The Fight to Defend Brukman Continues

The struggle for the workers of occupied suit factory, Brukman to retake the factory continues after Thursday night´s surprise eviction.  Some three thousand supporters came out yesterday to defend Brukman.  Negotiations between the national government, city government, human rights groups, workers´ lawyers, 55 Brukman workers and Judge Rimoldi who ordered the eviction will continue most likely until Monday.

Since the surprise eviction ordered after a new judge took the case, the streets surrounding the factory have been flooded wiht police and protesters, as the judge continues to order police to defend the factory against another occupation.  Determination to fight for the workers´ defense of the factory grew yesterday as supporters waited to receive news of the negotiation’s outcome. 

This is the third eviction of the 55 workers since the factory’s occupation in December 2001.  The factory’s formal owner Brukman abandoned the factory in December without paying or informing workers.  Most without money to travel home waited for the owner.  After noone showed up, wokers decided to take over the factory.  The workers have set an example of another way to work—with auto-determination and dignity.  The formal owner left the wokers with the factory in debt, which the workers have been able to pay—electric bills and gas bills, along with buying new equipment.  At 16 months of production under worker control, the owner now sees a viable factory, which would have been liquidated under a devaluated peso. 

It’s unknown if the police broke machines as the have in the past or confiscated materials.  –There are 3,000 pants inside that we need to work and deliver,- said Cela, Brukman wokrer, expressing the urgency of the factory’s reoccupation.  Brukman is a factory of women, mothers and workers—those who have dedicated everything to maintain dignity through production under worker control. 

It’s uncertain where these negotiations will lead.  Yesterday it was expressed that the judge seems unwilling to listen to demands, with the workers demanding the removal of the heavily equipped police.  The government is eager to show a hard hand and zero tolerance for dissent with upcoming elections a week away.  Lawyers defending the case of the workers argued yesterday that the surprise eviction during middle of the night, the police militarizing the area, and the judge handling the case, form part of the impunity of Argentina’s military dictatorship.  Brukman’s eviction is part of a contiued eviction and terror campaing the nation is experiencing.  The workers of Zanon, a ceramics factory have been threatened for weeks with an immenent attempt at eviction.  Yesterday’s defense barricades and lines of protestors made it clear that the workers will defend and fight for the factory at all costs, Brukman workers exclaiming, -The factory will be the worker’s or it will belong to noone.

Actions are planned to continue until the factory is again under worker control.

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