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(en) ait russia: Anarcho-syndicalists take part in student and teacher protests in Colombia [machine translation]

Date Fri, 18 Oct 2019 08:38:12 +0300

Activists from the Libertarian Union of Students and Workers (ULET), a friendly organization of the International Workers Association in Colombia, took part on October 10 in a nationwide protest march for students and teachers. Protesters demanded funding for education, an end to police violence and a halt to privatization. ---- The comrades joined the protesters at the Pedagogical University of Bogota and went on the march, raising red and black flags (https://twitter.com/ULETsindical) ---- A massive demonstration of students and teachers actually paralyzed the country's capital Bogotá. The action was a continuation of a series of student speeches that began with protests at a university against corruption by a university administration. The brutal suppression of the protest by the police caused solidarity actions, during which the ESMAD police special forces intervened and clashes occurred. Now, protest marches for increased spending on education, the dissolution of ESMAD and against corruption have taken place in 17 cities in Colombia.

In Bogota, students at state universities spoke together. At the end of the march, clashes of part of the demonstrators with the police, entrenched at the Palace of Justice in the city center, flared up again. In Medellin, the march went without incident. In Antioquia, clashes broke out near a local university, but a few hours after the end of the march. In Barranquilla, where students demanded the resignation of the rector accused of sexual harassment, a group of protesters smashed the office of the candidate for governor (https://colombiareports.com/students-and-teachers-paralyze-colombias-cities-demanding-more-education-less-police-violence/)


Protests in Ecuador have been going on for more than a week

Friday October 11th was the 9th day of protests against neoliberal reforms in Ecuador. At least 5 people died during the repression, but protesters do not give up. They rejected the country's president's call for negotiations.

On Wednesday, October 9, the country was paralyzed by a general strike. In the capital of Quito alone, more than 100 thousand people joined the strike. The Native American organization CONAIE brought 50,000 demonstrators to the streets of the capital; workers, union members, and students joined the columns (
https://www.jungewelt.de/loginFailed.php?ref=/artikel/364516.proteste-in-ecuador-repression-und-spaltung.html). During marches (generally peaceful), clashes with security forces occurred. In Quito, several men were injured; helicopters circled around the center of the capital. CONAIE accused the government of establishing a military dictatorship.

"Our flag is red like the blood of the working class," chanted the demonstrators in Quito; the walls are covered with graffiti and slogans against President Lenin Moreno and the IMF. "The government gives gifts to large banks, capitalists and punishes the Ecuadorian poor," said Mesias Tatamuez, spokesman for the United Workers' Front. On Wednesday morning, protesters barricaded roads and streets in many parts of the country with garbage and burning tires. They are trying to disperse water cannons and tear gas. "Moreno - get out!", "Police are killers" - the demonstrators chanted.

To prevent the protesters from marching to Guayaquil, security forces blocked the main bridge to this city. Authorities said 756 people were arrested during the protests and dozens of policemen were injured.

As a result of the seizure by protesters of a number of oil production sites in the Amazon, oil production was reduced by 70%. One of the two main oil pipelines stopped working. The troops recaptured the Sacha field, but the rest remain under the control of the protesters.

Authorities tried to engage in dialogue with protesters through the mediation of the church, the UN, and university rectors. Lenin Moreno on Wednesday briefly arrived in boiling Quito from Guayaquil to observe the situation, and in the evening he drove back. At the same time, the president categorically refuses to resign or cancel a package of neoliberal measures, including the abolition of subsidies on fuel prices. Instead, he offered repayments to those in need, loans to Indian peasants, debt refinancing, irrigation, technical assistance, etc. CONAJE rejected these proposals (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/ecuador-unrest-protesters-raise-heat-defiant-moreno-191009224828996.html).

Discussions with the Indians took place in Guayaquil. But contrary to the president's promises, they soon reached an agreement with the protesters, the representative of the Indians, Salvador Quispe, said: "the demonstrations are ongoing, nothing is finished." And one of the leaders of KONAYE, Jaime Vargas, announced his refusal to negotiate with the government, which is under pressure from the IMF (https://www.france24.com/en/20191010-ecuador-s-moreno-seeks-talks-after-week-of-fuel-hike-protests)

The Red Cross ceased operations in Ecuador for security reasons.

