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Home News Organizing Updates Thousands converge to demand justice for Colombia!
Thousands converge to demand justice for Colombia! PDF Print E-mail
In a historic weekend in Washington, DC in April 2002, over 75,000 people gathered in the name of global justice to speak out against deadly U.S. policies. Voices rang out for justice on many fronts: to call for an end to the alleged “War on Terrorism”; to demand justice for Palestinians; to order an end to corporate globalization; and to demand a change in U.S. foreign policy to Colombia and to close to the US-terrorist training school, the School of the Americas. The different messages of each event came from a common thread: the desire to create a new world where global and domestic policies are rooted in humanity, not power, and people, not profits.

The weekend of April 19th through April 22nd proved that the movement to close the SOA and to demand justice in Latin America is stronger than ever. Despite the often-torrential rainfall, thousands came for the weekend's events that included rallies, lobbying, teach-ins, and skill trainings.

The Colombia Mobilization culminated with the final Colombia solidarity march and nonviolent direct actions. The unpermitted march began at 7:30 pm near the Washington Monument and processed up the mall and into the streets leading to the Capitol. It is estimated that 3,000 protesters marched on the Capitol in a peaceful demonstration calling for a new, non-military US policy toward Colombia. Police on motorcycles and horses blockaded the streets near the Capitol. However, the march continued, flowing around the obstacles. After being illegally detained by police for an hour outside Upper Senate Park (the area secured for a permitted demonstration) protesters entered the park, where a final, joyous rally took place in celebration of the day’s victory. 37 people participating in affinity group actions were arrested outside the park while blocking various entrance intersections around the Capitol.

The event was a testament to the power and the growth of our movement. Thousands came from all over the Hemisphere to stand in solidarity: in solidarity with the people of Colombia who have had death and destruction brought upon them due to careless, inhumane foreign policies of the United States; in solidarity with the millions who have had their lives and way of life destroyed by the graduates of the U.S. terrorist training school, the SOA; and in solidarity with one another, to prove to the rest of the world that the United States is not united behind the dirty war that is being waged by the Bush Administration—not in Colombia, not in Afghanistan, not in Palestine, not in Venezuela. Capitol Hill reverberated with the voice of the people, declaring that a new world is being created and that we will not stop until justice prevails. La lucha sigue.

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