Good Thursday morning, Michael Brooks hosts anthropologist Isabel Peñaranda and sociologist Julián Gómez-Delgado to discuss the ongoing general strike in Columbia and their piece in the Jacobin, "Colombia's New Awakening." As Columbia joins the global wave of social unrest, can the popular uprising resist conservative president Ivan Duque's efforts to co-opt the movement and deliver change to a country beleaguered by inequality and militarization?
On November 21st, hundreds of thousands of people marched on the streets in Bogota, where Colombians gathered banging pans through the night for a week straight, protesting against neoliberal austerity policy measures like tax and pension reform. As the protests grew, all kinds of activists took their projects to the streets, including feminist groups, LGBT rights groups, and even anti-shark fishing groups--making the protests incredibly wide-ranging and varied.
Brooks and Gomez-Delgado examine the current president, Ivan Duque, whose disapproval rating is at 70%. Duque came to power in 2018 after he gained the endorsement of Alvaro Uribe, the country's most popular politician in the 21st century whose extractive policies and close ties military forces made him an enemy of the left.
Peñaranda then explains the history of left political suppression in Colombia and how that has helped form the current political unrest before the current conservative government. Brooks and Gomez-Delgado then explore US foreign policy and intelligence involvement in Colombia's domestic politics, specifically its role in pressuring communist communities in rural parts of Colombia.
Brooks, Peñaranda, and Gomez-Delgado conclude their conversation considering what the next steps are in the protests and why a South American-focused and localized discourse is essential to producing material benefits for working people.
And in the Fun Half: Donald Trump heads to his safe spaces after he's impeached: hot airmen, dead political opponents, and inefficient home appliances; Devin Nunes is cuckolding Lev Parnas, undocumented immigrants can now apply for driver's licenses in NJ/NY, Michael explores what happened in Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi's fall from grace, Congolese miners are suing tech companies like Apple and Telsa for unsafe working conditions in cobalt mines, what we talk about when we talk about Tulsi, Donald Glover's head-scratching Yang fundraiser, Bernie's new ad is takes aim at corporate contributions, general strikers in France dump cow shit before Macron's party event, laughing at Never Trumpers, plus your calls and IMs!
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