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The Battle for Venezuela, Through a Lens, Helmet and Gas Mask

Others have fashioned armor from carpet scraps to thwart rubber bullets and buckshot, lethal at close range. More than 30 protesters have died this way, according to a tally by local journalists.

“Don’t knock it,” one protester said with a grin when asked about his carpet vest. “It has already saved me several times.”

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Protesters have made vests out of carpet as protection from rubber bullets and buckshot. Credit Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

Many carry homemade shields of wood and old oil drums. Some are adorned with Venezuelan flags, cartoons of Mr. Maduro burning the Constitution or phrases like “freedom, future, elections now!” and “I love you, mom.”

Members of El Resistencia are generally young and say they support neither the government nor the opposition politicians. Some are middle-class university students who fight with cameras affixed to their skateboard helmets to update their Instagram pages.

The peaceful demonstrators vary widely. Young, old, professionals and unemployed join sit-ins and actions to block streets. Hundreds of thousands have marched toward government offices. Almost always, security forces violently block them.

Source: NYT > World

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