Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1136/32600
From The Socialist newspaper, 2 June 2021
Colombia: General strikes continue
Photo: Leon Hernandez/CC (Click to enlarge)
For over one month, Colombia's workers and poor have taken to the streets against the repressive capitalist government of President Ivan Duque. And although the initial cause of the unrest, a deeply regressive tax hike, has been withdrawn, the combination of over 75,000 deaths from Covid-19 amidst growing mass poverty and widening class inequalities, continues to fuel the protests.
Many protesters have paid a high price at the hands of repressive state forces, which have deployed lethal firepower. According to human rights groups, over 40 protesters have been killed by the police and, according to the government, two police officers have also been killed.
At the epicentre of the protest movement - the city of Cali - the Colombian army has been sent in by Duque to smother the opposition.
The trade union movement called workers out for a second general strike last week. Negotiations for meaningful government reforms - conducted on behalf of the protesters through the National Strike Committee, comprising major unions and student groups - have moved at a snail's pace.
Colombia has experienced two years of unrest on top of decades of civil war. Clearly, a weak capitalist ruling class tied to the apron strings of imperialism has utterly failed the impoverished majority. Only the building of a mass revolutionary party, based on the working class, and with a programme for socialist change, can offer a way out of this impasse.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 2 June 2021:
3 July day of protest - save our NHS from the Tories
Capitalism's Covid failings
Unite general secretary campaign: Statement from Sharon Graham
Unite general secretary campaign: Statement from Howard Beckett
Boycotts - what role can these play in the struggle for a Palestinian state?
Stop Israeli state terror: solidarity protests continue
Will Biden's 'green' agenda avert an impending climate change catastrophe?
Sparks force bosses to talk after blockading AWE
Save jobs, save livelihoods, save GKN Automotive - nationalise the plant!
Belarus: Lukashenko's desperate attempt to silence opposition
Colombia: General strikes continue
Cladding danger: Protest 5 June!
Pimlico Academy protest demands elected governors
York students demand democratic control of schools
Protests against anti-protest bill
Waltham Forest byelections: Council homes not unaffordable flats
Raising Fighting Fund in Southern region
Hillsborough crimes go unpunished
University funding reform: Fight for free, fully funded education for all
The Socialist 2 June 2021 |
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