On November 25, in the Federal Courts of Comodoro Py, it began the trial in which the militants Daniel Ruíz (PSTU) and César Arakaki (PO) are being accused, for manifesting against the Social Security reform of Macri.
The comrades were both accompanied by a major demonstration, with the participation of social, political, union, students and Human Rights organizations. Representatives of the AGTSYP, CTA (A), AGD UBA, Internal Committee of Felfort, Lodiser, Teacher in Chubut, SUTNA, SUTEBA Tigre, CEPRODH, Mothers of May Square (Madres de Plaza de Mayo), APDH, CADEP, MTR, MTL, CS, OS, PO, PTS, MST, IS, PSTU, TPO, among many other organizations, were present. Sebastián Romero’s family was also present – he has been persecuted for two years by Macri’s government.
Figures like Nora Cortiñas, Luis Zamora, Beto Pianelli, Myriam Bergman, Mónica Schlotthauer, and comrades from the PSTU Brazil and PST Peru were also present in an important event that approached the nature of the trial and the Latin American situation, in which all peoples rebelled against the adjustment policy. The strong rain did not avoid the workers’ voice to express. We reproduce here extracts of the speeches.
Daniel Ruíz (Argentine PSTU leader)
“To be happy, we need to defeat the capitalist state and build socialism.
Thank you, comrades. I am really excited, because I wanted to participate in an event like this for a long time. Not only for the trial itself, but to tell each one of you that I owe my life in the 13 months of prison to each one of you, that fought for me. So thank you.
But, comrades… you know we cannot stop the inevitable. In Chile, the tried to stop it with a military Constitution, with repression, but at some point people do what they have to do.
Today, hunger is hitting each one of our families, and the time is coming, not only to demonstrate but also to organize and expropriate food and everything we need. This is the path we need to follow from now on, and this revolutionary alternative is posed for the entire Latin America. If these judges, these powers, these politicians, were present in 1810, they would have put San Martín and everyone else in jail. We are living a process of deliberation of our peoples, and this is a harsh path, not easy at all. Not only because of jail, repression and death. We need to organize to defend ourselves. We cannot let traitor union leaders to accept a social pact without encouraging workers to defend themselves, without encouraging self-defense. We cannot go out to the streets with our hands tied because they will kill us, take our eyes off. We need to respond to them, and this is what we are doing here: demanding our genuine right, as workers, to defend ourselves.
We have a lot ahead. Unity is only one step. We need to reflect and take lessons of what happened to us. If Macri got all the way here, finished his term and did not leave as he should have, it is because of the Union leaders, but it is also responsibility of all of us that assumed responsibility with the struggle. We need to unite to fight. We need to be clear with workers, we cannot lie to them. We cannot tell them things will be easy. We need to tell them things will be harsh, because our goal is to be happy, and this means to end the capitalist state and build socialism. Today, it is a very sad journey for me. Not because of the trial, nor because it is raining and we are here, far from my family. You know why? Because two years ago they killed one of mine, Rafael Nahuel,1 and I do not forget who killed him. I do not forget who gave the order to kill him. So we need to keep organized. Today it is also the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. And who is violent against women? The oppressive state itself. There is a rebellion of the pariah of the world, a rebellion of the oppressed ones, the kechuas, the aymarás, the mapuches [indigenous peoples]; of workers, women, youth… all the oppressed ones must raise our fist to defeat those that we need to defeat. This is the only way to build socialism, the only way to end all this hunger and oppression.
So, comrades, let’s go to the trial room, a fake trial, to demand an absolution, the nullity of the process. Who are them to judge us? The only court I discipline to is a popular, workers’ court – and you absolved me the day I was detained. You absolved Arakaki, Ponce, and Sebastián Romero. It is you that I discipline to, comrades. Let’s fight all the way and defeat capitalists, their institutions, the Police that repressed, and those traitors of the working movement and reformists that don’t tell the truth. Thank you, comrades.”
