Jaime Armando Rodriguez Torres - Colombia
Well, those were very, very heartfelt events built by all of us. And when I say all of us, I mean it was built upon a civic nature. I mean, everyone was equal, everyone was involved with no exclusions. Almost all of these strikes were done starting from a council meeting setting, like in the era of Greek democracy if you may. Ours was a time and place where all the people knew everyone, and in the town center we gathered to discuss ideas such as how to lower the electric bills, and this became an idea that we could all agree on. Then after that, what we did was to demand of the government. The government did not accept a general strike, so we planned a strike, the strike was a beautiful thing, and it was very interactive and very effective. By effective, I mean that no one went to work during the day, and that transportation was stopped, and that people did creative things. The largest strike was on May 23, 1980. People were told not to come out of their houses. That is to say, the government told them not to come out of their houses. The government said that no one could go out on the street, but people came out anyway. They did not only go out to the streets but the priest sounded the bells of the churches, and the people flew flags from the balconies, and ladies were shooting off fireworks, and they made noise with pots all day. This civic strike turned into a big party and we eventually gained what we were asking for. Always, the strikes had very strong support from the populace. It was deeply felt and very democratic because it was the entire population that took the decision, and also, of course, the civic strikes ended in victories.