flags, comprised of two blue bars with a white stripe and five blue stars in the center, were displayed along with flags and banners from a handful of Latin-American and Bay Area activist groups.

Speaking in Spanish and English, activists from Honduras called for a restoration of democracy in their homeland and other speakers said democratic practices and protections must be strengthened throughout the Americas. Two singers lead us in sing-alongs between the speeches. Flyers were distributed explaining the current situation in Honduras for LGBTI persons, progressive advocates and journalists or bloggers.

The rally was sponsored primarily by the Bay Area Latin American Solidarity Coalition and endorsed by the ANSWER Coalition, CISPES, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, FMLN of Northern California, Gays Without Borders, Haiti Action Committee,the Marin Task Force on the Americas and the San Francisco School of the Americas Watch.

Charlie Hinton, pictured on the left, and I were there and spoke about the unsolved and unprosecuted murders of two gay Honduran men and activists, Walter Trochez and Eddie Martinez.

In Chicago, members of the  La Voz de los de Abajo organization brought a casket to the consulate of Honduras on West Fullerton Street, and on it were photos of people killed fighting for democracy.

Chicago activist Vicky Cervantes shared this report: "Neither the Consul General or Vice Consul were at the consulate (they always seem to have left as soon as we get there) and the consulate staff would not allow any of us, even Hondurans, to enter.

"Finally, a female consulate employee came out and Gary Cozette of CRLN read to her the recent Congressional letter to Secretary of State Clinton on violence against the GBLT community in Honduras. We gave her a copy of the letter with the request that she give it to Honduran President Porfirio Lobo.

"The two-hour action was organized by La Voz de los de Abajo with participation from Milwaukee LASC; Committee against Militarization of the Youth (CAMY); Radios Populares; CRLN; Tierra y Libertad; and with special guest Trinidad Sanchez, a member of Red Comal in Honduras."

Down in Los Angeles sixty straight and LGBTI activists demonstrated in front of the Honduran consulate, generating coverage on the Telemundo TV network. The protest was organized by the Coalicion Latinoamericana Pro Derechos, Comite Solidario Graciela Garcia, Comites de Base del FMLN, Comites de Base del FSLN, ANSWER Los Angeles and Coalicion Translatin.

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