[Marxism] A qualitative step forward for the organized struggle in Honduras

Greg McDonald sabocat59 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 16:23:04 MDT 2009

A qualitative step forward for the organized struggle in Honduras
Posted: 01 Oct 2009 10:05 PM PDT

A new challenge: taking over highways, ports and customs offices to
bring the country to a halt and overthrow the dictatorship
Delfina Bermúdez - Rebelión

“…Because a people disorganized becomes a mass that can be toyed with,
but a people that organizes itself and fights for its values and for
justice is a people that demands respect.”

Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Homily, March 2, 1980

After more than 90 days of resistance and struggle, the Honduran
people have taken a qualitative step forward. As of last Tuesday, in
addition to collective marches down the main streets of the cities,
the protest actions have extended to towns, neighborhoods and
residential districts. The protest actions and occupations of roads in
towns, neighborhoods and residential districts are very important

1) they force the police and the military to use additional personnel,
ammunitions, fuel and other logistical support and to mobilize in
areas with which they are not very familiar, which leads to the forces
getting worn out more quickly, having difficulty maintaining their
supplies and potentially becoming trapped and isolated.

2) the people in the resistance are familiar with the towns,
neighborhoods and residential districts and know the back roads and
short cuts.

3) the struggle in these territories gives people a sense of
membership and forces them to show up, take a stand and position
themselves in opposition to those who until now have remained passive.

4) the mobilizations in towns and neighborhoods allow many people to
join the movement who have been unable to go to the protests because
they can not afford to take the bus or eat meals away from home, or
because they are housewives and have to take care of their homes,
elderly relatives, siblings or children. More than anything, many have
to work a full workday and now they can join in on the actions that
are taking place in their neighborhoods at night.

5) mobilizations in the neighborhoods, towns and residential districts
require that people identify themselves with and organize logistically
around the actions. They also force people to sit down and discuss the
reasons for being in resistance, the scope of the changes that need to
be made, to question corruption, the limitations of the current
electoral circus and, especially, to propose a new nation, a new
reality that is highly democratic and participatory, that goes beyond
political parties and reduces inequities – a country more just and
more our own.

6) the movement in towns and neighborhoods includes older people who
have past experience in resistance, in farm worker, labor, and urban
movements; it also extends a hand and gives a renewed sense of agency
to the youth who are playing a decisive role in the street protests.

7) in addition, organizing in the neighborhoods brings the movement
and the conflict closer to home. It breaks down the media’s portrayal
and official stigma of us as just a few troublemakers engaging in acts
of vandalism, allowing each one of us to identify with and recognize
ourselves as the RESISTANCE. We are the RESISTANCE.

With the incorporation, organization and action of the towns,
neighborhoods and districts there is no turning back. With this step,
we are taking back the public spaces that we have lost due to
indifference and the exclusionary pattern that proposes and imposes on
us governance by the mediocre “Arab” bourgeoisie – the members of the
wealthy and middle classes who intend to build walls and fences of
police control and force us all take refuge in our homes and turn our
backs on our neighbors.

Now it is time to take a new step and make the most of the richness
and capacities of local organization, to strike a final blow against
this repressive and brutal regime, against the big “Arab” and Honduran
business owners who finance and support the coup, who have grown
wealthy due to the exclusive and reactionary system under which we
live. Against those who do not care about the crisis, the repression
and the curfews, about the many people who have lost their jobs, who
cannot leave home daily to earn the bread for their children to eat,
about the thousands of small and mid-sized businesses that are on the
verge of failing because of the collapse of consumer markets.

So for the reinstatement of Manuel Zelaya, for the recovery of the
state, for the recovery of the country, and to set a new course for
our own destinies, we should make use of all of the organization and
structures developed in towns, neighborhoods and districts to hit them
where it hurts most: in their businesses, in their dirty profits.

We have to block land transport and the ports through hundreds and
thousands of small but effective takeovers of roads in every corner of
the country. In this way, we will incorporate every person in every
small town close to the highways, customs offices and ports. Short
takeovers of half an hour, in which we stop traffic with 100 people,
burn tires, build barricades with sticks and any material we have at
hand, put ground glass and other materials to “puncture tires” of the
cars that are passing. We stay there for half an hour and DO NOT
CONFRONT the police and the military. I REPEAT: WE WILL NOT CONFRONT

We ask the neighbors of the nearest community to warn us before they
arrive. We will leave before they arrive, using the side streets,
hills and paths we know so that the police and military will exhaust
themselves trying to catch us, putting out tire fires, removing rubble
and clearing glass and nails off the highway. And the town should cut
them off; no one should sell them food. We will close the local stores
and the businesses; we will become the crafty ones. We will
immediately coordinate to set up a new roadblock at another point many
kilometers down the highway from ours so that they run off to the next
point being occupied on the highway; that is how it will go on all day

At the same time, we will continue with occupations and disturbances
in every neighborhood and district in the city so that they many
troops must be kept in Tegucigalpa and other cities. But we have to
organize ourselves and create a telephone or radio information
network, transmitting in code, to send warnings about how many troops
are moving from one point to another. We will drive the police and the
military crazy and, more importantly, we will not allow the companies
backing the coup to move their products on the highways, to get their
products through customs or to export them. No African palm oil,
bananas, plantains, coffee, sugar, shrimp, melons or minerals – no
product, piece of clothing, cloth, sock or undergarment will be
exported from the factories. And this is just the beginning; we can
stop trucks, seize them and sabotage the customs offices, ports and

Because if they don’t sell, if they don’t export, their businesses and
profits will dry up. And then what purpose will the coup government
serve? And these businessmen and women, who are the ones propping up
the de facto government, and the ones paying off the criminal colonels
and generals, will have to back up before the power of the people to
make way for the reinstatement of the Zelaya administration, for
democracy for all and for our National Constitutional Assembly.

So, comrades, let’s take over the highways, the customs offices and
the ports, along with the neighborhoods, districts and towns, to bring
the country to a halt.

We call on our brothers and sisters in Guatemala, El Salvador and
Nicaragua to coordinate with our people to take over customs offices
and carry out protests in the major cities.



Delfina Bermúdez is a Honduran teacher in resistance.

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