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(en) Colombia, Via Libre: International Day of Working Women - Balance of the mobilizations of March 8, 2024 (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 2 Apr 2024 08:15:04 +0300

Last Friday, March 8, 2024, thousands of people participated in the multiple street mobilizations called for the commemoration of the International Day of Working Women. This meeting had a wide reception and people from different parts of the country came together, the places with the greatest participation being cities like Bogotá, Medellín and Cali. Once again and as in previous years, women and gender dissidents in the country expressed their rejection of patriarchal domination in its multiple expressions and to demand and demand decent working conditions as a highly precarious population. This year's purple movement was also an opportunity for hundreds of people to extend their solidarity with the Palestinian people, who are currently victims of genocide. The reason for their support is clear: to defend the lives of women and the oppressed wherever they are.

In Medellín, the main march took place at 2 in the afternoon in the Parque de las Luces, La Alpujarra sector in the center of the city, and was attended by around 5,000 people according to the mayor's office. On the other hand, in Cali the 8M march left the Plazoleta Jairo Varela at 2 in the afternoon towards the Parque de las Banderas, in the west of the city. Hundreds of people participated in this event, as did the demonstrations in cities such as Barranquilla and Bucaramanga.

In Bogotá, the date was commemorated in at least 3 different events, 2 mobilizations on March 8 in the evening and a march on March 9 in the south of the city. The event with the greatest participation was the march organized by the Somos Un Rostro Colectivo platform, which started at 5 in the afternoon towards the Plaza de Bolívar after carrying out a series of pedagogical activities at the Ministry of Labor located in the center-east of the city. After leaving on Carrera 7 and Calle 32, the mobilization continued its route through Carrera 13 and Carrera 10, up Calle 19 and advanced along Carrera 6 to the final meeting point. Dozens of officers from the "anti-riot" policy formerly called ESMAD (now UNDMO - Dialogue and Maintenance of Order Unit) would be waiting for her there, located on 11th Street at the northeast entrance of the square.

The call in question initially had the participation of at least 6,000 people, mostly women, adolescents and girls, who were later joined by around 3,000 more people. For around two hours, the protagonists of the commemoration marched with slogans, harangues, batucadas, music, posters and parades alluding to the sexist violence they suffer and the importance of the gathering for the defense of life. From the Vía Libre Libertarian Group we participate in this call, highlighting the importance of resistance to the reactionary and counter-reform measures proposed or enacted by the right and extreme right both in Colombia and in other parts of the region.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the day of mobilization was peaceful and its development was calm and free of conflict, around 7:08 p.m. the ESMAD (now UNDMO) attacked the marchers and human rights defenders at the entrance to the square, pushing several women, detonating 3 stun guns and launching pepper spray. These actions of repression of social and popular mobilization are unacceptable and proof of the ease with which the State brutalizes protesters as an expression, precisely, of the sexist violence that summons women this and other days. As we have experienced in previous years, previously under the administration of Claudia López and now that of Carlos Galán, the police attacked a peaceful protest in an unprovoked and "excessive" manner, a protest that, it should be noted, also had the presence of girls. and older adults especially vulnerable to these types of physical aggression.

Finally, and as if that were not enough, the organizers of the event reported having been harassed by the police on their way to the bus station to take transportation and travel to their homes. This harassment was followed by stigmatizing comments issued directly by the district administration, which in addition to lying about the development of events - recorded on video - held the women responsible for the "excessive" use of force against them for having participated together with their children. and daughters. From Vía Libre we reject the restriction on the freedom of protest or its conditioning, we defend the need for the streets to be safe spaces for everyone, and we join the call to defend the spaces conquered by popular movements throughout the years. years.

Likewise, we strongly condemn the actions of the police force, both in directly attacking the march and in persecuting its organizers, as we repudiate the use of fear and persecution to repress social protest. The protection of the life and integrity of women and gender dissidents should not be conditioned by the protection of private property or "public goods," nor should we allow the mayor's office to restrict the participation of girls and older people to feel with the right to attack the march.

Finally, we highlight the significant attendance of women, gender dissidents and other people at the events held in the country, recognizing a notable increase in participation relative to previous years. In fact, its size is unprecedented; The march in Bogotá is perhaps one of the mobilizations with the greatest unitary confluence that we have seen in recent decades. The massive mobilizations that we witnessed on March 8 and 9 are the product of hundreds of people raising awareness of the anti-patriarchal struggles promoted by women throughout history. However, the specific orientation of the movement remains diffuse, so that the place of questioning the division of labor, and the struggles for the recognition of feminized work and/or the dignity of precarious workers, is not clear.

Today like yesterday, those who fight up!

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