Like Occupy OAKLAND

Here in Medellin the students left the campuses and they were righteous in their indignation.  On the way to El Centro and la Parque de las Luces they picked up a few of the nasties who like to break windows.  That was the sum of it here.  Then they went back to their campuses and stomped and wrote more signs.  

And just like Occupy Oakland they had a cause that is important.  The farmers and farm workers are taking it in the neck, and promises from the government are going unfulfilled.  They need some sort of subsidy (like American farmers all get) to offset the new trade restrictions and the centuries of unfair trade practices with the US.  They need protection from Farc where Farc still holds sway and they need reasonable replacements for their ilicit cash crops, replacements plus a cash buffer to help them over the transition.

So, in spite of the whiff of tear gas from yesterday things are again the beautiful normal here.  And it's a beautiful Saturday.  And I'm off to buy tickets for the International Music Festival.  But just like Occupy Oakland there are charges of crowd brutality and police brutality which I hope will be sorted out.  We can brook neither.

The government in Bogota needs to get its house in order and deal finally with Farc and keep its promises to the farmers.  President Santos is up for re-election next year.  The pressure is on him. The pundits here predict light protests from time to time to keep the issue in front of the public.

Thursday...“The farm sector has been abandoned,” the center-right president (Santos) said in a televised address early on Thursday. “The protests are valid ... but, via dialogue, we will resolve the problems ... We are in a storm, but we will persevere.”     Protesters wearing typical farmer attire of woolen ponchos, brimmed hats and rubber boots to show their solidarity, marched in 15 columns toward the Plaza Bolivar, where the presidential palace and Congress are located. There were also protests in Medellin, Cali and elsewhere across the nation.
Saturday  ...So far today, all is quiet.

Read more: Colombian president calls for calm as farm protests reach Bogota - Latest - New Straits Times