Wednesday, January 28, 2015

San Pedro Sula - Resistance March January 27, 2015

San Pedro Sula, January 27, 2015
V. Cervantes

In San Pedro Sula, I accompanied the  FNRP march  as it took over the main boulevard leading from SPS to Choluma at around 4pm  and walked very slowly for more than an hour and half to the toll booth station; this caused a back-up of traffic for many miles back into SPS. Arriving at the tool booths the protest blocked off all but one lane and the cars that had been behind the march began to pass through the booth. Urged by the protester to “Don’t pay the toll!” the cars and trucks began zooming through without paying. The resistance then unblocked the other lanes and hundreds of vehicles began going through without paying. It wasn’t until after 6pm that the protest ended and the still heavy traffic began paying tolls again. 
Padre Fausto Milla

The march itself was not massive,  but very spirited and organized. There were representatives from trade unions, student organizations, teachers' unions, FNRP, Libre (including the LIBRE congressman from SPS, Edgardo Castro), social justice groups and activists such as Father Fausto Milla, left groups and representatives of a campesino group that was recently evicted from their land in Choluma, Cortes. There was an impressive amount of support from the public for the march. The cars that were stuck behind the march for 2 hours were mainly supportive; the drivers were honking in rhythm with chants and giving the thumbs up signs out the windows. The issue of the increase in tolls is a big issue for the people in the Sula Valley and that was evident in the shouts of encouragement given by bystanders and motorists.

Edgardo Castro, Libre Congressman
There was a substantial National Police presence but they did not threaten the march even when it blocked off the highway. There was only one negative incident in which a driver came down the shoulder of the road and pulled out a pistol threatening the protest but protest organizers and the police responded and he surrendered his pistol. It later appeared that the police released him when the protest ended. 

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