SchNEWS Of The World




Argentina Special


Last December, the people of Argentina rose up in fury against the economic disaster wrought on them by their government, hand in hand with big business, banks and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The world watched on TV as pictures of supermarkets and food shops being looted showed a country at breaking point. On the evening of the 19th of December President De la Rúa appeared on Argentinean TV, refusing to resign and instead imposing a state of emergency. Within minutes of his broadcast, the people took to the streets. In Buenos Aires, an estimated million people left their homes and headed for the main Plaza de Mayo, banging pots and pans, chanting ‘El estado de sitio, que se lo meten en el culo’ (the state of emergency, they can stick it up their arse), and demanding the resignation of De la Rúa and the whole government. ‘Que se vayan todos!’ (out with them all!) quickly became the main slogan, and after two days of protest and repression which left some 35 people dead, President De la Rúa duly obliged and fled.

Since then, Argentina has been through an astonishing time.TV news has become a surreal portrait of a country turned upside down – a Congresswoman’s house is set on fire by a mob outside after her son shoots a protestor from inside; a group of artists hold a ‘mierdazo’ – a shit-throwing demo – on the steps of Congress under the slogan ‘Putting the shit where it belongs’; farmers bring hundreds of chicks they can’t afford to feed to the steps of a provincial government house – when another march, of piqueteros, arrives, they scoop up the chicks and take them away to eat. Popular assemblies have sprung up in barrios (neighbourhoods) all over the country, and the unemployed workers’ movement, the piqueteros (picketers), have stepped up their road-blocking activities. As these two currents of protest form tentative links, the loan sharks of the IMF, despised by the people, are in town again to impose their will on a government desperate for more ‘assistance’ and still willing to go to any lengths to get it.

The Mothers Of Plaza de Mayo - mothers of some of the 30,000 who disappeared during the military dictatorship, who wear distinctive white headscarves - were beaten out of the Plaza by police on the 20th of December. TV pictures of this caused outrage and sent thousands out onto the streets.





Special Sections...

Eyewitness Accounts - of the day it all kicked off with pots clanging - 19th December 2001 - with further accounts of the weeks following it.
Piquete Y Cacerola, La Lucha Es Una Sola - popular public assemblies and the unemployed workers union are leading to a new style of direct democracy
Corralito - the banks' tactic of preventing people accessing their money brought gave rise to banks covered in metal barriers, and a very pissed off 'Bourgeois Block'.
Under The Wheels Of Commerce - a look at the way the IMF and multinational finance has screwed the country economically. It gets called the 'Latin Americanisation' of Argentina.
We Didn't Vote For Them... - when it comes to parlimentary politics the consensus in Argentina is - 'out with all of them'
After Argentina - Who'll Be Next To Go? - A Post Script for the Global Anti-capitalist Movement

Also Check Out... (English language daily newspaper) (indymedia Argentina, almost all in Spanish) (in Spanish) (Mexican site, in Spanish) (excellent Argentinean current affairs magazine, in Spanish)