Tag Archives: solidarity

[en] Work Brigade to rebuild and relaunch Radio Faluma Bimetu

Work Brigade to rebuild and relaunch Radio Faluma Bimetu, “The First Garífuna Voice”

Encuentro for the Right to Disseminate our Voices
Triunfo de la Cruz, Honduras, February 1st through 7th

The call:

Radio Faluma Bimetu, OFRANEH, and COMPPA call for participation and support in the reconstruction and re-launching  of Radio Faluma Bimetu in the Garífuna community Triunfo de la Cruz, in the Tela Bay, Honduras, during the first week of February.

What happened:


In the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 6th, the Garífuna community radio Faluma Bimetu (Sweet Coconut) based in Triunfo de la Cruz was burnt down by unknown armed individuals who proceeded to loot the station’s radio equipment. This is not the first time the radio has been attacked and its equipment stolen.

In 2002, unknown persons stole the Faluma Bimetu transmitter and other key radio equipment. The Garífuna people are in resistance to a slow process of forced assimilation into the dominant culture by proponents of the tourist industry and mass media; and subject to evictions by corrupt corporate monopolies.

Transmission of Radio Faluma Bimetu began in 1997, promoted by the Land Defense Committee of Triunfo de la Cruz (CODETT) in order to strengthen Garífuna culture and defend ancestral lands.

Triunfo de la Cruz, like other Tela Bay-Garífuna communities, has become a conflict zone since the invasion of venture capitalists, politicians, and foreign investors attempting to seize community land for the construction of mega–tourism projects. The Garífuna community radios provide a social service to the community and do not generate private profit. Transmitting from Triunfo de la Cruz, Faluma Bimetu is necessary in the fight against Honduran elite, and its attempts to displace Garífuna communities for more corporate development and tourism.

International Brigade

From the 1st through the 7th of February, there will be a national and international brigade for the reconstruction and re-launching of Radio Faluma Bimetu. During the week, the community, the organizations, the Network of Indigenous and Garífuna radios in Honduras and Central America and citizens of the world will gather to collectively reconstruct and reinstall the house, production and transmission cabins. We will reinstall electricity, paint the walls, remove and replace the roof, rebuild the tables, put a fence around the radio, and reinstall radio equipment (including mixers microphones, headphones, transmitters, computers, CD players, and internet, etc.)

During the same week, OFRANEH will organize accompaniment (day visits and overnight trips) with other radios of the Network of Garífuna Community Radios: Radio Durugubuti Beibei in San Juan Tela and Radio Sugua in Sambo Creek. Come with us and meet the people of OFRANEH, who use community radios and popular communications to fight against the censorship of Garífuna voices and culture.

Encuentro for the Right to Disseminate Our Voices:

On February 6th, exactly a month after Radio Faluma Bimetu was attacked, there will be an Encuentro for the right to communication and for the democratization of the media. It will take place in the same community of Triunfo de la Cruz. Participants include representatives of the Network of Indigenous and Garífuna Radios of Central America, AMARC Honduras, Central America and Latin America, ALBATV (Venezuela), Rights Action, COMPPA, OFRANEH and COPINH, among other regional, national and international organizations.

Inauguration of Faluma Bimetu:


Saturday, February 6th, Faluma Bimetu will be re–inaugurated. The inauguration will include cultural ceremonies, music, art, and declarations against the politics of marginalization and erasure.

Solidarity and Support:

We need $7,500 dollars to rebuild Faluma Bimetu and get it back on the air. Join our work party or support us with what you are able (5$ dollars and up). Raise your voice and help defend the communication rights in this effort to rebuild Radio Faluma Bimetu.

Send your donations quickly and conveniently with  PAYPAL or with a CREDIT CARD, send your paypal donation to encuentro@radioscomunitarias.info or make a donation via http://www.comppa.org/wordpress

Or, send a donation directly to OFRANEH´s account in Honduras using this information:
Account No. 3100023062, Banco Atlántida, SWIFT ATTDHNTE, La Ceiba, Atlántida, Honduras C.A.

