By Rod Webb

With the changing political landscape in the UK, trade unions are likely to become a more prominent feature of everyday life. Now, after years of austerity, there is a revived interest in the voice of the workers in building a better society for the many and participating in economic recovery.

Most people in the West know very little about the brutal struggle trade unionists face in some countries around the world. Colombia is probably the most dangerous place on earth to be a trade unionist with more than 3,000 workers murdered by right-wing forces since 2010.

Colombia Day, organised by the Hastings and District Trades Union Council, emerged out of concern in Hastings for the lives of trade unionists in Colombia. Two speakers from Colombia Solidarity joined the Hastings May Day celebrations this year. The project has since grown to encompass workers, experts and representatives from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Brazil.

But Colombia Day is more than solidarity. It is about social movements in the widest sense, music, education, gastronomy and the analysis of global environmental problems. The event opens with a song about the struggles of Latin American people sung by a young woman refugee from Central America.

The event has been included in the Sustainability on Sea Festival programme and is described there as: “An afternoon focused on the political situation in Colombia. With speakers addressing coal mining in Colombia, workers’ solidarity through trade unions, and how these issues relate to climate change.” 

Colombia Day is on Saturday 28th September at Central Hall, Hastings 2pm until 6pm. The event is filling up fast, so book your free place by phoning 07801 358090 or emailing [email protected]

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