“Lower prices – You can’t mess with food” was the slogan of the day: the Union of Workers of the Popular Economy made demonstrations in front of Copal, the Coordinator that brings together the large food producers, and their main companies to demand that they stop with the remark. “We are not here to beg for prices to drop: we are here to demand it,” Esteban “Gringo” Castro, the head of UTEP, stated in the central act.. And he warned that if “those in Argentina who have concentrated the production of food, marketing and export cannot guarantee that the whole of the people is fed, there is a very strong contradiction. We are going to continue a plan of struggle that brings together more and more organized sectors.”
The most commented topic in those marches was the bad joke made by the owner of La Anónima supermarkets, Federico Braun, who, when asked about how supermarkets solved the problem of inflation, answered that “by highlighting prices”.
El Gringo Castro spoke of Braun as an exponent “of a sector that we once called the oligarchy, which we now also associate with financial capital, which we no longer know what to call but which we do know that every day it marks prices and laughs at power. do it”.
“Braun and company should come to our neighborhoods to learn how to guarantee food for everyone. Prices go down in our neighborhoods because we organize ourselves to eat, so we lower prices. They are going to have to talk about how they set prices, what costs they have, how much profit, how many subsidies they receive, how many taxes they pay. And as long as they don’t, the mobilization will continue.”
Dina Sanchez, of the Darío Santillán Front, She spoke of the “anger” of seeing how her colleagues “are counting coins every day and cannot guarantee their kids a cup of milk.” “We cannot allow these living beings to continue to enrich themselves at the expense of our pain,” added the referent, who called on the government “to take concrete measures.” “There are many women going to the dining rooms to ask for food in a plastic bottle… and this son of a yuta laughs, saying that in the face of inflation, he raises prices. Society cannot continue to normalize what is happening” .
Gildo Onorato, from the Evita Movement, pointed out that “Braun showed the impunity with which these businessmen manage, because what for them is a joke for us is hunger. They feel the owners of Argentina and of the rights of the majority”.
Lito Borello, from Comedor Los Pibes, said that Braun “made statements that offend us and predispose us to popular self-defense.”
In downtown Buenos Aires, the march left the Obelisk to carry out the act in Corrientes and 25 de Mayo, where Copal’s headquarters are located. At the same time, in the interior of the country others made other protests: in front of Arcor plants –in Mar del Plata, Córdoba and Tucumán–, in front of La Serenísima, Molinos Cañuelas and Danone –in Greater Buenos Aires. In localities without industries they made mobilizations to the hypermarkets.
Although they demanded measures such as price controls, the UTEP referents spoke more about their proposal, that of building an alternative for food production. “We have to push for the state to go in that direction, to create a national food company, with community participation; You have to go there,” they said.
In this framework, they demanded that the deputies and senators approve the bill for Land, Roof and Work, which brings together a set of measures to democratize production.
On the other hand, they challenged the big food companies to sit down at a dialogue table, with the social movements and the state, and talk about their prices. “We have a problem that could explode,” said the head of the UTEP on this point.
There was also a signal towards the movements of the left, which at that very moment were meeting with the CGT. “If we want to build a bigger us, that encompasses more organizations, we are going to have to talk, as the Piquetero Bloc is doing, with the CGT. We are going to talk with all sectors to build a great mobilization. We are going to a fight plan that is going to add more and more sectors against the increase in prices.”