Argentina: 8M. Let’s mobilize against government’s austerity

By Debora Bertone

The crisis and austerity of the government and the IMF hit us hard. Unemployment, poverty wages that do not cover the basic basket, precariousness, inflation, high tariffs, food and sky-high rents are some of the issues that feature the current scenario for the working class, problems that have a stronger impact on women and LGBT community. There are plenty of reasons to mobilize.

Austerity carried out by the Frente de Todos government, hand in hand with the IMF and with the support of the employers’ opposition, mainly hits women and the LGBT community of the working class and popular sectors. To make matters worse, the government has an ally: the trade union bureaucracy that is trying to demobilize, accepting the 40% parity ceiling imposed by the government to ensure social peace.

They don’t even call for a real strike on this date. The CTA-A announced by circular that the measure will only have coverage regarding the schedules of the events and marches, which means that the working day will not be affected, a “tremendous commitment” for the feminist struggle. Other bureaucracies like SUTEBA only call for women to be the ones to strike that day, almost an excused absence to go to the mobilization. That is not a real strike, and it would not even be possible to sustain any activity only with male colleagues. It is an absolute formality.

That is why from Juntas y a la Izquierda we believe that the strike of the 8M, which the feminist movement at international level has conquered against governments, the bosses and the trade union bureaucracies must be real, political and effective; and we must demand from the trade union centrals for them to have a strong character of denunciation of the crisis we are living through and of the government’s austerity and cutting down of our salaries and living conditions.

We also maintain that there should be a denunciation of violence against women and LGBT people, of femicides and transfemicides, demanding a budget for comprehensive and effective gender laws and policies, since it was demonstrated that the government presents itself as feminist by creating the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity, but does not grant it either political weight or resources.

On this date of struggle we must demand compliance with the laws of IVE, ILE, ESI and trans labor quota throughout the country. Those conquests of the feminist movement must be defended in the streets. We need to also speak out again and demand the separation of the Catholic Church and all the churches of the State. That the subsidies and the interferences in our education and in our bodies end.

This fight must be against the classist, sexist and patriarchal judiciary, which ignores complaints and re-victimizes women and LGBT people. We suffer from it when we go to courts claiming protective measures, food, visiting regimes, or any lawsuit against gender violence; and so do their female workers who suffer all kinds of labor violence.

The patriarchal action of justice is clear, we witnessed it in sentences such as that of the first trial for Lucia Pérez, which sentence was annulled thanks to the struggle of the family, organizations and feminism, also taking the jury to the magistrates. The case is currently undergoing a new trial which result will be read on March 17, we will also be mobilizing demanding justice for Lucia and reaffirming that it was femicide on that date.

A feminist judicial reform is not enough to change justice as the official sectors say, more women is not enough to solve the underlying problem. We must seriously democratize justice and affect privileges. One of the main measures should be to change the system of appointment of judges and that they are elected by popular vote, on a date separate from the general elections, and with a revocable mandate in the event of non-compliance with their functions.

The fight is also for the sovereignty of our territories and against ecocide, demanding the freedom of the 4 Mapuche comrades detained for defending their territory in Lake Mascardi. For all this, from Juntas y a la Izquierda this 8M we demand that trade union centrals call for a real and effective strike, for mobilization against the government’s austerity and cutting down of our salaries and living conditions. Against the system and against violence, for true sovereignty of our bodies and territories, against all kinds of usurpers and the IMF, because there are no rights for women, LGBT people and the working class if austerity is being carried forward.  There are two marches, only one denounces the austerity of the government and the IMF, this 8M march with Juntas y a la Izquierda, the MST in the FITU, and the whole left.