Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Vigils for Honduran Gays & Peasants;
Boston, NYC, Phoenix & Tucson Pix

Last Thursday, June 28, was the third anniversary of the coup in Honduras that deposed President Manuel Zelaya by the army at the direction of the Honduran Supreme Court. Street demonstrations and teach-ins were held in various cities across the United States last week to mark the occasion. A listings of all the actions can be found here at the Honduras Solidarity Network, and my report with photos of vigils in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco is here.

In Boston's Chelsea Square on June 28, pictured above, a two-hour rally was held to pay homage to the resistance and LGBT martyrs who after the brutal coup d’état in Honduras fell victim to the repression of the illegal regime of President Porfirio Lobo.

Nearly one-hundred people stopped by to show solidarity or to listen to the speeches. The rally was organized by leaders of the Proyecto Hondureño (Project Honduras) network, according to Tito Meza.

The participants extolled the struggle of the Honduran resistance movement and the people who lead it and also strongly condemned the detested recent political coup in Paraguay. Ballads filled the public square sung by fellow Colombians, Venezuelans, Mexicans and Hondurans as we passed the beautiful afternoon.

We had the welcomed presence of members of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front of El Salvador who shared their message of solidarity to the people of Honduras. Many people wore red shirts to symbolize support of the FMLN and the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular of Honduras. 

Ramiro S. Funez, Lucy Pagoada and Paul Teitelbaum shared these three photos and details from the Big Apple's actions on June 28.

New York City's Times Square was the assembly point for a short but boisterous rally. Nearly sixty people joined the rally and march that was organized by the following groups: Colectivo Honduras USA Resistencia-libre, the Comite Solidario con America Latina y El Caribe, the International Action Center, the May 1st Coalition, La Peña del Bronx and the Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Center.

Demonstrators held signs remembering all of the people murdered since the coup took place three-years ago. One bright sign featured the late gay activist Erick Martinez holding a rainbow flag. Martinez was both a gay rights advocate and a journalist before he was murdered in May.

Other posters showed the names and faces of dozens of dead peasant leaders and reporters. Several posters demanded fair elections, economic and social justice, and full democracy in all Latin American countries.

The New York City march ended at the Honduran mission to the United Nations, where speeches were made by Hondurans and their allies. A central theme was the verbal and visible expression of standing in solidarity with the Honduran resistance movement in general, the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular organization, all peasant and union leaders, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

From Chuck Kaufman of the Alliance for Global Justice in Phoenix, we learn that fifteen people attended a teach-in at the Conspire Coffee Cafe that included a video report from Honduras. Written updates from resistance leaders in Honduran were distributed. The teach-in took place on June 29 when the temperature was 115 degrees.

"The fact that anyone came outside in this intense heat for it is a minor accomplishment," said Kaufman. I couldn't agree more and wish to state my personal gratification that two events took place in Arizona over two-days, because of how hostile some lawmakers and citizens of the state have been toward immigrants and their families from Latin American countries.

Kaufman also reports that on June 30, twenty people showed up for another teach-in this time in Tucson which ran from 6 pm until 8 pm. The temperature that day was 108 degrees in the shade. This second teach-in occurred at the Pima County Housing Center.

The young man in the slide projected on the wall is gay resistance activist Walter Trochez before he was murdered in Honduras.

Presenters at the Phoenix and Tucson events included Kaufman, his Alliance for Global Justice colleague and gay activist Elane Spivak Rodriguez who has brought attention to the deaths of more than seventy LGBT Hondurans and Irene Rodriguez, a local journalist. Irene Rodriguez traveled to Honduras in May to investigate the fatal botched U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency raid that left indigenous Miskito people dead, including two pregnant woman and a fourteen-year-old boy.

Much deep gratitude to all the folks who organized or attended the events last week, and to everyone who sent me reports and photos.

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