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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 June 2021

Colombia: General strikes continue

Photo: Leon Hernandez/CC

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 And although the initial cause of the unrest, a deeply regressive tax hike, has been withdrawn, the combination of over 75,000 deaths from Covid-19 amidst growing mass poverty and widening class inequalities, continues to fuel the protests.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.

Simon Carter

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Finance appeal

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:


NHS

3 July day of protest - save our NHS from the Tories


Covid-19

Capitalism's Covid failings


Unite election

Unite general secretary campaign: Statement from Sharon Graham

Unite general secretary campaign: Statement from Howard Beckett


Israel/Palestine

Boycotts - what role can these play in the struggle for a Palestinian state?

Stop Israeli state terror: solidarity protests continue


US politics

Will Biden's 'green' agenda avert an impending climate change catastrophe?


Workplace news

Sparks force bosses to talk after blockading AWE

Save jobs, save livelihoods, save GKN Automotive - nationalise the plant!

Workplace round-up


International news

Belarus: Lukashenko's desperate attempt to silence opposition

Colombia: General strikes continue


Campaigns news

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


Universities

University funding reform: Fight for free, fully funded education for all


 

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Related links:

Colombia:

triangleReaders' comments

triangleColombia: Mass trade union-led protests force tax retreat

triangleVenezuela: resist the pro-imperialist coup!

triangleVenezuela: How can reaction and imperialism be defeated?

Strikes:

triangleDerby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

triangleLeicestershire engineers' fifth week of strikes against fire and rehire

triangleStrikes round-up

triangleMetroline buses to face summer of strikes unless it drops 'remote sign-on'

Government:

triangleTories and Labour fail on child poverty

triangleUnite to fight Tory pay insults

trianglePublic sector pay - Prepare for action!

Police:

triangleBristol: Police to blame for protest violence

triangleDalian Atkinson - police found guilty of killing ex-footballer

Capitalist:

triangleCuban protests - what do they represent?

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