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Medellian, Columbia: Members of the Frontlines Tour joined 10,000 Columbians in a protest march against privatization yesterday.

Barbara  Moore (Local 3912, Part time Faculty at Dalhousie, St. Mary’s and Mount St. Vincent Universities) and Tracy Fall (Local 3324, Paramedic with Island EMS, Charlottetown), led the march and were thanked for their presence by the demonstration organizers.

“It’s fantastic to see thousands of people come out for a demonstration during the week like this. They are aware of what privatization is doing to their country and they are standing up to protect public services that the city of Medellian is proud of,” said Tracy.

According to Barbara, “there are unionized workers here today, organizations representing the campacinos and Afro-Caribbeans, students. They’re saying that the privatization of healthcare, the banks, municipal services are undemocratic and will undermine their lives. There is no doubt in their minds the cost of privatization.”

The Frontlines Tour is bringing public sector unionists from Canada and Columbia together in a common action against privatization. Partnering for this tour are CUPE, CUPW and PSAC. The ten union members will be in Columbia until November 14.

They were guests of the National Federation of Public Service Workers in Colombia (FENALTRASE) a union federation representing 80 national and regional public service unions with a membership of 150,000.  

In March 2005, Mariano José Guerra Diaz, General Secretary of FENALTRASE visited Canada as part of the first phase of the Frontlines Tour. He is also the President of ASONAL, the component of workers from the judicial sector of the Columbian government.