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.
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, William and Mary
Nick Estes (Lakota), Assistant Professor of American Studies, Univ. 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
Samia Assed, Palestinian-American Human Rights Activist and Organizer, Board of Directors of The Women’s March
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
Glen Coulthard, (Yellowknives Dene) Associate Professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program and the Departments of Political Science, University of British Columbia
Andrew Curley (Diné), Department of Geography, University of North Carolina
Jennifer Nez Denetdale (Diné), Professor of American Studies, University of New Mexico
Jaskiran Dhillon, Associate Professor, Global Studies and Anthropology, The New School
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous People’s History of the United States
Jodie Evans, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Code Pink
Ramon Grosfoguel, Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Sandy Grande (Quechua), Professor of Education and Director Center for the Critical Study of Race and Ethnicity, Connecticut College
Sarah Jaffe, author and journalist
Robin D. G. Kelley, Professor, Department of African American Studies, Distinguished Professor of History & Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in United States History, UCLA
Winona LaDuke (White Earth Ojibwe), Program Director of Honor the Earth
Thea N. Riofrancos, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Providence College
Boots Riley, Filmmaker
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, Johns Hopkins University
Gregory Wilpert, Managing Editor at The Real News Network
David Harvey, Distinguished Professor of anthropology and geography, Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY)
Gerald Horne, Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston.
Anya Parampill, journalist
Richard Pithouse, Associate Professor at the Wits Institute of Social Research, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Editor of New Frame, and Co-ordinator of the Johannesburg office of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research
S’bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo
South African Shack Dwellers Movement
Irvin Jim, General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and National chair of Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party
Mbuso Ngubane Regional Secretary of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)
Andile Zitho Regional Secretary National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and National Treasurer of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party.
Michael Neocosmos (PhD), Emeritus Professor in Humanities, Rhodes University, South Africa; Distinguished Visiting Scholar University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, United States; Visiting Professor, WISER, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Palagummi Sainath, Indian journalist and founder editor of the People’s Archive of Rural India
Prabir Purkayastha, Indian Journalist
Vashna Jagarnath, deputy general secretary SRWP and Senior Researcher at the centre for social change University of Johannesburg
Eva Golinger, author and lawyer
Jodi A. Byrd, Associate Professor, English and Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Gary Y. Okihiro, Professor Emeritus of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and Visiting Professor of American Studies, Yale University
Joanne Barker, Professor and Chair of American Indian Studies, San Francisco State University
Walter Johnson, Professor of History and Director of the Charles Warren Center, Harvard University