CARACAS - Masked youths battled police, protesters burned and hung from lamp-posts effigies of President Nicolas Maduro and marchers demanded the "resurrection" of democracy on a volatile Easter Sunday in Venezuela.
Though millions of Venezuelans have headed for Caribbean beaches and family gatherings over the Easter period, student demonstrators have sought to keep a nearly three-month protest movement going with religious-themed demonstrations.After a barefoot walk and a "Via Crucis" march in the style of Jesus' tortured walk towards crucifixion earlier in the week, hundreds of demonstrators began Sunday with a rally denominated "Resurrection of Democracy."
Easter marks the day Christians believe Jesus was resurrected from the dead after being crucified.
"We're staying in the street until we get our country back," student leader Djamil Jassir, 22, told Reuters in a square where protesters displayed dozens of used gas canisters and bullets as symbols of repression. "This is the time to stand firm."
Later, several hundred hooded protesters, many wearing Guy Fawkes masks, set up barricades in the eastern Chacao district of Caracas that has been a near-daily battleground during recent unrest in Venezuela since mid-February.
Chanting "Liberty!", the youths threw petrol bombs, fired stones from slings, tore down advertising hoardings, and placed wires across streets blocked by debris.
Police responded with teargas and water-cannons, as residents banged pots and pans from windows in a form of protest. Some neighbors threw bottles of water and bags of ice down to the students from balconies.
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