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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
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
Since then, Argentina has been through an astonishing time.TV news
has become a surreal portrait of a country turned upside down
a Congresswomans 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 cant
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.
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
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)
www.rebelion.org (in Spanish)
(Mexican site, in Spanish)
www.data54.com (excellent Argentinean
current affairs magazine, in Spanish)