Archipielago Provides Participants with Guidelines for November 15 Demonstrations in Havana

A group of artists protesting in front of the Cuban Ministry of Culture on November 27, 2020. (Reynier Leyva Novo)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 11 November 2021 — On Thursday the dissident coalition Archipiélago released a list of recommendations for those who would like to participate in the Civic March for Change in Havana, which is scheduled for Monday. The group issued the recommendations in response to threats by the regime, which has indicated it considers any such actions to be illegal.

After insisting on Cubans’ right to free speech, the group offered alternatives for those who would like to demonstrate their support for the march. These include collective applause, the banging of pots, the wearing of white clothing on Monday and a «massive blackout» of national television news programming on November 15, 16 and 17.

The group proposes a 3:00 PM start time for the march in locations originally proposed for each city. It suggests that, in the event participants find these locations «militarized,» they move to parks with friends and trusted acquaintances to talk about the kind of Cuba they would like to create.

In the event the chosen park is also occupied by military personnel, or there are children’s activities taking place, the initiative’s organizers suggest looking for yet another space.

«If they militarize the city, they will only be demonstrating the fear they have of citizens’ dreams for change,» the group states. It recommends that those who are able to meet form circles or groups with others they know to «avoid being infiltrated by forces of the regime.»

The group recommends taking a photo or recording a video with the date and sending it to Telegram with the user: @ggarmendiac, a platform whose access may be compromised if authorities impose a network blackout similar to the one they implemented after the protests on July 11.

Archipiélago has said the demonstration in Las Tunas would begin at 3:00 PM at Martiana Plaza and would proceed to Cultural Plaza, where participants would lay flowers at the statue of Jose Marti in the middle of the park before beginning a sit-in.

In the event this gathering cannot be carried out as described, the group says participants can instead head to First of May Avenue. It urges people to wear white clothing, carry white flags or display white handkerchiefs. It also suggests carrying a single flower, a Cuban flag or a blank cardboard placard to avoid causing offense.

«We reiterate that this march is peaceful, that what we are calling for is an end to violence, respect for human rights, the release of political prisoners and a resolution of differences between Cubans through democratic means»

Videos of similar protests were shared on social networks, including those in  CamagüeyPinar del RioCienfuegos and the Consolación del Sur district en Pinar del Rio.

The Center for Legal Information (Cubalex) has also made available to demonstrators a set of recommendations. Among them, it advises that they share any information they might obtain about a person detained during the protests. It also advises that, before leaving home, they provide a trusted contact outside Cuba with general information that can later be used to file a complaint and a demand for habeus corpus. Cubalex provides detailed instructions on how to file such demand.

The organization also advises that anyone recording videos or livestreaming indicate the date, time and exact location of the particular event, with the realization that internet access could be cut on the day of the demonstration, as happened after the July 11 protests.

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