In Photos: Venezuelan Protests In Colorful Shields

Drawing inspiration from Ukraine’s 2013-14 revolt, young protesters in Venezuela carry Viking-like shields as they battle government security forces during protests against President Nicolás Maduro. All photos by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

In Venezuela’s anti-government unrest, during which 80 people have died since April, youths bear colourfully decorated homemade shields akin to those used in Kiev’s Maidan Square demonstrations in 2013-14.

Opponents of the president are holding public screenings of the documentary Winter on Fire, a film on the Kiev uprising that led to 100 deaths and the departure of Viktor Yanukovych, the president at the time.

Masked youths, some with weapons, battle security forces in near daily anti-government protests.

‘Miraflores on fire’ is written on the front of this shield. Miraflores Palace is the president’s official workplace.

Other shields carry quotes and images of Venezuela’s constitution, paintings and religious symbols, depictions of the faces of slain protesters, or slogans such as ‘SOS!’, ‘No More Dictatorship!’ or ‘Murderer, Maduro!’

The shields cannot stop bullets, but do protect from teargas, rubber bullets and stones.

The shields are used to form walls, or are sometimes beaten in unison, as Roman soldiers and Norsemen used to do before going into battle.

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