Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Honduras Solidarity Groups Protest Lobo at the United Nations September 23

Compañeros y compeñeras:
The mobilization in New York was beautiful and well attended. We mobilized along the Solidarity, of New York, people from different nationalities, representatives of different Human Rights organizations and of course the Honduran Resistance. We walked from Times Square to the Head Quarters of United Nations. People from Chicago and directly from Honduras joined us on the way, including a compañera who came to New York a couple of weeks ago, who heard about the event and came to walk and chanted along with us. It was impressive and really motivating to see the number of people who would stop and read the messages in our placards, against the political percussion, the repression, the crimes and the impunity in Honduras, and in solidarity, they immediately showed us signs of approval. While walking, we distributed many flyers explaining the key points of our demonstration.
In front to the United Nations, we read the "Public Letter for the presence of Porfirio Lobo Sosa in the General Assembly of the United Nations" sent by, El Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, to The UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
This letter provoked applauses but at the same time sadness, because it reveals the brutality and the violations of Human Rights suffered by the people of Honduras since the ill-fated military coup of June 28th, 2009, and the impunity of the crimes against Humanity in Honduras. A little before the mobilization we had heard that Lobo Sosa was not going to speak before the General Assembly but, we had not confirmed this information. However, a feeling of triumph invaded us, the triumph of the Resistance, the triumph of the Honduran People. Thanks for all of your support. Viva Honduras y viva La Resistencia! Hasta la victoria siempre!
Lucy Pagoada-Quesada.

Grupos en Solidaridad con la Resistencia Manifiestan en Contra Pepe Lobo en las Naciones Unidos

Compañeros y compeñeras:

La Moviliazacion en Nueva York fue bella y concurrida. Nos movilizamos junto a la solidaridad Neoyorquina, Personas de distintas nacionalidades, representates de distintos sectores defensores de los Derechos Humanos, y por supuesto, La Resistencia hondureña. Caminamos desde Times Square hasta la Cede Las Naciones Unidas. Se nos unieron Resistentes de Chicago e incluso una compatriota que está aquí en Nueva York desde hace sólo unas semanas y había escuchado sobre el evento y ahí estuvo al pie de la lucha, gritando consignas con nosotros/as. Fue impresionante y muy motivador, ver a muchas personas, que en la calle, cuando leían en las pancartas que protestábamos contra la presecusión política, la represión, los crímenes y la impunidad en Honduras, se solidarizaban con nosotros/as y nos mostraban signos de aprobación. Por el trayecto repartimos muchos volantes explicando los puntos claves de la demostración.

Frente a la ONU, leímos la "Carta Abierta Por la presencia de Porfirio Lobo Sosa en La Asamblea General de la ONU", enviada por El Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular al Secretario General de ONU, Sr. Ban Ki-moon.
Esta carta despertó aplausos pero a la vez causó tristeza porque revela la brutalidad de la represión y la violación a los derechos humanos de la que ha sido víctima el pueblo hondureño desde el nefasto golpe de Estado del 28 de junio de 2009, y sobre todo por la impunidad de los crímenes de Lesa Humanidad en Honduras. Antes de la movilización escuchamos que Lobo Sosa no hablaría ante la Asamblea General pero no teníamos la infamación confirmada. No obstante, que nos invadió un sentimiento de triunfo, el triunfo de la Resistencia, el triunfo del pueblo hondureño. Gracias por todo el apoyo. Viva Honduras y Viva La Resistencia! Hasta la victoria siempre!
Lucy Pagoada-Quesada.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Honduras Solidarity Network denounces repression against striking teachers.

Press Release
August 29, 2010
A coalition of U.S. organizations today denounced the exercise of violent repression by Honduran military and police forces against members of a striking teacher’s union at a university in Tegucigalpa. The Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) declared that “the recent brutal attacks by government forces against non-violent protests show that there has been no reconciliation after last year’s coup d’etat, and the U.S. government’s policy of support for the current government must be changed. We call for an immediate end to the repression and human rights violations against the opposition movement”.

The group referred to military and police attacks against members of the teacher’s union, COPEMH (Colegio de Profesores de Educación Media de Honduras (Association of Secondary Teachers of Honduras)), and their supporters, which took place at The National Pedagogical University Francisco Morazan in Tegucigalpa on August 26 and 27. The union has been on strike since May, and is generally viewed as opposing the regime of Honduran President Porfirio Lobo. The HSN based its action on reports received from the human rights group COFADEH and the General Workers’ Central Federation (CGT) labor organization, and corroborated by local news from Radio Globo and eyewitness accounts that report the following:

On Friday the 27th, police and military troops surrounded the National Pedagogical University, responding to thousands of teachers and members of trade unions, peasant organizations and other organizations supportive of the teachers gathered on the university grounds. The police and military forces sprayed tear gas from trucks and beat protesters with truncheons before firing canisters of tear gas into the University grounds. As people were overcome by the gas and tried to leave, they were beaten and many detained. Among the injured were two well-known reporters from Radio Globo, one of the few independent radio stations in the country. Among those seriously affected by the gas were a number of children and pregnant women.

On Thursday, the police and military attacked the same group at a massive protest near the presidential residency in the capital city. Television stations aired video showing soldiers firing their rifles during the repressive action and police beating protesters. Four teachers from the teachers’ union were seriously injured and, according to human rights organizations in Honduras, they were denied medical care at the main public hospital in Tegucigalpa. The teachers’ union then took the men to a private medical facility.

On August 20th, four leaders of the teachers’ union were badly injured when police attacked them during a union march. The men were detained at a police station for 12 hours during which time they were denied medical care and human rights observers were refused entry to the jail to verify their condition.

Throughout the month of August the level of conflict and the human rights crisis in Honduras has deepened. Non-violent protesters in Choloma were beaten, and three members of peasant organizations in Aguan were killed. Another journalist, critical of the regime, was murdered bringing to ten the total of journalists murdered since Lobo took over in January.
Vicki Cervantes, a spokesperson for the Honduras Solidarity Network said, “The United States government continues its support for the oligarchy and Lobo in the form of aid and pressure on other governments in the hemisphere to accept the illegitimate Lobo administration. “

Meanwhile, on the ground in Honduras the opposition of the majority of Hondurans to the coup and the subsequent regimes, including Lobo’s, is growing. For the first time since 1954, Honduran trade union federations have all agreed to prepare for a general strike and nearly a million Honduran eligible voters have signed letters demanding the convocation of a constituent constitutional assembly with the peoples’ participation and leadership.

The Honduras Solidarity Network, a nationwide coalition of non-profit, human rights and educational organizations, calls for:
· an end to police and military repression of the teachers and the protesters at the university;
· the resumption of negotiations between the government and the Teacher’s Union;
· the payment of back wages and an investigation into the violation of the teachers’ human rights.

Furthermore, until the brutal repression of social movements in Honduras ends, the HSN demands that the United States Government:
a) suspend all aid to the Lobo administration
b) stop the U.S. State Department lobbying for recognition of the undemocratic government of Honduras.
c) Recognize the Honduran people’s demand for a Constituent Assembly to establish a functioning, participatory democracy.
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