From December 4-6, 2015 the streets of Vancouver, Canada were introduced to the colourful tri-colours of the Venezuelan flag as supporters of the Bolivarian revolution took to the streets to educate and mobilize people about the revolution in Venezuela and the upcoming December 6, 2015 elections. These Vancouver actions were part of the International Days of Action called by the newly formed Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee, based in the United States. Also during these days coordinated actions in solidarity with Venezuela were held in Toronto, Canada and San Francisco, New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles and New Haven, United States.
Actions in Vancouver began with a free public community forum held on Friday December 4th. The Forum was called “Revolutionary Venezuela Advances Social Equality: What is at Stake in the Upcoming Elections.” Featured speakers included Dr. Francisco Dominguez, head of the Centre for Brazilian and Latin American Studies in the Middlesex University (London, U.K) and founding member and secretary of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign in the U.K, speaking via videoconference; Alejandro Calzadilla, Venezuelan organizer with the Hugo Chavez People’s Defence Front, anthropologist and researcher; Gloria La Riva, organizer, organizer with the Cuba & Venezuela Solidarity Committee, speaking via videoconference from the United States and Alison Bodine, Editorial Board member of Fire This Time Newspaper, coordinator of Fire This Time’s Venezuela solidarity work and Chair of Vancouver’s antiwar coalition Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO). The dynamic forum brought out long-time supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution as well as people new to Venezuela, which resulted in a lively and educational discussion.
Sunday December 6th was an entire day of activities in solidarity with Venezuela, beginning with a picket action at the U.S. Consulate in downtown Vancouver where supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution raised their voices high chanting “Hands Off Venezuela!” and demanding an end to U.S. and imperialist intervention in Venezuela. From the U.S. Consulate, the demonstration marched up the street to the Vancouver Art Gallery and set-up a table with information about imperialist intervention in Venezuela and the great gains made by poor and oppressed people there.
After the picket and info tabling, everyone headed together to a local cafe to watch the election results come in from TeleSUR on the big screen. The day concluded with an energetic discussion that began the minute that Maduro’s speech on the election results concluded.
Fire This Time’s solidarity organizing for Venezuela continued throughout the month. On December 17, Fire This Time organized a public forum called “Elections Aftermath: Revolution and Counter Revolution in Venezuela,” which also featured Francisco Dominguez, Alejandro Calzadilla, Gloria la Riva and Alison Bodine.
Today Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution need our support more than ever. Fire This Time invites you to get involved and active in solidarity with Venezuela and join us in building a broader and more united solidarity movement. The next Fire This Time action is a picket at the U.S. Consulate (1075 West Pender, Downtown Vancouver) from 4-5 pm on January 5, 2016, the day that the super-majority right-wing National Assembly meets for the first time. This will be followed by info tabling and petitioning at the Vancouver Art Gallery from 5-6pm.
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