NEW YORK- Representatives of the Polo Democratico Alternativo, a Colombian left-wing political party, organized an event in Jackson Heights, Queens, on March 17, 2016 to support the strike that was taking place that day in Colombia. Polo Democratico activists Freddy Castiblanco, Carlos Salamanca, Jose Medina and Gustavo Mejias set up a table in the iconic Calle Colombia, 82nd Street, and spent their afternoon handing flyers and talking to interested passers-by about the causes of the protest.
As these activists explained, professors, workers, students and taxi drivers took on the streets of the main cities in Colombia to raise their voices against some of the economic and social policies that President Juan Manuel Santos has implemented in the last year. Among the points of contention were: minimum wage, the price of gas, education, health services and the price of basic products.
“The idea was to educate people about the reasons for the strike,” Castiblanco said. “We were not expecting to recreate the strike here, but we did want to make people understand that the strike touches some crucial points for those living in Colombia.”