This evening I hit a low point in my personal experience of the crisis and made a very sober and rather despondent appraisal of the current situation.
It was a day of sweeping rumours, where at one point it seemed the de facto government was declaring a midday toque de queda (curfew) and schools and businesses closed early in the confusion. It seemed that as we compared notes, many of our friends were also growing weary of the day-to-day struggle and disruption wrought by the golpistas, and their intransigence with internal dissent and international criticism.
At the same time the resistance was unbowed by Sunday’s hammer blow to fundamental rights and was able to mobilise about 2,000 people in a peaceful sit-in outside the University Pedagogica, a blatant act of illegal assembly under the executive decree.
Gradually as I starting phoning contacts and cross-checking blogs this evening, the picture of the day’s events began to look more consistent with the often shambolic and, sometimes, comically inept actions of the golpistas. It also seems the – up to now – supine congress and presidential candidates were breaking ranks with the de facto government over the executive decree.
Congress sent its leading members to ask Micheletti to rescind the decree and strongly indicated that the measure would not receive congressional approval. Meanwhile the presidential candidates were meeting with the Hugo Llorens, the American ambassador. Reportedly Carlos Flores Facusse, alledged by some to be the intellectual father of the coup, and Adolfo Facusse, head of ANDI, were also present. So perhaps the United States is finally exerting its considerable influence on sections of the Honduran political establishment.
In another very serious challenge to the junta, Jaime Rosenthal’s El Tiempo published a powerfully argued editorial against the dictatorial actions of the de facto regime. Coincidentally perhaps its website was promptly shut down, putting it in the company of Radio Globo and Canal 36, as independent media companies closed by the junta in recent days. Mr Rosenthal’s very personal open letter to the government has also received wide spread distribution here in Honduras because it gives a critical historical perspective on the actions of the Golpistas from another member of the country’s conservative ruling elite.
While criticism and dissent has begun to arise from unusual quarters, the situation at the Brazilian embassy took a grim turn. Dr Mauricio Castellanos, a public health specialist, obtained samples of the contaminates at the embassy, which revealed:
Concentrations between 100 and 200 particles per thousand of ammonia as well as hydrocyanic acid, which produces a rapid reaction on inhaling when it enters in contact with the iron in the blood, and produces vertigo, nausea, stomach pain, headaches and breathing difficulties.
If these results can be independently verified it will represent the first clear evidence of serious violations of international treaties on chemical weapons and military conventions by the Micheletti regime. It will also be a vindication of Zelaya whose claims about the use of chemical agents and of long-range acoustic devices against people in the embassy had been categorically denied by the junta and ridiculed by the international media.
On balance, although this has been another long and dispiriting day in Honduras there are in fact signs that the de facto regime may begin to yield to demands to negotiate a way out of this crisis.
Grassroots posters giving an alternative take on the general election
Hundreds of people surrounded the fences this weekend. Hera Lorandos spoke to women who have suffered inside.
Laying out the case for Labour's leadership of a Progressive Alliance, Jeremy Gilbert argues that far from posing a threat to the Left, the Progressive Alliance offers a golden opportunity to end Tory rule and build a 21st century government committed to social justice
The Greens have stood down in Brighton Kemptown to clear the way for Labour, and the Lib Dems won’t stand in Brighton’s other seat, Green-held Pavilion. Davy Jones, who would have been the Green candidate in Kemptown, says this shows the way forward
The snap general election represents a unique opportunity to defeat this terrible government. We believe that visual artists have a crucial role to play!
Drax is the UK's biggest source of CO2 emissions – and we're paying for it, writes Almuth Ernsting
For the past 3 years, Barby Asante and members of London-based artists' collective, sorryyoufeeluncomfortable, have been responding directly to the vision of James Baldwin. Ahead of the nationwide release of a new film about the American activist and author, they reflect on the enduring relevance of Baldwin in Britain today.
Housing campaigners' gains in Bristol are spurring on a national movement to build a renters' union, writes Stuart Melvin
A new Espionage Act threatens whistleblowers and journalists, writes Sarah Kavanagh
We need an anti-austerity alliance, not a vaguely progressive alliance, argues Michael Calderbank
Civic strike paralyses Colombia’s principle pacific port
An alliance of community organisations are fighting ’to live with dignity’ in the face of military repression. Patrick Kane and Seb Ordoñez report.
