More Than a Million Argentines Join Strike Against Fascist Austerity
In the midst of the extraordinary ferment taking place internationally against the Wall Street and London authored neoliberal policies, an estimated 1.5 million Argentines took to the streets to march and protest on Jan. 24 as part of the 12-hour strike called by the trade union federation CGT and the allied CTA against the fascist economic policies of radical Libertarian President Javier Milei. An on-the-ground participant told EIR that under the banner of “The country is not for sale,” at least 600,000 people marched to the large Plaza de los Dos Congresos in front of the National Congress in Buenos Aires, while similar lively and well-attended actions were held in all provincial capitals as well.
That this was not just an Argentine event was reflected in the enormous international support it garnered. Solidarity demonstrations were held in at least 20 world capitals in front of the Argentine embassies, while messages of support came into the CGT/CTA from trade unions around the world — France, Italy, the UK, Brazil, Uruguay, and the U.S., to name a few — accompanied by videos of rallies in those countries.
The target of the strike was Milei’s “urgency and necessity” decree (DNU) and Omnibus bill, that aim to dismantle the state, tear up constitutionally guaranteed rights, and impose an economic “shock” policy endorsed by the IMF (cf. SAS 2/24). Workers, members of the middle class, many retirees, and “many, many young people” were present.
The side streets around the Plaza de los Dos Congresos in central Buenos Aires were also jam-packed with people, so much so that the police didn’t even try to deploy there, because there was no room for them. Some political leaders had warned against holding a strike in the second half of January, as this is when trade unionists — workers, teachers, members of the judiciary, state workers — go on summer vacation. Not this time.
EIR’s eyewitness source emphasized that it was the first time in Argentine history that anyone can remember a strike of this magnitude being held against a President who had only been in office for 45 days. “This is unprecedented,” he said. The march was peaceful and disciplined, characterized by an air of fierce political determination to protect the nation and the population from the genocide that will result if Milei’s policies are allowed to stand.
Milei’s sadistic Security Minister, Patricia Bullrich, had threatened fierce repression, but for the most part couldn’t follow through, due to the peaceful nature of the march. She ridiculously declared the strike a “total failure” with a “very low turnout” of 40,000 and “very little support.” During the march, she prowled around the capital looking for people who hadn’t joined the movement to congratulate them for their “courage.” Milei, meanwhile, reportedly went into an uncontrolled fit of rage over the success.