TEN THOUSAND demonstrators fought off police attacks on workers from the Brukman tailoring factory in the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires, on Monday night. The factory was being run successfully under workers' control after the boss tried to close it down 16 months ago.
'They are afraid of us', said Celia Martinez, one of the 58 mainly women workers, 'because we are showing that if we can run a factory we can run the country. This government is determined to get the working class out of the way and so decided to repress us.'
A popular revolt overthrew a government which was implementing IMF attacks on living standards and jobs in December 2001. Since then the country's rulers have been trying to restore their power.
Their last attempt to do so, in June, was beaten back by massive demonstrations after they had shot dead three unemployed 'piqueteros' activists. With a presidential election due this Sunday, they have decided to have another go at crushing the real opposition.
Brukman workers are asking people to send e-mails and faxes protesting at the repression to the Argentinian embassy. Messages of support to the Brukman workers will be passed on if sent to firstname.lastname@example.org