The Argentine General Confederation of Labor threated the Legislature with a 24-hour general strike on Friday if they approve pension and tax reforms proposed by Mauricio Macri's right-wing Cambiemos Party.
The General Confederation articulates the most important economic sectors including construction, urban and cargo transport, food, health, and education. While the Confederation was debating the measures to be adopted against the reforms, an estimated 100,000 people from social movements and opposition union members marched in the downtown area. They oppose economic adjustment measures that will affect pensions and beneficiaries of the countries main welfare program, the Universal Assignment per Child Program.
According to protesters state repression was brutal and unexpected given the peaceful character of the protest. Juan Martín Carpenco of the Workers' Federation for a Popular Economy said: "we were marching together with opposition legislators when they scattered the mobilization with pepper spray, sticks and water. No one expected it." The Argentine newspaper Página 12 reported that two legislators were beaten by security forces and another activist had a dog released on him by the security forces. Leonardo Grosso, legislator of the Evita Movement denounced state violence saying "the response is beatings without concern over the consequences. Santiago Maldonado and Rafael Nahuel are victims of that policy."
Santiago Maldonado and Rafael Nahuel were activists linked to the Mapuche demand over land in the Patagonia region who were killed in confrontations with state military forces. The session in the Chamber of Deputies to debate the pension and tax reforms is scheduled for Thursday at 2:00 p.m. More mobilizations are being organised to in the coming days and hours attempting to reach Congress.