Hunger and sticks. Repression of land workers

Hunger and sticks. Repression of land workers

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The Feriazos are the way in which the land workers managed to openly raise their demands in the cities, and at the same time allow the urban population to access fresh vegetables at 10 pesos.

Today, Friday February 15, the Union of Earth Workers was preparing to hold two fairgrounds in the City of Buenos Aires. At the end of last year the government of Rodríguez Larreta prohibited the continuation of the fairgrounds with the ridiculous (and false) argument that "each vegetable left dirt in the squares." From that moment until today, the (unsuccessful) attempt has been deployed to enable a channel of dialogue with the authorities that would allow thousands of people in the city to continue arriving with fresh vegetables and at the same time put on the table the situation that the small farmers are going through : those that produce 60% of what we eat every day.

Unified the activity in Constitución and with the accompaniment of urban organizations such as the MP La Dignidad and the CTEP Capital, together with the vegetables of the fifths came the police arrogance. "Put flags yes, gazebos and vegetables no" was the first police message, and before the firmness of the organizations, the gang with shields and sticks entered the scene, pushing, kicking drawers, and distributing pepper spray to the right and left; to the quinterxs of the UTT and also to the retirees who were waiting to get a package of chard or a bundle of arugula. All the same: the undesirables that the city government policy aims to evict from public spaces. All broadcast live by national media.

What did not come out was the theft of all the vegetables by the police, who after the repression and with the tent of a line of shields, rushed to upload the drawers to vans of the City Government, collecting even the tomatoes and bell peppers from the ground ...

The Feriazos are the way in which the land workers managed to openly raise their claims in the cities, and at the same time allow the urban population to access fresh vegetables at 10 pesos (!)

There were more than 80 and they allowed around 150,000 people to access 500,000kg of vegetables. In each one, the queues spoke for themselves: hundreds of people who arrived hours before the designated square to guarantee their lettuce, radishes, aubergines, beets, green beans ... many retirees, but also families from the middle classes. Each verdurazo or fair was a window to the deepening of the crisis of the family economies among the working people.

And what was "a bargain" of 10 mangoes served the producers, because the truckers and collectors who come to their farms to pick up the vegetables that they resell to greengrocers or in the central market, pay them less.

The land workers produce in very long days of 10 or 12 hours, on land they do not own for which they must pay exorbitant rents and without any policy that allows them access to them; hostages of these perverse marketing chains and exposed to the impact of pesticides that conventional practice imposes in different ways. Living in wooden shacks because the rental contracts prevent them from building them dignified, at the mercy of short-circuit fires that have claimed many lives.

Regarding this situation, the Agricultural Social Monotax (MSA) was terminated, which allowed more than 100,000 people to access retirement and get out of informality by expanding possibilities, perhaps the most eloquent measure of official contempt for a sector they treat as "The rural poor", hiding their true economic weight, which, we repeat, represents the production of 60% of what we eat every day.

Against so much injustice, the experience that the UTT has been building is truly wonderful, combining the concrete claim in streets and offices with the construction of alternatives of a power that we have to accompany from the cities: Hundreds of hectares producing in an agroecological way, consumer networks to through pockets and general stores to guarantee fair prices, legislative initiatives for access to land and the construction of agricultural colonies of integral supply such as those that operate in Jáuregui and San Vicente, and soon in Gualeguaychú; garden for the children of the earth, adult literacy and schooling; empowerment of peasant women and recovery of ancestral knowledge; community machinery initiatives; biopreparations factories and different inputs for the autonomy of transnationalized chains. In parallel, they are part of the struggle to defend the seeds in the hands of the peoples; against the agribusiness model that expels, pollutes and poisons; and so that the peasant family agriculture sector can occupy the place it deserves in the more general debate of which country we want for everyone.

Today they repressed the hundreds of people who were in Plaza Constitución, but the wake of this violence reaches every plate, every table, every working family in the countryside or the city.

The image of the grandmother picking up aubergines scattered on the floor dirty with trampled vegetables and surrounded by police officers is perhaps the most complete synthesis of what we live today in the city of Buenos Aires ... and every day throughout the country. It is the response of clubs and hunger of a government that amputates rights while guaranteeing extraordinary profits to concentrated capital.

Today it is difficult to write because the eyes burn, but the anger burns more ... it is a task to transform it into strength to achieve everything we lack.

Source: Huerquen, Collective Communication

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