On Monday, November 8, the Argentine judiciary sentenced the activists Daniel Ruiz and Cesar Arakaki to three years, and three years and four months in prison respectively, for their participation in the demonstrations of December 14 and 18, 2017 against the pension reform of then President Mauricio Macri. Back in 2017, on December 18, despite violent repression during the previous days, more than 300,000 people had mobilized to denounce the government’s attacks against working people. Clashes with the police left many injured, and the right-wing denounced the violence of the demonstrators, who supposedly threw “fourteen tons of stones” against Congress. Nevertheless, thanks to the demonstrators, the government was forced to withdraw its reform.
Daniel Ruiz, a PSTU (LIT-CI) activist, and Cesar Arakaki, an actor and Workers’ Party activist, were among the dozens of protesters arrested that day. The police officer who denounced them has since withdrawn his complaint in the face of clear video evidence showing that his accusation of violence against Daniel and Cesar was unfounded. However, the justice system has been relentless against these activists and another PSTU activist, Sebastián Romero, who is currently under house arrest.
Handed down just one week before the Argentinian legislative elections, these sentences are a political message aimed to criminalize social protest.
Tomorrow, on December 2 there will be demonstrations throughout Argentina to call for their acquittal. As part of a global day of action in solidarity, there will be a rally in San Francisco from 12:00 noon to 1:00pm at the SF Federal Building on December 2.
These two activist comrades have appealed, and there will be many in the streets tomorrow to defend them. However, beyond the denunciation of this repressive judgment against them, those in the streets will be fighting against all the anti-worker reforms initiated by the Argentinian so-called “center-left” government, and demanded by the bourgeoisie and the IMF. We stand with them in the fight against political repression and against the austerity plans and the IMF!