Finally, you can make a tax deductible donation by sending a check to Rights Action.
Make the check out to “Rights Action” and mail it to:
•    UNITED STATES:  Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
•    CANADA:  552 – 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8

Please write “Ofraneh-Radio” in the memo line.

For more information on how to participate and support Faluma Bimetu, contact us:
encuentro@radioscomunitarias.info
http://www.radioscomunitarias.info
http://www.comppa.org/wordpress

For more information please consult the following links:
VIDEO:
Antes y Después del Atentado Contra Faluma Bimetu
Before and After the Attack of Radio Faluma Bimetu

Collection of Denouncements, Audios, and Letters of Solidarity
http://honduras.mediosindependientes.org

OFRANEH:
Honduran Black Fraternal Organization, OFRANEH
Telephone (504) 4420618, (504) 4500058
email: ofraneh@yahoo.com
http://www.ofraneh.org

COMPPA:
Popular Communicators for Autonomy
comppa@comppa.org
http://www.comppa.org

A partial list of equipment stolen or damaged during the attack:
1 – 500 watt transmitter 1- 10 channel mixer 2- desktop computers
1- cellphone for the  station
1- air conditioner
1- dvd and cd player
4- microphones  (2 condensed mics and y 2 handheld mics)
2-digital voice recorders 2 – headphones
2- speakers
2 –portable microphones
1- building material ($500.00 corrugated metal roofing, paint, and lumber)
1- electrical wiring

As OFRANEH and COMPPA, our hearts and solidarity go out to the Haitian people.  To support the many rescue and relief efforts in Haiti, visit the following pages and support their work:

http://rightsaction.org/Alerts/Haiti_Earthquake_011310a.html
https://donate.pih.org/page/contribute/haiti_earthquake?source=earthquake&subsource=homepage
http://www.haitiaction.net/About/HERF/1_12_10.html

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[en] AlterNet: “People Are in the Streets Every Day”

WOMEN IN RESISTANCE! Tegucigalpa, July 3, 2009. Photo: Sandra Cuffe

By Jessica Pupovac, AlterNet. Posted August 7, 2009.

A national march against the coup in Honduras kicked off Wednesday, with demonstrators leaving from every corner of the country and marching up to 15 hours a day to demonstrate their support for the return of ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Organizers with the National Front Against the Coup say participants, including Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, the wife of ousted President Manuel Zelaya and popular Catholic priest Andrés Tamayo, plan to march 15 hours per day, through hills, rain and military checkpoints, converging early next week in either San Pedro Sula or Tegucigalpa, the country’s two main cities.

The march was planned following a vigil, held Monday, for two teachers and active coup resisters, both of whom died over the weekend. The first, Abraham Vallejo Soriano, 38, who was shot on July 30 during a march in support of the return of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. Then, on Saturday, while leaving Vallejo Soriano’s wake, teacher Martin Florencio Rivera Barrientos, 45, was stabbed more than 25 times.

Their deaths bring the total number of people killed for their participation in the resistance to the coup in Honduras to nine, according to an August 3 press release from the International Solidarity, Observation and Accompaniment Mission in Honduras, a delegation comprised of various Latin American and European human rights experts, academics and others.

Among the dead are also two union leaders, an LGBT movement leader, a radio journalist, and several young demonstrators, including Pedro Magdiel Muñoz Salvador, 22, whose body was discovered close to the Nicaragua-Honduras border two days after being taken into police custody, according to a statement released by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an arm of the Organization of American States. The release says his body was found with “signs of torture,” which other sources say included at least 40 stab wounds. [Warning: graphic images]

“The Commission calls for an investigation into the killings and punish those responsible,” the IACHR statement reads. “The IACHR also calls for the de facto regime to take all measures to ensure the right to life, integrity and security of all inhabitants of Honduras.”

The International Mission’s July 23 report also cited 1,275 curfew and demonstration-related arrests as of that date. A massive crackdown during a national strike on July 30 is believed to have risen that number by at least a few hundred more.

The report from the International Solidarity, Observation and Accompaniment Mission in Honduras says the legal basis for the arrests comes from Executive Order No. 011-2009, requested by interim President Roberto Micheletti, which temporarily suspended constitutional rights while a curfew was in place. It was never renewed, according to the Mission, making its ongoing enforcement illegal.

