COLOMBIA Solidarity Meeting – Thu March 5th

COLOMBIA Solidarity Meeting on Thursday 5th of March in Liberty Hall, room 207 at 19.30

The conflict in Colombia represents one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world that seldom get the attention it deserves in the Irish media. Colombia has been for six decades the battlefield where a fierce social and armed internal conflict has been fought, with the intervention of foreign powers such as the UK, the US and Israel. Although it is known that there are numerous guerrilla factions, it is a less known fact that Colombia has a vibrant civil society struggling on a daily basis for the most basic rights at the expense of their own lives. This is no exageration: Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade unionist, and 9 out of 10 trade unionists killed in the world come from Colombia.

This is the reason why solidarity initiatives with Colombia have been formed in Ireland: recently, the trade union movement has formed the Irish branch of Justice for Colombia, an organisation with a long standing in the UK fighting for the rights of Colombian trade unionists and raising awareness on Colombian labour-related issues. Also, there is a group originally formed by Colombian and Latin American residents, called Grupo Raíces (Grúpa Fréamhcha) which has been consistently supporting the indigenous and the peasant movement in Colombia; currently they are supporting the COMOSOC, a grassroots coalition of different social movements.

On March 5th we will hold a meeting in Liberty Hall, Room 207, at 19:30, to inform of the current situation in Colombia, where the conflict is going to and the responses from the people’s movement to the increasing militarisation of Colombian society. In the context of international women’s day we want to pay tribute in this meeting to the countless women organising and struggling for their rights and who reject to being passive victims, even though as in every conflict women suffer the worst part of it. We want as well to inform of our activities, how to get involved and how to support our campaigns and initiatives. The most important question to be raised is what can we do for our Colombian brothers and sisters from Ireland: the recent round of negotiations of a Free Trade Agreement between Colombia and the EU demands us to take a clear stand of what does it mean for the EU to upgrade its trade relations with a country were human rights violations persist systematically.

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