Writer's Union chronicle on the 158th Day of Resistance: "The struggle continues"
158th day of Peaceful marches and the tireless Marchers:
This time they head to the “Francisco Morazán” central park, seeing as the Micheletti Thug Trolls took over the Resistance Plaza and the areas adjacent to it. In recent days there were four important events for the Marchers, first: An 70% abstention against the elections of Sunday November 29th, second: The development of a fantastic caravan made up of hundreds of vehicles that went throughout the streets of the capital, the third: A spontaneous gathering of hundreds of protesters in front of the Brazillian embassy, where President Mel is, to give him moral support and salutations, and the fourth: A massive assembly of Marchers in the STIBYS union headquarters, which looked like it was going to explode.
These four events, the last three of which happened on Monday, have a common characteristic: they demonstrate to us that the Resistance is more alive than ever and fighting with more energy in the streets and everywhere else it is called to fight for the interests of the people whose rights have been violated. They tell us that the struggle is long-term, that they are organized and continue organizing themselves to take power peacefully. They express to us that the crimes committed against a defenseless people should be punished. That the military, soldiers, cops, vultures or whatever you want to call them should go back to their barricades to keep fattening. Energetically they tell us that the oligarchy, the dictatorship and the coup-makers will not continue sinking roots into the people and should pack their bags to leave. They scream to us that the people are united in the Resistance Front, as the only social-political alternative that exists, to take Honduras forward and get it out of the poisonous claws that it finds itself in. They tell us that the people are on their feet and when they start to march, there is no amount of force that can detain them.
The hundreds of marchers, given the impossibility of gathering in hte Resistance Plaza, since the buzzards had taken it over, arguing that the congresspeople were going to deliberate conscientiously about the Restitution of Mel, and therefor their privileged minds couldn't be perturbed; there was so much security deployed that they took over the streets on the side of the Congress; in response, the marchers took over the “Francisco Morazán” central park, and once there, the protest music started to ring out from the COPEMH teacher's union car, the chants didn't wait and were raised up to the sky against the coup-makers. The musical groups from the university workers' union (SITRAUNAH) and water workers' union (SITRASANAA) got the protesters dancing. The National Flags, of the Front and of the liberal party went from one side to the other. The never-missing media bombarded the leaders of the Front with questions. The nearby businesses clossed for fear of a riot, to which the marchers answered that the police were on the other side and the thieves were in Congress.
Our ever-present friend had the sign announcing 158 days of struggle and smiled happily. Some of the older women appeared giving out corn tortillas with cheese and sodas. Dynamic chants like the following flooded the central park: “Restitution, Restitution!” “Sell out press, we're not ten, sell-out press, count us well!" "Dignity, dignity, dignity!" with this last chant, they showed their little fingers without ink on them. The doves of the castle flew around the park and perched in the sills of the Metropolitan Cathedral, which also had its doors closed. With whistles, banners, trumpets and chants the marchers dared the vultures, but the security committee calmed them down.
To start the Popular Assembly, the Coordinator Juan Barahona said to those in attendance:
“Brothers and sisters, we are going to stay here because the soldiers have taken the National Congress and the area around it, but the struggle continues and you know it. We've been in struggle for 158 days now and we won't stop and won't give up. We will wait here to hear what the coup congresspeople say, if there is or isn't restitution, we will see who voted against and who in favor, we will be here all morning and evening and if possible all night. Remember brothers that this coup d'etat came from the oligarchy, from the military, from the Church represented by the Cardinal and some of the protestant churches under Evelio Reyes.
The Resistance is demonstrating that we are more than them, there are more of us than those that voted, and one thing is sure brothers and sisters, in the next elections we are going to beat the coup-makers, we are going for a single candidate of the the people, of the Resistance, we are going to corner them. We have a common objective and only with the unity that we are demonstrating are we going to achieve our liberatory struggles, the same ones left to us by Morazán and that will carry us forth to achieve the transformation against those who have sucked our blood, that is why we are going to take power and we will achieve it because when a people decide to fight nobody can stop it. We are peaceful, it is the coup-makers who attack us, but they won't stop us.
The criminal congresspeople don't represent our interests, they represent the interests of the oligarchy. This struggle continues, independently of what the congress decides and we are going to win it brothers and sisters because we have truth on our side."
“Brothers and sisters we won last Sunday with the abstention and nobody can deny that, we demonstrated to them that there are more of us and now the coup-makers are going around saying that more than 2 million people voted. These criminals are a farce! The chant for today no matter what the congress does is, Restitution without conditions. You know something brothers and sisters, the soldiers have the congress surrounded and militarized, along with everywhere around it, they have even brought in tanks and they do it because they are afraid of us.
The Resistance doesn't have arms but it is brave and we won't give up that is why they are afraid of us. It has been 158 days of struggle in the streets and here nobody is giving up, we are going forth, towards the Constitutional Assembly, which can be and should be created by the people; now it happens that Pepe Lobo says that the Constitutional Assembly isn't a priority, but for the people it is, because that's how we are going to change everything, even the way the congresspeople are elected, in the Constitutional Assembly every 2 years there will be a referendum and anyone who hasn't done anything, Get the hell out! Then everyone will be educated and we will take away the scholarships from the rich to give them to the poor and anyone who gets a scholaship from the State upon finishing their studies should serve the people, not like now where when they graduate they leave the country. Health care will also be a priority, housing and work should be democratized, there should be no more coup d'etats. We are going to be here a good while, this stuff is just starting. United, mobilized, in unison, and towards power with one boom!”
