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(en) Britain, Anarchist Solidarity Federation - Demo against repression of Colombian unionists

Date Wed, 18 Jul 2007 19:35:25 +0300

1) For the life and dignity of Colombian workers 2) Demo against repression of Colombian unionists by Solidarity Federation - International Workers’ Association (SolFed-IWA) ---- Colombia: poverty, terror and profit ---- 67% living below poverty line ---- 4,000 trades unionists killed ---- Multinationals profit ---- UK gives military aid ----- According to the United Nations, 60% of Colombia’s population lived below the poverty line in 1995. This had risen to 67% by 2001. During the same period inequality increased leaving the richest 10% of the population earning 60 times more than the poorest 10%. ---- Since 1988 4,000 trades union leaders have been killed by right-wing paramilitaries, creating a climate of terror which suits the interests of the state and multinational corporations but for which these can deny responsibility.

Human Rights Watch cites “abundant, credible evidence of continued collaboration with and support for paramilitary groups responsible for most human rights violations” by Colombian state security and armed forces. Under Plan Colombia, the United States has given Colombia $1.3bn in military aid, allegedly to fight the War on Drugs.

UK involvement

The UK government has also given military aid to Colombia since 2003, including training for the Colombian armed forces. It refuses to disclose details of this training making its claims that this is in no way linked to human rights abuses difficult to verify. Nevertheless, in 2004 it claimed that “there has been progress in improving the human rights situation”.

Just weeks after this declaration three trades unionists were killed by the Colombian army. The UK government has also refused to support an International Labour Organisation Commission of Inquiry into the murder of trades unionists in Colombia.

It is no coincidence that British multinationals such as BP and Anglo American make huge profits in Colombia. There are estimated to be between 30,000 and 50,000 Colombians living in the UK. Most are fleeing poverty and violence, although the government often refuses to recognise that people fleeing paramili-tary violence are genuine refugees.

Further information from: solfed.org.uk/colombia

p&p North & East London Solidarity Federation-International Workers’ Association, NELSF PO Box 1681 LONDON N8 7LE Email: nelsfsolfed@fsmail.net
Demo against repression of Colombian unionists

Colombian embassy - 1pm Friday 20th July
3 Hans Crescent SW1 London.
(Tube: Knightsbridge/ Between Sloane Street and Brompton Road. It's about a mile from Parliament.) <<map>>

On the Friday 20th July (on the Colombian ‘national independence' day) at 1pm the Solidarity Federation will be holding a protest outside the Colombian embassy (3 Hans Crescent SW1. Tube: Knightsbridge. Between Sloane Street and Brompton Road. It's about a mile from Parliament.) as part of a international day of action to highlight the ongoing war waged by the Colombian state on trade unionists.

We call on everyone who believes in the right of unionists to organise without the fear of death to join us on the picket and show solidarity with our fellow workers.

Colombia is amongst one of the world’s most repressive regimes, the US backed government of Alvaro Uribe Velez continues to allow transnationals, such as Coca Cola and Chiquita Brands International and Colombian business interests a free hand to destroy any opposition. Indigenous tribes' people, the Afro-Colombian communities as well as human rights activists have all been targeted. For trade unionists death threats, intimidation, harassment, beating and assassination are a regular feature of daily life.

The international Centre for Trade Union Rights says at least 72 members of trade unions were murdered in 2006 (ICTUR)

In an explosive new report submitted to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the ITUC has presented direct evidence of collusion between Colombia’s notorious DAS Security Agency and paramilitary death squads in the murder of at least seven trade unionists since the early 1990’s. The DAS (or “Administrative Security Department”) is under the direct authority of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez.

Links in the web site: http://www.solfed.org.uk/colombia/index.htm

* Demo against repression of Colombian unionists (Colombian embassy, London - 1pm Friday 20th July)
* Colombia: no halt in murder of trade unionists and violation of trade union rights
* Colombia: Damning New Evidence of Security Service Collaboration with Death Squads to Kill Unionists
* Resisting Corporate Power in Colombia
* Del Monte: A can of worms
* Colombia Solidarity Campaign
* Worldwide report details brutal suppression of workers' rights
* World Bank says: work 24/7 with no rights
* Colombia: increase in threats after president Uribe's declarations
* Anarchist killed by the police in Bogotá, Colombia

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