by Michael Novick

Over a dozen masked Mayans and several solidarity supporters disrupted a presentation at the Spanish language stage of the LA Times Festival of Books on the campus of the University of Southern California on Sunday, April 23. The ire at the interview of Richard Hansen by a reporter for LA Times at one of the last events of the weekend literary event grew out of Hansen’s role in the privatization and recolonization of Mayan land in Guatemala by the archeologist, under the guide of “preservation and conservation.”

The protesters also denounced a bill before the US congress that would hasten and finance such measures. They passed flyers, chanted and used several bullhorns and loudspeakers to educate the crowd and denounce the speaker for genocidal practices. The stage and the protesters were swiftly encircled  by a large number of LAPD officers (and possibly some USC police) and their bicycles. One protester was arrested for battery, basically touching someone, while the crowd joined the protesters in a chant of “Let him go! Let him go!:

As we went to press there was no information about whether charges were being pressed or if the arrestee was later released. The Mayans’ flyer gave no contact information, and QR codes on it only opened up a report from NACLA Report on the Americas, and a Congressional bill regarding US “assistance” to the “preservation” project that they consider a new anti-Mayan land grab.

Photo credit by Michael Novick for Change Links exclusive

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