“Bolivians are paying for the actions of the coup with their blood!” exhorted one speaker at a rally of hundreds on Nov. 16 in New York City. Gathered despite the bitter cold at Columbus Circle outside of Central Park, hundreds of New Yorkers came out in a powerful display of solidarity with the Bolivian people, who have suffered heavy casualties while resisting the U.S.- backed coup underway in Bolivia.
“USA, hands off Bolivia!” and “OAS, hands off Bolivia!” were the rallying cries, easily drowning out the small group of counter protesters carrying out their own demonstration nearby in support of the fascist forces currently attempting to seize power in Bolivia.
The demonstration, organized by the ANSWER Coalition, the International Action Center, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and Struggle for Socialism/La Lucha por el Socialismo, is the second to take place here in the last week since the coup began. Speakers from organizations such as Mahina Movement, D19: FNRP / LIBRE de oficial Honduras, Morena NY1 and the May Day Student Organization drew connections between Bolivia and the current struggles in Venezuela, Chile, Honduras and Palestine, emphasizing that the same imperialist powers are attacking the lives of working people around the world. Kathy Rojas, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition, talked about the new form of hybrid warfare employed by the U.S. and the need for a mass anti-war movement to oppose it . “This type of warfare involves the use of right wing proxy forces, of sanctions and embargo, of coup d’etats and color revolutions. But a hybrid war is still a war! The U.S. hybrid war against Venezuela has claimed the lives of 40,000 Venezuelans in the last three years due to sanctions. That’s war! And we have an obligation to oppose it just the same.”
The strong crowd marched to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs building while chanting “Evo si, golpe no!” and “Evo, amigo, el pueblo está contigo!” attracting the attention and support of many passersbys.
This protest along with several others in Boston MS, Los Angeles CA, Philadelphia PA, Atlanta GA, Asheville NC, and Salt Lake City UT are a continuing show of solidarity with the working and Indigenous people of Bolivia, who face off against armed troops yet continue to come out in large numbers against the illegitimate, outright fascist coup government. Just 24 hours before this demonstration, seven people resisting the coup were murdered by the right-wing police forces in the town of Cochabamba, Bolivia, bringing up the total of people who have been murdered by the police to 23.