Unions and social organizations march to courthouse to protest Milei’s mega-decree

The demonstration is going ahead despite the government’s efforts to discourage rallies and roadblocks via a strict anti-protest protocol

The General Confederation of Labor (CGT by its Spanish initials) is marching alongside several unions and social movements towards the national courthouse building in Tribunales, downtown Buenos Aires City, to protest the mega-decree announced by President Javier Milei last week.

The march, which began Wednesday at 11 a.m., comes after the CGT filed a protective writ against the decree on Tuesday, requesting it be declared unconstitutional and annulled. It is also going ahead despite the Milei administration’s efforts to discourage rallies and roadblocks via a strict “anti-protest protocol.”

The two factions of the Argentine Workers Central (CTA), called “Workers’ CTA” and “Autonomous CTA,” are also marching alongside the CGT. The Popular Economy Workers Union (UTEP), Unidad Piquetera, left-wing parties, social organizations, and other unions — such as Buenos Aires healthcare workers unions — also came out in support.

A week ago, Milei issued a 366-article presidential decree of “necessity and urgency” — known as DNU in Spanish — that annulls or modifies several laws and overturns policies that protected consumers and workers, effectively deregulating Argentina’s economy. 

However, Judge Juan Ignacio Ramonet rejected CGT’s injunction on Wednesday midday because the decree has not come into force yet. This is because Milei’s decree failed to stipulate when that would be the case (usually immediately after its publication in the Official Bulletin). Therefore, by law, eight days have to pass for it to be applied, which would be on Friday.

On Tuesday, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich approved the CGT’s request to hold an event at Plaza Lavalle, in front of the courthouse building. Although these types of requests are regularly filed before big gatherings and marches, Bullrich wrote on X that it was “a milestone in the way [Argentines] carry out demonstrations in public places,” implying it was a result of her new protocol. She later deleted the post.

Other lawsuits and protection writs (known as amparo in Spanish) from many quarters have been filed since the mega-decree was revealed. These legal complaints, along with Wednesday’s march and other ongoing protests, intend to show massive rejection against it.

Despite Judge Ramonet’s rejection of the CGT’s writ, on Saturday a federal court accepted a lawsuit filed on Thursday by the CTA-A, the State Workers Association (ATE) and the City Law Observatory.

A bus carrying social leader Carlos “Perro” Santillán was stopped by military police in Zarate (around 100 kilometers away from Buenos Aires) on its journey from Jujuy to the march in Tribunales. Officers claimed that Santillán and the 45 people traveling with him did not have the necessary documentation to continue their trip.

According to Santillán, the passengers were not allowed to step off the bus. The officers ordered for it to be driven to a bus terminal in Buenos Aires city and then taken away. “They left us without a bus and we don’t know how we are going to return home,” Santillán told Radio 10. “We have no money and no food.”

You may also be interested in: Long live freedom (but not to protest)


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald