Argentina: Huge plenary of the left and the activists. To advance the struggles and the electoral campaign

On Saturday 17, during the whole day, Plaza Congreso was crowded by the meeting organized by the MST (section of the ISL in Argentina) and the PO. More than 20,000 people from the Capital, Greater Buenos Aires, delegations from all over the country and more than a dozen organizations joined in this initiative. After the opening ceremony, several committees met, whose resolutions were then voted on along with the main candidacies for the FIT Unidad’s internal elections. In this article, we review the event, which successfully combined political debate and democratic methods, and share all the resolutions, speeches and images.

By Pablo Vasco

Despite the intense cold, from early in the morning, comrades finished setting up thousands of chairs and decorating the entire plaza. Meanwhile, little by little, militants and supporters arrived at Congress Plaza from their neighbourhoods, organized or in small groups. While people shares mate, the turn out, which grew from hundreds to thousands, was already outlining a successful, unprecedented, conscious and willful event.

Leaders, union delegates, health workers, teachers, tire workers, state workers, bus drivers, railway workers, municipal, judicial, telephone and other unions were joined by piqueteros and piqueteras, young students, retirees, environmental activists, activists of the human rights movement, feminism and diversity, among others.

Political solidity and representativeness

The plenary began with a political overview by Néstor Pitrola (PO) and our leader Alejandro Bodart (MST). Then two leaders of militant tradeunionism spoke: Alejandro Crespo (Tireworkers) and Guillermo Pacagnini (CICOP and Fesintras). Piquetero leaders Eduardo Belliboni (Polo Obrero) and Mónica Sulle (MST Teresa Vive) also greeted the audience.

Afterwards, a leadership table representative of the participating organizations was formed. MST and PO leaders were joined by leaders of political organizations such as Opinión Socialista, Resistencia Socialista, Socialismo y Libertad, Frente de Trabajadores por el Socialismo and Corriente Política de Izquierda; social movements such as La John William Cooke, MTR 12 de Abril and Movimiento Barrial de Trabajadores; environmental groups such as Proyecto Timón Verde, Colectivo La Reveldia; members of the Basta de Falsas Soluciones collective, and invited human rights organizations such as Encuentro Militante Cachito Fukman.

Once the functioning of the plenary was approved, we moved on to the discussions in committees.

Commissions and democratic resolutions

Thirteen commissions with specific themes met at Plaza Congreso: Politics, Labor Movement, Piquetero Movement, Democratic Freedoms, Health, Education, Environment, Women and LGBT, Youth, Housing, Culture, Retirement and Senior Citizens, and Migrants. In other words, the main issues of concern to working people. As is logical, in all of them the debate on the situation of the two policies expressed within the Frente de Izquierda Unidad was discussed.

Far from a mere formality, as the other list of the FIT-U painfully lies, there was a genuine and participative discussion in all the committees. There were oral introductions and written texts, on the basis of which hundreds of comrades intervened consciously and willingly, and enriched the resolutions with their experiences, thoughts and proposals.

With all our strength, to the struggles and the campaign.

We then returned to the closing rally of the plenary. First, there were speeches by Cele Fierro, Romina Del Pla, Jessi Gentile and Vanina Biasi. Then the commissions’ discussions were summarized and all the resolutions were voted on by massive plenary, starting with the support for the people of Jujuy and all the struggles and including the candidatures:

1) We resolve to promote, in defence of this perspective, the candidatures of Gabriel Solano for president and Vilma Ripoll for vice president. In the Province of Buenos Aires, Alejandro Bodart for Governor, Néstor Pitrola for National Congressman, Romina Del Plá for Senator. In Capital, Vanina Biasi for Chief of Government, Cele Fierro for legislator, Jessi Gentile for National Congresswoman, and militants all over the country.

2) We will open our lists to activists who adhere to the program of Frente de Izquierda Unidad and to the general guidelines voted in this plenary.

The raised hands of the more than 20,000 people present approved these pre-candidatures for the PASO (Primary elections) of the FIT Unidad, in what was an expression of political conviction and militant fervor. The closing speeches of Vilma Ripoll and Gabriel Solano, our presidential formula, ended a successful, massive and transcendental event for the left and activists. With our batteries recharged, we left the plenary to advance the struggles and the electoral campaign across the country.

We share the main resolutions, speeches and images of the plenary:

Commission resolutions (in Spanish)

Alejandro Bodart’s speech at the opening ceremony

There are PASO in the FIT-U and different strategies at stake