Colombia: Toward the National Popular Assembly of June 6, 7 and 8

For a new unitary and democratic leadership,

a plan of struggle and a program

to defeat the genocidal and paramilitary government

We are heading into the fifth week of the Colombian people’s struggle and resistance against the policies and Uribeist genocidal government of Iván Duque. What began on November 21, 2019 against the set of bills known as the “paquetazo,” continued on April 28, 2021 against the tax reform. The permanent mobilization has managed to contain the advance of the government’s counter-reforms expressed in health and tax reforms, and in the proposals to privatize important companies such as Ecopetrol and ISA.

The mass movement is in the middle of a tremendous experience of struggle with this uprising, although it still needs to advance in organization and the radicalization of its consciousness. The government´s level of popularity has plummeted, showing that it is weak and that it has sustained itself thanks to the support of the bourgeois parties and imperialism, and the role played by the opposition parties Coalition of Hope and Historical Pact, sectors that operate within the National Strike Committee (CNP) whose objective is to prevent the government from being ousted by in a revolutionary was, in order to capitalize on all the energy of the struggle in the 2022 elections. However, the movement has firmly questioned the role of the CNP due to its bureaucratic methods, since its trade union and social movement leaders, mostly part of the MOIR (today Dignity), which in turn is part of the Coalition of Hope, negotiate with the genocidal government behind closed doors, turning their backs on the popular assemblies. Throughout the country, disagreement with and rejection of the CNP is expressed, showing the need for a genuine leadership to be built from the grassroots to truly help organize and radicalize the struggle.

In this context, the National People’s Assembly is convened for June 6, 7 and 8 in Bogotá, where it will be essential to specify the perspective of struggle that is needed to achieve the defeat once and for all of the Uribeist and genocidal Duque government.

Various political sectors and social organizations are calling this assembly, including organizations that are part of the CNP, but have small correlation of forces within it, such as the Multilateral of forces that are part of the Historical Pact, and seek to capitalize through this process as much as possible to improve their position. From the revolutionary and more consistent sectors, we see that the National People’s Assembly can help define the perspective and the organization of this uprising that is shaking the world. However, we believe that it is necessary to fight to build a new National Popular Coordination, a new unitary and democratic leadership for all those who are in the struggle and seek to strengthen a legitimate leadership without imposing on or usurping embryonic processes in the various communities and respecting the initiatives of all those who are part of the struggle, genuinely collecting the interests of the mass movement that remains in the streets and that, through permanent mobilization, advance with the program of demands to solve the economic and health crisis in favor of the working class and popular sectors. It is necessary to coordinate the struggles and promote popular assemblies throughout the country to achieve and make materialize the “Duque and Uribe Out!” demand.

You may be interested in: Colombia: promote the popular assemblies and strengthen the struggle in the streets until the defeat of the Uribist government of Duque

Brutal repression through the armed forces and paramilitaries is the only tool the government has left and, although the movement has partially slowed the progress of the reforms of the package, it is essential to make clear that to defeat these regressive measures it is necessary defeat the government in the streets and not at the polls, because waiting for the elections means demobilizing, empting the streets and giving the genocidal government almost one more year. Ultimately, it means giving the government the air it needs to guarantee impunity for the atrocious violations of human rights that the state terrorism of the Uribista regime exercises today.

Consequently, the National People’s Assembly must make an open call to the CNP and the leaderships of the trade union centrals and all the unions in the country, to popular, peasant and indigenous organizations, to youth organizations, to groups of the First Line, to the neighborhood organizations to convene a unitary Great National Meeting of workers, trade unions, popular, peasant, indigenous, Afro organizations, delegates of the Popular Base Assemblies, youth organizations, and all the exploited and oppressed, made up of delegates democratically elected in assemblies that should be called as soon as possible. At that meeting, the slogans and demands to unify the entire movement and a plan of struggle and actions to achieve them should be decided. This meeting, thus formed, with delegates who can be recalled at any time by their own assemblies, would be the maximum leadership of the movement and any negotiation carried out by a body authorized for this purpose should be public, broadcast live throughout the country and ad-referendum of the same Meeting; without distorting other processes that have not yet joined, or that decide to undertake different paths of confluence and strengthening.

As revolutionaries, we propose to defend a program that truly carries out measures for the capitalists to pay for the crisis and for structural solutions to the fundamental problems of the working class and popular sectors; among them we point out:

  1. Duque – Uribe and his entire government, Out. Let’s promote popular assemblies!
  2. For a general strike that puts the working class in the lead of this struggle. Appeal to the rank and file of the state sector to demand that their leaders urgently call for a real strike in their sector.
  3. Dismissal, trial and punishment for the entire military and police leadership, that gave the orders to shoot, torture, rape and disappear people.
  4. Immediate removal of mayors, governors, judges and prosecutors who are complicit in the violation of human rights and the systematic murders by the armed forces and paramilitaries within the framework of social protest.
  5. Disassemble the ESMAD now! Prohibition of developing another similar repressive body.
  6. Remove the Police from the hands of the Ministry of Defense and the military leadership and that it respond to a civilian force.
  7. End to the military criminal courts, the Armed Forces cannot continue to judge themselves for their crimes.
  8. Remove the exemptions for large capitals and replace them with a progressive and permanent tax on large fortunes, directing these resources to health, education and jobs.
  9. Break with the IMF, the World Bank and the OECD. No to paying the debt. Money for wages, jobs, health, education and housing, not for the IMF.
  10. General salary increase according to the cost of living.
  11. Elimination of VAT from the family basket. Abolition of the wage tax.
  12. Prohibition of dismissals and suspensions. No more precarious work. Down with the labor reform.
  13. For a public pension system, no to pension reform and abolition of the AFPs.
  14. Guarantee of decent work for all unemployed, hired by the State or forcing employers to hire new workers and distribute the existing work among all, with a reduction in working hours without a decrease in salary.
  15. Minimum wage for the unemployed until they are offered a formal job.
  16. Free and public education, at the service of the people: Gradual and progressive reopening of student campuses with biosafety protocols, vaccination and welfare conditions ensured by the Ministry of Health and Education. Clean up the budget deficit of public universities by guaranteeing free and universal higher education.
  17. For a national, single and free public health system: Triple the health budget and unify the health system so that it is public, free and universal. Abolish EPS and law 100.
  18. For the elimination of patents for the public production of vaccines against COVID.
  19. Free and universal vaccination.
  20. Declare laboratories and installed capacity to produce vaccines public property.
  21. For a shock plan to renationalize the nation’s main companies and strategic resources.
  22. Land for peasants and expropriation of landowners, expropriation of banks and large real estate companies and holders to give decent housing to all Colombians.

Long live the social uprising in Colombia!

Long live the permanent mobilization of the Colombian people!Towards the preparation of a great general strike to remove Duque and Uribe!