As a result of the strike, public life was paralyzed in Quito, Guayaquil and other places. No transport was visible on the streets, shops remained closed, schools did not work. Young people clashed with the police in places (https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2019-10/ecuador-proteste-erdoelpipeline-kraftstoffpreise-rotes-kreuz).

The powerful demonstration in Quito on Wednesday began at the House of Culture. Along the avenue on August 10, she moved to the city center, where the presidential palace of Karondela is located. Demonstrators installed tree branches on paths in front of the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Insurance, where the most violent clashes occurred last week. Jaime Arsinyegas, a member of the Ecuadorian Labor Parliament, told reporters that many more workers would join the demonstration in the evening, demanding the abolition of the subsidy decree (http://www.rtve.es/noticias/20191009/indigenas-mantienen-pulso-ecuador-huelga-general-contra-moreno-pese-disuasion-policial/1981155.shtml).

In the area of the palace, the march came across police trenches and barriers. Groups of protesters tried to break into the empty Karondelet Palace, which is surrounded by police barricades in the narrow neighboring streets. In one of the incidents, protesters climbed onto the roof of a police car that stopped in one of the side streets. They knocked on armored roofs and fortified windows with batons and stones, while those inside ran away through clouds of smoke and tear gas (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/ecuador-thousands-march-anti-government-protests-intensify-n1064561)

Young men in hoods pelted police with stones and burning tires; guards of the capitalist order let gas in protesters around the empty parliament building. Demonstrators also attempted to storm police barricades around the deserted presidential palace - but to no avail.

The leaders of the strike say that it will not stop until the government repeals the decree on the abolition of subsidies.

Not far from the parliament building, in El Arbolito Park, thousands of Indians camped right on the grass; many of them are armed with sticks. Representatives of various Native American groups speak to the audience through loudspeakers. Demonstrations begin at the Ecuadorian Culture House located there.

Jaime Vargas has proclaimed that no dialogue is possible until the decree on the abolition of subsidies is repealed. "If he is taken back, then people will decide whether we want to talk or not. But we are angry because we have wounded, there are arrested and dead, and it just won't pass."

Amnesty International has called on the Ecuadorian government to end its heavy crackdown on demonstrators, including mass arrests (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/09/ecuador-strike-lenin-moreno-latest).

In Guayaquil, from early morning on Wednesday, temporary closures of the bridge connecting the city with Duran were registered - one of the main communication routes of the city, which is considered the economic center of the country. And in several areas of the city of Cuenca, another major city of Ecuador, protesters also blocked roads in protest (http://www.rtve.es/noticias/20191009/indigenas-mantienen-pulso-ecuador-huelga-general-contra-moreno-pese-disuasion-policial/1981155.shtml).

Security forces patrolling Quito. In the vicinity of the House of Culture, where protesters gathered, 8 policemen were captured. On October 10, protesters demonstrated them at the House of Culture. Jaime Vargas encouraged them to join the protests (https://federalnewsnetwork.com/world-news/2019/10/8-police-held-captive-by-indigenous-protesters-in-ecuador/).

At the same time, the Indians declare that they will not be held responsible for the life and safety of prisoners if the security forces of the authorities attack from headquarters in El Arboledo Park. "Our leaders are not going to release the police, because we demand respect. If they attack us, we will use Indian justice," said Indian Fabian Masabanda from Imbabura province. "We are not responsible for the life of the police," if the House of Culture is attacked.

CONAIE announced a tribute to those killed in the crackdown. According to the Ombudsman, among them is Inosensio Tukumbi, the leader of Konaye Kotopahi. "We urge the government to end the violence and guarantee the exercise of the right to peaceful social protest," CONAIE declared, expressing solidarity with the victims. The Indian leader died, having suffered a head injury when the police dispersed a protest rally. At the end of last week, one man was shot to death by a car hiding from protesters in the south of the country. The three who fell from the bridge in Quito, too, apparently died ...

At a rally in the House of Culture on October 10, which brought together several thousand Indians, Jaime Vargas called on the army to stop supporting Lenin Moreno. He called those representatives of the Indians who are negotiating with the government traitors (http://www.rtve.es/noticias/20191010/cinco-personas-han-muerto-ecuador-durante-protestas-contra-moreno-subida-del-combustible/1981237.shtm).

