Friday, November 21, 2008

Indigenous and Popular Minga in Bogotá Brings Together Tens of Thousands of People

Some Images from today's MINGA in Bogotá!!!

A pretty clear message to the President-elect of the United States posted by some of the over 20,000 people participating in Friday's historic mobilization in Bogotá, the latest stage of the Indigenous and Popular Minga that was launched on October 12th in La Maria, Piendamó.

Feliciano Valencia, member of the council of chiefs of the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, CRIC, and one of the Minga's most eloquent public spokespersons, reminding the masses of people gathered that the MINGA is really just beginning, and there's a long way to go before "we see truly fundamental change in Colombia." After Friday's unprecedented gathering of different social sectors, and the public agreement made between the Indigenous movement and the trade union movement to form a united front against the current government, it was announced that for the next several months, the MINGA would continue to build on the momentum of the last several weeks. It will culminate with a National Congress of the People, expected to take place on October 12, 2009.

Aida Quilcué, Chief Council of the CRIC, addressing the throngs of people gathered in the Plaza Simón Bolivar on Friday. She openly criticized the government of Alvaro Uribe for using the volcanic eruption of the Nevado de Huila as a political tool to show up the Minga. The volcanic activity which began late Thursday night, affected a vast area in Cauca, Huila and Tolima, including the indigenous region of Tierradentro, where Aida is from. Hundreds of families were forced to evacuate the territory, and there were some reports of up to ten deaths as a result of the eruption.
The marchers left the National University at about 10:30am to start the march to the downtown area, after arriving in Bogotá on Thursday afternoon, ten days after beginning their long march from Cali, in southern Colombia. They camped out in tents throughout the sprawling campus of the largest public university in the country, where they were allowed to stay despite earlier opposition expressed by the University's rector. The marchers were greeted along the way favorably by the thousands of people lining the streets, as they moved from the campus, onto the Avenue of El Dorado, heading east towards 7th Avenue, and then downtown towards the Plaza Bolivar, just outside the National Palace. Even drivers in cars, totally inconvenienced by immense traffic jams caused by the marchers, expressed their support, with many honking their horns and raising their fists in the air. The Minga had arrived in the capital, and most Bogotanos seemed to welcome their presence!

The people were a wonderful sight for the eyes, with delegations from every regional indigenous organization of the country present, as well as representatives from many other social sectors, including the unions, women's organizations, student groups, and just ordinary folks who were jumping into the march to join the Minga in its call for social justice and political transformation.

I'll have much more about the Minga in the next few days, as we continue to absorb and evaluate the events of today's dramatic march and rally!

3 comments:

Itzá said...

impressive.

SussexColombiaSolidarity Network said...

Que VIVA LA MINGA!!

Un gran saludo de solidaridad con ustedes desde el sur de Inglaterra.
Aqui tambien estamos trabajando para una Colombia sin fascismo/sin Uribe/sin paramilitares/sin violencia/sin pobreza/sin TLC.
Mas bien con todo lo mejor de nuestros pueblos Colombianos.
Adelante herman@s - que son una gran inspiracion!Los acompanhamos!

SussexColombiaSolidarity Network

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