Yesterday morning (22 Sept) police and army
forces violently attacked thousands of supporters of Honduran president
Mel Zelaya and removed them violently from outside the Brazilian
embassy in the capital Tegucigalpa. However, this brutal repression did
not crush the will of the Honduran working people to resist against the
coup. Following the lead given by the National Front of Resistance,
there were mass demonstrations and barricades in all of the working
class neighbourhoods of the capital and in the main cities throughout
the country. Jorge Martin from www.marxist.com continues his analysis of the unfolding events in Honduras.
the early hours of Tuesday, September 22, police and army forces
violently attacked thousands of supporters of Honduran president Mel
Zelaya and removed them from outside the Brazilian embassy in the
capital Tegucigalpa. Zelaya had been removed by a military coup on June
28 and for 86 days workers, peasants and youth had maintained a heroic
movement of resistance against the coup regime led by Micheletti. To
everybody’s surprise Zelaya managed to enter the country in secret and
sought refuge in the Brazilian embassy on Monday, September 21, from
where he made an appeal to the people to come out to protect him.
Tens of thousands of people had been celebrating outside the embassy
despite the fact that the Micheletti regime of the oligarchy had
declared a nation-wide curfew, which has now been in place since Monday
4pm and has been extended until Wednesday 6pm. The arrival of Zelaya
galvanised the forces of the resistance movement and was a direct
challenge to the authority of the coup plotters. They could not stand
idle. Taking advantage of the fact that many of the protestors had
already gone home, just before 6am hundreds of heavily armed agents of
the anti-riot police and the army, with armoured cars, tear gas and
live ammunition, attacked the 5,000 people who still remained outside
the embassy. The repression was brutal and finally the people were
chased away, their efforts to resist crushed by superior force.
More than 200 people were arrested and taken to the Chochi Sosa
stadium, in scenes reminiscent of those of the National Stadium in
Chile after Pinochet’s coup. There are reports of 80 people taken to
hospital and two dead, though these have not been confirmed and in the
midst of the repression, the media blockade and the curfew it is
difficult to get any reliable information.
The situation remained extremely tense outside the embassy during
the day. The police and the army occupied all the houses surrounding
the embassy, giving rise to the rumour that they were about to assault
the diplomatic building and kill president Zelaya, to then allege that
he had committed suicide. There is no doubt that the Micheletti regime
is perfectly capable of this, but they were probably thrown back by the
possible international consequences of such an action.
However, this brutal repression did not crush the will of the
Honduran working people to resist against the coup. Following the lead
given by the National Front of Resistance, there were mass
demonstrations and barricades in all of the working class
neighbourhoods of the capital and similar protests were repeated in the
main cities throughout the country. There are also reports of
demonstrations and protests in the smaller rural communities. The list
of places where people resisted repression, defied the curfew and in
some cases chased away the police and the army is long.
The National Resistance Front reported demonstrations in the
following working class areas of the capital: Colonia La Canada, 21 de
febrero, Nueva Era, Victor F. Ardon, El Reparto, Centro America Oeste,
Villa Olimpica, Colonia El Pedregal, El Hatillo, Cerro Grande, Barrio
Guadalupe, Barrio El Bosque, Colonia Bella Vista, Barrio El Chile, El
Picachito, La Cantera, Colonia Japon, El Mirador, La Finca, Alto del
Bosque and Barrio Buenos Aires. In many of these areas barricades have
been set up to prevent the army and police from entering. According to
a report by Radio Globo, in San Francisco the people looted and
occupied the police station.
situation is repeated throughout the country, with reports of
demonstrations and clashes with the police and the army in Guadalupe
carney, Tocoa, Colon, Trujillo, Tela, Triunfo de la Cruz, San Juan
Tela, Cortez, San Pedro Sula, Progreso, Choloma, Santa Bárbara, Copan,
Lempira, Intibuca, La Esperanza, La Paz, Marcala, Comayagua,
Siguatepeque, El Zamorano, Paraiso, Comayaguela, Choluteca, Zacate
Grande amongst others.
A member of the leadership of the resistance described the situation
as one of "insurrection" in the working class and poor neighbourhoods
of the capital. This widespread resistance is taking place despite the
almost complete media blockade which exists in the country with all of
the media ignoring the protest demonstrations. Radio Globo and Canal
Now the Resistance Front is calling for a mass demonstration on
Wednesday, September 23, from 8 am outside the University.
Meanwhile, the Micheletti regime attempted to show strength with a
press conference with the participation of representatives of the main
bosses’ organisation COHEP which promised to give him full support.
However, the unity of the regime will depend on how frightened they are
by the movement of the masses. Important sections of the ruling class
are already considering the possibility of attempting a deal with
Zelaya in order to prevent the complete overthrow of the coup regime.
The conditions which Micheletti has put forward (Zelaya will not be
president, he must accept the legitimacy of the November 29 elections
called by the regime and he will face trial) are clearly not something
that Mel Zelaya can agree to and are designed mainly as a provocation.
The coup plotters and the Honduran capitalist class are coming under
a lot of pressure. The revolutionary crisis has already caused
multi-million losses to their businesses and some might start to wonder
how much longer they can resist. Above all, they are afraid that if
Micheletti maintains a stubborn position, an uprising of the people
will sweep all of them to one side.
next few hours and days will be decisive. The structures of the
Resistance Front in the neighbourhoods and localities have proven their
ability to maintain the mobilisation and in some cases to repel the
forces of repression from their neighbourhoods. Today the battle will
be for control of the main streets of the capital. These committees of
action must widen their tasks and take over the running of the daily
life in their areas. The army has taken over the National Energy
Enterprise (ENEE) and has cut off electricity and water supply to many
areas. The trade union workers of this company together with the
Resistance committees in the neighbourhoods must ensure the
reestablishment of supply.
The demonstration today (Wednesday)is likely to come under heavy repression from
the army and the police. The organisers, through the neighbourhood
committees of the Front, should establish pickets to defend it and if
necessary and feasible to fight back. An appeal should be made to the
ranks of the army on the lines of the one that Zelaya has made in the
last couple of days: "do not fire on the people, turn your weapons
against your officers". The ordinary soldiers in the Honduran army are
also sons of working class and poor people. Their relatives and friends
must conduct a systematic propaganda campaign and convince the ordinary
soldiers that their fate lies with the people, not with the oligarchy.
However, at the end of the day, what will break the army and bring down
the regime will be the realisation that the workers, the peasants and
the poor are the real masters of the situation, through street
demonstrations, barricades and an insurrectionary general strike.
Long live the struggle of the people of Honduras!
Down with the Micheletti dictatorship! Down with the oligarchy!
Mass demonstrations, general strike, national insurrection!