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Support from Colombia with the Water Activists persecuted in Ireland

category international | miscellaneous | news report author Tuesday February 24, 2015 20:10author by José Antonio Gutiérrez D. Report this post to the editors

For years, a number of Irish movements have stood in solidarity with the struggle for justice, dignity, equality and freedom of the popular movements in Colombia. Now, hearing of the case of political persecution against the Water Rights movement, Colombian organisation have expressed their solidarity with the struggle of the Irish people. Peasant organisations of Cauca Valley and a broad coalition of over 50 organisations of indigenous, Afros, peasants, women and workers from the Southern jungle of Putumayo, together with refugees in Europe, have issued two statement expressing their unconditional support with those who struggle and reminding the government of Ireland of their obligation to respect the rights of the people in Ireland.

In a clear message to the government, they state “you can abuse language as much as you want in order to justify repression, and this is nothing new: in Colombia this type of situations occur on a daily basis.” The organisations in Putumayo expressed their concern in unequivocal terms “We are quite surprised that this is happening in a country which has been known to promote and defend human right. This is why we want to call on the government in the Republic of Ireland to respect the rights of its citizens (…) Brute force and repression can only bring about violence and disaffection”. Paul Murphy, who has been very active in his solidarity with the Colombian people, is subject of special concern of these organisations. This messages were written before the latest arrests which add a new element of outrage in this whole sorry affair.

This is a stark reminder that Europe do not have the moral high ground to pontificate about human rights, as if it was a problem only “over there”, in Third World countries. It is a reminder that repression is used by elites everywhere in their effort to maximise the profit at the expense of the workers and the poor, and that the only unconditional allies of ordinary people, are the ordinary people of the world. We all have to stick together in our efforts to create a world of social justice and freedom. An injury to one is an injury to all.

José Antonio Gutiérrez D.
(Grupo Raices, Grúpa Fréamhacha -Solidarity with Colombia)
20th February 2015


9th February, 2015

We want to express our solidarity with the Irish TD Paul Murphy, member of the Socialist Party, detained today before dawn, together with socialist councillors Kieran Mahon and Mick Murphy, together with Scott Masterson, member of the republican movement Éirígí. Six hours later they were let go, yet, we are uneasy about what looks like political persecution.

They were accused of false imprisonment while doing a peaceful protest three months ago, when the car of Tánaiste Joan Burton got stuck in the middle of protestors. Nobody was harmed, nobody tried to kidnap her. You can abuse language as much as you want in order to justify repression, and this is nothing new: in Colombia this type of situations occur on a daily basis.

We would like to extend our solidarity with the four detained, particularly to deputy Murphy, who, together with 45 other TDs opposed the Free Trade Agreement between the EU, Colombia and Peru on January 28th. On that occasion the dramatic human rights situation in Colombia was debated lively.

We want to express our concern in relation to the growing repression in Europe. We remind the government of Ireland of its obligation to respect the rights to freedom of assembly and to protest of the Irish people. We request, finally, that civil disobedience is not confused deliberately with criminality. This is particularly sensitive when this is apparently directed against the committees opposing water privatisation in all of Ireland.

Today we are pleased to stand in solidarity with the Irish people, after years of receiving the solidarity of the Irish with our own difficulties. An injury to one is an injury to all.

-Peasant Coordinator of the Cauca Valley Peasants - Colombia
-Agricultural Workers Association of Cauca Valley, ASTRACAVA- Colombia. (member of the National Farmers Union - FENSUAGRO) and of the Workers Central Union CUT)

FRIDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2015, Mocoa Putumayo, South of Colombia

“Solidarity is the tenderness of the people”.
Ernesto Che Guevara.


Please receive warm and fraternal Greetings, in resistance.

From the Southern region of the Andean-Amazonian Colombia, from the department of Putumayo, the social, peasant, indigenous, afro, union and people’s organisations, receive our solidarity greetings and our support towards our brothers and sisters among the Irish people, now victims of the neoliberal and capitalist offensive, aiming at privatising the rights and the life of the people of the world. Specially, we want to give our most sincere and thankful greetings and our fullest support to comrade Paul Murphy, Socialist Party TD, who has been firmly committed with the struggles of the Colombian people and who was subject to an unfair detention on February 9th. He is facing persecution because of his defence of the rights of the Irish people. Likewise, we reject the arbitrary detention by agents of the Irish state of 17 protesters in the context of the struggle against water privatisation.

We are quite surprised that this is happening in a country which has been known to promote and defend human right. This is why we want to call on the government in the Republic of Ireland to respect the rights of its citizens and to establish a dialogue with the people protesting, to guarantee a way out of this difficult situation. The best way to solve problems is through peaceful solutions. Brute force and repression can only bring about violence and disaffection.

There’s nothing more for us than to thank you for all of the work that from the distance you are doing for us. Let us remember that today, more than ever, the unity of all the people of the world is necessary to stop the ferocious capitalist offensive against the rights and freedoms of citizens and peoples globally. The time has come to do our biggest effort and sacrifice to defend humanity, in this protracted struggle for the establishment of a new, just and humane, social order.


Political Commission
Regional Front of Social Organisations of Putumayo, Baja Bota Caucana and Cofanía Jardines de Sucumbíos de Ipiales Nariño

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