Rev. Jesse Jackson Helps Deliver Food to Venezuelan Embassy Protectors
ANSWER Coalition · United States
What is happening at the embassy, said one activist, is “a microcosm of the what is taking place in Venezuela as the US continues to try and orchestrate a coup.”
WASHINGTON (May 15, 2019) — Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson and others lead a bold and successful effort today to deliver food and supplies to the besieged anti-war activists who have been living inside the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, DC for over a month to prevent the seizure of the building by supporters of the US-orchestrated coup.
Showing they have truly no shame, right-wing supporters of the coup attacked Rev. Jackson as he was delivering the supplies. But their efforts failed and the food made it inside to the embassy protectors.
ACTION ALERT: The Embassy Protection Collective is calling on all peace and social justice organizations and people from all over the United States to join together next Saturday, May 18, for a massive noon-time mobilization in Washington D.C. at the Venezuelan Embassy (1099 30th St. NW).
A pro-coup mob has laid siege to the Venezuelan Embassy. The electricity has been cut off. The water has been cut off and people attempting to bring food have been violently attacked and arrested. The Secret Service and the D.C. Police Department, under orders of the Trump Administration, have created a humanitarian crisis in the heart of Washington D.C. at a diplomatic compound that is protected by the Vienna Convention.
Momentum is building all over the country in defense of the Embassy Protection Collective and in opposition to the Trump Administration’s lawless attempt to seize Venezuela’s Embassy.
‘Dangerous and Appalling’: US Defenders of Venezuelan Embassy Demand Secret Service End Illegal Water and Power Shutoff
(May 9, 2019) — Police in Washington, D.C. and Secret Service agents cut water and electricity to the Venezuelan embassy on Wednesday, the latest attempt by the US government to oust supporters of President Nicolas Maduro who are defending the building with his government’s blessing.
In response to the move, the activists inside—who for weeks have fended off anti-Maduro protesters outside—are demanding the water and electricity be turned back on.
The embassy occupation began in April, after other opposition activists attempted to take over the property for opposition leader Juan Guaidó—who has been recognized as the country’s leader by the US, Canada, and other countries—in the wake of a failed coup in Caracas against Maduro’s government.
“It is totally ILLEGAL and dangerous for the US cut off water and electricity, deny access to food, to those of us residing lawfully inside the embassy building as guests of the Venezuelan government,” Paki Weiland, an activist with the peace and human rights group CodePink, said in a statement. “It would also be totally illegal and dangerous to hand over the keys of the embassy to an unelected opposition.”
The embassy takeover has been as unsuccessful as the coup attempt, said CodePink’s Ariel Gold, who accused US security forces of helping the pro-Guaidó protesters.
“The Secret Service and D.C. police continue to assist opposition protesters in blockading all entrances and exits to the building, preventing medicine, food, and water from reaching the activists living inside,” Gold told Common Dreams in an email. “By refusing to arrest violent opposition protesters, the Secret Service is allowing Guaidó supporters to physically assault and gravely injure peaceful activists outside the building.”
CodePink will hold a press conference in front of the embassy at 1 PM Thursday.
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, said the coalition inside the embassy is now at risk without power or access to running water.
“The violence and denial of access to food and water taking place at the Venezuelan Embassy in D.C. is a microcosm of the what is taking place in Venezuela as the US continues to try and orchestrate a coup,” said Benjamin. “It is dangerous and appalling.”
Benjamin added that the US government should both protect those within and without the building from the pro-coup protesters.
“The US administration must immediately turn water and electricity back on, allow food into the building, and protect activists outside from being physically assaulted,” Benjamin said.
Journalist Alex Rubinstein, who has been staying in the embassy as part of a collective invited by the Maduro government to block pro-coup protesters from overrunning the building, posted a video to his Twitter account Wednesday night showing the defiance of the occupation.
In the video, an unnamed activist holds a candle and delivers a message of defiance.
“We are not leaving,” said the activist. “We are going to resist.”
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.