[WSMDiscuss] Rebellion in Colombia (Partido Socialismo y Libertad (PSL) Argentina) / FOR ENDORSEMENT : Colombia : End the violent attacks on demonstrators

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Tue Jun 22 18:14:39 CEST 2021

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Colombia in movement…, People in movement…, Indigenous Peoples in movement…, Workers in movement…, Resistance in movement…, International solidarity in movement…

Rebellion in Colombia

Partido Socialismo y Libertad (PSL) Argentina

June 2021

https://socialism.com/fs-article/rebellion-in-colombia/ <https://socialism.com/fs-article/rebellion-in-colombia/>

Defying the quarantine lockdown, thousands in Colombia protest the government’s tax reform bill that will further cripple the working class. (PHOTO: Twitter)

Este artículo en español <https://socialism.com/fs-article/rebelion-de-colombia/>

This statement by the PSL, a member of the Committee for Revolutionary International Regroupment, was initially released under the title “The workers’ and popular rebellion in Colombia points the way forward.” It was written in solidarity with the Colombian people as they embarked on a general strike on May 5. The continuing mass resistance in Colombia is a beacon for all workers and oppressed in our hemisphere.

The working class and popular unity building today in Colombia has succeeded in stopping a proposed regressive tax-reform proposal and obtained a cabinet resignation. It now aims its fire at “el paquetazo” (the still-pending legislation mobilization to undermine labor law and destroy the healthcare and retirement systems). Moreover, the current uprising is challenging the whole neoliberal project of hunger and state repression, the hallmark of the regime initiated by the former president Alvaro Uribe, which continues today under the presidency of Iván Duque.

Current events in Colombia began on Nov. 21, 2019, with a massive general strike accompanied by street mobilizations in all the main cities. This outpouring of resistance was disrupted by the emergence in 2020 of the Covid virus; but the popular rage remained and exploded on April 28 when the trade union federations — CUT, CTC, CGT and Fecode (the Teachers’ Federation) — called for a second national strike. The call was supported by social movements and student, Indigenous, urban and peasant community organizations.

This strike turned into a national workers and popular uprising with roadblocks, confrontations with state repressive forces, and massive mobilizations that continue today, and whose outcome has yet to be determined.

At the outset, the government of President Iván Duque tried to crush the protests with violent repression by the armed forces supported by the members of the U.S. Yankee army stationed in Colombia. This has resulted in many deaths and disappearances.

But the masses remain unintimidated and refuse to back down. They redoubled their actions and achieved a preliminary victory on May 2 when the government announced that it was withdrawing the entire neoliberal tax-reform law.

In addition, the Minister of Finance, Alberto Carrasquilla, the author of this law, was forced to resign. Currently Daniel Palacios, the Minister of the Interior, is under investigation for ordering the savage state repression of protesters.

Meanwhile, the Colombian people remain in the streets demanding more!

The trade union confederations, together with social, political, peasant, student and Indigenous organizations have called for a third general strike for May 5. This strike represents a challenge to the Colombian regime that is closely allied with U.S. imperialism.

The demands of the general strike include freedom for all the political prisoners, punishment for those responsible for the state repression and the resignation of President Duque. Surely the reactionary forces of international capital will utilize their agencies to attempt to quell the mass mobilizations and prop up this disastrous regime.

Only workers and a popular government based on the democratic organization of all the mobilized sectors will be able to provide fundamental solutions to the demands that the Colombian masses continue to develop in the streets. We call for international solidarity with the struggle of the Colombian people.

To contact CRIR write to: CRIRinter at gmail.com <mailto:CRIRinter at gmail.com>.

Click here to read about the CRIR program <https://socialism.com/committee-revolutionary-international-regroupment-crir/>.

Colombia : End the violent attacks on demonstrators

In partnership with Public Services International <https://publicservices.international/>, a Global Union Federation of more than 700 trade unions representing 30 million workers in 154 countries and PSI’s Colombian affiliates <https://publicservices.international/affiliates/inter-america/colombia?search=%7B%22api_keys%22%3A%5B%22asa095f2-1525-477f-aw80-640a3e41a8de%22%5D,%22tags%22%3A%7B%22actor%22%3A%5B%5D,%22ally%22%3A%5B%5D,%22country%22%3A%5B49%5D,%22region%22%3A%5B1276%5D,%22sector%22%3A%5B%5D,%22topic%22%3A%5B%5D%7D,%22types%22%3A%5B%5D,%22search_query%22%3A%22%22,%22offset%22%3A0,%22limit%22%3A10,%22order_by%22%3A%22start_datetime%22,%22order_dir%22%3A%22desc%22,%22lang%22%3Anull,%22start_datetime%22%3Anull,%22end_datetime%22%3Anull,%22in_progress%22%3Anull,%22key%22%3Anull,%22first_letter%22%3Anull%7D&id=9882>
https://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=4859 <https://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=4859>

The Colombian people have been on general strike since 28 April 2021. The strike was called in response to tax reforms that sought to raise revenue by increasing taxes on basic foodstuffs and essential services such as water, electricity, gas and sanitation.

The strike was launched to demand the negotiation of the emergency plan presented to the government by the National Strike Committee. There has been massive participation on the streets of Colombia by broad sectors of the population, including PSI affiliates in Colombia, particularly the youth,

The government of Ivan Duque has responded with brutal repression and brutal violence. The National Strike Committee has denounced at least 2,387 cases of police violence, 50 deaths, 578 injured (including 40 victims of aggression in the eyes), 524 disappearances, 1,200 arbitrary detentions, 21 cases of sexual violence against women and 87 cases of gender violence, since the beginning of the mobilisations, which constitutes a humanitarian crisis of great proportion.

But the Colombians are still in the streets. And they are winning. The tax reform was ditched, the finance minister has resigned and a controversial bill to privatize healthcare was abandoned.

The right to peaceful protest is fundamental to democracy. Join the Colombian people in demanding that the government cease state violence, immediately begin negotiations with the National Strike Committee, and accept the requests of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct working visits to Colombia.

You can help! Type in your name and email address, then click on 'Send Message' on the bottom of this page [on form at link]. 


Jai Sen

Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of Ottawa

jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net> &  <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>jsen at uottawa.ca <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>
Now based in Ottawa, Canada, on unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900) and in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325)

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