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A Rejuvenated Grassroots Movement in Colombia
venezuela / colombia | community struggles | non-anarchist press Tuesday May 08, 2012 20:05 by Nazih Richani - NACLA
The 100,000 person-strong Patriotic March that took place in Bogotá, Colombia, on April 29 may inaugurate a new phase in Colombian business-as-usual politics by injecting a new organized voice for the popular sectors. Tens of thousands of people descended into Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, to call for an end to the political violence, oppression, and poverty; a negotiated settlement of the armed conflict and social justice.
The event is an important development for several reasons. It came in the wake of last year’s popular demonstrations in the oil city of Barrancabermeja, in the department of Santander. With 1700 popular organizations participating in the Patriotic March, the Patriotic March could usher in the beginning of a left leaning movement with a widespread network covering most Colombian cities. The Patriotic March is helping to lift the voice of the rural population, a sector that has been particularly affected by the continuation of the civil war. If this movement is able to prosper it will help to create a critical popular movement that could propel the chances of a negotiated settlement of the armed conflict. Without such a grassroots movement the insurgency’s calls for a negotiated agreement will remain weak given that the current military balance of power is tilted in favor of the state.