At the end of 2017, thousands of workers, pensioners, students and human rights activists along with their political and union organisations, protested outside the Argentinian Congress against the pension reform that President Macri’s government proposed to the House of Representatives.
Their anger and determination was so strong that the session was suspended after many hours of confrontation with the police outside.
Workers resisted tear gas, rubber bullets and even lethal bullets that resulted in many injured and fifty detained.
There was a fierce reaction against the police brutality that continued after the end of the demonstration, mainly by shooting fire crackers, a common practice.
During the clash, Sebastian Romero was photographed holding a fire cracker and was charged with many crimes, among them sedition, that is conspiring to overthrow the government.
Romero is a member of PSTU – IWL Argentinian section, and a worker at General Motors, where he is an elected shop steward. He was one of the leaders of the strike against GM’s attempt to lay-off 350 workers.
Romero, with full support from the PSTU, decided not to turn himself in and hid in an unknown place. As a revolutionary he will not submit to a trial where the sentence has already been passed.
On the day of the demonstration the government began a witch-hunt accusing those who resisted the government forces of violence. Several detentions were made, among them Cesar Arakaki, member of PO (Workers Party), Jones Huala and Milagro Sala. Even Representatives of the House have been charged, such as Myrian Bregman, Nicol·s del CaÒo (both members of the PTS) and Mayra Mendoza (FPV).
The government is trying intimidation to stop all protest against their austerity plans.
International solidarity needed
Romero remains in hiding and the Justice Ministry has offered a huge reward for information of his whereabouts. The police searched a PSTU member’s home without any evidence that Romero could be there, and unknown people smashed a window of his lawyer MartÌn Alderete’s car and threw a Molotov cocktail on the back seat.
Sebastian Romero needs solidarity from trade unions, political parties, human right organisations and all workers. His liberty is a symbol of the struggle of the working class for their emancipation.
- End the pursuit of Sebastian Romero!
- Freedom for Argentine protesters!
- Struggle is not a crime!