Between Issues


Originally published to the Virginia Defender Facebook page on May 19, 2019. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes.

Photos and commentary by Phil Wilayto

The struggle to defend the Embassy of Venezuela from supporters of the U.S.-backed coup has been one of the most dynamic antiwar actions in recent years. Showing up or supporting it in some way has been a litmus test for any organization that says it stands for Justice.

The Defenders are proud to have been part of this great fight that was led by Code Pink, Popular Resistance and the ANSWER Coalition, and supported by many others, including Veterans for Peace, the Poor People’s Army, Black Alliance for Peace, Struggle/La Lucha, Democratic Socialists of America and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The struggle continues, including demanding that the government drop all charges against the four Embassy Protectors. To join in, contact the Defenders or one of these other groups today!

May 18

Photograph of a large, multi-racial march, with many banners and signs, standing in front of the White House. Various signs read: "U.S. Imperialism: World's biggest human rights abuser"; "No war on Iran"; "Viva Venezuela"; "U.S. Imperialism Out of Latin America".
“No Coup! No War! No Sanctions Anymore!” After marching from the Venezuelan Embassy, about 150 antiwar activists rally in front of the White House.
Photo of a Latina woman speaking into a microphone.
A dynamic young activist leads chants in front of the Venezuelan Embassy.
Photo of a group of Black elders with a banner that reads "Maryland Council of Elders: Organizing to Unify! Unifying to Liberate!"
Members of the Maryland Council of Elders address the crowd.
Photo of Ann Wright, an older white woman, speaking into a microphone.
Ann Wright, former State Department diplomat who resigned her position over opposition to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Ann is a member of Code Pink and Veterans for Peace.
Photo of Asantewaa Nkrumah-Turi, a Black woman, speaking into a microphone in front of a banner.
Asantewaa Nkrumah-Turi, a Philadelphia member of Black Alliance for Peace, lights up the crowd.
Photograph of two men: one is dressed as a satirical depiction of U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and holds up a sign which reads, "Venezuela and Iran: Wars for my Ego". In his other hand he holds an apparatus to control a marionette, which is connected to the other man with strings. The other man, who is posing as though he is a puppet, is dressed like Carlos Vecchio.
Coup “ambassador” Carlos Vecchio, right, here accurately portrayed as a puppet of U.S National Security Advisor and noted warmonger John Bolton.
Photograph of a sign which reads "U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!" in the foreground, with a view of a large crowd clustered around a brick building behind it.
“No War on Venezuela!” The U.S. sanctions are a form of war that, as of mid-May, have been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 Venezuelans. This is mass murder, carried out by the Trump Administration with the support of the pro-war Democratic Party. We need to build the independent, multi-issue, mass-generational mass movement. “Stop the Wars at Home & Abroad!”

May 11

Photograph of the Venezuelan Embassy with a large crowd of coup supporters gathered around it as occupiers of the building look on from second-story windows festooned in anti-coup signs.
An earlier photo showing coup supporters besieging the Venezuelan Embassy.
A close-up photograph of three Embassy Protectors in their upper-floor windows. They hold signs which read: "Guaido not welcome here," "No coup," "Imperialists deny food, water, power."
Members of the Embassy Protection Collective are defiant and strong, even after police blocked food from being delivered to the building and cut off the electricity and water.
Photograph of a street: on one side, a crowd of anti-coup demonstrators, and on the other, clustered against the tall brick building of the Venezuelan embassy, the pro-coup demonstrators.
Two sides. Police forced Embassy Protection supporters to the far side of the street, while allowing coup supporters to mass in front of the building. Over more than five weeks of embassy protection, the pro-coup mob repeatedly broke into the building and even tried drilling through one of the doors. Police stood by and did nothing.

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