Flanagan | 30.06.2002 15:35
Solidarity with the piquetero movement!
Stop police repression!
Trial and punishment for the murderers of Darío Santillan and Maximiliano Costegui!
(Click on pictures to view them full size)
On July 26 a number of piquetero organisations (unemployed workers' movements), amongst them the National Piquetero Block and the CTD Anibal Verón (Coordination of Unemployed Workers) of which the MTD Lanús (Movement of Unemployed Workers in Lanús) is part of, called for a national day of action against the economic and social policies of the Duhalde government. The answer of the ruling class was to organise the murdering of workers. Two piqueteros were shot dead, more than 160 were injured (many with bullet wounds) and hundreds were arrested. The murdered piqueteros are Maximiliano Costegui of the CTD Anibal Verón and Darío Santillán from the MTD Lanús. On the June 26 day of action there were many road blocks (piquetes) up and down the country, but the centre of the action was in the access roads to Buenos Aires. Police repression was particularly brutal in Puente Pueyrredon, Avellaneda, Puente La Noria and Panamericana.
Darío Santillan shot dead by the police
A plainclothes policeman shots at piqueteros
For the last few weeks the Argentinean ruling class and its government have been preparing public opinion for this brutal repression against the piquetero movement. Using the press and the TV, the Argentinean oligarchy, with the support of US imperialism, have singled out the piqueteros for repression because they have been at the forefront of the struggle against the bankruptcy of Argentinean capitalism and they have became a pole of reference for thousands of workers and youth. This is the real solution that the Argentinean ruling class is preparing in order to maintain its power and privileges.
Obviously the Argentinean bourgeoisie is trying and testing all the weapons at its disposal to stop the revolutionary movement. With the complicity of the CGT trade union bureaucracy they are trying to isolate the piquetero movement from the rest of the workers, trying to present them as a motley crew of violent lumpenised groups, and at the same time they answer with state repression against them. In fact on June 26 there was a massive police provocation with the aim of beheading the piquetero movement. The police operation was organised on the same lines that were used under the dictatorship, with groups of plainclothes police officers shooting selectively at the piqueteros and particularly their leaders.
Police raid United Left office
The repression also extended to the assault of one of the offices of United Left (a coalition between the MST and the PCA), where police officers destroyed all they could, beat the activists that were present and arrested some of them. The whole action was part of a clear attempt on the part of the bourgeoisie to smash the protest movement, to intimidate the working class as a whole, particularly the unemployed workers' movement and the youth, and to take the initiative in a moment of deep economic crisis.
The reaction of the population was quick. On the same evening of the 26th, more than 3,000 gathered for hours in Plaza de Mayo to protest against the killings and the repression. The Argentinean Workers' Confederation (CTA) has called for a general strike for Thursday, June 27 and there will be a march to the Plaza de Mayo in the afternoon. It is clear that the government will try to organise new provocations. The task of the movement is to reach the organised workers as a whole and integrate them into the struggle to overthrow Duhalde and replace the capitalist regime with a new socialist order based on workers' democracy.
It is the duty of working class activists around the world to react quickly against this escalation of repression in Argentina. Working class internationalist solidarity is needed today more than ever. We appeal to all our readers to send messages of solidarity with the piquetero struggle demanding trial and punishment for the murderers.
Please send your messages of solidarity to the following addresses:
Movimiento de Trabajadores Desocupados MTD de Lanús: email@example.com
Bloque Piquetero Nacional, a la atención de Nestor Pitriola: firstname.lastname@example.org
And copies to In Defence of Marxism ( email@example.com)