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“We knew the risks involved when we decided were going to change our country”

“We knew the risks involved when we decided were going to change our country”

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Between people there are no borders. ¡Que viva la solidaridad!

Many of you were watching the violent events unfold yesterday in Quito, Ecuador, as the whole world wondered if yet another coup d'etat was unfolding before our very eyes.  We reject the violence on the part of the police that for long hours yesterday held the democratically elected President of Ecuador, and the hopes of so many, captive.  For now, President Correa is out of harms way, but questions linger.

For a brief and useful summary of the chain of events and implications, please read below.

Update from a compa currently residing in Ecuador:
The events in Ecuador on Thursday are  the result of a failed right-wing effort to remove democratically-elected president Rafael Correa, dissolve congress and impose a coup government. The efforts were led by forces aligned with former president Lucio Gutierrez, heavily influenced by the CIA.

After it became evident that the coup effort had not received sufficient support from the armed forces and had failed, late in the day members of the Ecuadoran right, such as Jaime Nebot, the Mayor of Guayaquíl (Ecuador's largest city), spoke publicly in support of Correa and "democracy."

Events began when police shut down Ecuador's major cities, ostensibly protesting the Administration's efforts to reorganize their privileges. For much of Thursday Correa was trapped in a police hospital by striking police. The president was taken there after being teargassed and assaulted while attempting to dialog with the protesters that morning.

Members of the Air Force joined the police protest and shut down the Quito Airport. The withdrawal by police coincided with looting and multiple bank robberies in Quito and Guayaquil, contributing to the instability.

After tense hours, the Commander-in-Chief of the country's armed forces, General Ernesto Gonzalez, made public statements pledging loyalty to Correa. This was on the heels of neighboring countries and regional organizations such as the OAS and the UNASUR backing Correa and rejecting the idea of a coup government.

Thursday evening soldiers stormed the police hospital and rescued the president after an exchange of gunfire. He was returned to the presidential palace where he gave a speech calling the events an attempted coup and naming Gutierrez' supporters as responsible.

Gutierrez was ousted in 2005 after massive demonstrations over corruption and his dissolution of the Supreme Court.  Before being elected in 2002, he was prominent in a military coup in 2000 against then-president Jamil Mahuad.

Moving forward:
After being rescued my military personnel Rafael Correa declared yesterday, "no daremos ni un paso atrás, sabiamos los riesgos que asumiamos cuando dijimos VAMOS A CAMBIAR LA PATRIA". We won't be stepping back, we knew the risks when we said WE ARE GOING TO CHANGE OUR COUNTRY.  A few of President Correa's achievements in office have been to remove US troops from a major base in the country and to join ALBA, the alternative regional trade bloc based on cooperation instead of competition.

Toda Solidaridad al pueblo Ecuatoriano! Ecuador, we stand with you!

Repressive forces:
Was it suprising to watch law enforcement in Ecuador so severely overstep their bounds? Last week, 12 antiwar and solidarity activists and a union steward were surprised to receive knocks on their doors by the FBI and supoenas for grand jury proceedings on October 5th.  Since when did solidarity become a crime?

(from SOA watch)
The systematic and simultaneous raids by FBI officials in multiple locations is alarming and is a clear indicator to our movements of the governments ever growing trend of targeting the left. These raids could stifle and silence minority voices through fear tactics. We must stand strong and united in preventing governmental intimidation to obstruct peace and justice.
About a week ago, the Justice Department's Inspector General released a report documenting political surveillance by the FBI. Friday's raids are the latest violation of this systematic oppression that has been happening though out history to those who speak against the unjust governmental policies.

See Democracy Now for more information.

SPEAKOUT against Government Repression

Edith Green – Wendell Wyatt Federal Building

Friday, October 1 · 4:00pm – 6:00pm

1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Downtown Portland, Oregon

 

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Portland Central America Solidarity Committee
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The Portland Central America Solidarity Committee educates and mobilizes community members, workers and students around struggles for human rights and social justice throughout the Americas.
We meet the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month from 7pm to 9pm at our office where we plan and evaluate our work to build cross-border solidarity in the Americas.