Houston activists protest Honduran coup d’etat

HOUSTON, TX -On Friday, August 28, 2009, a group of just over 20 persons, stood in protest of the June 28th overthrow of the government of Honduras. The protest took place in downtown Houston, Texas, in front of the Mickey Leland Federal Building. The protest was peaceful. Participants were energetic and  enthusiastic. The crowd was comprised of men and women and was culturally and ethnically diverse.

None of the outlets of Houston's huge corporate media, either broadcast or print, showed to cover the protest even though all of them were
notified and invited. But the protest which lasted from 4:30 PM to 6:30PM drew plenty of attention to the posters, carried by the 20
participants, from passing motorists and passengers in the bumper-to-bumper traffic during the rush hour on Friday evening. The protestors used a small public address system, mounted on a tripod, which was unbelievably loud for its miniature size.

Some of the messages on the posters carried by the protesters included"Stop the Repression in Honduras," "End the Coup in Honduras Now," "US Troops out of Honduras Now," etc. Chants included, “Obama, Obama you should know! Micheletti has got to go!”

There was an interesting group of speakers at the protest which included two electoral candidates, both Green Party members, for seats on the
Houston City council. Another speaker was a woman of Honduran origin who was highly informed about the details of day-to-day Honduran
political developments. A University of Houston student who belonged to a campus organization called "Students Against Sweatshops" also spoke about the solidarity activities of his organization with low-income workers. He drew applause for his remarks which gave credit to President Obama for condemning the coup while calling for the U.S. government to take concrete action to support President Zelaya. 

Don Cook, a candidate for city council, said "The overthrow of democracy in Honduras poses a threat to democratic governance all over the
western hemisphere, including in the United States of America." He said "If I am elected to the Houston City Council, I will introduce a resolution
condemning the overthrow of the Zelaya Government."

A woman from Honduras stunned the 20 protesters in Houston and perhaps some of the passerbys on the street in front of or near the Mickey Leland Federal Building when she declared that the current dictator of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, is a graduate of the US government's School of the Americas and almost all of Micheletti associates in the current Honduran dictatorship are also graduates or, at least, former students of the SOA. With amazing detail, she spoke about theabductions, the tortures, the disappearances, the murders, the genocide, and concentration camps in Honduras after the overthrow of the Zelaya Government.

The protesters seemed to be applauding President Obama’s condemnation of the coup while simultaneously demanding that more be done to restore President Zelaya to the office of President of Honduras. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear anyone mention the fact that Zelaya was ousted right after he raised the minimum wage in Honduras. This fact makes it easy to understand that the coup d’etat in Honduras is a tactic that the wealthy elite are using against workers and their families.

--Arthur Shaw


Keep up with the situation in Honduras on the PWW daily blog