Mendoza: We assume these seats along with the workers.
On April 22nd and 23rd the first Trotskyist legislators in the history of Mendoza were sworn into office. Two young PTS militants assumed two of the seats that the FIT(Workers Left Front) won last October (2013). Noelia Barbeito, teacher, elected as a provincial senator and Cecilia Soria, sociology student, as a provincial deputy.
Joining the newly elected were the PTS leaders Raúl Godoy, ex-provincial deputy of Neuquén ( a Zanón ceramic worker), Nicolás Del Caño, national deputy for Mendoza, Christian Castillo, provincial deputy for Buenos Aires, and Marcelo Ramal, Partido Obrero leader and Buenos Aires lawmaker.
Representatives of the main workers struggle in Mendoza also took part in the swearing-in, such as Raquel Blas, provincial leader of ATE, leaders of the Recuperated Union’s Press, workers from the furniture factory, Cuyoplacas, workers of the comedor universitario, municipal workers from Lavalle, the teacher Veronica Vignone, propeller of the struggle for the search of Johana Chacon and Soledad Olivera, along with an important delegation from the FIT integrated with youth and workers of the region.
“I swear, to the international working class and its martyrs, for the 30,000 people kidnapped during the dictatorship, for the oppressed people of the world, for Johana Chacón, and for all the disappeared women. Yes I swear!” In this way the brilliant Senator Barbeito has sworn into office. Moreover, Cecilia Soria assumed her seat on Wednesday, April 23rd, pledging her dedication “for the international working class and the oppressed people of the world, for the 30.000 people kidnapped during the dictatorship, for Julio Lopez and Luciano Arruga and the victims of impunity of yesterday and today, for Mariano Ferreyra, and the youth raising around the world against capitalism and imperialism, for the oppressed women of the world, for Johana Chacon, Soledad Olivera and all the ones who disappeared. Yes I swear!”
Deputy Martín Dalmau y Héctor Fresina from the PO (Partido Obrero)also assumed their seats, as part of the FIT.
“We will not remain in an office, we will be in the streets”
In the city council of Las Heras, Ulises Jiménez, a young Trotskyist, law student and PTS militant, initiated his term vindicating the workers’ struggle, in particular, that of teachers’ all over the country, while condemning the government’s imposition of austerity measures through repression. He insisted on the FIT’s proposal, which states that every public official should earn as much as a teacher, questioning the political caste that governs for businessmen. “We will bring to this city council the voice of those that everyday are robbed of their own voices.“ In the following days, PTS officials Paul Lecea, Martin Baigorria and Macarena Escudero will assume their seats in the counties of Maipu, Godoy Cruz and Mendoza city.
“Our duty in office is to defend the interests of the workers”
After the sworn-in of the officials, a vote was planned by the authorities of the House. The three deputies of the FIT (PTS and PO) requested to refrain from this vote, in the same way Noelia Barbeito proceed the day before at the Senate.
The statements of the deputy from the PTS (FIT) were clear: “This is not a challenge in personal terms to, but a political stand. During the electoral campaign we said we are going to raise the voice of workers, youth, and women and we do not believe that this has to do with being part of the authorities of this House. For the same reason we will not propose. (...) The parties that intend to take these seats represent the interests of big business, landlords and bankers. Our duty is to defend the interests of workers, youth, and all oppressed people.”