Popular movements are going to take to the streets en masse on August 7. After a year and a half of avoiding large demonstrations for the pandemic, and with more than 50 percent of the population vaccinated, They decided to mobilize with force on Saturday, the day of San Cayetano, to place the demands of the popular economy on the political agenda. They claim a universal basic salary that guarantees that no inhabitant falls below the line of destitution and that job creation policies, such as the urbanization of neighborhoods and the Empower Work, have a larger scale.
To prepare for the march, for two weeks they have been holding assemblies in the suburbs. On Monday, for example, the main referents of the UTEP were in a blacksmith shop of the Darío Santillán Front, in San Martín, with workers from the district’s popular economy.
“We want to discuss what we are going to do in the post-pandemic. Hunger, poverty and inequality worsened, more than 50 percent of our children are poor. This is the time to write with us that blank sheet that President Alberto Fernández told us about “, He said in the meeting Dina Sanchez, referent of the Popular Front Darío Santillán.
Also in the assembly were the head of the UTEP, Esteban “Gringo” Castro, the union secretary Gildo Onorato, referents of the MTE of Juan Grabois and of the Classist and Combative Current. Onorato spoke of the lack of resources “how different it would be if all the activities of the Power plan had inputs to strengthen the work” and “had access to credit,” he said.
The Gringo Castro explained the differences that the UTEP has with the economic perspective “of the political leadership”, in a questioning that, although it puts the right as an enemy, includes at the same time an indication of the national government. “The right wing suggests that exporting saves the country. We see that this does not provide a solution for the most deprived sectors: it is a solution, but for the big exporters ”, he said about the economic orthodoxy. And he added about the claim to the national government of which the UTEP is a part: “Nor do we believe it is possible to strengthen the internal market; SMEs, national companies are our allies in times of crisis, but once they rebuild they vote for Macri. They give us a plan and tell us to wait, work is coming. With the model they propose, the work will not reach us, because it still leaves 35 percent of the country excluded. The leadership has to look at the solutions that the dispossessed sectors are putting into practice ”, he stated. In Quilmes, Lomas de Zamora, Tres de Febrero,
The San Cayetano march has a special burden because the movements of the UTEP were born in one, in 2016, during the government of Mauricio Macri. During the management of Together for Change, the organizations that gave rise to it – Barrios de Pie, the Evita Movement and the CCC – also began to use a mechanism to give their agreements with the Government, always transitory, greater stability: They turned them into bills, which allowed them to have a dialogue in Congress with the opposition and the ruling party. The laws, once approved, served as the basis for creating public policies. That was the case of the Social Emergency law – which created a complementary social wage – and of the National Registry of Popular Neighborhoods, for which the urbanization of villas and settlements is being carried out today, on a path that still faces opposition. .
This year’s mobilization comes at a time of cleavage: the Minister of Social Development, Daniel Arroyo, leaves the portfolio to be a candidate for deputy. He will be replaced by Hurlingham Mayor Juan Zavaleta. In a way, mobilization is a way of marking a presence at the beginning of your term. It also expresses a rearticulation within the UTEP, which midway through the term of Alberto Fernández’s government finds that the pandemic forced them to do much more in assistance than in policies for the generation of work among those excluded from the labor market. Half mandate of a government of which the movements of the UTEP, in addition, are part, since they are in charge of the Secretariat of Social Economy, the undersecretary of Urbanization of Popular Neighborhoods, the INAES, some directorates in Social Development. However, on his balance sheet is the complaint of having come to the government to continue distributing plans. Lastly, they were relegated to the assembly of the lists for the legislative elections. In the assemblies that are being held to convene the San Cayetano march, frustration is noted over the economic difficulties aggravated by the pandemic, and also a political frustration, that of not being represented.
Some data on the relationship between the policies that are being implemented and the scale of the need complete the picture: the Alimentar Card coverage was extended during the pandemic, and today reaches 2 million 320 thousand mothers, holders of the Universal Assignment for Child. The Empower Work Plan, in turn, has almost a million beneficiaries, and a part of its workers manages to add to the plan income from work itself, in their cooperatives or enterprises. There are cooperatives working in the urbanization of popular neighborhoods, with incomes equivalent to those of the UOCRA, but numerically they are still few: in July there were 129 urbanizations in progress. Thus, what is seen is a very broad social coverage; The problem is that the model leaves many more out of formal work: according to official statistics, today in the country more than 40 percent of those who work – 7 million people – do so in informal activities. This means that they have unstable incomes, and that they lack most of the protections at work, which in the Argentine model reach the worker through the employer.
The march will leave on Saturday morning, from Liniers, with the slogan for Land, Roof and Work. In the morning, in the basilica of San Cayetano, a delegation will participate in mass and, as is now traditional, a group of priests will give their blessing to the protesters. Your arrival point will be the Plaza de Mayo, where at 3 pm the movements will perform the central act. Simultaneously with the mobilization in Buenos Aires there will also be events in Córdoba, Mendoza and other cities in the interior of the country.