At the moment, the Indians are captive in Quito 8 police officers and 2 agent provocateurs of the security forces. Eight police officers from agents from the motorized task force that circulated around the House of Culture in central Quito were surrounded and captured by the Indians. Soon after, the Indians demanded that the security forces move away from the House of Culture, located in El Arbolito Park, where clashes were recorded in recent days.

CONAIE continues to demand the cancellation of the reform package and the resignation of the Ministers of the Interior and Defense. "The government is killing people today," said Jaime Vargas, who accused the executive of "surrendering to the IMF," rejecting the dialogue: "We will not agree on anything with the government. The only thing required is for him to immediately resign and resigned as president. "

Human rights activists report 5 dead, 554 wounded and 929 arrested since the start of the protests (https://elpotosi.net/mundo/20191011_ecuador-persiste-la-crisis-y-ya-suman-cinco-muertos.html)

Ecuador: Confrontation Continues

The confrontation between the working people of Ecuador and the neoliberal regime continues. On October 10, a "radicalization" of protest was announced. In the capital of Quito, new columns of Indians enter. Young people engage in street battles with police using improvised rockets. Protesters refuse any negotiations with the authorities until a decree on the abolition of fuel subsidies is taken back.

Hundreds of Indians from Ecuadorian Amazonia October 11 came to Quito and joined the protests, while from the province of Cotopaxi report new cases of police capture. Domingo Tan, a spokesman for the Shuar Indians from the province of Pastas, said his fellow tribesmen had come to "arrange a peaceful march" and claim their rights. "The government must hear, if it does not want to listen, it is time for it to go home," the Indian said after coming to Quito. In his hands is a spear made of pambil wood. But, according to him, he is not going to fight with the forces of order. According to him, thousands of Indians came from Amazonia to join the protesters, who are located on university territory near the House of Culture. Some are housed in churches, while others are en route. Edgar Chunmbi, a representative of the Shuar ashuar from Pastasa said that on the way from the back of their province they reached the city of Puyo, but since the government did not respond to their demands, they moved on to Quito. For him, the spear is a symbol of protecting his rights, and so far he has not had to use it against the forces of order.

In the forum of the House of Culture on the morning of October 11 in front of the Indians, the leaders of the protest declared that they were there "to fight to the end, to the last drop of blood." At this time, civil society activists such as Ramiro Chalko and his girlfriend Sylvia were distributing food for the "Indian Brothers" at the complex of the House of Culture. As Chalko explained, he and his neighbors cooked food in the morning and drove to the House of Culture area in cars to distribute food to demonstrators who "are fighting against this government." "To share means to love, and we must share with our brothers, who are for us and for the same thing," Sylvia explained, standing behind a large pan of several hundred liters, from which she laid food on the demonstrators. "Here are all brothers, we do not pay attention to color, race, we are all Ecuadorian brothers," - says Chalko. He is engaged in this strictly voluntarily, out of solidarity, at his own expense and will continue to do so until the situation is resolved ...

A large number of food products and clothes were delivered to the Culture House in the morning. The situation there is calm. 8 police officers captured the day before by the Indians were released at night. However, on Thursday night, police officers were detained in Puhili (Cotopaxi Province) ...

The strike, meanwhile, continues, in Quito and other cities there are problems with bus services ... (https://www.elnorte.ec/actualidad/indigenas-amazonicos-llegaron-a-quito-para-unirse-a-las-protestas-DB535467)

The provinces of Ecuador remain paralyzed, traffic is blocked. So, they inform about the blockades from the province of Imbabur ( https: //www.elnorte.ec/imbabura/la-provincia-de-imbabura-sigue-bloqueada ... ). On Thursday evening, violent clashes broke out in Atuntaki between protesters and the police, which lasted until midnight ( https: //www.elnorte.ec/imbabura/atuntaqui-busca-recuperar-la-normalidad -... )
Attempts by the Lenin government Moreno to suppress protests only exacerbated the situation. "We have tears in our eyes, but if we learned something from our mothers and fathers, it is that those who died for freedom were honored to replenish their ranks," said KONAYE leader Jaime Vargas. According to him, "in recent history, they do not remember such brutal and violent repressions against people demanding their rights." "This will not stop until the IMF removes itself from Ecuador," he assured in a communiqué read out on October 10. The actions of the security forces are a gross violation of human rights. "People were treated like an enemy. Humanitarian shelter zones were not respected, tear gas bombs were thrown to where our children and old people were. We were not allowed to create humanitarian corridors to deliver the wounded to hospitals.

