Milagro Sala describes last week’s massive Argentine protests as "excellent."
An estimated 400,000 people took over Buenos Aires main avenue - 9 de Julio - to protest upcoming labor reforms and two years of austerity measures amidst skyrocketing inflation.
Sala, the leader of the Argentine union and civil rights organization, Tupac Amaru, says, "I believe in the unity of the grassroots (movements), in the unity of the people.” She added, that there were “flags of all colors (organizations) but there wasn’t one altercation."
Last Wednesday’s mobilizations were organized by national unions and social movements, including the Trucker Union, Workers' Central Union (CTA), Association of State Workers (ATE) and the Argentine Workers' Central Union (CGT) whose combined membership includes over 5 million people. It was a culmination of planned protests that took place the week prior all across the country.
The Tupac Amaru leader was persecuted by the Jujuy province governor for three years mainly for alleged money laundering but was acquitted in December on lack of evidence and merit.
"Those who mobilized organized themselves against the (economic) adjustment (measures) because they want more health (protection), more access to education, and less of the laws passed by Congress. They’re against government debt," asserted Sala.
The administration, under right-wing Argentine president Mauricio Macri, is looking to pass several new labor reforms in the coming months that the unions say will limit their ability to negotiate and allow employees to hire more non-union workers.
These potential labor measures add to the slew of IMF-directed austerity measures that the head of state and his Cambiemos congressional coalition have already implemented over the past year, including sudden and drastic public sector layoffs, energy and transportation subsidy cuts, and cuts to a variety of social programs amidst 25 percent inflation rates.
The administration says the measures are meant to control government spending, meanwhile, Marci is calling for increased military spending.
The Tupac Amaru leader said in the same radio interview that current legislator and former Argentine president, Cristina Fernandez is a strong opposition leader. “I think Cristina is the real unifier.”
Sala added, "The good thing about kirchnerismo," referring to the Fernandez’s socialist-style way of conducting politics, "is that discussions go from top to bottom and from bottom to top."
Alluding to a possible Hernandez presidency, Sala says, "We have to see what Cristina wants. We have to see who decides to run. There’s still a lot of time."