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One Million Marched throughout Argentina To Reject Fascist Policies

On Jan. 24 Argentina’s CGT labor confederation estimated that about 600,000 people had marched to and protested in front of the national Congress in Buenos Aires yesterday to denounce the fascist policies of the Javier Milei government. Add in the marches and demonstrations that took place in almost all provincial capitals, and the total mobilization amounted to close to 1 million people. Referring to the strike today, the daily {Página 12) headlined its coverage “An Omnibus Action!!”

Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, who thinks she’s a tank commander, pronounced the strike “a failure” with a very “low turnout” of maybe 40,000 people with “very little support.” During the march, she prowled around the capital looking for people who hadn’t joined the strike to congratulate them for their bravery.

Strike speakers from the CGT, CTA, and UTEP (representing social organizations, poor and self-employed) challenged members of Congress to reject the economic shock and deregulation policies embedded in the “urgency and necessity” decree (DNU) and related Omnibus bill and to defend people’s rights and social justice instead. Pablo Moyano, co-secretary general of the CGT and a leader of the 40,000-strong truckers union, reminded legislators that “we, the 44% who didn’t vote [for Javier Milei], we are also the people. We are 11.5 million Argentines who are being harmed by [Milei’s] proposed measures. They must listen to us.”

In Congress, meanwhile, chaos reigns. This morning a worried Milei convened a cabinet meeting to evaluate the strike and its effects. Two days ago, he boasted that his party in Congress had gotten 55 deputies, including from the “friendly” (non-Peronist) opposition, to sign on to the Omnibus bill in committee to bring it to the floor of the Chamber of Deputies for a vote. But it has since come to light that the signature-gathering process to reach 55 votes was so rife with corruption, extortion, and shady backroom deals that some deputies signed onto a text that was changed after they had signed! Faced with anger from erstwhile allies, Milei’s team is now frantically scrambling to hold on to the 55 votes, changing the text again, begging for support with no guarantee of success.