End Bolivian state of siege

FOR OVER a month there has been a national teachers’ strike in Bolivia against privatisation and for better wages, which are at African level, but prices are European.

Teachers have mobilised the support of parents and students, universities, communist organisations and other unions. The action began in the countryside and has spread to the cities. Telecommunication workers and miners are also on strike against privatisation and all the major cities have seen localised solidarity strikes in support of the teachers. Mass demonstrations have been growing towards what could be a spontaneous general strike.

Teachers and supporters have clashed daily with police in La Paz. But on Wednesday April 19 the Bolivian government declared a state of siege. A curfew is imposed and the police and army are on the streets. They broke up Bolivia’s TUC conference and arrested all the participants. Over 1,000 trade union, student, peasant and political leaders have been deported to military garrison.

The Bolivian Union Solidarity Committee is asking for support from all working class organisations.

Helen Ellis