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Argentina: IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF COMRADES JORGE HOSPITAL AND OMAR MERINO OF THE PO
PRESS RELEASE: Sunday, December 26, 2010, 10 pm
(Buenos Aires, 26/12/10, 22 hs) The Federal Police have arrested the railway worker militants of the Partido Obrero, Jorge Hospital and Omar Merino, apparently under the charges of “extortion” and “road blockades.” There are other militants that are being persecuted, from a decision of a federal judge in Quilmes, in view of a formal complaint from the national government. This is an unacceptable measure of political persecution that must not be allowed to stand. It is a leap by the Kirchner government in its policy of criminalizing struggles, and it must be taken as an attack on all workers’, popular, and leftist organizations. Little more than two months after the crime against Mariano Ferreyra, Pedraza, unbelievably, remains free, while the government and the courts persecute workers’ and popular militants.
From the PTS, we demand the unconditional release of the comrades and the withdrawal of all charges against those who have been persecuted.
We express our unconditional solidarity with them, in the face of persecution from the government and the state, and we call for the broadest mobilization, in order to put an end to this repressive attack.
The PTS condemns every attempt by the government to criminalize the Partido Obrero
PRESS RELEASE: Sunday, December 26, 2010
(Buenos Aires, 26/12/10, 14 hs) Our party condemns the statements of different members of the national government (Chief of the Cabinet Aníbal Fernández, Secretary of Transportation Juan Pablo Schiavi, and the Chancellor Héctor Timmerman, among others) seeking to blame the Partido Obrero for the incidents that took place at the Constitución train station on Thursday, December 23. They ridiculously maintain that the PO would be in a common conspiracy with Duhalde and Macri, something impossible for even the most enthusiastic followers of the Kirchners’ politics to hold seriously. So much so, that the ultra-pro-government daily Tiempo Argentino maintains that it is likely that the perpetrators of the incidents at the Constitución train station are connected to Pedraza (“Exhibirán pruebas de los choques”, TA 26-12-2010).
Just as after the occupation of the Parque Indoamericano, Cristina Fernández’ government sealed a reactionary agreement with Macri, where those who occupy a plot of land with a demand for housing are criminalized and blackmailed with having every social program taken away, now they are using these acts to delegitimize every workers’ or popular struggle or protest, and especially those that resort to direct action measures, like blocking roads.
We do not recognize the most minimal right of the state and the government to investigate the organizations of the left and of the workers, as the government threatens to do, when it says that it is going to bring judicial charges against the militants of the PO. We charge that this attempt at criminalization is taking place when, more than two months after the murder of Mariano Ferreyra, Pedraza remains free and continues to press for the release from prison of the seven people arrested and charged with that crime; Pedraza, who, along with the government and the businessmen, was responsible for the fraud of outsourcing jobs on the railroad.
This principled position is not mere talk, as can be shown in the strong fight that our party has waged and continues waging for the trial and punishment of the material and intellectual murderers of Mariano Ferreyra, expressed in multiple activities at the national level, like strikes, road blockades, mobilizations, etc., in all the places where our militants have some influence. Naturally, this does not diminish the big political and methodological differences we have with the PO in the fight of the outsourced railway workers, a matter that we have discussed and will continue discussing in the workers’ assemblies and in our newspaper.
We call for repudiating every attempt to criminalize the PO and any organization in struggle, by a government that in the last 60 days is responsible for six deaths in popular mobilizations and that has prosecuted more than 4000 people for activism.