In addition, the report says, constitutional rights, according to Honduran law, can only be suspended in the case of a foreign invasion or natural disaster — neither of which is currently the case. Nonetheless, its enforcement continues, leading to widespread militarization, repression and thousands of arbitrary arrests.

According to Abencio Fernández Pineda, former attorney for the non-government organization the Committee of the Relatives of Disappeared Detainees of Honduras, the crackdown on dissent harkens back to the 1980s, a time when the Honduran army, with U.S. support, waged a covert campaign against leftist leaders. According to the National Security Archive, a documentation project of George Washington University that stores information from declassified U.S. government documents, at least 184 people were disappeared during that era. Most are believed to have been kidnapped and executed by secret police units such as the notorious Battalion 316, which was trained and equipped by the CIA to advance U.S. foreign policy in the region.

The current regime enlisted a key figure from Battalion 316 — Billy Fernando Joya Amendola — to serve as Micheletti’s special security adviser.
“We’ve seen at least ten political, extra judicial assassinations of people participating in the marches, threats against political activists and journalists, at least three disappearances, a number of drive-by shootings; the streets are militarized. People are clearly concerned that we are going back to that time,” Fernández Pineda told AlterNet. “And then Billy Joya starts appearing on the television, and in the coup leadership. What are we supposed to think?”

Fernández Pineda is not the only one who is concerned. Human rights groups and the international Mission have also denounced the formation of what they are calling “paramilitary groups,” which they link to narco-traffickers and the business elite, often working in tandem with local police.

The sudden violence isn’t the only similarity to a darker era in Honduran history. Much like the U.S.-backed removal of Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán in 1954, the removal of Manuel Zelaya followed a series of moves by his administration that the international business community worried might signal a shift towards a more populist economic platform. In August 2008, for example, Zelaya publicly joined the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of America (or ALBA, its acronym in Spanish), a regional economic development and equitable trade coalition. Although it has no bearing on the legally binding, U.S.-led Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (commonly referred to as CAFTA), Zelaya’s association with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who started the Alliance in 2004, raised more than a few eyebrows. Then, in December 2008, Zelaya raised the minimum wage in Honduras, one of the poorest nations in the hemisphere, from $157 to $289 dollars a month, except in free trade zones.

Lynda Yanz, Executive Director of the Maquila Solidarity Network, said in a July 28 release that “businesses and business associations — including those in the textile and apparel industries, which account for the majority of Honduras’ exports — have publicly supported the coup, lobbied against trade sanctions, or remained silent and carried on business as usual under the military-imposed regime.”

While there are reports of multinational corporations forcing their workers to attend pro-coup demonstrations, in an official July 27 letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Gap, Nike and Addidas, all of whom have extensive operations in Honduras, claimed that the companies do not “support or endorse the position of any party in this internal dispute.”

Yanz applauded that letter, saying it “breaks that silence and calls unequivocally for the restoration of democracy in Honduras.”

“The question that remains is: Where are the other companies that are doing business in Honduras, including the three largest foreign investors in the country’s apparel sector — Fruit of the Loom/Russell Corporation, Hanesbrands and Gildan?”

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has itself been criticized for not taking a firmer stance against the coup regime.

Although in recent weeks the U.S. has reportedly cut off $18.5 million in military aid to Honduras and suspended the visas of select coup leaders, Washington has fallen short of calling the forcible removal of Zelaya a “coup,” thereby leaving untouched a reported $180 million in foreign aid flowing into the coffers of Honduras’ current administration, in violation of the Foreign Appropriations Act, which requires that the U.S. suspend all aid to any country “whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.”

“There are legal issues there that we have chosen not to exercise at this point,” said U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley at an Aug. 3 press briefing. “But clearly, in every way possible, we have said that what happened in Honduras is a violation of the OAS Charter, which is why we took action against Honduras. It’s a violation of the Inter-American Charter, the Inter-American Democratic Charter. And we continue to work intensively to try to resolve the situation.”
But the resistance movements in Honduras, and their supporters in the U.S., are calling upon the U.S. government to take a stronger stance against the de facto regime, and make a clear distinction between U.S. foreign policy in the 80s and 2009.

