Colombia: class-conscious and internationalist 1st of May in Medellin

We publish an unofficial translation of an article of Nueva Democracia.

In a opportunist way and as part of its plan to use the people’s movement, this First of May in Colombia the government of Gustavo Petro called on a march in support of the government and the reforms that it is impulsing in the congress.

In Medellin the march was massive and the bureaucratic leadership of the biggest unions of the country joined the march of the Government, they took their vehicles to the streets with megaphones where they shouted slogans in support of the government’s reforms and also big posters and banners with messages in support of Gustavo Petro.

The demands of the workers of the smaller unions, even thought they have some illusion with Petro and they support his reforms, such as the union of the Metro, who took out posters with workers who died due to work reasons or as the ones from the unions of the Atioquia University, who expressed their disagreement with the utilization of the proletarian day by the government, were silenced by this governmental wave, impulsed by the union bureaucracy and supported by the workers who have illusion in the Government.

Even though Petroist opposition was hegemonic during the march, a sector of the people’s movement that declares itself independent from the government, the state and any electoral party mobilized and took to the streets to demand and to put high the day of the working class.

A part of the independent sector joint in a block whose name was Class-conscious and Internationalist Block. There, different democratic, revolutionary and communist organizations and people participated. This Block had class-conscious politics that demanded the struggle for the rights of the people and rejected the conciliation with the ruling classes. Also they had internationalist politics that claimed the struggle of the peoples of the world, specially the struggle of the Palestinian people. Chants such as “No to house evictions” because some of the people who participated in the cortege were residents of the José Antonio Galán neighborhood who are under threat of evitctions. The banner of the block said: “Whoever governs the rights of the people must be defended”.

The Class-conscious and Internationalist Block opened the march with a commemoration event of some of the great leaders of the proletariat such as K. Marx, F. Engels, Mao Tse Tung, Lenin, Clara Zetkin, María Cano, among others. It was also a solidarity event with the Palestinian people. In the event several organizations made speeches on the importance of First of May and on the support of the Palestinian resistance, they sang the Internationale and together with the Muslim community they sang the song “Leve Palestina”.

During the march several groups put up posters where the struggle of the women and the necessity of the People’s organization were shown. They did graffiti calling on organizing the revolution, struggle against the exploiters and the latifundium and denounced the government of Petro. In one it was written: “Yankees want to make Colombia their stronghold and Petro helps them to make Colombia its loot. Death to imperialism”. They distributed leaflets that explains the importance of the First of May, highlighting the necessity of the revolutionary organization of women, the rights of the workers, among others. They hung up a banner in honor of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army of India. One of this group also hung up Palestinian flags and flags of the International Communist League – ICL.

in the midst of the mobilizations there were clashes between independent sectors (among them people making graffiti) and some demonstrators who were part of the sectors who defended Petro the most. We see this incidents as phenomenons that are a direct consequence of the government, which states ideas of “national agreement” or “complete peace” to lead the masses to conciliate with the ruling classes. The government of Petro and Petroism rejects openly the combative actions of the people’s movement and stops the class independency of our struggles.

Demonstrators even sabotaged cultural events of the class-conscious and internationalist block that called on the independency of the people’s movement in the struggle for its rights while shouting things like “Long live Petro” or “The people supports Petro”. In other occasions, the pro-Petro demonstrators hit and tried to stop the groups that were doing graffiti calling them “infiltrators” or “Uribistas” [Translator’s note: followers of the former president Uribe]. But, the independent sector, even thought being minority, had the force to defend the demonstrators in the combative struggles that showed during the march.

Nueva Democracia also participated in this march spreading around 2,000 issues of the special edition that was taken on the occasion of First of May and the third anniversary of the Great People’s Uprising of 2021. This editorial calls on the people to throw to the trash the illusions that the opportunist government of Petro offers and to take back the people’s struggle as the only way to conquer rights.

The solidarity and support to the resistance of the Palestinian people and the rejection of the Zionist State of Israel was present during all mobilization with posters with the slogans: “Palestine Resists, Palestine will win!”, they also hung up a banner in which was written: “Long live the armed struggle of the Palestinian people, The peoples of the world will overwhelm the already weak imperialism!”, there were several graffiti that showed the Palestinian struggle and tens of flags of Palestine. Other actions to highlight during the mobilization was burning the flags of United States and Israel and a dummy representing the genocidal and fascist Netanyahu together with a speech that denounced the crimes committed by the Zionist State of Israel and highlighted the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people.

This first of May the Class-conscious and Internationalist Block and all the independent sectors gave the march an independent signature, a popular signature, an internationalist and class-conscious signature. The block and other sectors, also independent, fulfilled an important task because they show their critical character in front of the government and they went out with combativeness to rise high the international day of the proletariat.

We share a video of the day:

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