the CGT He showed all the power of his mobilization apparatus on a gray and cold day over the city of Buenos Aires. While President Alberto Fernández was giving a speech in Chilecito, La Rioja, to commemorate the 172nd anniversary of the death of José de San Martín, trade unions and several social organizations marched in protest at the National Congress and caused a total paralysis of the Downtown Buenos Aires, with dozens of blocked streets in a wide radius.
With the downtown area almost completely fenced off, the unions chose different meeting points and from very early on, Between 8 and 9 in the morning, more than 30 long-distance buses that transported the protesters could already be seen on 9 de Julio Avenue. from different provinces and towns of the Interior to the City of Buenos Aires. The same could also be seen on San Juan avenues -near Plaza Constitución-, Belgrano and Mayo.
The Truckers, with Paul Moyano At the head, it was installed near the Ministry of Social Development in Belgrano and 9 de Julio and they crossed a soda truck that served as an improvised stage. With numerous food stalls around (the bondiola sandwich was sold for $800, the hamburger for $600 and the choripán for $400; a soft drink was between 200 and 300 pesos) columns were added from all over the country. In the middle of the crowd, where it was common to see many workers drinking fernet with coca in plastic bottles cut in the middle, a huge flag stood out with giant letters from the Aguas y Sodas sector with a drawn portrait of Hugo Moyano, leader of that union. .
Also the parades of the different unions, the noise of bass drums, drummers and trumpets, complemented by a lot of pyrotechnics, took over the scene while Pablo Moyano called on the President greater firmness to curb inflation and improve wages. ”Alberto, put what you have to put before the speculators. We cannot continue with these levels of inflation. Seat these guys, put the fines you have to put that the workers are going to pay you. Take out that bonus or the fixed sum for workers who do not make ends meet and keep the parities free; that the allocation reaches all workers”he asked.
A few blocks away, his brother Facundo Moyano, from the Single Union of Toll Workers (SUTPA), also he was tough on the head of state. “The current model of the Government of Alberto Fernández is ‘we do what we can’ “Inflation has to be contained by the Government, it is its obligation, we cannot blame only the price makers”, He said in a radio interview.
The point of greatest concentration was at 9 de Julio and Avenida de Mayo. There they coexisted for a long time, amidst the deafening noise of the noise bombs, a large column of Luz y Fuerza (flags of Rufino, Jujuy, Salta, Rafaela, Río Cuarto and Concepción del Uruguay, among others), with other very many of the group We are Barrios de Pie, from the Evita Movement, from the Union of Civilian Personnel of the Nation (UPCN), from the Clasista and Combative Current, from the Darío Santillán Front, from the Aeronavigators union and from the Metallurgical Workers Union (UOM)..
The Metrobus continued to operate until almost 11, but then it was cut off, as was the C line subway service. Line A only ran between Plaza Miserere and San Pedrito. The banks attended the public for only one hour because the Banking Association decided to mobilize its members starting at 11. The Entre Ríos and Callao avenues also remained open to traffic until around 2:30 p.m.
In the Plaza de los Dos Congresos the leader could be seen Louis D’Elia at the head of a column of his MILES party. In Rivadavia at 1700 the CGT placed an inflatable arch, similar to the one used in marathons as a welcome to the protesters. There was stamped the logo of the workers’ union and the legend “First, the homeland”, the main slogan of this march. Several national rock songs sounded on the speakers. And the central monument of the square was completely fenced because the Buenos Aires government ordered “its enhancement” with some reforms.
Few slogans were heard among the columns. The advance was orderly and peaceful, while most of the businesses in the area closed their doors. Several giant balloons identified each union. On one of the sides of the square, one of the Union of Oil and Gin, had a legend critical of the Government. “General strike for the rights of workers,” he said on one of its sides.
At 3:00 p.m., with the CGT leaders in front, the main column headed for Congress.
The CGT protests in the street -for the first time during the presidency of Alberto Fernández- against “inflation that has reached intolerable levels and that destroys the purchasing power of all workers”, but curiously, it will not hold the Government responsible, which manages the economy since December 2019, but to “the great price makers who highlight the value of essential products to improve profit margins.” There will be no stage or speakers. Only the CGT document will be read and then the protest will end.
The demonstrators will coincide with another march, called by the left, in the Plaza de Mayo in the afternoon, calling for the implementation of the Universal Basic Salary and for the most precarious workers to receive a bonus of $20,000 pesos. There were contacts from the CGT with the referents of the Piquetera Unit to agree on the schedules and the route of their militants with the aim that they do not cross and that there are no confrontations. There will be a press conference at 5 pm in the National Justice Employees Union building where they will evaluate the results.
PHOTOS: Franco Fafasuli