Anthony and others have been working hard on networking with London’s Ecuadorian community.
Sunday 12 August: Independence Day Celebrations
Ecuador’s Independence Day falls on 10 August and as part of this year’s celebrations there was an event in Finsbury Park close to the Manor House entrance on Sunday 12 August, with stalls, music and sporting activities.
Anthony was there with his ginormous Bradley Manning placard, accompanied here by women in Ecuadorian national costume.
Anthony said afterwards:
A massive picnic was held by the Ecuadorian community to celebrate the holiday of Ecuadorian Independence Day on Sunday (yesterday) at Finsbury Park, Manor House, London – I was invited by the organisers to come down so I brought the “Brad Board”.
400 Ecuadorians were expected; at least 800 came through by my count.
There were loads of stalls and marquees with great Ecuadorian food. I can attest to the joys of homemade coconut ice lollies, a massive whole roast hog was on offer for Hornado con Mote and lots of other Llapingacho treats.
A huge football pitch had been assembled and the lads from several well organised local-to-London Ecuadorian football teams (with colors) were out there on the pitch giving it all to an enthusiastic crowd.
A large stage was happening at the same time playing Ecuadorian and English language cheesy pop tunes, open to anyone who wanted to dance, which descended into a proper, joyous shebeen in the hot August sun.
The views from Ecuadorians were fantastic! I met loads of people from previous events and made new friends.
Many people said “Ecuador got mentioned on CNN due to the Assange case – We never get any international attention” and “It makes me proud to be Ecuadorian”. Hear, hear to that!
Sunday 29 July: Event in Kennington Park
Ecuadorian Minister for Sport and legendary goalkeeper, José Francisco Cevallos, called a public event for the Ecuadorian community in Kennington Park at the start of the Olympics.
Anthony was there with the Bradley sandwich board and with a placard for Julian that somehow found its way into every picture with the Minister and the Ecuadorian Ambassador to the UK Anna Alban.
Emmy took flyers to hand out and took these pictures.
It is vital that we continue to make the links with the broader Ecuadorian community and the Latin American community of the UK in general. We do not want a situation where Ecuadorians in the general population feel that this is not their problem – where only UK and Northern Hemisphere people are interested in Mr Assange, bringing them problems.
It’s worth remembering that the U.S. has a vicious and long record of violence and interference in Latin America.
Very recently, in Paraguay a “constitutional coup” by the far right (orchestrated by the U.S.) took place which replaced the duly elected, similarly left leaning government with a more direct corporatist state. There seems to be little risk of this specifically happening in Ecuador with the very popular (and wily) Mr Correa, but we do not know what the United States’ next move towards Ecuador might be. Our campaign needs strong solidarity links built with the community.
We are limited in our resources, but this is an important and attainable goal. We can do so to the best degree we can. Friendly outreach is one of the things this group is best at.
Our efforts in outreach have strong ramifications; Ecuadorians keep very close ties to back home, constantly communicating back to Ecuador, also a lot of Ecuadorian media stop by the vigil regularly.
It’s great to make links with Latin American activists here in the UK, as when I attended the most recent meeting of Columbia Solidarity – 61 Colombians came out the following Friday to the vigil space to protest the neighbouring Colombian Embassy, in safety.