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Militant Journalism

Rallies across Midwest show solidarity with Venezuela against US aggression

Ann Arbor

On Feb. 23, alongside the Ann Arbor Anti-War Coalition and the Washtenaw Reds, the Party for Socialism and Liberation stood in front of the Federal Building in Ann Arbor, Michigan to demand an end to imperialist war mongering and the coup that is being orchestrated by the American ruling class. This coup is tremendously unpopular among the Venezuelan working class and threatens to reverse the positive achievements of the Bolivarian revolution. Many attendees expressed interest in the nationwide call to action for the March 16 demonstration in Washington DC.

Chicago

In front of the local ABC affiliate in Chicago, over 150 protesters gathered to oppose the U.S. coup in Venezuela on Feb. 22. The action drew a variety of organizations and people from across the city. Speakers and chants at the action expressed support for the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro, and called out the media for repeated the U.S. lies about the situation in the country.

ANSWER Chicago coordinator John Beacham gave a speech that touched on the social gains workers and the poor have made since Chávez and then Maduro have been in office. He end his speech by expressing solidarity with all the Latin American governments opposing U.S. aggression, saying “You can’t have Venezuela, Trump. You can’t have Nicaragua! You can’t have Cuba! Long live the people of Latin America!”

Cleveland

Cleveland protest on Feb. 23 in support of Venezuela and the PSUV. Photo by Susan Schnur.
Cleveland protest on Feb. 23 in support of Venezuela and the PSUV. Photo by Susan Schnur, used with permission..

On Feb. 23, in Cleveland, Ohio, people rallied to oppose the current American imperialist venture in the sovereign nation of Venezuela. In Cleveland, Ohio a group of dedicated cadre picketed in front of Voss Industries, a military contractor and subsidiary of Consolidated Aerospace Manufacturing, LLC, which manufactures parts for war drones. The gathering attracted both old and young, and despite its small scale, the people on the streets took notice. Cars passing by honked in solidarity. Raised fists leapt out from hastily lowered car windows. This was how the opposition to imperialist war schemes was received!

Long-time anti-war activists, members of the Workers World Party and the Party for Socialism and Liberation came together at Market Square down the street from Voss Industries to speak to the people. “In the Venezuelan election,” one speaker said, “Nicholas Maduro received 67 percent of the vote. Guaido received 0 percent of the vote. He received zero votes! He did not even run in the election. This is a coup! And as people living in this country, we have a responsibility to stand up to American imperialism!”

Indianapolis

Feb. 23 rally in Indianapolis against the US intervention in Venezuela.
Feb. 23 rally in Indianapolis against the US intervention in Venezuela. Photo by ANSWER Indiana.

ANSWER Indiana, the Central Indiana Democratic Socialists, and the Muslim Youth Collective stood beside the people of Indianapolis on Feb. 23 to say “Hands off Venezuela!”

Standing on the steps of Monument Circle, a memorial to long-past imperialist wars, ANSWER co-coordinator Noah Leininger denounced the Trump administration’s lies about Venezuela. When he called out the so-called “humanitarian aid” being held at the border as “political theater” meant to ease the way for a U.S.-backed coup, one passerby broke into spontaneous applause.

Madison

Feb. 23 Madison rally in solidarity with Venezuela as it stands up against imperialist attacks.
Feb. 23 Madison rally in solidarity with Venezuela as it stands up against imperialist attacks. Photo by PSL Madison.

Despite freezing rain, around thirty people gathered to protest the U.S.- sponsored coup attempt in Venezuela on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on Feb. 23. Organizations sponsoring included the Party for Socialism and Liberation Madison, Veterans for Peace Chapter 25, U.S. Labor Against the War, Four Lakes Green Party, Wisconsin Network for Peace Justice and Sustainability and several independent activists.

There was a strong sense of solidarity as attendees and speakers passionately detailed the crimes of the U.S. in Latin America. PSL member Nick Stender spoke about the need to revive a disloyal movement against U.S. imperialism by countering the corporate media’s lies about the Maduro government and socialism in Venezuela. Attendees left vowing to continue to organize and develop greater unity through struggle.

Minneapolis

On Feb. 23rd, dozens of progressive activists gathered outside of the Walker Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota, one of the busiest areas in the city, to protest the U.S.-backed coup of the democratically elected government of Venezuela. Members of the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, the Minnesota Cuba Committee, Women Against Military Madness, the Anti-War Committee, Twin Cities Hands Off Venezuela, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and other progressive citizens of the Twin Cities gathered to declare: Hands off Venezuela, no coup, no sanctions, no U.S. war on Venezuela!

Stefanie Taylor, Vice President of the AFSCME Local 2800 spoke, saying that “We have seen Maduro fight for workers’ rights, fight against racism, and support expanded political and economic rights for women and indigenous people in Venezuela…Workers in the U.S must stand in solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution, with Maduro, and with workers of Venezuela, because our long term interests are the same.”

After several speakers, the group took to the busy street corners near the library to call out: “Hands off Venezuela!”

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