What is Happening:
We are congregating to show solidarity with Colombian farmers and all workers whose rights are being violated with the FTA agreements in Colombia. Please bring any posters or visual aids that you may have. In addition, if you have a Poncho please wear one. Colombian Farmers are known for wearing Ruanas, which are similar to the Poncho but are usually heavier. This will be a 100 percent, peaceful manifestation.
When and Where: Monday August 2nd
at 12:30 Dundas Square in Toronto .
Colombia is an crisis right now. As of August 19th, Farmers in Colombia have walked off their job alongside many other workers in the mining, health, driving, and teaching sectors to protests trade agreements and political changes, which are threatening their livelihoods. In turn, the Colombian government has tried to downplay the strike while also responding with heavy militarization and aggression. We need to show support for the cause and also demand that as Community members of Toronto we need to show support for the cause and also demand that the human rights of activists are respected.
Colombia is known to be the deadliest country for union activist.According to the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center, and 37 activists were murdered in Colombia in the 1st half of 2013 alone.
About the issue:
Primarily, the FTA agreements with U.S., Canada, and the European Union are to blame. Some of the key issues at the heart of the strike are laws such as resolution 970. This law is forcing all farmers to buy and use costly genetically modified seeds. Police and other officials confiscated seeds and rice from farmers, dumping them in the dump without compensation. Additionally farmers in the potato and coffee industry have seen the price of their crop drop drastically, and the FTAs have left them more vulnerable to volatile market changes. In the mining sector, exclusive rights have been given to international companies, and there are wide number of allegation and claims of corrupt “land grabbing” by the corporations and the government.
As mentioned above president, Juan Manuel Santos, and his administration have responded to the strike with heavy militarization. Many across Colombia have been killed, injured, or imprisoned for participating in the strike. Most are unarmed farmers and human rights activist.
As other look elsewhere in the world were instability has caused on-growing conflict, we want to support the demands in Colombia so that they may be met in a peaceful, timely, and effective manner.
Join the Facebook group here and spread the word!