Argentina: March24-The plazas and streets belong to the fighters and the left
March 27, 2014
The plazas and streets belong to the fighters and the left
Buenos Aires, CÃ³rdoba, Mendoza, NeuquÃ©n, Jujuy, Mar del Plata, BahÃa Blanca, Rosario, TucumÃ¡n and other cities across the country were the setting on March 24 for massive mobilizations of human rights, trade union, student, cultural and left-wing organizations that marked the 38th anniversary of the military coup. To the historic slogans of "trial and punishment of all the guilty," "open all the archives of the dictatorship" and "30,000 comrades detained and disappeared, Â¡presentes!" were added other slogans such as â€œacquit the convicted from Las Heras", "Against austerity, the criminalization of protest and repression," and "Milani Out!"
The march organized by â€œEncuentro Memoria, Verdad y Justiciaâ€ (EMVyJ â€“ Meeting for Memory, Truth and Justice) to the Plaza de Mayo was significantly larger than the one held only hours before by the government of President Christina Kirchner and its related groups. So much so that the official media could not ignore the massive independent march, much less publish pictures of the plaza supposedly â€œpackedâ€ with pro-Kirchner forces.
Marching at the head of the enormous rally were RamÃ³n CortÃ©s, convicted oil worker from Las Heras, Franco Catrihuala and Claudia Panfundi, relatives of other convicted oil workers, well-known representatives from human rights groups such as Nora CortiÃ±as, Elia Espen and Mirta Baravalle from the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, Enrique Fuckman from the Association of the Formerly Detained and Disappeared, the lawyer who denounced the government espionage of â€˜Project Xâ€™ Myriam Bregman, the grandchild recovered by the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo Victoria Moyano, Patricia Walsh and victims of â€˜trigger happyâ€™ police such as comrade Carla Lacorte. Many from a large number of militant, anti-bureaucratic workers groups were there as well as representatives from left-wing organizations such as national deputies NicolÃ¡s del CaÃ±o and Christian Castillo (PTS/FIT), Subte delegate Claudio Dellecarbonara, NÃ©stor Pitrola and Alejandro Bodart, among others.
In the Plaza a lengthy document which denounced the Governmentâ€™s policies on human rights, economic austerity, impunity and repression was read out. The documentâ€™s highlight was the denunciation of the verdict that has sentenced the Las Heras oil workers â€œfor a crime they did not commitâ€ (a verdict that was defended by Christina Kirchner in the Legislative Assembly), as well as the demand for the removal of the Army chief CÃ©sar Milani.
At the end of the demonstration, the PTS held a rally on the Avenida de Mayo where oil worker RamÃ³n CortÃ©s and Nathalia GonzÃ¡lez from the teachersâ€™ union SUTEBA Matanza (United Education Workersâ€™ Union of Buenos Aires) spoke.
Big PTS contingent at the Plaza de Mayo
The PTS in the FIT mobilized its members on March 24 in the major cities in Argentina. In the Federal Capital our party made up one of the largest and most spectacular contingents to take part in the Encuentro Memoria, Verdad y Justicia. Hundreds of placards with the slogan â€œCristina lies, the oil workers are innocentâ€ adorned the contingent that enthusiastically entered the Plaza de Mayo to hear the reading of the consensus document.
The PTS contingent was lead by more than 400 teachers from the militant teachersâ€™ groups of the Corriente 9 de Abril (April 9th Current) and La MarrÃ³n (The Brown List) of SUTEBA, who denounced President Christina and Governor of Buenos Aires province Daniel Scioli. The day before the demonstration, Chief Minister Jorge Capitanich had attacked the education workers for not accepting Judge Terrierâ€™s order to end their strike. This is the same magistrate who was a member of the Bonaerense (Buenos Aires police force) during the dictatorship.
The teachersâ€™ unions of SUTEBA (where the far-left Lista Multicolor coalition now controls several branches) and Ademys (Middle and Upper School Teachersâ€™ Association) took part in the EMVyJ march. This was in part the result of the political campaigns that La MarrÃ³n has promoted in the unions, particularly through various union Human Rights Secretary positions that La MarrÃ³n has won. The decision to take part in the EMVyJ demonstration runs counter to the decision of the bureaucracy of CTA leader Hugo Yasky, SUTEBA leader Roberto Baradel and UTE (Education Workersâ€™ Union) leader Eduardo LÃ³pez. Even after adding their names to the petition for the acquittal of the Las Heras oil workers, these bureaucrats decided (without any mass meeting or plenary vote) to march with the same government that appointed Cesar Milani, protects the judges of the dictatorship and lies about the legal case of the oil workers.
RamÃ³n CortÃ©s: "This struggle must continue until we are all acquitted"
â€œOur struggle began to be known when people first heard that we were sentenced to life imprisonment without proof and without any foundation, simply to silence us from the moment we went out to fight against the income tax hike and subcontracting. This struggle must continue until we are all acquitted. And we demand the freedom of the five comrades that were detained twenty days ago in Las Heras, who are also oil workers, and freedom for all charged and persecuted comradesâ€ .
â€œPersonally I condemn the attack on the teachers. I am a father that says that if the teachers do not earn good money the children are never going to make the most of their studies. On this March 24, of Memory, Truth and Justice, I also condemn the genocidal Cesar Milani who today is in charge of the Army and the Anti-Terrorist law. They are now applying these laws in Las Heras, where each time that you go out to protest they put you in jail . . . We are hoping that justice will prevail. If they go so far as to resolve that we prisoners are going to lose interest than I, even while imprisoned, will continue fighting for the freedom of all those prisoners. I also bring greetings from the other oil worker comrades from Las Heras, who cannot be here. We do not want any more political prisoners. We need to come out fighting. Fuerza en la lucha (strength in the struggle) and thank you for joining usâ€ .