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(en) Colombia, grupo via libre: Balance of the mobilizations of September 28, 2021 (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 13 Oct 2021 08:35:20 +0300

Last Tuesday, September 28, 2021, an important day of popular protest was presented in Colombia; Two mobilization processes converged in the streets, on the one hand, various activities were developed around the 5 months of the national strike on April 28 called by the National Unemployment Committee, around the rejection of repression and economic adjustment policies of the government of Iván Duque. On the other hand, various activities were organized by the platform of the National Feminist Outbreak regarding the International Day for the Right to Abortion.
In Bogotá, at least 8 mobilizations were carried out: first, a march organized by the unions and other popular sectors was presented in the center of the city with thousands of participants in the morning, small student calls at the Pedagogical and Indigenous University You walk in front of the Avianca building, from morning to afternoon with several dozen attendees. Then, a march was developed with more than a thousand participants from the feminist movement and four concentrations with blockages of roads by youth and neighborhood sectors in the afternoon and at night with several hundred participants on Avenida Primero de Mayo, Portal de la Resistencia-Américas, Portal Suba and Puente de la Dignidad in Usme, which had been mobilizing since the morning,

The union and popular march, which managed to gather about 5,000 people, was called around 9:00 a.m. and started at around 10:30 a.m. on the traditional route from the National Park to the Plaza de Bolívar through Carrera 10 and then the Carrera 7th, where the mobilization ended around 1:00 pm. Union organizations such as the Association of Education Workers (ADE) participated in this activity with delegations from three district schools as well as different batucadas and vehicles with sound, as well as delegates from the Cundinamarca Association of Educators (ADEC) from Tequendama and others. populations of the department. Also, the heads of the Central Unitary of Workers (CUT) and the Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Fecode) participated, as well as the troupe of the National Union of Bank Employees (UNEB),

Organizations such as the Cauca Regional Indigenous Council (CRIC) and the Indigenous Guard joined the final stretch of the route. Small groups of young people, students and human rights organizations joined the event. From the Grupo Libertario Vía Libre, together with our colleagues from the Coordinator of Popular Education Processes (CPEP) En Lucha, we participated in this call.

Already in the afternoon, the feminist mobilization for abortion managed to gather some 1,500 people. It was convened around 3:00 pm and left around 5:00 pm, after a brief sit-in in front of the Palace of Justice. The march continued its journey through Carrera 13 and then along Calle 19 until Plaza de la Hoja where it arrived at around 9:00 pm. Convened by the National Feminist Outbreak, the day brought together a majority of young women, with some high school and university students, women's organizations, feminist batucadas, campaigns for sexual and reproductive rights such as Week 14, Campaign for the legalization of Abortion and Just Cause , as well as trans and non-binary activists. Finally, in the Plaza de la Hoja a cultural event was presented. Once again, activists from Vía Libre and CPEP En Lucha join this mobilization.


The calls in the center of Bogotá, both the union and the feminist, the most numerous of the day of 28, managed despite everything, discrete numbers. Although some new members may have joined after the April-June days of national protest, it seems that neither the most rigid and conventional union organizations nor the most flexible and innovative feminist groups have managed to capitalize on the large proportions of the past social outbreak. The same goes for the various political organizations that intervene in these events, so it is a task to do exercises of self-criticism and self-reflection on our practice and the limitations of the recent movement.

In the second half of the year there is a situation of significant ebb of social mobilizations compared to the peak reached by the historical mobilizations of April-June. However, it seems that this will continue to be a mobilized semester, with probable reactivations in October and November. Perhaps we are entering a moment more focused on the organization and qualification of some sectors of the great movement of anger and popular dignity that emerged on April 28.

In the union call, the continuation of the confusing rhetoric that has been present since 2019 was perceived, from cheers to a national strike that was not taking place that day, nor was it anticipated in the territory for months. On the other hand, it is urgent to overcome the problems that we have already warned in the past, such as the excessive weight of the apparatus and those hired by the union organizations, or the prioritization of the presence of union political tendencies over grassroots organizations. At the same time, we must continue to seek to overcome fragmentation by economic sector, include a feminist and gender perspective in organizations, and advance in the unionization of workers in the most precarious trades and in the private sector.

For its part, the feminist call was valuable in that it managed to overcome the small scattered acts of last year and gather a unitary mobilization around the concrete demand for the legalization of abortion. The student and youth presence was very relevant, although we think the union participation of the committees and women's groups from the different units and academic institutions should be strengthened. As we have mentioned on other occasions, we think that work should be done to strengthen the presence of social and trade union organizations under the leadership of women and sexual dissidents, as well as common working women.

Up those who fight!

Libertarian Group Via Libre

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