Last month, Argentina’s central bank hiked rates to 60% as the currency collapsed. The peso is down more than 45 percent against the dollar this year and the government took a $50 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the end of August.
International Socialist League
All this means the continuation of the brutal social attacks such as cutting or closing hospitals, shipyards, cutting pensions, denying women the right to choose in spite of gigantic demonstrations.
The police have government authorisation to repress those who protest on the streets and persecutes and arrest trade unionists and activists.
That is why we are asking you to take the following motion, that was passed at Liverpool TUC on 20 September, to your organisation, union, social or political and support the fight against austerity in Argentina and for the release of all those trade unionists and activists that have been jailed or are being hunted by the police.
For the immediate freedom of comrade and Argentine activist Daniel Ruiz
Chubut activist and oil workers’ leader, Daniel Ruiz was arrested by police on Wednesday (12 Sept).
Comrade Daniel Ruiz, a renowned oil industry union leader from the Chubut region and a leader of the PSTU Argentina and the International Workers’ League, was arbitrarily arrested yesterday (Wednesday, 12/9) at his home. This arrest is part of the prosecution and police hunt for Sebastián Romero for his participation in the struggle of Argentine workers against the pension reform on December 18, 2017.
Once again, the Macri Government persecutes and arrests those who fight alongside the workers and the people. Comrade Daniel accompanied the heroic struggle of the workers at the Santiago River Shipyard, in the mobilization and in the actions that fought the social adjustments of Macri and Vidal. He also participated actively in organizing preparations for protests against the G20 meeting that will take place in Buenos Aires in early December 2018.
This is the justice that Daniel Ruiz has today. Police searched his home and was detained in the Division of Public Threats and Intimidation, in the federal capital of Argentina. Daniel Ruiz is being arrested for his tireless struggle against the application of the Labour and Social Security Reforms!
(Liverpool TUC) strongly repudiates the arbitrariness and arrest of Daniel Ruiz and demands his immediate release. We also call on all social organizations, unions, political parties and human rights organizations to show their support and solidarity to denounce this fact and to join in the struggle for the immediate liberation of Daniel Ruiz.
Down with repression! – End the political persecution of union fighters and activists in Argentina, in particular the comrade Sebastian Romero! – For the immediate release of comrade Daniel Ruiz!
Please send your messages to: Judge Sergio Torres, Federal Criminal and Correctional Court No. 12 firstname.lastname@example.org and Argentine Embassy 65 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4AH email@example.com
Copies to Margaret McAdam, Secretary Liverpool TUC firstname.lastname@example.org
We ask that this is shared widely ask that this is shared widely across the trade union movement along with Daniel’s letter from prison, below.
Letter from Daniel Ruiz
Marcos Paz Prison, 2 October, 2018
Workers and the people, workers’ organisations, federations and international bodies.
My name is Daniel Ruiz. Since 12 September, I am in prison only for protesting last December against the reforms of pensions and taxes that was imposed by the national government of Mauricio Macri.
My detention serves one purpose: to criminalise social protest, to ensure that workers live in fear. That’s why the government and its courts chose this date for my detention, 12 September, “State Workers’ Association (ATE) National Strike Day”. They thought holding me hostage would intimidate the working people. How they underestimate the people! We are still standing and these actions have given me more strength to continue our fight against hunger in every home.
It was not enough for them to persecute Sebastián Romero, to arrest and prosecute Arakaki and Ponce, to extradite Jones Huala, keeping Milagro Sala hostage, harassing and prosecuting unions and social leaders like Juan Grabois, to assassinate Santiago Maldonado and Rafael Nahuel.
They keep me in jail, with a bail of 200,000 pesos, because “the judge continues to appraise me”. I can spare the work of these gentlemen in suits and ties that follow the orders of the guard. I come from Comodoro Rivadavia, born and raised there, where oil was discovered in 1907 and the national state and the multinationals did not pay a cent for the 40 first years of plundering our resources. That is, they owe us 40 years of royalties! where the state had almost 40 years before paying royalties for all the oil carried they took away, and now they only pay royalties of 12%
Judge Torres: I attended high school 731, and as it had no name, amongst the students we decided to vote to give it a name, and among the names proposed, it was “Gran Malvina” who had the majority, in tribute to our sovereign rights over our Malvinas islands.
Of course, you did not appraise that because, like the president Macri, you have given up the fight to recover them and you pay homage to the pirates.
I worked all my life, and when a barrel of oil reached 8 dollars, we founded, with my neighbours and unemployed oil workers, the movement of piqueteros for a real job.
You know, Mr. Torres, that between 1998 and 2002, thanks to the struggle, 1800 jobs were created in the Gulf Basin San Jorge.
This has been achieved with unity, solidarity and organisation, and you must know that this is how I entered the oil industry; and I’m proud to be a worker, a shop steward, and especially a friend and a comrade of my peers in the working class, and that sooner or later we will have to impose a new political, economic, scientific and social system in which the main levers of the economy are controlled by the worker for the well-being and development of the community and popular sectors.
If this wild capitalism continues, we must build our international socialism.
From my cell, I have only gratitude for so many expressions of support and solidarity, both in my neighbourhood, at school, in my city, as in the country and in the world.
My gratitude to my family, my party, the PSTU, the union and social organisations, my lawyers, and especially those workers who sign my petition, especially my former oil tankers from the San Jorge Gulf Basin.
Nearly 100 years since the first oil strike, at nearly 100 years of the rural peons strike, at almost 526 years of the genocide of the indigenous peoples, we continue to resist!
The Malvinas Islands are Argentinian!
For a workers’ and popular government!
My daughter: We’ll see each other soon at home!
Political prisoner of struggle