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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mission Protests for the Return of President Zelaya to Honduras (And Justice For Oscar Grant)

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 7:24 PM

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Mission progressives descended on the 24th Street BART plaza this evening to protest for the return of President Manuel Zelaya to Honduras after the military coup on Sunday. Eric Quezada of Dolores Street Community Services and former District 9 supervisorial candidate led the crowd of about 200 in a chant of "Se ve, se siente, el pueblo esta presente!" ("You can see it, and feel it, that the people are here!") and of course the old protest standby: "El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido!" ("The people united will never be defeated!")

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There were plenty of insinuations, subtle and not so subtle, that the United States had a hand in the coup, given Uncle Sam's track record of helping to overthrow leftist Central American governments throughout the 20th century. This sign calls for the CIA to get out of Latin America.

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Of course, there was a lot of outcry about the corrupt government in Honduras, too. Especially the "gangers in Congress."

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And then Minister of Information JR Valrey from KPFA, wearing his Fidel Castro-inspired military cap, expanded the focus of the protest from just Honduras to more local concerns: "Not military occupation, but police occupation in East Oakland like when they killed Oscar Grant."

While Supervisor David Campos' office circulated a press release about the event, Campos was not able to make it. He was evidently still stuck in the city's budget meeting. 

One native Honduran, Diana Lara, said she'd been in contact with her family back in the capital of Tegucigalpa. She said her sister was part of a demonstration Tuesday at which authorities sprayed tear gas on the protesters. "I grew up in a time where there was a military dictator there and I'm very scared the military is once again taking power. I just feel a lot of pain for Hondurans to have the Army back. It's not just about getting Zelaya back, it's about the right of having democracy in our own country."

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Lauren Smiley


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