Buenaventura, Colombia Strikes Against Racial Capitalism

In 2017, Junior Jein, a rapper from Buenaventura [Colombia], released a song that became the anthem of a protest. But he did not appear in the music video. Instead, karaoke-style lyrics play alongside a CGI television set that shows clips of police motorcades patrolling the city, cops raiding neighborhoods, and children choking on tear gas. In the background, a steady fire burns through a chain link fence bordered by the yellow and green flags of Buenaventura.

The chorus repeats: “ESMAD, fucking ESMAD. Esa es la respuesta que el gobierno nos da.” ESMAD, that’s the response that the government gives us.

Junior Jein’s song, aptly named “Fucking ESMAD,” goes on to describe the conditions of state violence in the city: “If we ask for water, they send us ESMAD.

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76 Pro-Democracy Protesters Killed Since The Coup In Sudan

Three months after the military coup in Sudan on October 25, the military junta has failed to consolidate power in the face of country-wide mass protests recurring every few days. Deploying the army, police, and a notorious militia to meet the protests with force, the junta has killed at least 76 protesters since the coup.

Three of them were killed in the crackdown on Monday, January 24, when mass demonstrations and rallies – calling for an overthrow of the junta and prosecution of the generals who seized power in the coup – were witnessed in at least 23 cities.

22-year-old Thabit Moawya Bashir, who was shot in the head, and 23-year-old Mohamed Amer Elaish, who was hit in the chest with live ammunition, died in capital Khartoum. Later at night, Elaish’s funeral procession also came under fire.

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More Than Ever, Food Not Bombs Needs To Become A Reality

Food Not Bombs was founded in 1980 to provide direct aid to people while educating about the perversion of spending so much on the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) while tens of millions of people do not have the basic necessities. It has turned into a global movement to build food sovereignty and organize systems outside the establishment. Clearing the FOG speaks with Keith McHenry, the co-founder of Food Not Bombs, about the criminalization of homelessness, their recent legal victory in Florida and why we must be concerned about increasing homelessness in the United States and the overall direction the country is going. McHenry speaks about his family ties to the founding of the military and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the violence he and others have experienced because of their activism.

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New Anti-Protest Laws Cast A Long Shadow On First Amendment Rights

Tiffany Crutcher was worried.

Oklahoma lawmakers had passed a new measure stiffening penalties for protesters who block roadways and granting immunity to drivers who unintentionally hit them. The state NAACP, saying the law was passed in response to racial justice demonstrations and could chill the exercising of First Amendment rights, filed a federal lawsuit challenging portions of it. But the new law was only weeks from taking effect.

Crutcher, an advocate for police reform and racial justice, was moderating a virtual town hall about it, featuring panelists who brought the lawsuit. At the end, she asked a question that went directly to the stakes.

Under the new law, “is it safe for the citizens of Oklahoma to go and do a protest?”

The three men on the panel were silent.

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Black Alliance For Peace Condemns Trial Of Black Activist Dedan Waciuri

North Carolina – After a number of delays and questionable prosecutorial behavior in their attempts to force a plea-deal because of the weakness of their case, Dedan Waciuri, a resident of Greenville, North Carolina is scheduled to be tried December 7th in the city of Greenville on two charges: “damage to government property” and “inciting a riot.” These charges stem from a protest organized in Greenville on May 31, 2020, in relation to the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and police violence directed at members of the Black community in general.

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP), a national anti-war and human rights organization believes that the charges against Dedan, a member of BAP’s Coordinating Committee, are a blatant attempt to send a message to the Black communities in Eastern North Carolina that resistance to oppression and the fight for human rights will result in confronting the full weight of the power of the state.

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‘Terror’ Designation Should Not Deter US-Based Activism

It was a move quite aptly characterized as “authoritarian and repressive” by Palestinian poet and writer Mohammed El-Kurd in The Nation. On 19 October, the Israeli settler-colonial state designated six Palestinian human rights groups as “terror organizations.” At the time, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz claimed that Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees are tied to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP.)

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Ecuador’s Government Announces State Emergency To Impose Austerity

On October 18, 2021, Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency for 60 days. This declaration led to the constitutional rights of Ecuadorian nationals being suspended and heavily armed troops flooding the streets in Ecuador. The immediate reason for the declaration was the murder of an 11-year-old boy named Sebastián Obando, who was killed in a crossfire between “an armed robber and a police officer” on October 17 at a cafeteria and ice cream parlor in the Centenario neighborhood in Guayaquil.

The boy, who was shot three times, was shot in the heart, right arm and his back, said his father Tomás Obando. Lasso’s declaration of emergency built on the public outcry relating to this murder.

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288 Organizations Demand Biden Administration Condemn Israel’s Crackdown On Human Rights Groups

Washington, D.C.  ‒ A broad coalition of more than 288 U.S.-based social justice, civil rights, and human rights organizations is calling on the Biden administration to condemn the Israeli government’s decision last week to designate six Palestinian human rights groups as “terrorist organizations.” In a letter issued today, the organizations say the Biden administration has no choice but to condemn and push back against this move if it is to fulfill its avowed commitment to human rights.

