Photo: Long Island ANSWER Coalition

Chants of “Hands off Venezuela!” pierced the quiet air in Massapequa, N.Y., on Feb. 23 as a crowd of protesters made their way down to the entrance of Republican U.S. Congressman Peter King’s office. In the heart of Republican territory, anti-imperialist banners and signs were lifted in a strong show of solidarity for Venezuelan national sovereignty and the Bolivarian Revolution.

Around 50 people from all backgrounds and ages showed up to shout out the vicious and predatory U.S. interventionist policies. In addition to being endorsed by six Long Island organizations, protesters from the ANSWER Coalition, FMLN, Libre/FNRP, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Long Island Activists, PANIC, and Nassau DSA drove from all over Long Island to attend. All were gathered together to say “no” to U.S. imperialism.

Anti-war activists from the Vietnam war era advised younger activists of the importance of anti-capitalism in the struggle against imperialism. Experienced Salvadoran militants injected conviction and encouragement in their speeches on their struggles and those of other South American nations. Progressives denounced attempts by the media and government officials to “normalize” violent U.S.  interventions in other countries.

All the voices were unified in opposition to the hypocrisy and cynicism of U.S. “humanitarian” intervention. There was no doubt among those gathered that the U.S.-backed attempted coup is about controlling Venezuelan oil.

The unity of diverse groups and social currents coming together for this event indicated an emerging justice movement on Long Island and gave voice to the outrage people are feeling about endless U.S. wars and the violation of Venezuelan sovereignty.