Argentina

"After 9 years of struggle we have achieved the definitive expropriation of our factory."

It would seem that the force of the wind, which was blowing at more than 60 km/hr in the Neuquén capital, was an omen of what was to come. 26 deputies supported the definitive expropriation and this sealed the declaration that the factory was of public interest and the transfer of Cerámica Zanon to the Fasinpat cooperative.

We have just received the news that the meeting the trade union bureaucracy of UTA had called on September 2nd with the aim of expelling the shop stewards representing the Buenos Aires Metro workers has been suspended.

Workers in the subways are facing an extremely grave situation: the Committee for Ethics of the Transit Workers Union of Argentina has decided to revoke the mandate of our delegates and expel them from the trade union organisation. We ask workers, social organisations, unions and political parties to send us their support and solidarity.

Due to the lack of a genuine left alternative in Argentina, the masses have voted for Cristina de Kirchner, who will continue the policies of her husband, balancing between the classes while defending the common interests of the capitalists and multinational companies. However, owing to the deep contradictions in Argentine society, this cannot last forever.

On the 30th anniversary of the military coup in Argentina, we remind you of Ted Grant's article on the Argentine Revolution first published in July 1973. As he predicted back then, “The capitalists having clutched the straw of Peronism, will turn to the stick of the generals once again.” This unfortunately is what happened a few years later with another military coup. Today’s activists must study the mistakes of the movement in the past in order not to repeat them today.

The heroic mobilisation of the petrol workers of Las Heras (Argentina) lasted for two weeks and has unleashed the fury of the ruling class and its agents in the government, the judiciary, the media and the police. Here we launch a petition for the support committee of these workers in order to collect signatures and solidarity messages in support of their demands. We have also issued a financial appeal for the workers’ strike fund, to help them in their struggle.

Following the declarations of the Minister of Health, Gines Gonzalez Garcia, where the ancilliary workers were accused of being “public health criminals practising terrorism”, various social and political organisations have begun to mobilise in support of the workers. This call is a way of showing solidarity. We ask you to send  it to those that you know in our country, Argentina, and abroad.

We are making available an article by Ted Grant on the Argentine Revolution first published in July 1973. As he predicted back then, “The capitalists having clutched the straw of Peronism, will turn to the stick of the generals once again.” This unfortunately is what happened a few years later with another military coup. Today’s activists must study the mistakes of the movement in the past in order not to repeat them today. By Ted Grant (July 13, 1973)

The comrades of the Marxist current El Militante in Spain and of the Socialist Current El Militante in Argentina have received an appeal for solidarity from the workers of Zanon. We appeal to all comrades, readers and supporters of In Defence of Marxism to take up this campaign and send protest and solidarity messages to the workers in the best traditions of the international working class movement – “An Injury to One is an Injury to All”.

In the last year, the metro workers have written one of the most inspiring pages in the history of the Argentinean working class of the last 30 years. The workers launched an all-out struggle for a wage increase and achieved a historic victory in their struggle for the six hour working day. After four months of intense struggle the metro workers defeated the bosses. We thank everybody who participated in the international solidarity campaign. For further information on the outcome of the conflict please see this article (in Spanish)

The Buenos Aires metro workers are heading for an all out confrontation with the bosses and the government. The dispute has become a point of reference for all active trade unionists and the left in general. Yesterday (Wednesday) there was a 24 hour general strike which has been extended by a further 48 hours for today (Thursday) and tomorrow. There is a lot at stake not only for this sector but for the whole of the Argentinean working class. See the Spanish article Solidaridad con la lucha de los trabajadores del SUBTE for more details. It is crucial that we intensify the international campaign of solidarity...

We are appealing to all our supporters to take part in an international campaign of solidarity with the Metro workers of Buenos Aires who have been involved in an ongoing dispute for some time now. A new bitter labour dispute has been unleashed, the result of which is crucial for the whole of the Argentinean working class.

The Buenos Aires underground workers are fighting for the same demands as other Argentinian workers: fair wages to allow us to live with dignity, to work in safe and hygienic conditions and respect for our rights as workers. Please send your solidarity messages.

In the three articles that Luis Oviedo has written in answer to my article published on January 7 (Marxism versus Sectarianism - Reply to Luis Oviedo) a number of very important issues are raised. These questions deserve the most careful consideration by Marxists in Britain, Argentina and internationally. However, in order to clarify the issues raised and to educate the cadres (which ought to be the aim of every polemic) it is necessary to avoid heated language, distortions and personal attacks that only serve to divert attention away from the political questions. Such an approach will only confuse matters

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My attention was recently drawn to an article signed by Luis Oviedo, entitled The Counterrevolutionary Position of Socialist Appeal(in Prensa Obrera nº 826).Having read the article, I could not decide whether it was the product of bad faith or simple ignorance. Certainly, the method used is contrary to every basic principle of Marxism and above all Trotskyism, which comrade Oviedo and the Partido Obrero (PO) claim to defend.

The measures adopted and announced by the Kirchner government during its first few weeks in power have triggered a very lively debate within the Argentine labour movement. In addition to this, there is also another debate within the left itself on the nature of the current stage of the mass movement that began with the "Argentinazo" uprising in December 2001.

The results of the first round of the presidential elections show that the period of instability that began in Argentina a year and a half ago has not ended. The massive scattering of votes also reveals the high level of discontent present in all layers of society. These elections mark a new milestone in the social and political situation in Argentina.