At 1:05 more vultures arrived to reinforce the blockade that divided the marchers from the Congress, the Popular Assembly continued with the Free Tribune, where people read communiqués, read poetry, where Jerónimo sung songs, where speakers from amongst the people attacked the coup-makers and the congresspeople. The grandmother commander opened a path in the blockade, which worried the other marchers who got dangerously close to the vultures. In sight of a possible confrontation, Juan Barahona called for good sense and avoided a violent displacement:
“Brothers and sisters, please leave the street, let's avoid confrontations so that we aren't displaced. We are here to know that the congress decides, I'm asking the resistance to please have patience until the Congress session ends. When it finishes Tomás Andino, a congressman from the Democratic Unification party, is going to come tell us what happened. Let's not provoke them, we are here peacefully. The congresspeople have the resolutions from the Attorney General, the Supreme Court, from "Rubber Bullets" Custodio; but none are strong enough, they aren't binding and that doesn't matter, what matters is whether or not the congresspeople will reinstate Mel.
The court put out a legal opinion accusing Mel, without him ever standing trial, so it's not valid. Here we are with Morazán and he never carried out a coup d'etat, that's why we follow his ideals, remember, 'the night is almost over and Morazán is watching.' Stay strong brothers and sisters, let's avoid a confrontation with the soldiers."
The tension calmed and the Assembly continued to develop normally, until Juan Barahona adjourned it, inviting the Resistance to a General Assembly at 9am in the STIBYS union hall to decide on next steps. In the mean time, a block and a half away in the congress, the decision with regards to the Restitution of Mel continued to be negative.
VOICES OF THE RESISTANCE
“Look at my fingers, they are clean of ink, right, now show me yours, ahhh you didn't vote either, that's why we hit the coup-makers hard with the abstention. Those coup-makers should reinstate Mel Zelaya, they took him out, they have to put him back, if they don't do it, believe me the Resistance will punish them just like we punished Elvin. But look, they think if they don't reinstate him they are going to stop us, no my friend, we're continuing forward towards the Constitutional Assembly.
We're not moving from here until Juan says so and if we have to stay until the morning we'll stay. After all, that's what we came here to do. Look how many people there are brother and we're all very happy because today is an important day, an historic day, today a coup d'etat could be reversed or confirmed and in either case the Resistance comes out winning, because if they reinstate Mel we'll have a big party and we're going to go get him from the Brazilian embassy and if they don't reinstate him we continue in the streets protesting, but even more organized, because there's enough in the Resistance for a long time brother, not like the Thug Micheletti says that we are just four vagrant rebels.
You see how the soldiers are, they are armed as if for a war, so be careful, at any moment they could repress us. Look, I came by the old presidential palace and over there they have the tank ready with its water cannon ready to spray us, that's why I'm telling you don't be too confident especially not around those traitor soldiers. They have already beat me twice, that's why I don't see them as authorities or as friends, I'd rather have pests in my bed than friends like those. Look, let me tell you something, whether or not they reinstate Mel, the people who killed our brothers and sisters will pay for it, they won't escape, they will all be judged and sent to jail, if not here, then that [Spanish] judge Garzón will do it, he got Pinochet and this one is an apprentice of that Dictator.
Write down that we are headed towards the Constitutional Assembly and we won't stop, they can do what they want but they won't stop us.”
Ifigenio Ortiz, 40 years old, laborer from Nueva Suyapa neighborhood, Tegucigalpa.
LAST CHRONICLE OF THE COUP
Today I wrote the last chronicle of the military coup d'etat, Micheletti's Troll Thugs won the first skirmish, but not the war, which continues with the Resistance Front and of course, I hope to be there elbow to elbow, shoulder to shoulder, as my poet friend Gabriel Impaglione says. The circus set up in the National Congress decided not to reinstate Mel Zelaya and that's the point these chronicles get to, but there are other struggles on the horizon of the marchers and one of them is the Constitutional Assembly.
There were 158 chronicles, which came to be in the streets, written with sweat, blood and tears of the dead and the hurting. Each chronicle is constructed with many moments of the marches and rallies. It gives me infinite pleasure to have written them, because they are the life of the Resistance in the streets, in the assemblies.
I have lived side by side with the people, breathing gasses, a rock here and there, a beating or two but nothing serious, running like an Olympic champion, dealing with sun, ran, thirst and hunger, like many of the Invincible Marchers, but we always returned to the streets. Crazy or deluded? No! Just marchers who struggle for truth and democracy.
At this moment the Chronicles of the Coup end and the Chronicles for the Constitutional Assembly begin. Until next time because the struggle continues!
Jorge Miralda, Marcher in Resistance
The struggle continues, the ideals of Morazán are more present than ever in the daily battle!
UNION OF WRITERS AND ARTISTS OF HONDURAS (UEAH), MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL FRONT AGAINST THE COUP D'ETAT