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Mass Protests in Columbia

All over columbia strikes and protests against the fascist Uribe government. Social Organisations like the big coalition for democracy (Gran Coalición Democrática), the theachers union (Federación Colombiana de Educadores), and the biggest union CUT (Central Única de Trabajadores) began on oct 23rd a nationwide strike.
400 000 people took to the streets for better working conditions and against the criminalization of the sozial movements by the Uribe government.

The strike was also a "no" to the free trade agreement between Columbia and the US.

Meantime also Indigenous and farmers march to the local capitals to protest. Military units shot into the crowd - which was also confessed by Uribe.

More Information coming soon...


Lew Church, PSU Progressive Student Union lewchurch@gmail.com

Ch. 10 Public TV in Portland produces for national distribution a program which airs in Portland Fridays at 8:30 pm and proposes to have 'America meet the world.' On a recent October broadcast, the Indian host of the program featured an apologist for the Uribe government in Bogota. There were no critical questions asked, and in fact, the program host praised the Bogota government for Uribe's 'incredible popularity' with 85% approval rating in "the polls." No specific poll, however, was cited, nor was mention made that the only two countries that McCain visited on his S. American junket this year were Bush's two allies in the Drug War (and against popular movements on the Left in both countries), Colombia and Mexico.

The first confusion stems from the host's use (used by almost all mainstream media, among others) of falsely asserting that 'America' is synonymous with the United States. If 'America meets the world,' that would be the American continent talking with neighbors from Africa, Asia and Europe. However, Ch. 10 meant Estados Unidos (or even more specifically, Wall Street) 'meeting' the governments and peoples, in this segment, at least, of Latin America, and of Colombia, specifically.

No mention was made of the ongoing SINALTRAINAL Coke-Odwalla Boycott for human rights and labor rights in Colombia. At PSU, Progressive Student Union has hosted three union speakers from Colombia, in support of the Coke Boycott. Coke and Chiquita (ex-United Fruit) both use paramilitaries to harass and kill union organizers. Colombia is the deadliest country in the world to be a union organizer. PSU-PSU seeks to kick Coke off campus, like we successfully did with our Taco Bell outlet in the cafeteria, in support of CIW's Taco Bell Boycott.

So far, NYU, Rutgers, Bryn Mawr, Swathmore, DePaul and Univ. of Illinois have kicked Coke off campus in support of this boycott. Activist students (former ASPSU president Erin Devaney, me, and another member of PSU-PSU) met with three PSU administrators to demand PSU kick Coke-Odwalla off campus. PSU refused. So far, no west coast college has nuked Coke -- we want PSU to be the first to do so!

In terms of Ch. 10's non-coverage of events, so far, like 400,000 Colombians marching AGAINST the fasicst Uribe government, this seems to be a local, Portland problem with this specific program being created in the KOAP studio -- many national PBS programs (like McNeil-Lehrer, Washington Week and Bill Moyers) seem to be far more progressive, per se, than this Oregon-based and produced program on the 'Third World.'

The Oregonian, of course, has decided to put what global news (propaganda) it does print, on one page, next to the back of the front section of the paper, rather than where it belongs, on the front page.

And General Electric/NBC TV network, of course, aired an interview with Uribe himself (when he got to meet Sarah Palin at the UN) with a former Eugene TV reporter who is now the news anchor for the Today show and sub for Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News.


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