We are able to make a highly positive balance of the powerful mobilisations that took place in all the principal cities of the country as part of the 22 March National Stoppage called by the National United Command.
The proposed privatisation of EMCALI, by setting up a shareholding company, is in agreement with the IMF demands. These policies are being debated in the Colombian Congress.
Our protests were attended not only by state sector workers but also by other social sectors such as the community mothers, Citizens Rights Organisations, and for the defence of public services.
The day became on of the biggest demonstrations of discontent in recent years in Cali, and the other cities in the Department. It is estimated more than 50,000 demonstrators took part. But one of the greatest achievements is to have put in place grass roots organisation to continue the work, and to guarantee a wider base of opposition to stop the Neoliberal offensive. This onslaught is crushing the apparatus of social reproduction, privatising state corporations, generating an increase in prices of public services, pressurising for administrative reforms and a fiscal adjustment that would produce unemployment and greater concentration of riches in favour of big national and international finance capital.
From now we are calling for the second big demonstration of the year, the First of May, united, combative, which should count on a greater participation of popular sectors, the peasants, the unemployed and students as well as the Trade Union movement.
ALEXANDER LOPEZ MAYA , SINTRAEMCALI