Today (May 5) on Feminism and Religion, we have a post by new contributor Laura Casasbuenas. She is our third new contributor from Colombia, the land from where Laura Montoya, our current FAR intern, also hails. But news in Colombia are not good today; I take a minute then to ask you to consider taking an action of transnational solidarity.
Friends presently living in Colombia are sending first-hand reports of the violence imposed by the president and his military. The situation has escalated over the last three days. Protests originally began in objection to the proposed Tax Reform that would disproportionately impact poor and working poor families in Colombia. But the protests have continued due to the growing violence with which the demonstrators – most of them teens and early twenty-year-old’s – are treated.
“In Colombia, 19 Are Killed in Pandemic-Related Protests: The demonstrations over a proposed tax overhaul tied to the pandemic have morphed into a national outcry over rising poverty, unemployment and inequality.”
The Colombian government’s violent response to its citizens has reached levels that the UN has condemned: “UN condemns violent repression of Colombia protests after at least 18 die: Riot police rampage across streets, shoot protesters and charge at crowds with motorcycles in week of unrest across the country.”
Virgin Mobile internet and cell service was down earlier today as people were trying to capture on video the military attacks on the protesters. The government has also ordered a stop to all food deliveries to Bogota, Medellin, and Cali (where the attacks on the protesters are primarily taking place) – reported to me directly from a friend in Bogotá, who is witnessing the violence from her apartment window.
Call to action and solidarity
Our country knows these atrocities all too well. All nations need to do differently and to do better. So I ask you to consider taking an action of support. Call your representatives [find yours here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials] and ask them to push President Biden to call President Iván Duque and urge him to listen to his people, not kill or brutalize them, and to call off the military response to the protests.
Xochitl Alvizo, loves all things feminist, womanist, and mujerista. She often finds herself on the boundary of different social and cultural contexts, and works hard to develop her voice and to hear and encourage the voice of others. Her work is inspired by the conviction that all people are inextricably connected and what we do, down to the smallest thing, matters; it makes a difference for good or for ill. She teaches in the area of Women and Religion, and the Philosophy of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality, at California State University, Northridge. Her volume, co-edited with Gina Messina-Dysert, Women Religion Revolution, is available through FSR Books.