Acts of defiance against the coup regime are growing daily. Just this week, students and faculty at the Autonomous University of Honduras closed down the roads around the university in an act of protest, setting off violent clashes with police. After about 20 demonstrators were injured, including the dean of the university, Julieta Castellanos, who later threatened to sue the police.

Meanwhile, community members have been keeping 24-hour watch over Radio Globo, a progressive radio station providing one of the only sources of reporting on the repression in Honduras. The de facto government has taken multiple steps, including a judge’s order, military force and public threats, to attempt to shut down the station, but have been blocked by throngs of demonstrators that have risen to the station’s defense. According to Dr. Luther Castillo, press secretary for the National Front against the Coup in Honduras, as many as 50 volunteers occupying the station in shifts, to provide security for Radio Globo staff.

Castillo told AlterNet that human rights violations, including threats and violence against the media, drive-by shootings to intimidate movement leaders and the illegal detention of hundreds, are escalating in Honduras daily — but only adding strength and legitimacy to the movement to return Honduras to the rule of law.

“Fear is not really increasing,” said Canadian blogger and activist Sandra Cuffe, who has spent much of the past six years working with popular movements in Honduras and who has been reporting from the ground every day since the coup took place.

“Outrage and indignation and determination and courage are … [But] people are still out on the streets every day.”

Jessica Pupovac is an adult educator and independent journalist living in Chicago.

[http://www.alternet.org/world/141837/honduras:_%22people_are_in_the_streets_every_day%22/?page=entire%5D

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[en] The REAL News: Honduras – Where Does Washington Stand?

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[en] TONIGHT! 7pm! Philadelphia, PA: Directly from Honduras – Voices of Resistance to the Coup d’Etat

Photo: teacher Roger Abraham Soriano Vallejo was shot in the head by police yesterday, July 30, 2009, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Photo: Sandra Cuffe, http:/flickr.com/photos/lavagabunda

Teacher ROGER ABRAHAM SORIANO VALLEJO, shot in the head by police

PLEASE POST WIDELY


DIRECTLY FROM HONDURAS

VOICES OF RESISTANCE TO THE COUP D’ETAT

7pm, Friday July 31

Calvary Church

(48th & Baltimore Av)

One month after the military coup d’etat in Honduras and in the wake of widespread reports of human rights violations, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) is bringing a delegation of representatives from that country to the U.S. to participate in a speaking tour.

HEAR:

Dr. Juan Almendares internationally known Honduran medical doctor, human rights activist, environmental leader and alternative medicine practitioner; recipient of the 2001 Barbara Chester Award for his ground breaking efforts with prisoners, victims of torture, the poor, and indigenous populations; torture survivor himself, has been targeted by death squads on several occasions.

Abencio Fernandez Pineda – coordinator of the non-governmental Center for the Investigation and Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CIPRODEH) for the western region of Honduras; previously an attorney for the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CODEH) and the Committee of the Relatives of Disappeared Detainees of Honduras (COFADEH).

Maria Luisa Jimenez – former police officer in Honduras; denounced the widespread corruption in the police force and now an activist for transparency in government and women’s rights; currently candidate for Honduran Congress with Democratic Union party.

Dr. Luther Castillo – named “Honduran Doctor of the Year” by Rotary International’s Tegucigalpa chapter; Garifuna medical doctor and community organizer who directs the Luaga Hatuadi Waduhe?u Foundation (“For the Health of our People” in Garifuna), dedicated to bringing vital health services to isolated indigenous coastal communities; led the Foundation’s construction of Honduras’ first Garifuna Rural Hospital, now serving some 20,000 in the surrounding communities.

