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Is this the beginning of the Latin winter?

Socialist Resistance in the UK is organising a “Resistance in Latin America” meeting on Thursday 24th November to discuss the continent’s recent uprisings.

Mutsuyuki Tokeshi

Following in the footsteps of what has come to be known as the Arab Spring, demonstrations and protests have been taking place across Latin American countries.

These movements are placing pressure on governments to address their respective nations’ education, employment and environmental concerns and to become more accountable to their citizens.

Earlier this year in Bolivia, a police crackdown of indigenous people protesting against the construction of a highway that would cut through a nature reserve in Amazon led to of thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets in the capital of La Paz.

The protests led to the resignation of President Evo Morales’s defence and interior ministers.

In Mexico last September, the government seized the plants of the state-owned Central Light and Power Company and sacked 45,000 of its employees.

This effectively led to the liquidation of the Electrical Workers Union. As a result, 100,000 people marched in protest and a separate workers union has recently been launched.

In Chile, hundreds of students have refused to go to lessons since early June, demanding for more affordable education and the end of an unfair two tier system which creates huge disparities in the quality of higher education institutions.

In Colombia, a continental mass demonstration is being organised later this month to protest against a controversial education reform bill which is seen as seeking to privatize the higher education system.

All over Latin America, similar movements of “resistance” have been gaining momentum.

Whilst the separate groups in each countries harness different agendas, there seems to be a growing sense of solidarity between these groups.

Is this the beginning of the Latin Winter? Will the leaders of these countries bow down to public pressure out of fear of following in the footsteps of their Arab counterparts?

This meeting hosts two experts on resistance in Latin America: Jeff Weber is the author of “From rebellion to reform in Bolivia” and “Left-indigenous struggles in modern Bolivia” and Iain Bruce has written “The real Venezuela: making socialism in the 21st century”.

Evo Morales

Socialist Resistance is ” a group of Marxists who are convinced that capitalism is a system that offers most of humanity a future of war, environmental catastrophe and poverty”.

Date: Thursday 24th Novemer 2011. Venue: Community Centre, 62 Marchmont Street, WC1N 1AB.

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