Location Argentina Argentina

‘March of Resistance’ Gathers Thousands Against Macri’s Government

The activists returned to organizing the yearly “March of Resistance” due to constant clashes with the new government in power.

The Argentine human rights organization Mothers of Plaza de Mayo organized a 24-hour sit-in against the government of Mauricio Macri that ended on Saturday afternoon with the support of thousands in the capital city of Buenos Aires.

The head of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Hebe de Bonafini, and Maximo Kirchner, son of Nestor and Cristina Kirchner, former leftist presidents of Argentina, participated in the closing of the event.

“Since Macri came to power, once again I thought we would need several marches after 12 years of happiness,” said Bonafini, referring to the years the Kirchners were in office.

The mobilization began on Friday afternoon outside the government’s headquarters known as Casa Rosada. Supporters protested against rising unemplyment rates in the country and used the slogan, “For the right to work, resist without rest. Cristina leading.”

According to the Mothers, more than 30 organizations participated in the action, all expressing support for former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who was in power from 2007 until 2015.

“The march is against a government that wants to destroy us, but what they don’t have is the support of people on the street. We will flood the streets, squares, so that those who are unemployed feel supported,” said Bonafini on Thursday.

Maximo Kirchner criticized the economic measures taken by the Macri administration and called on supporters to work together and defend the rights of the Argentine people.

The National Institute of Statistics and Census of Argentina released a report earlier this month, confirming the unemployment rate has climbed to 9.3 percent in the second quarter of 2016 while more than a million people have been made unemployed. In the third quarter of 2015, the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent.

The so-called “March of Resistance” began during the military dictatorship in 1981 and continues to demand justice for the thousands of babies who were kidnapped by police.

Twenty-five of the same protests were held on the famous Plaza de Mayo square in Buenos Aires during the governments of Raul Alfonsin (1983-1989), Carlos Menem (1989-1999), Fernando de la Rúa (1999-2001) and even during the leftist government of Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007).

The last march was held on Jan. 26, 2006, when Bonafini ended the strike, saying the “the enemy is no longer in the government, the enemy is inside the multinationals.”

Bonafini has been widely recognized for her activism and has been awarded the UNESCO’s Prize for Peace Education in 1999 and Ecuador’s National Order of Merit in 2006 among others.

The Mothers have also held a customary weekly march every Thursday since 1977, to commemorate the victims of the U.S.-backed Dirty War that disappeared some 30,000.

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