The Colombian community and allies rallied in Melbourne and Sydney on April 28 in solidarity with a national strike in Colombia that day called by trade unions, student groups and social organisations.
The strike was called to protest the Iván Duque government’s proposed rise in taxes on the poorest workers and tax on basic goods that are currently exempt. Other grievances include violent repression and the murder of social movement activists.
Colombians say the regressive measures will cause more unemployment and poverty as small businesses are forced to close.
The country has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 72,000 registered deaths. Unemployment has jumped to 16% and poverty levels have risen to almost 40%.
Protesters in Colombia held banners including “6402 reasons to march”, referring to the 6402 mainly young and poor Colombians who have been murdered by the military.
The protest in Sydney was organised by United for Colombia.