After only one week of protests in Colombia at least 25 people have lost their lives and many hundreds more have been injured. It is not only the global virus and the Colombian government’s inaction that is frustrating people because the protests began against a proposed government tax increase that many critics say would increase the inequality between the country’s citizens.
As it so often happens, the police forces hit the rightful protesters with violence and so the protests grow. As it also so often happens, musicians take up their musical arms and hit the streets. Some of those form the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogotá who recently have been lending their artistic talents to raise the voices of their fellow citizens.
The Indian government recently agreed to three new laws that give private entities more control and freedom in the country’s agricultural market.
Farmers across India have taken to the streets, the highways and the borders to protest these new laws for they believe it will cripple this part of the country’s economy. They don’t believe big business will have the interest of the people in mind, something that has proven to be true in other countries.
Musicians have stepped up and are using their talents and voices to support all their local farmers that provide them with food.
One of these songs is Pecha. According to a recent interviewHarf Cheema (one of the musicians behind the song) said the song is about “common people fighting against the government for their rights”.
“First, farmers will feel attracted towards these private players, who will offer a better price for the produce. The government mandis will pack up meanwhile and after a few years, these players will start exploiting the farmers. That’s what we fear,” Multan Singh Rana, a farmer in the northern state of Punjab, told BBC Punjabi.
Harbhajan Mann is another musician that wrote a song in support of the farmers. According to a Facebook post he wrote he grew up in a family of farmers and he believes he is in debt to farmers around his country. Recently Mann was recently selected for the Punjab government’s ‘Shiromani Punjabi Singer’ award. In addition to using his voice as an artist Mann decided to decline receiving the award in support and protest of the actions being taken against farmers in India.
“How can I accept this award when my mother earth is in danger.”
– Harbhajan Mann
As farmers and their families have literally set up camps around the country the protests will seemingly continue for an unforeseen time – or at least until the government listens and makes the changes that this valuable part of the Indian society is demanding. Until then musicians will step it up and continue filling the soundtrack of the protest.
Cover photo by Ravi Choudhary, a photojournalist with Press Trust of India (PTI).
As it often happens, the current protests in Thailand started out as student events. This generation has had to partially grow up in times started by the 2014 coup d’état in Thailand. Now more people are joining the protests demanding the resignation of General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s government and an economic reform of the monarchy.
Some members of the rap collective have been arrested for their activism as we’ve covered before here on Shouts. That does not seem to slow them down though. They blast through the new song with seemingly no concern for their own safety. Artists have been jailed around the world for using their voices in this way.