However, the Indians do not leave Quito, far from it. On the contrary, from the most remote corners of the country more and more columns are drawn to the capital ... Pictures of violent dispersal, attacks by security forces and indiscriminate beatings only increase anger against the government.

During the crowded funeral of the deceased Segundo Inosensio Tucumba Vega, there were not only demands to repeal the subsidy decree. "Down with Moreno, down," chanted a crowd of people gathered on October 10th.

The battle reached the House of Culture, the Salesian University and the University of the Pontiff, places allocated for the recreation and refuge of thousands of Indians who came to the capital. The leadership of both universities strongly condemned the gas attack on its territory on October 9, and even the Minister of the Interior was forced to apologize for this and promise that this would not happen again. Police officers detained by the Indians were released, but only after being forced to carry the coffin of one of the victims ( https: //www.elsaltodiario.com/ecuador/la-represion-de-la-revuelta-radica ... )
While a military helicopter is circling overhead, a volunteer clown with a red rubber nose sings a song to laughing children in front of a public theater. Volunteers inside the building distribute sandwiches and juice to Shuar people who have recently arrived from the Amazon rainforest. Some have painted black faces and hand-carved wooden spears, which sway above the Indian demonstrators located in the House of Culture.

A few blocks from there, young demonstrators stoned the police with stones. On the morning of October 11, street fighters again broke through to the main entrance to the parliament building, but were again thrown back with tear gas. Clashes in the heart of Quito have been going on for 5 days ...

The Native American peoples of Ecuador, captive of poverty and not covered by state social programs, are furious. Over the past week, thousands of Shuars, Saraguro, Quechua and other Indians rushed to Quito from the depths of the Amazon rainforest and the heights of cities and villages of the Ecuadorian Andes. They camped at the House of Culture, the nearby El Arbolito Park and three universities, with the support of thousands of protesters from Quito and the surrounding area.

At least once a day, young people with sticks and stones rush to parliament and try to seize it, as they already did once this week, before they were expelled with tear gas. Protests paralyzed life, at least in the southern regions of the capital, forcing Moreno to temporarily relocate the seat of government to the coastal city of Guayaquil. Protesting Indians also attacked the oil fields in Amazonia and paralyzed oil production, the main source of export, shutting down generators and forcing personnel to leave.

On October 11, President Lenin Moreno reiterated the call for dialogue, but reiterated that he could not restore subsidies. CONAIAH, in response, demanded "direct and public dialogue in order to halt or re-erase" neoliberal economic reforms.

The protest base functions as a mini-city, with playrooms for older children, children's rooms for the smallest, and separate bedrooms for men and women to protect protesting women and their children. Medical students provide medical assistance, and volunteers bring donations - food, drinks, clothes, toilet paper and other necessities. Garbage is divided into various categories for recycling.

On Friday afternoon, October 11th, a festive atmosphere reigned in the park. Families lay down on the grass, sellers offered fried pork and kebabs of chicken and sausages. Inside the House of Culture, exhausted protesters sprawled on blankets or armfuls of branches.

Mariana Yumbai, a 46-year-old law teacher from the Bolivar province, inserted two cotton wool in her nose to soften the effect of tear gas. She admits that the country is experiencing economic difficulties, but the solution is for the rich to pay higher taxes, and not to raise prices, which will hit the poor. Bolivar Indian peasants do not have irrigation networks to supply potato and grain crops and to water cattle. Over 40% of children suffer from malnutrition; many people live on $ 30 a month. When the subsidies were canceled, bus drivers raised fares to the provincial capital from $ 2 to $ 4 ...

Meanwhile, on the floor of the largest theater in the complex, the Quechua Indians burned eucalyptus leaves in memory of the dead demonstrators ...

Lenin Moreno received support from the Organization of American States and the US government. "We recognize the difficult decisions made by the Government of Ecuador to advance manageability and sustainable economic growth. We will continue to work with President Moreno to support democracy, prosperity and security," the US Secretary of State characteristically stated (Associated Press reports - http: // www .startribune.com / way-forward-in-ecuador-looks-murky-after-deadly-violence / 562785782 /)
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