[El Salvador protest]

Part of the Global Perspective on War and Peace Collection.

00:00Copy video clip URL Eddie Becker shoots a demonstration marching in front of several government buildings urging the U.S. to stop financial aid and support for the conservative government of El Salvador, which was in the midst of a civil war. Groups of people are chanting: “Stop the death squad, stop the war, U.S. out of El Salvador!…70,000 dead no more, U.S. out of El Salvador!” Becker attempts to interview police officers who are removing crosses that the protesters had installed on the lawn, but they won’t respond to his questions.

12:09Copy video clip URL Henry Hicks, of CSPES (Committee and Solidarity with the People of El Salvador), speaks about the goals of the protest. They are protesting “the death squad government, 70,000 dead in 9 years, over a million refugees, a gross continual violation of human rights…The human rights violations are getting worse. And the appropriation that Congress recently passed for military aid and for aid to El Salvador had no conditions attached to it. That is, there would be no review after six months or a year about human rights violations.”

15:01Copy video clip URL Becker asks two elderly ladies who are watching the protest what they think of it, and they respond, “You can’t make up your mind right away. You really have to think about everything they’re saying… This is America’s right to protest.” Meanwhile, a squad of motorcycle cops lines up in preparation for an advance.

19:22Copy video clip URL Faith Pendross, a Rutgers University student with extensive experience in El Salvador, discusses human rights abuses in El Salvador. “We do have blood on our hands if we don’t do anything.”

23:04Copy video clip URL The protesters lay down in front of a governmental building, beginning to yell “FMLN, El Salvador has gotta win!” “The whole world is watching!” and “The people, united, will never be defeated!” The chanting echoes powerfully through the chambers of the building. Conflict with the police begins when a woman wants to enter the building and the police try to remove the individuals blocking the entrance.

33:37Copy video clip URL An officer arrives with a bullhorn and announces that the demonstrators are in violation of their permit, and anyone who remains will promptly be arrested.

34:22Copy video clip URL As the conflict intensifies, the press is moved to a spot some distance away, where Becker and other reporters argue with police and each other. Demonstrators are gradually removed from the building, handcuffed, and made to lay face-down on the pavement before being lifted onto a school bus.

41:39Copy video clip URL An officer arrives and announces that there have been 41 arrests so far, and that arrestees face fines up to $500 or six months in prison, or both. The press is furious that their shots have been blocked by police vehicles and repeatedly questions the officer, who will not comment on the topic.

49:14Copy video clip URL Becker backs away to where other demonstrators have continued to march on the street. He then interviews an elderly protester, Lucille Evans, asking her if she is too old to be involved in risky politics. She is quite a serious activist, recounting her experiences in El Salvador and her commitment to petitioning the U.S. Government for change.

50:06Copy video clip URL Becker abruptly turns from her to shoot the bus of arrestees passing by.

50:39Copy video clip URL He returns to Evans, who continues to talk about her experiences in El Salvador. “Aren’t you too old to go into a revolution?” “I think that it is my responsibility. And I do feel that persons who are intensely interested owe it to themselves to get more than what our media is providing.” She carries a cross in commemoration of a child who died as a result of bombing. “Anyone who knows now the truth about El Salvador owes it to themselves to get here and to be a part of what these people are saying.”  For some unknown reason, Becker makes her repeat a summary of her statement over and over again, before having her do a promo for The 90’s.

54:30Copy video clip URL The demonstration concludes with speeches on the steps of the Capitol Building.

 

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