BOGOTA – The marches of workers through the streets of the Colombian capital on Friday to celebrate International Workers Day ended in disturbances at the downtown Plaza de Bolivar, where some 400 demonstrators armed with clubs and rocks clashed with police.
The square was the destination of workers demanding, as they do every year, guarantees of decent jobs and better working conditions, demands that this year coincided with a national strike of public school teachers.
After reaching the Plaza de Bolivar, the demonstrators faced off against the cops.
As Efe was able to observe, riot police threw tear gas and stun bombs at the protesters, who fought back by throwing clubs and rocks.
Workers made use of the May 1 occasion to show their solidarity with the 300,000 teachers who have been on strike for 10 days.
The teachers’ demands include pay raises, adequate health care and changes in the educational-quality tests that they believe limit their chances of getting ahead professionally.