Statement by the League for the Revolutionary Party, April 23, 2003.
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Defend the Brukman Factory Workers and Supporters!

We stand in solidarity with the workers of the Brukman Factory in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the masses of supporters who have also become endangered as victims of violent police repression. The Brukman clothing factory is one of many businesses which have been taken over by the working class since 2001, in the context of Argentina’s profound economic crisis.

An LRP supporter had the opportunity to visit this factory last year and was impressed by the high degree of identification with socialist politics among this group of workers. There has been an ongoing struggle over the workers’ refusal to end their occupation. The inevitable clash between the workers on the one hand -- and the bosses, their courts and police on the other -- culminated in the confrontation on Monday, April 21.

On that day, 500 policemen ejected the workers, but the workers in turn came back to fight. And they came back with many thousands of supporters in a mass demonstration against the police and in defense of the workers. In retaliation, the police attacked the demonstrators -- using real bullets for the first time in this type of dispute in recent times, in addition to tear gas and rubber bullets.

As of now, there are reports that over 60 people were wounded, including children as well as workers. The Presidential candidate of the Izquierda Unida Party was among those attacked. We have heard that Vicente Balvanera, whom we have debated in our magazine and on our website, was among the wounded. Several hundred were arrested. The policy of Argentine capitalism was clearly stated by the Judge Bonorino Pero who stated, “Life doesn’t have supremacy over economic interests.”

The call for mass armed working-class self-defense has always been a part of the authentic Trotskyist program and has to be resurrected in Argentina today. Now more than ever what is needed is an authentic proletarian revolutionary party which will fight for a clear revolutionary program of action. Sooner or later the naked fist of repression is capitalism’s answer to the struggle of the masses -- if the working class does not build its party to make its revolution in time.

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