Surrounded by designer fashion stores in the center of finance capital, several dozen workers banged pots and pans and chanted “The IMF must go,” outside the Argentinian consulate in New York City, in a show of solidarity with the national strike in Argentina on January 24. People in suits and expensive coats scurried by looking annoyed. In a neighborhood curated for the capitalists, calls for working class solidarity cut through like a sword.
The action, organized by Left Voice, highlighted that the class struggle developing in Argentina is connected to class struggle taking place around the world in opposition to imperialism and a rising Far Right. Member groups of our international current, the Trotskyist Fraction — Fourth International, mobilized in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, the Spanish State, France, and Germany. Many of these actions had important participation from workers organizations like the Starbucks union in Chile and important unions in France.
After a thunderous chant of “Unidad de los trabajadores, y al que no le gusta se jode, se jode,” which translates to “unity of workers, and whoever doesn’t like it should fuck off,” Left Voice member Tatiana Cozzarelli shared that in Argentina it used to just be the Left that chanted that, and today it was taken up by over a million workers in the streets.
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The strike in Argentina comes less than two months after the inauguration of Javier Milei, a far-right populist who ran as an “outsider,” while championing the interests of capitalists, U.S. imperialism, and foreign multinationals. Within his first 30 days, Milei delivered for these capitalist interests, using authoritarian measures to pass over 300 legislative attacks on workers, Indigenous people, oppressed communities, and basic democratic rights. These attacks include firing 5,000 workers, massive cuts to social spending, criminalizing the right to protest, and paving the way for imperialist companies to extract lithium.
The people began mobilizing in the streets to fight back, and through this pressure, the largest federation of trade unions in the country, the CGT, called the January 24 general strike.
In the lead up to the strike, revolutionary organizations, including Left Voice’s sister group, the Party of Socialist Workers (PTS), put forward a perspective that workers and oppressed communities must unite to take up the struggle from below, demanding more than what the union bureaucracies would fight for, and to extend the strike beyond just half of one day. From positions in Congress, in the unions, feminist organizations, and the student movement, the PTS put forward revolutionary socialist demands and helped organize neighborhood assemblies as a way to unite unionized workers with the unorganized workers and the social movements. These assemblies act as the seeds for the masses to take the strike into their own hands and decide the path forward for the fight against Milei.
The action in the United States had the support of several socialist organizations, Latin American groups, and pro-Palestine groups, including Workers’ Voice, Tempest Collective, El Hormiguero, Freedom Socialist Party, Socialist Alternative, the Internationalist Group, International Marxist Tendency, Spartacist League/U.S., and La Asamblea De Chilenxs En NYC.
The class struggle developing in Argentina comes as young people and workers in the United States are increasingly seeing the need for an internationalist, anti-imperialist perspective, given the supporting role of the U.S. in Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza. In fact, Milei himself shows how our struggles are connected internationally. Along with aligning himself with U.S. imperialism, he also champions Zionism, wrapping himself in the Israeli flag and calling to move Argentina’s embassy to Jerusalem.
Because of this, many groups leading the movement for Palestine in New York City endorsed the action, including Within Our Lifetime, CUNY4Palestine, Healthcare Workers For Palestine NYC, City Workers For Palestine, Columbia School Of Social Work For Palestine, Columbia University Apartheid Divest, NYC Educators For Palestine, and Hussain Collective.
The action outside the Argentinian Consulate in New York City is especially important because the United States continues to dominate Latin America. In Biden’s words, Latin America is not merely “the United States’s backyard,” it is “our front yard.” The head of U.S. military operations in Latin America, Laura Richardson has been candid that the United States sees plunder of Latin American resources as central to U.S. strategic interests. Meanwhile, U.S. controlled financial institutions like the IMF have imposed fraudulent foreign debt on Argentina, helping to create the very inflation crisis which has fueled growing distrust of the country’s ruling center-left and center-right parties, thus enabling a reactionary capitalist ghoul like Milei to appeal to workers as an “anti-establishment” candidate.
As Israel’s siege on Gaza and Milei’s attacks on the Argentinian working class show, far-right forces anywhere empower far-right forces everywhere. The Zionist state and Milei’s regime advance U.S. imperialist domination over workers in oppressed regions, from the Middle East to Latin America. But if the oppressed masses and workers from Palestine to Argentina can succeed at fighting back, they advance the power of workers all over the world, including in the United States, to rebuild our own power as a class and make capitalists, not working people, pay for the economic and geopolitical crises of capitalism which are destroying lives and imposing hardship around the world.
Argentina’s fight against the Far Right is also important for workers and oppressed communities in the United States, given that we face the possibility of another Trump presidency. As the movement for Palestine and the fight against Milei in Argentina shows, we cannot trust in the so-called “opposition” of the Democrats — who uphold the very system empowering the Far Right. We must rely on our own power to organize a fight in opposition to reactionary, anti-worker policies and politicians.