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#ThisisaCoup

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As of today, Evo Morales, the Indigenous president of Bolivia, was forced to resign the presidency. His Vice President, (Alvaro Garcia Linera) also resigned, as did Adrianna Salvatierra, the President of the Senate, who was supposed to assume the presidency in Morales’ absence. At the time of this writing, the Wiphala Indigenous flag, has been lowered throughout the country by the opposition. Morales, the country’s first Indigenous president, is the standard bearer of generations of Indigenous socialists. His removal represents the return of the old oligarchy. This is a coup against the arrival of the Indigenous peoples of Bolivia to the forefront of history.

For weeks, rightwing protestors have targeted Morales’ party, the Movement Toward Socialism (or MAS in Spanish). They have burned down party members’ homes and offices, attacking their supporters.  Recently Patricia Arce, mayor of Vinto, was kidnapped by a mob. They cut her hair, threw paint over her body, and forced her to walk barefoot, publicly humiliating her. The mob has blockaded the headquarters of Bolivia TV and the Patria Nueva radio station. At the time of this writing, right wing forces are ransacking and burning President Morales’ home and are trying to arrest him.

This is not a resignation. No one resigns with a gun to their head.

Bolivia’s political and economic elite support this violence, as part of a resurgence of the far right in Latin America. Activists on the ground are currently getting smashed by these forces. We, the undersigned, denounce this violence, and preemptively denounce the violence that will inevitably escalate in the street. We call on the United Nations to make a statement denouncing the undemocratic nature of the coup and the strong-arm tactics of its backers.

Co-Drafters

Jordan T. Camp, Director of Research, The People’s Forum; Visiting Scholar, Center for Place Culture and Politics, CUNY Graduate Center; Co-Director of the Racial Capitalism Working Group, Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University

George Ciccariello-Maher, Visiting Scholar, Decolonizing Humanities and Modern Languages and Literatures, College of William and Mary

Nick Estes (Lakota), Assistant Professor of American Studies, University of New Mexico, Co-Founder The Red Nation

Christina Heatherton, Assistant Professor of American Studies, Barnard College; Co-Director of the Racial Capitalism Working Group, Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University

Manu Karuka, Assistant Professor of American Studies, Barnard College; Co-Director of the Racial Capitalism Working Group, Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University

Vijay Prashad, Director, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research

Melanie Yazzie (Diné), Assistant Professor of Native American Studies and American Studies, University of New Mexico, Co-Founder of The Red Nation

Co-Signers

Adalah Justice Project

American Indian Movement of Central Texas

American Indian Movement Colorado

Lisa Armstrong, Program for the Study of Women and Gender, Smith College

Samia Assed, Palestinian-American Human Rights Activist and Organizer, Board of Directors of The Women’s March

Benjamin Balthaser, Associate Professor of Multi-Ethnic U.S. Literature at Indiana University, South Bend

Joanne Barker (Lenape), Professor and Chair of American Indian Studies, San Francisco State University

Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder, Code Pink

Bruno Bosteels, Professor of Latin America and Ibertian Cultures and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University

Kevin Bruyneel, Professor of Politics, Babson College

Jodi A. Byrd (Chickasaw), Associate Professor of English and Gender and Women's Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Angela Y. Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness, Univ. Of California, Santa Cruz

Carolina Martin Ramos, Human Rights Attorney dedicated to indigenous liberation the rights of indigenous migrants, Centro Legal de la Raza, Oakland, CA

The Red Nation

Boots Riley, Filmmaker

Thea N. Riofrancos, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Providence College

Dylan Rodriguez, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, University of California, Riverside 

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

South African Shack Dwellers Movement

Linda Sarsour, Palestinian-American Activist and Co-Founder of The Women’s March

Audra Simpson (Mohawk), Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of "From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation"

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, and Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice, Union Theological Seminary

Christy Thornton, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Latin American Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Harsha Walia, No One Is Illegal and Author of "Undoing Border Imperialism"

Tyler Wall, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Robert Warrior (Osage), Hall Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of Kansas

Gregory Wilpert, Managing Editor at The Real News Network

Ret. Col Ann Wright, former U.S. Military and State Department

S’bu Zikode, Abahlali base, Mjondolo

Andile Zitho Regional Secretary National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and National Treasurer of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP)