Argentina: The Plaza de Mayo dressed in red

Saturday the 19th began with good weather, once the early rains had passed. As always, the usual last-minute preparations were carried out at the party offices: confirming the bus routes, fixing drum parches, arranging the flags…

The logical anxiety of every great political rally had been accumulating over the previous days. Face to face invitations in workplaces and neighborhoods were supplemented with flyers, dissemination on social media and the invitation of many supporters and fellow travelers to share the event. “It is time for socialism and a workers’ government” was the calling slogan, setting the course to follow.

The Red Square

The efforts of the MST membership yielded its well-deserved fruits. In any case, we could not close this difficult year without making the voice and political proposals of the revolutionary left heard loudly. So we did.

As you approached, the Plaza looked red with flags, with a high stage facing the Rosada, the chairs were well arranged and the people arriving little by little. From all over the city and its suburbs, including La Plata, they came in columns or chatting in small groups. Who? Workers, young people, neighbors from the popular neighborhoods; people from the left and more than one Peronist angry with the government. Ages? From high school kids to activists with many behind them.

Socialist and internationalist With thousands and thousands of people already located and the percussion in pure agitation mode, Vanesa Gagliardi, our elected Buenos Aires deputy, and myself had to present the event. To get into the mood, a video was shown with interventions by the party in the year´s struggles. The rally was part of the 20 that we held throughout the country, from Jujuy to Río Gallegos and from Mendoza to the historic Plaza de Mayo.

After the greetings by our sister organizations of other countries with whom we share the International Socialist League, came the opening speech, by the secretary general of the MST and coordinator of the ISL, Alejandro Bodart. Alejandro outlined the global capitalist crisis aggravated by the pandemic; the polarization and the rebellions that cross the world, and the challenge that revolutionaries face, in the heat of these struggles, to build strong socialist alternatives and to confront the right and the possibilist variants. In his speech, with an in depth analysis, he explained why capitalism has nothing left to offer and hence the urgency and the open possibilities to advance in the fight for a socialist solution. Valuing the steps taken in the construction of the International Socialist League, with a comprehensive program and learning from the experiences of organizations of diverse traditions.

Later, several adhesions and presences were highlighted, among them that of our comrade Vilma Ripoll and those of leaders of the parties with whom we are part of the FIT Unidad, delegations of leaders of the PTS with Claudio Dellecarbonara and Guillo Pistonesi, and of PO with Néstor Pitrola and Gabriela de la Rosa were present. We also received videos with greetings from Nicolás del Caño, Romina del Pla and Giordano. “Sueco” Lordkipanidse and other colleagues from the Cachito Fukman Militant Encounter were present and we received the support of journalist Herman Schiller and Correpi´s María del Carmen Verdú.

From the struggles to a workers’ government

In our rally, the main social struggles and their protagonists could not be absent. Thus, delegations rose to the stage and their representatives spoke. From the socio-environmental struggles, together with allied groups, with the young Jessi Gentile. From LATAM aeronautic workers against layoffs, represented by Paula Vigna and Martín Tomé. From the occupation of Guernica for land to live, with Nahuel Orellana from the MST Teresa Vive. And from the front line of the fight against the pandemic, nurses and all public and private health workers, with the words of Norma Lezana, leader of the Garrahan professionals, and Carolina Cáceres and Andrea Ramírez, nurses from the Tornú and Ramos Mejía hospitals respectively and spokespersons for the Association of Nursing Professionals. Meanwhile, the donation box of the Parque de la Costa workers’ struggle fund were circulating. We also received a greeting from our comrade and Córdoba legislator Luciana Echevarría.

Then came the closing political speech, in the voice of our young national leader Cele Fierro. Cele started by paying tribute to the fallen of Argentinazo and to the 30,000 detained-disappeared comrades. With the conviction that characterizes her, she exposed the reality of the national government´s austerity, raised the need for a general strike, highlighted the fight for legal abortion by encouraging a vibrant abortion green and secular orange handkerchief demonstration. And she called, among other things, to strengthen the FIT Unidad by overcoming its weaknesses and current electoral stage, to advance towards a great common political movement and a great party of tendencies to acts in all fields of class and political struggle, in the perspective of fighting for a workers´ government. And she closed by calling to strengthen the MST throughout the country.

As a finishing touch, with fists raised, flares lit and emotions surfacing, we ended the combative and successful rally of the MST in the FIT Unidad singing the verses of The International. As evening fell, we all returned with the satisfaction of the task accomplished.