Greece’s heavy load
While the UK left is divided over how to respond to Brexit, the people of Greece continue to groan under the burden of EU-backed austerity. Jane Shallice reports
On the narcissism of small differences
In an interview with the TNI's Nick Buxton, social scientist and activist Susan George reflects on the French Presidential Elections.
Why Corbyn’s ‘unpopularity’ is exaggerated: Polls show he’s more popular than most other parties’ leaders – and on the up
Headlines about Jeremy Corbyn’s poor approval ratings in polls don’t tell the whole story, writes Alex Nunns
The media wants to demoralise Corbyn’s supporters – don’t let them succeed
Michael Calderbank looks at the results of yesterday's local elections
In light of Dunkirk: What have we learned from the (lack of) response in Calais?
Amy Corcoran and Sam Walton ask who helps refugees when it matters – and who stands on the sidelines
Osborne’s first day at work – activists to pulp Evening Standards for renewable energy
This isn’t just a stunt. A new worker’s cooperative is set to employ people on a real living wage in a recycling scheme that is heavily trolling George Osborne. Jenny Nelson writes
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 24 May
On May 24th, we’ll be holding the third of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.
Our activism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit…
Reflecting on a year in the environmental and anti-racist movements, Plane Stupid activist, Ali Tamlit, calls for a renewed focus on the dangers of power and privilege and the means to overcome them.
West Yorkshire calls for devolution of politics
When communities feel that power is exercised by a remote elite, anger and alienation will grow. But genuine regional democracy offers a positive alternative, argue the Same Skies Collective
How to resist the exploitation of digital gig workers
For the first time in history, we have a mass migration of labour without an actual migration of workers. Mark Graham and Alex Wood explore the consequences
The Digital Liberties cross-party campaign
Access to the internet should be considered as vital as access to power and water writes Sophia Drakopoulou
#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part III: a discussion of power and privilege
In the final article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr gives a few pointers on how to be a good ally
Event: Take Back Control Croydon
Ken Loach, Dawn Foster & Soweto Kinch to speak in Croydon at the first event of a UK-wide series organised by The World Transformed and local activists
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 19 April
On April 19th, we’ll be holding the second of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.
Changing our attitude to Climate Change
Paul Allen of the Centre for Alternative Technology spells out what we need to do to break through the inaction over climate change
Introducing Trump’s Inner Circle
Donald Trump’s key allies are as alarming as the man himself
#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part II: a discussion of power and privilege
In the second article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the silencing of black women and the flaws in safe spaces
Joint statement on George Osborne’s appointment to the Evening Standard
'We have come together to denounce this brazen conflict of interest and to champion the growing need for independent, truthful and representative media'
Paul O’Connell and Michael Calderbank consider the conditions that led to the Brexit vote, and how the left in Britain should respond
On the right side of history: an interview with Mijente
Marienna Pope-Weidemann speaks to Reyna Wences, co-founder of Mijente, a radical Latinx and Chincanx organising network
Disrupting the City of London Corporation elections
The City of London Corporation is one of the most secretive and least understood institutions in the world, writes Luke Walter
#AndABlackWomanAtThat: a discussion of power and privilege
In the first article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the oppression of her early life and how we must fight it, even in our own movement
Corbyn understands the needs of our communities
Ian Hodson reflects on the Copeland by-election and explains why Corbyn has the full support of The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 15 March
On 15 March, we’ll be holding the first of Red Pepper’s Race Section open editorial meetings.
Social Workers Without Borders
Jenny Nelson speaks to Lauren Wroe about a group combining activism and social work with refugees
Growing up married
Laura Nicholson interviews Dr Eylem Atakav about her new film, Growing Up Married, which tells the stories of Turkey’s child brides
The Migrant Connections Festival: solidarity needs meaningful relationships
On March 4 & 5 Bethnal Green will host a migrant-led festival fostering community and solidarity for people of all backgrounds, writes Sohail Jannesari
Reclaiming Holloway Homes
The government is closing old, inner-city jails. Rebecca Roberts looks at what happens next
Intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey
Oppression increases in the run up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum, writes Mehmet Ugur from Academics for Peace