To the Judiciary, to the usual politicians, to the repressive forces, to the treacherous leadership…
Daniel Ruiz’ and César Arakaki’s trials are in their final stages. After 13 months and 1 month of imprisonment respectively. After 45 hearings with dozens of witnesses. After almost 4 years of persecution of all kinds, in which, among other things, they put a price on the head of Sebastián Romero (a higher price than that of the genocides). As the CADEP’s solicitor Martín Alderete demonstrated, there is not a single piece of evidence, not a single witness, that can justify the sentence that has already, in fact, been served. Even so, Sebastian is still under house arrest (which, thanks to the united support campaign, he has been serving at home) and, by now, new indictments are being handed down against the fighters.
From the beginning of the trial, the PSTU denounced that it was a farce, that’s why we asked for its annulment because it was a case set up by the political power instrumented by its lapdog, the Judiciary system, to try to teach a lesson to the fighters, the thousands and thousands of us who on December 18 confronted Macri’s and the IMF’s pension reform with what we had at hand, the thousands and thousands of us who that same night took to the streets, the entire working class that is trying to resist the attacks of the bosses and the governments.
A historical persecution
The criminalisation of social protest is not new, nor is it a Macri’s invention or any government’s. It is part of the class struggle and of the history of the workers’ movement. Without going any further, what else is what happened to the Chicago Martyrs, condemned to death in 1887 for the protests demanding the 8-hour working day, if not a case of a heroic struggle of the workers’ movement, with a fierce counter-offensive by the powerful to defend their privileges? What else are the thousands of imprisonments and prosecutions of fighters all over the world for decades? The case of Sacco and Vanzetti remained in the workers’ world history and the case of the oil workers of Las Heras in our country.
The form and the sentences can change, because of the time, the political regime, the particularities of the country, but the thread of continuity is the same capitalist system, in which the exploiters, a tiny minority, use everything they have at hand, and in their case it is nothing less than the state and its institutions, to subjugate more and more the exploited, the vast majority.
Justice for the rich
In this sense, justice is one of the most important tools of the wealthy. The lie of equality before the law, which we are taught as children in school, goes deep into our heads and is encouraged by the treacherous trade union leadership, which means that in many conflicts the workers end up relying on the judicial route as a way out, a route that is also often prioritised, unfortunately, by left-wing currents. What equality can they talk about if, while they persecute Sebastián Romero for not having presented himself to the courts to be used as a war trophy, Macri’s operator, Pepín Rodríguez Simón, is openly on the run in Uruguay? What equality can they talk about if the prisons are full of poor people, while the big criminals that run the country are in parliament and on the boards of directors of the companies? The laws are made by them and they have always used them to serve themselves and this case proves it once again.
The intelligence services, of course, are another key element in the persecution and, in this case, they also had a lot of work to do. On Daniel Ruiz, Sebastián Romero and our party carried out all kinds of “legal” persecution (all kinds of surveillance, raids, investigation of communications and social networks) and illegal persecution by listening to conversations and persecuting their visitors in prison, which is why we are co-plaintiffs in the AFI case.
What do they want to condemn?
The truth is that what the state’s agents want to condemn – and it was made clear in the plea the prosecutor has made in the October 18 hearing – is the right of workers to defend themselves with what we have at hand from the repression and the IMF, governments and bosses attacks. Protesting is one thing, and violence is another, they say. What could be more violent than the robbery that took place that day against the elderly and the most vulnerable people? What could be more violent than the fact that 60% of the children in the country are poor while the foreign debt continues to be paid, while the companies flee billions outside the country?
It is one thing to protest and another thing to riot, they also say. What conquests would the workers’ movement have achieved in its history if it had not been through direct action and avoiding to be defeated by the state repression? What would have become of our country if instead of confronting the British invasions with stones, water or boiling grease and improvised weapons, they had merely “peacefully” expressed their discontent? How would independence have been achieved if it had not been through armed confrontation against the invader?
The actual reason for their persecution is the crushing of resistance to their plans of starvation, which is the real violence. They want to teach a lesson to the front line that triggered the end of the Macri government, as Piñera does with the front line of the Chilean process, as Duque does with the front line in Colombia. Why so much concern with front lines? Because they are the vanguard of a process that, if it develops, can really change things. That is why our history is full of attempts by the exploiters to defeat the front lines, as a way of defeating the workers’ and people’s processes.
Pride and vindication
The PSTU and the International Workers League (IWL-FI) in Argentina, Colombia or Chile and all over the world defend the front lines. We are proud and we will be there whenever we can. And if they think that repression, jailing or persecution intimidate and stop the resistance, they are very wrong. History also proves it: they can win a battle, but not the seed of resistance and social revolution because they are born from the very injustice of the system.
If they think that they are going to silence us or make us wash away our programme, they are also wrong. We will use every opportunity to tell the workers the truth, that a workers’ and socialist revolution is necessary to put an end once and for all to all austerity plans, repression and attacks on the working class and the poor sectors and impose our own government, a workers’ government. And that we also need a party, a revolutionary party to fight relentlessly to make that possible. To say that is we also use our candidacies within the FITU (Left and Workers United Front) in these elections for that purpose.
The trial ends, the fight goes on
The trial is ending and also a stage of the campaign against the persecution starting on 18 December, we thank all those who showed solidarity and we invite you to continue to work together. Even if the only fair thing is an acquittal, we do not trust that this Justice for the rich, despite the lack of evidence and our huge campaign, is going to pronounce that sentence.
The campaign continues: for the freedom of Sebastian and his acquittal, for the dismissal of the new defendants, for the freedom of Milagro Sala and all those imprisoned for fighting, against the criminalisation of social protest and for the right to defend ourselves from repression with what we have at hand and to continue accusing them, the true criminals, with the conviction that one day, for which we work tirelessly, the working people will get it all.
And it will be them, the exploiters, their politicians, judges and paid officials, the privileged and traitors, who will have to give an account before the workers’ and people’s justice.