Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / September, 2, 2016
Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country mobilized to Plaza de Mayo in rejection to the adjustment implemented by the government of Mauricio Macri.
The Federal March was made up of five main branches, which travelled since Wednesday (August 31) from Misiones (North East), Mendoza (Cuyo region), Jujuy (North West) and Comodoro Rivadavia and Esquel (Patagonia). On Friday morning, after they entered Buenos Aires City, they held rallies in the neighborhoods of La Matanza and Avellaneda.
The main claims were:
– Reopening of wage negotiations due to the inflation, reincorporation of all laid-off workers and elimination of the ‘income tax’ on workers’ salaries.
– Small businesses demand policies that take them into account —for example, a differential regime of basic services fees— and protect them. The indiscriminately opening of imports to the country is affecting them gravely. Enterprises that were recovered and are run by their workers after their original owners declared bankruptcy also suffer from these problems.
– ‘Social work cooperatives’ (related to housing construction, such as the ones nucleated in the National Association of Social Work Cooperatives) are claiming for the continuity of all job posts created in the last decade, which raised thousands of people from unemployment. This is a common issue among social movements who promote the declaration of a “social state of emergency”.
– Rejectment to the labor reform that the government seeks to apply, and to the emptying of the National Administration of Social Services (ANSES)
During the mobilization, organizations also demanded the immediate release of political prisoner Milagro Sala, the leader of the social and political organization ‘Tupac Amaru’, who was imprisoned in Jujuy last December by governor Gerardo Morales, with the connivence of the national government.
The arrival of the Federal March coincided with the national strike of teachers, the second one in the span of last month. Teachers are demanding an increment of the basic wage that can make up for the loss of the purchase power due to increasing inflation.
Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo participated in the Federal March
The President of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo), Estela de Carlotto, expressed her desire for the Federal March to “raise awareness in those who have the task of bringing order to the country so that injustices are brought to an end”. She also said that “our [disappeared] sons and daughters didn’t fight for assistencialism”, and celebrated the unity shown by Unions, social, political and cultural organizations in a “such and important place as this one” (referring to Plaza de Mayo), and urged “not to let people starve to death and be unemployed”.
After pointing out that the main demands of this mobilization were “work, dignity and employment”, Carlotto stated that “hopefully, this march will have a proper response”. “I’m a member of an organization towards which the State has certain obligations, in order to continue seeking after truth, memory and justice for the crimes of the dictatorship, and to continue the search of the grandsons and granddaughters who are still missing”, she added.
In an interview with a local TV station (C5N), Carlotto asked for the march to be “seen and broadcasted to the entire world”, as a warning. “We, as a Human Rights organization, are joining this march, but workers are the main protagonists”, she clarified and added: “They are part of what our sons and daughters were: fighters for a better country”.
“The people won’t kneel to the economic power, the countdown for a national strike has just begun”
The head of the CTA, Hugo Yasky, demanded the reopening of wage negotiations to ease workers and the economy. He also questioned the double standard of Macri’s cabinet, which on one hand is asking for the reduction of social expenses and on the other is allowing businessmen to “amass a fortune by sucking from the teat of the State”.
Yasky closed the Federal March in Plaza De Mayo where, according to the organizers of the event, there were more than 200 thousand people. He celebrated the mass attendance of workers who came from all over the country. Yasky highlighted the capacity of the working movement to build unity.
“This event is possible due to this beautiful unity, which is the confluence of the social, students’, and workers’ movements along with small businesses”.
Regarding the upcoming steps, Yasky expressed that the goal is to converge in a new mobilization with the CGT. “The countdown for a national strike of all workers’ unions has just begun”, he added.
“Freedom for Milagro Sala”