Monday, May 10, 2010

Labor Day.

Labor Day in United States conjures up memories and traditions of BBQ's, end of summer, back-to-school, and in Denver, Taste of Colorado in Civic Center Park. I have never passed a Labor Day in USA that wasn't anything but peaceful. However, the same summer afternoon traditions are not celebrated the world over. Let me share the story of Colombian Labor Day. Labor Day in Bogotá is more about potential violence. My best guess is that the Colombians like any excuse to throw rocks. Really though, I believe it is because Colombia has the highest unemployment in all of South America, whilst being one of it's best developed and most progressive nations. I'm not sure if the same display of power y'all are about to witness via the interweb is displayed in all parts of Colombia. Being the capital of this on-edge nation, Bogotá usually has a greater threat than other areas. Thus a more AWESOME display of military and police when the shit might hit.
Labor Days past have proven to be very violent here in the captial, and the police have learned from that. Labor Day seems to translate into all cops working, every one else off for the day. As I strolled around downtown Bogotá on the afternoon of May 1, I was truly impressed with what I saw. Never in my life have I seen such a show of power, not even the DNC in 2008 in Denver could come close to this quantity of cops. I would guess there was more cops and military in downtown than regular citizens walking the streets.

First and foremost, we, la policía of Bogotá, must protect the peaceful eaters of McDonald's. People need their burgers!!!
When this almost riot almost happened, I was there to make sure I saw the blood flow in the streets. This group of riot police arrived in a flash to quell a potentially dangerous situation of screaming drunken and bird-flipping Colombians. I should have been a journalist. . .
This is Labor Day, not go-to-church-day. No prayers today folks, God's got the day off.
One of the many riot vehicles in downtown Bogotá on Labor Day. This one even has the scars to prove it has been hit by many rocks in riots past. I saw one of these things in action earlier in the week unleashing it's water jets on a group of protesting school-aged children and madness ensued. An awesome vehicle, truly.

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