- Created: Friday, 15 March 2019 17:52
- Written by Newcastle Branch
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) supporters in Newcastle have been on the streets of Newcastle for over a month defending the Venezuelan revolution and opposing the imperialist-led attempted coup and sanctions.
See below for pictures and footage of the protests.
On 26 January, three days after Juan Guido declared himself interim president of Venezuela, we took to the streets of Newcastle to oppose the attempted coup and all forms of US and British imperialist intervention. On 9 February we were opposed by 30 right-wing Venezuelans and other Latin Americans, who brazenly and firmly backed the openly racist and war-mongering Donald Trump. They were supported by Newcastle LibDem councillor Greg Stone. Shamefully, prominent members of the Newcastle Socialist Workers Party opted to stand and chat with the right-wing Venezuelans, with Simon Hall of the ostensibly anti-racist Newcastle Unites refusing to take a principled stand against the sanctions and coup attempt when asked. None of these right-wing and collaborationist forces have deterred us from our full support for the Bolivarian Revolution.
On 16 February we held another protest and hit the ground running, getting support from so many politically genuine people in the city. The right-wing did not show their faces. On 23 February, FRFI and Socialist Appeal held a joint protest as part of an international day of action, coinciding with the phoney attempt by the US to get ‘aid’ into Venezuela. President Donald Trump himself made a special guest appearance on Grey’s Monument!
On 27 February we held a film showing about the relationship between the coup against Chile’s Allende government in 1973 and tactics being used today against Venezuela. We were treated to a video call question and answer session with Venezuelan economist Pablo Giminez, speaking from Venezuela.
On 2 March we held a protest outside Virgin Money because of Richard Branson’s support for the attempted coup. ‘Gunrunner’ Branson held a so-called charity concert to try and facilitate US military intervention into Venezuela under the guise of aid. The war against the elected government of Venezuela is, among other things, a war against the provision of healthcare for the working class. Branson’s company has won more than £2bn worth of NHS contracts 2013-2018 - he is a driving force in the privatisation of our healthcare.
Imperialist hands off Venezuela! End the war on healthcare!
26 January emergency protest at Grey’s Monument.
9 February protest where we were opposed by right-wing Venezuelans.
LibDem councillor Greg Stone (far right) stands with Venezuelan reactionaries.
SWP’s Simon Hall (3rd from right) refused to take a principled stand.
16 February protest – a show of strength. A Sudan protest takes place at the same time.
FRFI supporters and Socialist Appeal stand together on joint action on 23 February.
US president Donald Trump makes a surprise visit to Grey’s Monument to recruit support for the coup from the people of Newcastle.
27 February film showing and meeting with Venezuelan economist Pablo Giminez.
2 March protest against Richard ‘Gunrunner’ Branson.
2 March protest outside Virgin Money, Northumberland Street.