The past few months have highlighted systemic problems facing our world, such as anti-Black racism, healthcare inequalities and conflict. Whether in Canada or Colombia, peaceful resistance to these problems is often met with state-sanctioned violence, including police brutality. In August, during the worst period of the health crisis in Colombia, seven massacres took place in less than two weeks. There was one every two days, mostly targeting Afro-descendant, indigenous and peasant populations.
On September 9th in a video, two police officers were seen repeatedly tasering and beating 46-year-old Javier Ordóñez. He was later taken to hospital, where he died of head injuries. The killing sparked major protests across Colombia, people marched to local police stations and participated in cacerolazos, banging pots and pans and raising chants against police brutality.
Canada is not immune to Anti-Black and Anti-Indigenous racism and violence in policing. A CBC investigation into fatal encounters with police found that members of the Black community, which makes up only 3.4% of Canada’s population, represented 9% of the fatalities. Indigenous people make up only 4.8% of the population yet represented 15% of total fatalities. Black people across Canada have been, and continue to be, racially profiled through carding and other forms of racially biased surveillance.
What does the current situation mean for the future of peace in Colombia? How can we dismantle institutionalized racism and oppression? How have people been organizing against police brutality i.e. copwatch, lawsuits, community patrol etc.
When: Thur. Oct 29th @ 7 pm (EST)
When: María Alejandra Sánchez – A student at the National Pedagogical University of Bogota Colombia. Maria is a member of the National Association of Young People and Students of Colombia (Anjeco) and Resistance against the militarization of Society (REMISO campaign).
Andrés Felipe Granja Orejuela: Operational Secretary of the Black Communities’ Process of Colombia and member of the Arcabuco political training and study center.
Payton Wilkens – Executive Director of The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) Education Center.
Organized by: Colombia Working Group, The Project Accompaniment Solidarity Colombia (PASC) and Common Frontiers
Sponsored by: Committee for Human Rights in Latin America (CDHAL), Colombian Action Solidarity Alliance – CASA, NORDIK Institute, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), and The Public Service Alliance of Canada – Social Justice Fund.