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VENEZUELA: Oct 12- Pachamerikan Actions (en)
por katrina Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2004 at 9:47 PM
katrina@calleymedia.org

Statue of Critobal Colón toppled in Plaza Venezeula in Caracas today, resulting in 3 to 10 arrests. Statue is to be repaired and restored

Around 12pm this afternoon about 200 Venezuelans congregated in Plaza Venezuela in Caracas in to celebrate “El Dia de Resistencia Indigena” and in solidarity with the Pachamerikan movement against neoliberalism and imperialism. It began quietly with a ritual fire and a small procession of a puppet representing Pachamama and commenced with music and dancing and was to end with toppling of a statue of Christopher Columbus located in the plaza.

During the day there was much talk of police repression by the Metropolitana police, who are famous for their repression and sympathy for the Opposition, but when the toppling commenced at around 4pm, there was little or no obstruction. Much to everyone´s suprise, the statue came crashing peacefully down with a single pull. Once the statue was toppled the people pulled it into the streets and in an impromptu act, dragged the statue along the highway with a procession of drumming and puppets to Teatro Teresa Cariño, where a performance in honor of "El Día de Resistencia Indígena" was being held by the Bolivarian Government. There the statue was spray-painted with red painted with red and hung from a tree in the presence of the National Guard. Shortly after the statue was hung, the Metropolitana police arrived. There was some discussion between the organizers, the National Guard, and the police, which resulted in the confiscation of the statue by the police. The crowd protested with chants of "Jucio Popular" [Popular Judgement] (in reference to an element of the action being a popular judgment of the guilt of Christopher Columbus for 500 years of genocide) and the police responded by distributing tear gas and shooting blanks into the crowd.

During the chaos that followed 3 to 5 comrades were detained, and the crowd immediately activated another impromptu march to the mayor's office to demand their release. Once the march reached the mayor's office, there was about an hour of debate before a small number of organizers were permitted to enter with their demand. The organizers returned with the bargain that were presented to them, that the organizers turn themselves in, in turn for the release of the current prisoners. It appears as though the organizers are going to comply with this bargain, putting thirty of themselves in prison in turn for the release of the five prisoners.

Following the arrests, Freddy Bernal a self-proclaimed "Chavista," and the mayor of Alcadia Libertador (the majority of metropolitan Caracas) made an official statement condemning the action as "anarchy" and officially "wash[ed his] hands of any responsibility for the action. He also stated the statue will be repaired and replaced in Plaza Venezuela.

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Extremely Important Corrections!!!! katrina Friday, Oct. 15, 2004 at 8:53 PM
Julieta Julieta Gonzalez Thursday, Oct. 14, 2004 at 2:10 PM
Urgent Solidarity Needed with Bolivarian Prisoners!!! Pachamerika Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2004 at 2:45 PM
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