An anarchist perceptions of the current situation
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 20:04:29 +0000
I thought you all might find this interesting (and I want to share it with someone, it is very odd for me to be seeing all this and not being involved, bothers me).
Argentina is in a serious economic crisis. Because of this, and rumours that the peso would devalue (it is currently 1 peso to 1 dollar, banks collapsing, etc. people began taking their money out of the banks (and to begin with few people even use banks in Argentina). As a response to this the Economy Minister, Domingo Cavallo, decreed that for the next 3 months each person can only withdraw 250 dollars a month from the bank. This forces people to get bank accounts (as you can spend, but with checks, debit cards, etc.) and to normalize the work situation of "black" workers, etc.
The country has gone insane. There was a general strike that was very much followed last week. Road blockades all over the place, and now, most of all looting. It has been mainly of supermarkets, but it is beginning to spread to other stores as well. There has been probably 50 or more supermarkets looted in the last three or four days (at least 20 today). This is done by groups in the neighborhoods of between 50 and 2 thousand people. (I am watching the news right now, and every 10 minutes they announce another one, they just announced one in which the looters have overpowered the police).
Also today there was a state workers march in the city of La Plata. They tried to attack the state house and this led to a huge battle with the police, banks smashed, bullets, gas, you name it.
*Also* today, in Cordoba, state workers entered the state house, destroyed just about everything, and set fire to a large part of it. This also led to a battle with the police. (the police in Buenos Aires report that they are out of rubber bullets!)
Finally, the small business owners have also taken to the streets, because they say that the limits on taking cash from the banks hurt their business. They have been having demos, blocking streets, etc.
I am very curious to see how this will all evolve.
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 21:10:13 +0000
There are conflicting reports about the government having declared a state of emergency. One channel says they already have, the other says that they are discussing it.
I have been wanting to write an article on the Argentine situation for a while now. The issue is that I have so much I want to say that I dont know where to start, but I will write it.
Mainly, the reason why I am still sitting at home, is that I am unsure how to implant myself into these events as an anarchist. The general strikes, the demos, everything, the entire Argentine political culture (be it leftist, government, opposition, you name it) is based on corruption, hierarchy, back room deals, etc. There is *zero* self-management culture, *everything* is recuperated by the parties and special interests. Thus, while the resistance and such is *inspiring* I do not see it as the groundwork for any permanent, positive change.
I am not in touch with the OSL, and, although they do good things, in the scheme of things, they are very much irrelevant.
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 21:13:40 +0000
This is where I get scared.
The government has just asked the military to step in to contain the looting. In Argentina, the military has *never* done anything good. Fortunately, they are refusing.
There is in fact a state of emergency.
There was supposed to be a 48 hour general strike starting today, but last week they decided not to do it. That would have at least provided me with a place I fit in (as I used to work with the Argentine Communist Party).
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 21:55:03 +0000
Yet Another Update
The rioting and looting is spreading into the city. So far I have stayed home because nothing is really happening in my area, but it is getting closer and closer, neighborhood by neighborhood. I kind of wish I had my Indymedia pass with me (looks really real, from Genova) to go out and get a really good story, but since my foot is hurt and I cant really run, I dont want to risk it without it.
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 07:28:43 +0000
So more info (I was sleeping for a while)... The economy minister and the entire cabinet has resigned. Around 10 pm there was spontaneous demos pretty much all over the city. People are gathered around his house and he has had to ask for more police protectio
People gathered at the Congress, in front of the Pink house (Argentine equivalent of the White House), and in front of the Presidents House in Olivos. There was heavy fighting in front of the congress when people tried to storm it. Barricades, banks destroyed, etc.
There is a demonstration called for today at 1 by the United Left (Communist Party and Socialist Workers Movement) against the 1 month state of emergency that has been declared, so I will be at that.