Over 100 people attended an excellent weekend of meetings in London organised by the Colombia Solidarity Campaign last Saturday and Sunday. The highlight of the conference was a rally addressed by visiting trade unionists from Colombia.
Berenice Celeyta was one of the leaders of a successful fight against privatisation in the city of Cali last month. 'The Colombian people are suffering,' said Berenice, 'but we are not victims. We are actors fighting to shape a different future in solidarity with others around the world.'
She was joined on the platform by Hector Vaca of the USO oil workers' union in Colombia, as well as speakers from War on Want, Unison, Socialist Worker and others.
Davy Patton of the FBU firefighters' union also addressed the rally. Workshops throughout the weekend saw excellent discussions on the oil and coal multinationals in Colombia, the impact of Plan Colombia, and much more. Berenice and Hector are now going on a national speaking tour. The campaign agreed to focus on a number of key campaigns in the coming months. One is to ensure that what is happening in Colombia is raised at forthcoming trade union conferences.
Everyone agreed that in the coming days and weeks the priority was to build opposition to the war now being waged by the Colombian government.
Berenice Celeyta and Hector Vaca are speaking in Edinburgh on Thursday, Belfast on Friday, Glasgow on Saturday, Dundee on Sunday and Nottingham on Monday. For more details phone the Colombia Solidarity Campaign on 07950 923 468.