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  • A man bangs a pan during a protest march combined with concerts as a national strike continues in Bogota, Colombia December 8, 2019.

    A man bangs a pan during a protest march combined with concerts as a national strike continues in Bogota, Colombia December 8, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 December 2019

Meetings between the Committee and Duque’s administration continue without reaching agreements due to discrepancies with the official position.

Colombia’s National Strike Committee announced Monday that they will continue to protest against right-wing President Ivan Duqueas as peacefull demonstrations will keep on until Dec. 10.

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'A Song for Colombia' Gathers Thousands as Protests Continue

“I repeat the strike has organization and direction throughout the country, objectives that represent millions of Colombians and a massive, peaceful and creative line of action,” Central Workers’ Union's President Diogenes Orjuela tweeted Monday. 

According to a statement from the CUT, there will be a sit-in at the location where negotiations for the new minimum wage are taking place, as well as they will be expecting a series of rallies on Dec. 10 as part of the commemoration of the International Day of Human Rights. 

The union leader also announced that they are going gather outside Congress to bang on pots (cacerolazo)  the day the tax reform is going to be voted on, considering that this initiative damages the interests of the people.

Meanwhile, meetings between the Committee and Duque’s administration continue without reaching agreements due to discrepancies with the official position as union workers ask for a negotiating table to specify actions and not just dialogue.

Week of protests. Various cacerolazos (banging of pots and pans) and sit-ins are being organized. A protest is expected outside the international airport in Bogota with signs in English and Spanish explaining to travelers reasons for the strike, such as the demand for economic improvements.
 

On Sunday, thousands of Colombians gathered in the capital Bogota to join artists for the concert 'A Song for Colombia'  in support of the ongoing national strike. Since the beginning of the national strike, on Nov. 21 artists have played an active role in the demonstrations, not only musicians but from all artistic genres. 

Demonstrators are rallying against economic plans - such as a rise in the pension age and a cut to the minimum wage for young people, as well what they say is a lack of government action to stop corruption and the murder of hundreds of human rights activists.

This is why protesters and organizations continue to strike against the policies implemented by Duque and the resurgence of violence in the country. On Nov. 21, as millions of Colombians, took to the streets to hold the biggest protest against Duque since he came to power in Aug. 2018.

Besides being concerned about his government's little commitment to the Peace Agreements, the population rejects a neoliberal policy package which seeks to raise the compulsory retirement age, increase workers' contributions to the pension system, reduce the state's role in social security, lower the young people's minimum wage, among other things.

So far, however, the right-wing president has failed to consolidate a parliamentary majority willing to approve his proposals, which are often justified as if they were tools to "fight corruption."

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