“These actions by the Israeli government are a clear attack on human rights,” the letter reads. “As such, we expect nothing less than issuing a swift rejection of this unprecedented attack on Palestinian human rights organizations and the attempt by the Israeli government to shut down, delegitimize, isolate, and chill a growing human rights movement.”

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Solidarity With Longtime Anti-War Activist Joe Lombardo!

On the heels of its defeat in Afghanistan, the United States government has made it clear it is now once again setting its sights on anti-war activists in the United States. Their latest target is Joe Lombardo, a leader of the country’s largest anti-imperialist coalition. Joe Lombardo is 73 years old and has been an organizer in the anti-war movement for decades. He is a cofounder and lead organizer for Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, a local anti-war group based near Albany, New York.

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Repression Of National Protests In Colombia Is Backed By The United States

Colombians have been on a national strike since April 28 with protests in 500 cities and blockades that have shut down the major highway. The protests were sparked by a proposed bill that would place the burden of financing the country’s debt on the people while cutting taxes for the wealthy, but economic conditions for most people have been in decline for a long time. The government has responded to the protests with violent repression by its militarized police that are funded and trained by the United States. Clearing the FOG speaks with Charo Mina-Rojas, a human rights defender in Colombia who was a leader in the 2016 peace agreement, about the protests, the conditions and the political environment in Colombia.

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How Biden Funded Colombia’s Deadly Police Regime

In the last week, Colombia has exploded in nationwide protests and work stoppages against the government of President Ivan Duque. With over 19 people killed by state forces in the last week, and with image after image of brutal police repression going viral across the world, the protests have sparked international outrage and concerns about human rights abuses. Joining this chorus of voices is a growing number of organizations and politicians urging Joe Biden’s government to take direct action to curb police violence in Colombia and stop its continued funding of the country’s brutal riot cops, commonly referred to as ESMAD. For its part, the U.S. Department of State issued a mealy-mouthed statement condemning the violence and upholding the people’s “unquestionable right to protest peacefully” while also supporting “the Colombian government’s efforts to address the current situation through political dialogue.” 

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Colombian Security Forces Are Massacring People On The Streets

In Colombia the right-wing government of Iván Duque is killing people taking part in an ongoing national strike protesting the government’s economic policies and widespread human rights abuses.

Since the strike began at the end of April, Colombian human rights groups have estimated that 26 protestors have been killed by the government’s infamous security forces.  

In addition to the killings, there has been a major militarisation of cities, with reports of disappearances, sexual assaults on women protestors, and other abuses committed by the security forces. Local human rights organisations have registered 1,181 cases of police violence so far.

Many Colombians are pleading for an end to this horrifying state violence.

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Colombia’s National Strike: An On-the-Ground Report

Colombia’s national strike — or paro (stoppage) as it is called locally —  began on April 28 with enormous protests and on May 5 entered its eighth day, with another round of mass protests around the country. Truck drivers and rural communities have joined in, paralyzing entire swathes of the country.

What provoked these protests was yet another tax reform from the extreme right-wing government of Iván Duque, the third of his government. As the Colombian economist Libardo Sarmiento Anzola wrote in Le Monde Diplomatique:

The three tax reforms of the Duque administration (2018–2022) have one common denominator: benefits for the large companies and a greater tax burden for 80 percent of the population, which is poor and vulnerable, through a mechanism that squeezes from both sides: on one hand, higher taxes on their personal income, and on the other hand taxes on their consumption of basic foodstuff.1

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Colombian Campesino Leader: This Is An Authoritarian Regime

First of all, we, as a campesino association, the National Agrarian Coordinating Committee, have been involved in the mobilizations from the very beginning and from there we have helped to maintain the mobilizations which have taken place over the course of the last several days.

There have already been some partial achievements. I say partial achievements because they are simply moves by the establishment to try to demobilize the protests. I am referring to what is already happening with the withdrawal of the tax reform as a bill, but also the resignation of the Minister of Finance and his Vice Minister. But that’s also to say that everything happening now is the rise of the struggle in Colombia, despite the difficulties and restrictions of the third peak of the pandemic that we are also facing in the country.

Now, the human rights situation itself is unfortunately a reality that we have known for a long time.

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Colombia: Violent Repression Of Anti-Government Protests

Residents of Bogota and Medellin continued to report brutal police repression of anti-government protests while Colombia’s third largest city Cali retook the streets on Saturday.

The massive turnout followed days of terror that left 10 people dead since Wednesday, the first day of a national strike against a tax reform proposed by the government of President Ivan Duque.

The terrorizing of the local population diminished drastically after local human rights organizations accused Defense Minister Diego Molano of playing a key role in the alleged state terror campaign on Friday.

Indigenous authorities from the nearby Cauca department sent indigenous to the city to provide protection against the Cali Police Department, the local mafia, and the security forces sent from Bogota.

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