This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Ariel Gold and Lily Tajjadini. Ariel serves as the national co-director of the anti-war group CODEPINK, and is an organizer with the Ithaca Committee for Justice in Palestine. Ariel has been published in The Huffington Post, Forward, and Tikkun Magazine, among others. Lily is also an organizer with CODEPINK where she is the Iran Campaign manager. Ariel and Lily, who were recently involved in the historic occupation of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C., describe the events that lead up to this dramatic action and what hurdles they encountered from local authorities, the Secret Service, and a barrage of protesters loyal to self-appointed president Juan Guaidó.
Ariel and Lily recount the creative efforts on the part of the embassy activists, who called themselves as the Embassy Protection Collective, to get food and supplies into the embassy where as many as 50 demonstrators were inside, having been invited to stay by the legitimate government of Venezuela led by Nicolás Maduro. We hear about hostile clashes during which pro-Guaidó protestors, who had barricaded the exterior of embassy, attempted to intimidate embassy volunteers and prevent access to first aid, medicine, and food.
We discuss the fate of activists who were arrested by authorities after the embassy was illegally raided after an incredible 36 days. Ariel and Lily explain that activists haven’t been charged with trespassing, an admission that the embassy was Venezuelan territory. Additionally, representatives of Guaidó’s self-described “government” still haven’t gained access to the site, further proof of the shaky footing the US government knows itself to be on. Finally, Ariel and Lily explain that, far from a symbolic act, this effort had a real impact on ratcheting down tensions and making a US military attack on Venezuela less likely.
You can follow Ariel on twitter at @ArielElyseGold, and Lily at @lilytaj5. You can also find Code Pink as at @codepink.
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