As Argentina tumbles further into uncharted financial crisis an inspiring popular rebellion has been spreading across the country. An ongoing movement has developed that has become a living laboratory of struggle, a space where the popular politics of the future are being re-invented. The rising rebellion exploded on December 20th 2001, when over a million people took to the streets banging their pots and pans and ousting the government. This year on the 20th of
December people in Argentina and across the globe are calling for a global day of Action to demonstrate that those who are building alternatives to the dictatorship of the markets are not alone.
From the unemployed workers movement, "the piqueteros", blockading roads and building community projects in their neighborhoods - to the "asambleas", the horizontally organized neighborhood meetings that have sprung up spontaneously in the cities. From the "Ahorristas", the angry savers who attack the banks daily to get their money back -to the "Trueque" barter network which 7 million people are using instead of money. From the workers in numerous occupied factories who are self managing their work places - to the High school students occupying their schools demanding cheaper bus fares; the spirit of autonomy, the celebration of diversity and the practice of direct
democracy can be seen across Argentina.
Every social strata is united in the slogan "Que Se Vayan Todos", they all must go, meaning that the entire political class leaves the stage, every politician from every party, the supreme court, the IMF, the multinational corporations, the banks - everyone out, so the people can decide the fate of their economically crippled country themselves. In the face of ever increasing poverty and total economic meltdown, the people of Argentina have found enough hope to continue
resisting, and have mustered sufficient creativity to start building practical alternatives to the despair of capitalism.
From Angola to Nepal, Bolivia to Turkey, the same cracks are
appearing in the neoliberal "logic," and people are resisting as their economies fall apart and their societies are further crippled by foreign debt. A dozen countries are poised to be the "next Argentina," and some of them may be a lot closer to home than we ever imagined.
We need to be prepared, not only to resist, but to find ways to rebuild our societies when the economic and ecological crisis hits. If the popular rebellion in Argentina succeeds, it could show the world that people are able to live through severe crisis and come out the other side, not merely having survived, but stronger, and happier for struggling for new ways of living.
For two days in December, when tens of thousands of Argentineans will take to the streets to celebrate last years uprising, actions and events will take place across the world in solidarity with the people of Argentina.
What can you do on these days ? Here are some ideas ...Take pots and pans into the streets to celebrate the sound of the Cacerolazo, start up a local neighborhood assembly, Blockade roads in solidarity with the Piqueteros, occupy your workplace or college and try out self management, expropriate goods will dancing tango, subvert the spirit
of consumer Christmas by creating a barter market ....the options are endless...
The aims of the Days of Social Disobedience include:
1) To show that the movement of movements against capitalism can move beyond insurrection towards a real social revolution. A social revolution, made of thousands of revolutions, where people are beginning to build the life that they want and preparing to defend it rather than simply protesting against what they don't want. And that Argentina is an inspiring model of this.
2) To build a powerful global network of solidarity for Argentina. The movements in Argentina are in danger of isolation; without the security and the mutual inspiration of international solidarity, they will suffer further repression. Although many in the movement of movements worldwide have said "Thank god for Argentina," as we've had
our hopes rekindled in the dark days post 9-11, most of the people on the streets of Argentina have no idea that they've provided such widespread optimism. By seeing the worlds social movements acting in concert and solidarity with their struggle, the people of Argentina will inspired to continue their struggle.
3) To learn from the events in Argentina and apply these lessons to building our own autonomous spaces, neighborhood assemblies, alternative economic systems, self managed work places etc.
4) To spread the stories and information about the movements in Argentina to social movements across the world.
Many groups are planning actions/events: ranging from the
Disobedients in Italy, to Direct action groups in Belgium, Wombles in the UK, Yamango and in Spain, as well as groups in Jordan, Finland and Germany.
"Be realistic and do the impossible, because if we don't do the impossible, we face the unthinkable." Murray Bookchin
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"The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."
[los leyes son sus limpias balas
los balas son sus sucios leyes]
[laws are their clean bullets
bullets are their dirty laws]
-grafitti, Buenos Aires, February, 2002