On the 10th of October massive protests took place in Colombia.
The student's protests were already going for 3 weeks, when they decided for a national mobilisation for the first anniversary of the national student's strike, which last year paralized Colombia's university for 4 months! These protests were aimed at police corruption and brutality and the non-compliance from the government to signed treaties for more resources in public institutions of higher education.
Massive and combatant marches formed in various cities and in particular in Medellín and Bogota.
During the march numerous actions were carried out, especially sabotages against election propaganda. fences were destroyed, pimpons were thrown, pints and posters were made, passacaglia were lowered and finally the actions culminated with a burning of the collected political propaganda, accompanied by a speech in which not only those traditional politicians widely rejected by the masses but also those so-called "opposition" parties were denounced.
During the actions slogans were also shouted:
"the reactionary state shall not be kissed and not be hugged, it has to be confronted, combated and destroyed!",
"Not the state and not the politicians, only the people save the people!",
"The changes come from the organised people and not from the funcionaries inside the state!" and
"Long live the popular struggle, down with the electoral farce!".
There was a broad support from the student masses, who even spontaneously joined in.
The Liga Juvenil Revolucionaria (Revolutionary Youth League) and the Movimiento de Estudiantes al Servicio del Pueblo (Student Movement in the Service for the People) energetically denounced the bureaucratic path of the electoral farce, bourgeois pacifism and other deviations that try to confuse and silence the struggles of the people.
We share an abstract of a flyer given out during the protests:
"In the face of these injustices against the people, the state tries to legitimize itself and for this it also uses elections. The political parties of all colors and adjectives take advantage of these dates and in general the struggles of the people to catapult and win votes, they make promises that they will never keep, they deceive the people each new election, they have their speech "attuned" to what the people want to hear, but their ideas and interests are chained to the great riches and landowners of the country and of imperialism. The legal and illegal financing of their electoral campaigns surpasses billions of pesos, in such a way that once they are elected, they will recover them in contracts with the State, with the big companies they represent, with laws in their favor, among other perks. Within this range of colors are the opportunists, wolves dressed in sheep's clothing, called "Alternatives," "Independents," "Humans," ... they continue to be more of the same, they make the people believe that they will change things, when they really want a position for their personal interests, or those who finance them. They mask themselves as being part of the people, but represent another sector of the ruling classes. It is not the individuals who make history, it is the peoples organized through struggle. (...) We call on the university, school and other young people who participate in these marches and protests, to persist in our struggles, which are just, which we must qualify through daily work of study, discussion, organization, combative struggle, where we link up with different popular sectors: peasants, workers, street vendors, truck drivers, etc... let us understand their interests, let us support their just struggles and let us go on building revolutionary organizations at the service of the people, because only in this way will we be able to advance in the revolution in our country (...) In the destruction of the old State and the construction of a new one: worker, peasant and popular. Long live the popular struggle, down with the electoral farce! Down with the police repression that maintains this rotten state! Down with the media at the service of the State! Long live the just student and popular protests!"
Thousands of students from each of the public universities of the country's capital joined in. There was also massive support from hundreds or thousands of students from private universities.
They went to the protests altough they showed rejection towards two student associations, of which one (Asociación Colombiana de Representantes Estudiantiles) is allied with an opportunist organisation (POLO-MOIR) and the other (Unión Nacional de Estudiantes de Educación Superior) who mobilized most of the students in 2017 and 2018, but whose leadership also betrayed them by signing treaties with the government behind their backs. The protestors were mainly mobilized by their indignation towards the repression by the state and the defense of public education.
The most shouted slogans were against the police and in support of the violence of the people. Rejection of state terrorism and solidarity with students from the Universidad Distrital was shown. These students faced a lot of repression, which ended in dozens of injured students, when they protested against the corruption in their university.
The Universidad Pedagógica (University of Pedagogy) showed not only rejection towards repression by police, but also rejection against the state. In an artistic manifestation they set on fire a three-headed puppet representing the large estate owners, great bourgeois and imperialists. This puppet held another puppet: a policeman.
There were also many sprayings and damage and destruction of glass windows, especially of establishments of the great bourgeoisie and imperialism. These actions were supported by a great number of students.
When the protest arrived at the Plaza de Bolívar, groups of students attacked the police placed in front the Justice Palace. They managed to make them flee, which led to special anti riot police to be called in. The students held their own with slogans, rocks and molotov cocktails. While the riot police managed to clear the area throgh massive use of tear gasand explosives, the students kept fighting on during their retreat. In the streets of the city center the students kept their spirits high shouting slogans and sporadically attacking the police.
These protests have shown that the youth has understood something quite clearly: Rebellion is justified!
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