What we saw on Tuesday in the streets of La Plata was the coronation of a premeditated provocation. It started with a media campaign against the workers of the shipyard, in which the provincial minister of Labor, Marcelo Villegas, enthusiastically participates. This continued with a systematic attack on the conquests of the workers included in the collective agreement, including the price reduction and the discount on the holidays taken this year.
During the weekend, they reported that they were holding the joint meeting scheduled for Tuesday. And it was completed with the gigantic operation of the Buenos Aires police, which included the movement of troops, not only from the region, but even from locations as far away as Bahía Blanca and other cities in the interior.
So we arrived on the morning of this Tuesday.
Because they had voted in the parliaments, two thousand workers and workers from the Rio Santiago Shipyard began to fight early. From Ensenada they moved to the Autopista La Plata-Buenos Aires and then marched to the governorship in Buenos Aires. The goal: to reject the attacks suffered by the government of Macri and Vidal.
When the workers approached the governorship, it became clear that a provocation was waiting for them. One of them was hit by a patrol car and later the squadrons of the infantry guard began to throw water and then gasses until they unleashed a fierce repression in the area. A few meters away there was the farewell of Chicha Mariani, grandmother of the Plaza de Mayo.
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The repression lasted for an hour and included rubber bullets, gases and placards of citizens who arrested 5 workers, who were then beaten at the police station.
The workers and organizations supporting them had to defend themselves against the police rush ordered by Cambiemos. After that, they stayed in the area, while trade union organizations approached political and human rights, demanding the release of the prisoners and that their demands would be met.
Everyone knew what had happened, despite the attempt by the major media and officials to show the mobilization as an attempt to take over the government.
As denounced by Juan Contrisciani, worker representative as part of the Brown List, "there are injuries caused by rubber bullets, by shot." This situation is the product of the provocation of the government, they empty the company, our sources of work are in danger and they end up in our salary ". True to the tradition of the shipyard's struggle, they are clear about the struggle they face: Cambiemos wants to make progress in the only state factory that continues to resist attempts to empty and privatize.
In the early hours of the afternoon, along with the reports of rejection of hundreds of trade union organizations, the call for a strike was announced by ATE Provincia and the regional CTA. It was another achievement drawn by the strength of the shipyard workers.
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At nightfall, many workers waited for the release of their companions: at that eleven o'clock they had to release them because of that presence. As one of the detainees said when they left, firmly despite the blows received at the police station, "they had to release us because they knew we were not alone, that you would not go here".
Thus ended a long day of struggle. The provocations and the cruel repression ordered by Vidal could not have broken the will of the shipyard workers. That is why they will hold meetings at their workplace from the very first hours of this Wednesday. There they will discuss the steps to continue the fight. The first measure, according to La Izquierda Diario, could be a new mobilization, arriving at La Plata at 11 o'clock in the morning. You will not be alone. They will converge with other organizations, not only trade unions but also the student movement, to show the enormous rejection of repression and adaptation.
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But they know that the fight is not being defined this week. That is why a new regional plenary meeting will take place on Friday, during which we will try to define the full action plan to continue to fight for reactivation and stop Vidal's attack. The appointment is at the ATE Ensenada campsite.
Despite the provocations and Macri & # 39; s plan to "dynamise the shipyard", the battle continues. Because so many people who approached this Tuesday said: "If they touch the shipyard, they all hit us".