The national strike in Colombia began on 28th April in protest against a series of tax reforms that would have disproportionally affected working and middle class people. The strike protests have been supported by a wide range of Colombians who aren’t necessarily trade unionists, amongst them the young, those in precarious employment, afrocolombians and indigenous groups.
The government’s response has been violent and murderous. Government forces have killed at least 43 protestors, with many more people reported as having disappeared.
Recently, the bodies of people who had disappeared started appearing in the Rio Cauca, close to the city of Cali.
Forty six people have suffered eye injuries, mainly from tear gas canisters fired by riot police.
Things that people in the UK can do right now, in support of protesting Colombians, include:
- Write to your MP and ask that they sign the Early Day Motion about The Protests in Colombia.
- TW // Violence/Murder – Search out the hashtag #SOSColombia on social media and consider reposting some content supportive of the strike and protests. People are posting disturbing videos and images of the police repression and you might want to be careful about what you view and who is around you.
- If you are a member of a union then see if your branch will affiliate with Justice for Colombia, who are a trade union based movement in the UK. It supports “Colombian civil society in its struggle for human rights, labour rights, peace and social justice”. They have been holding regular online events during the current crisis.
- If you are not a member of a union you can affiliate with Justice for Colombia as an individual for £3 per year.
- Make a donation to one of the groups collecting money to support Colombian activists. Red Condor Collective have a GoFundMe page. It’s doing rather well, and donations will go a long way in Colombia. Even small donations make an impact.