Nora Cortiñas (Madres de Plaza de Mayo – Línea Fundadora // May Square Mothers – Founding Line)
“We need to live hunger-free, with jobs and respect for Human Rights. We will triumph!
Comrades, I represent the May Square Mothers – Founding Line, that together with other bodies are fighting for this day to be special, and for Daniel Ruíz and César Arakaki not to be sentenced. We know that our people’s struggle is harsh, and that on December 14 and 18 of 2017 they were in the streets to defend part of the people forgotten by the governments. We want to request today for the judges to sentence with justice. We trust that this will happen, that they will be completely absolved (…). On the 10 [December] we will be celebrating in the Street, and on the 11 we will have the same demands of always, until every inhabitant of this country has the same living conditions. (…) We cannot allow families with a sword in their backs, everyday thinking they might go to jail because this sentences are examples. (…) We need to live free of hunger, with jobs, and respect for Human Rights. (…) We need to continue in the streets looking at each other, hugging each other, fighting together for what is fair (…). We will triumph! 30000 thousand comrades disappeared: present!”
Nazarena Giles (PSTU)
“We need Sebastián in our ranks to keep confronting the adjustment and imperialist plans
We began this struggle on December 18, 2017, when thousands of workers consciously confronted the adjustment policy that Macri’s government aimed to impose, in the lines of the IMF adjustment. (…) From that moment on, our comrade Sebastián Romero beagn being persecuted. Thousands of images in the social media demonizing a worker that mobilized in defense of the retirees, of Malvinas’ veterans, against the adjustment, and defending himself. (…) We want to defend Sebastián Romero, because many things were said about him, but Sebastián went out to the struggle in defense of his family, he organized his neighborhood, he was a General Motors worker elected as delegate by his coworkers. He suffered fraud by the bureaucracy of the SMATA and that is why he was no longer a delegate by the end, but he remained organized and went to struggle in 2017 when they tried to suspend 350 workers. He remained always organized, always in the streets, and he was in the front line on December 14 and 18. This is why this government – all governments, the justice, want to demonize him: because they want all of us to stop fighting back. And they demonized him once again before the audio he sent in support to the Chilean revolution. (…) We demand the next government and authorities that will take office on December 10: for the new Security Minister to eliminate the request of capture of Sebastián Romero with a one-million reward. They have much lower rewards for genocides. So, comrades, let’s keep battling, let’s remain in the streets, because we need Sebsatián in our ranks to continue confronting the adjustment and the imperialist plans.”
Romina del Pla (PO leader – SUTEBA Matanza)
“All workers are being tried today
The government changes by the IMF remains, as well as the adjustment and the demand of advancing with the labor reform that we were able to stop on December 18. (…) All workers are being tried today, as well as the youth that confronted every attack by the pro-bosses governments. (…) They aim to make a lesson of this trial. (…) So this trial has to end with the complete absolution of César Arakaki and Daniel Ruíz. From the PO, we commit all our effort for this trial to end up with the lesson that workers will not be stopped with legal processes nor with repression. We will keep on fighting to defeat the bosses’ policies.”
Cesar Arakaki (Militant of PO and Actuemos)
“The right to social struggle will be in the dock.
I want to thank all organizations here for demonstrating in this rain. In this trial, not only me and Daniel Ruíz are in the dock, but the thousands and workers that, together with the youth, demonstrated that day against the social security reform. (…) Now they go for a reform that they call “modernization of labor relationships”. We know what this is about. It is the advance of all bosses and the state to better exploit the working class. (…) In a few minutes we will be in trial, and in the right to social protest and demonstration will be in the dock. Let’s make a major campaign for everyone to know that today are being tried those who defend the rights of all workers. (…) Those that take us to trial robbed many days of our freedom. This trial is encouraged by Macri, Bullrich and the entire capitalist class. Let’s demand absolution and the right of social protest. For the right of the people to demonstrate against the famine-causing governments of the IMF.”