[Photo report + Statement] Yesterday Was A Day of Class Struggle in Argentina

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Source: CTEP / The Dawn News / December 15, 2017

Yesterday, on December 14, Argentine social movements, unions and political organizations gathered outside the Congress to protest a pension reform that would cut pensions by one hundred billion pesos (5.5 billion USD) and push further away the age of retirement.

At two in the afternoon, deputies were just arriving in Congress. But before the session started, the “security” forces unleashed a brutal repression on the protesters outside the building, dispersing the crowd with tear gas and indiscriminately shooting rubber bullets. Several journalists and photo reporters were injured, as well as two deputies.

48 people were detained, according to Argentina’s biggest anti-repressive political organization, Correpi (Coordination against Institutional and Police Repression), and remain unlawfully imprisoned in police stations throughout the city of Buenos Aires as social movements are claiming for their liberation.

As people were being detained (some of them completely unrelated to the protest, like one female passer-by or one homeless man who lived on a sidewalk near the Congress), human rights defenders tried to catch the detentions on camera as they asked the detainees to clearly state their identities, in order to later inquire for their whereabouts, since repressive forces don’t disclose this information.

As deputies arrived to the Senate, police kept protesters agains the pension reform at a distance.



Police beats down a man holding the Argentine flag. Video credit: C5N

A photographer from media outlet Pagina 12 was shot multiple times with rubber bullets. The police shot indiscriminately, ignoring laws that protect journalists, and even targeted some reporters. Photo credit: Resumen Latinoamericano
A man, woman and child escape the repression and the tear gas cloud
People protected themselves from the tear gas using cloth or lemon juice to counteract the burning sensation. As the mass of protesters fled from the bullets and the gas, many warned not to run, to avoid a human avalanche.
As the police began to disperse the protest, people walked to adjacent streets and began to chant “Unity of all workers! And whoever doesn’t like it can fuck off!”. Photo credit: Resumen Latinoamericano
For hours after the protest, the area of the Congress was covered by a dense cloud of tear gas and smoke from the trash cans and cars that protesters had burnt in an angered reaction to the repression.


Statement of the Confederation of Informal Workers of Argentina (CTEP)

Out On The Streets, Once Again, We Cry: “Without Land, Housing and Jobs, The Reform Hurts Poor People The Most!”

Source: CTEP Argentina / The Dawn News / December 14, 2017

The workers of the CTEP express our absolute condemnation of the brutal repression unleashed today against those that peacefully protested outside of the National Congress, and against the deputies that opposed the project of the Pension and Tax reform which steals money from workers’ pension funds and of the “Universal Welfare for Children” program in a context of social and food emergency.

Thanks to the multitudinous mobilizations carried out yesterday and today, we a managed to stop disgraceful session in Congress where the ruling coalition tried to force a quorum in order to pass reforms that harm the most vulnerable people of our country.

Despite the violence exerted by the security forces, the united strength of social movements, trade unions and legislators of the opposition that refused to vote in favor of the economic oppression of retired people, managed to defeat the legislation pushed by the government and its allies.

Today, Federal Prosecutor Gabriel De Vedia ruled in favor of the request of protection presented by our organization’s laywers, which requested the suspension of yesterday’s session on account of the unconstitutionality of the mathematic formula the law proposes to use in order to adjust the pension payments.

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