Gerardo Torres – independent journalist in Honduras; active member of Los Necios, a grass-roots organization that seeks to change the dominant socio-economic dynamics of Honduras.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Oscar Chacon- Director NALACC- (773)991-9760
Philadelphia International Action Center – 215-724-1618; phillyIAC@action-mail.org

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[en] MediaCoop.ca: Vancouverites picket Goldcorp offices in support of Honduran resistance

July 23, 2009

All out against the Coup in Honduras

Vancouverites picket Goldcorp offices in support of Honduran resistance

by Dawn Paley Honduras, →Free Trade & Gateway Projects

Dozens of people gathered today for a lunchtime information picket in front of the head offices of Goldcorp Inc in downtown Vancouver, protesting against the company’s involvement in the military coup in Honduras.

This is the fourth action in Vancouver against the nearly month-long coup regime of Roberto Micheletti.

“We came here to stand in solidarity with the people of Honduras, who are fighting for democracy in their country,” said Marla Renn, co-chair of Stopwar.ca. The group targeted the gold mining giant “because Goldcorp is supporting the coup in Honduras,” she said.

Goldcorp has been an active supporter of the coup, providing material support to employees to attend pro-coup rallies. The company operated the San Martin mine, which was Central America’s largest, until shut down began last year.

Peter Kent, Canada’s Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, emailed a statement on Monday which discouraged the return of ousted President Manuel Zelaya “prior to a negotiated resolution.”

“Canadians champion democracy, but the Canadian government is complicit in overthrowing democracy in Honduras, as is Goldcorp,” said Andrea Pinochet, who helped to organize the picket.

Though at times they were nearly drowned out by a live jazz band playing just meters away, protesters chanted slogans and handed out leaflets to the people passing by.

“We will continue to protest until Zelaya is back in Honduras,” said Pinochet.

[published by Dawn Paley on MediaCoop.ca]

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[en] London, UK: EMERGENCY PICKET DEMANDS US CUTS FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC SUPPORT TO HONDURAS DICTATORSHIP

[See photos on flickr or view photo slideshow from the emergency solidarity picket in London along with the article at the original link: http://www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk/]

****************************************************

Approaching 100 people attended an emergency picket at the US Embassy in London last night (July 22) against the recent illegal coup in Honduras, which demanded the US cut all financial and economic support to the illegitimate government in Honduras.

Speaking at the picket, Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price said, “With sadness, what we see is continuity in US policy – not the change we can believe in, that we hoped for – we must demand from Obama that he delivers a change in US foreign policy.”

Derek Wall, Green Party representative, added to this that, “In America you [also] have Republican senators and people behind the scenes in the apparatus who want the US to support the coup,” making the need for international solidarity all the more important.

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn put the coup in context, saying that, “Honduras has a constitution drawn up in the 1980s designed to defend power, wealth and influence. It has always been the base for US interests in Central America. Presidents have always been from the same identikit parties and been against helping the poor. Zelaya recognised this and wanted to allow an indicator vote on extending democracy… It is up to us to mobilise for a democratic government in Honduras for the poor.”

Keith Sonnet, Deputy General Secretary of UNISON also praised the pro-Zelaya resistance in Honduras, saying that: “We’ve seen thousands and thousands of Hondurans campaigning on the streets for the return of their democratically elected President. That is why tomorrow there will be a general strike for the return of Zelaya and we give our solidarity to them.”

NUS Black Students’ Officer, Bell Riviero-Addy, condemned the near media ‘black out’ on the issue, arguing that,”If the US wanted this to end tomorrow it would. We all know there is nothing in the news about this and so it is important that we shout as loudly as possible, keep coming back and keep campaigning for the return of Zelaya.”

Jose Villa of Unite the Union brought greetings from Latin American workers in Europe’s largest trade union, stating that, “Unite the Union supports every campaign that defends democracy in Latin America. We will support this campaign until Zelaya returns as President.”

Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Secretary Francisco Dominguez concluded the event arguing that forces in the US would continue to try to overthrow progressive governments in Latin America, “just as they did in Venezuela,” and that this made “our solidarity more important than ever.”

The picket also received greetings from Tony Benn, CWU General Secretary Billy Hayes, Colin Burgon MP, John McDonell MP and Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MEP amongst others.

reposted from: http://www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk/

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[en] Canadian Labour Congress letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper

CLC letter to PM page 1CLC letter to PM page 2

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