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(en) Argentina: Report on the current situation by the Organisacion Socialista Libertaria (ca,it)

From Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici <internazionale@fdca.it>
Date Sat, 3 Jul 2004 13:43:05 +0200 (CEST)

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organizations in the international libertarian movement.
Dear comrades, greetings. Your Latin American anarchist brothers
and sisters send you warm fraternal greetings. This report presents
our organization and its current state in a straightforward way.
With libertarian greetings,
Onward those who struggle!
"En La Calle" - journal of organized anarchism,
South America - June 2004



1 - Political situation in the region
2 - OSL (Argentina): Its ideas and its current state
3 - Our involvement in:
a) the piquetero movement
b) the labour movement
c) the anarcha-feminist movement
d) the human rights movement
e) cultural matters

1 - Political situation in the region

In Latin America, neo-liberalism has developed, generating chaos in
society, breaking social adhesion in order to turn people into
frightened, isolated creatures, culturally alienated and easily

The masses of unemployed workers in Argentina are, like poverty itself,
the direct result of the application of thirty years of neo-liberalist
"recipes" imposed by the international financial organizations and the
imperialist politics of domination of the United States.

Enforcement of neo-liberalist policies requires an immense, criminal
apparatus of social doscipline which in Argentina is achieved through
hyper-repression (military dictatorship 1976-83), super-inflation (Raúl
Alfonsín's government in 1989) and super-unemployment (governments of
Carlos Menem and Fernando de la Rúa, 1995-2001).

The application of these policies in Argentina has been mirrored in
various other countries of the southern cone, with military
dictatorships in Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru
during the '70s and with governments of "democratic transition" in the
'80s who prepared the ground for the governments of so-called "wild
capitalism" in the '90s.

For this reason we need to talk about the application of continent-wide
policies under the supervision of the Pentagon.

The early years of this decade provide us with the exhaustion of this
process and an accumulation of social actors who fronted it. The best
example was the popular rebellion in Argentina on 19th and 20th
December 2001.

The programme of the Néstor Kirchner government must avoid a repetition
of the circumstances in 2002 allowed assembly-ists, organized
unemployed people, human rights collectives, peasants, recuperated
factory workers and class-struggle syndicalists to work together.

But the crisis which began in 2001 is not yet over. In the space of one
year, it is not the number of jobs that has increased in Argentina - it
is the amount of poverty. The political system is trying to adapt
itself, to assure the continuation of class domination, the mechanisms
of representation/domination and the institutions which are being

But on the streets, the popular organizations are demonstrating their
mass unity and rebelliousness by calling the people to fight.

We militants of the OSL are working in a co-ordinated way within the
popular organizations, promoting libertarian practices and a
libertarian vision of social change.

2 - OSL (Argentina): Its ideas and its current state

The OSL (Argentina) is a product of the class struggle and is an
instrument of political, social and popular class-struggle,
revolutionary militancy. It is a link between all those men and women
who are true to the libertarian and socialist current within the
popular movement of workers, an expression of collective will.

The work of anarchists within the popular struggles has been clear and
prominent throughout the process of the creation of the social
organizations in Argentina.

The building of the identity of libertarian practices must obviously be
based on past experiences. The OSL has worked towards re-building the
history of anarchism within the social struggles in Argentina, not only
in the '30s and regarding the FORA, but even up to the '70s, with the
experience of Resistencia Libertaria. The OSL is working towards the
development of an Argentina-wide organization.

3 - OSL involvement in:

a) The Piquetero Movement - an introduction

The "Movimientos de Trabajadores Desocupados" (Unemployed Workers'
Movements - MTDs) are an important emerging factor in the struggles of
the working class and the exploited Argentinian masses since the days
of the last military dictatorship.

Like every workers' creation, any recognition has had to be won through
ceaseless struggle against neo-liberalism and the State, independent of
the Church, the bourgeois parties and the union bureaucracies who are
integrated into the State.

So it was that the unemployed workers of Argentina, male and female,
gave birth to the "Piquetero Movement".

The piquetero movement was born out of the struggle against structural
unemployment which was created during the presidency of Carlos Menem.

The piquetero movement was the most visible actor in the popular
struggles which followed during recent years.

The main tool used by Argentina's unemployed in their struggle is the
roadblock, the interruption of the free circulation of wealth.

Historical background and current situation

The popular rebellion of 19th and 20th December 2001 in Argentina came
about during a crisis of legitimacy of Latin American political
institutions. In particular, from the the democratic regime which was
born out of the dictatorship in the years between 1976 and 1983, a
democracy which legitimized the violent concentration of wealth
produced by the dictatorship for the benefit of the bourgeoisie. During
this attack on the living and working conditions of the people, the
piquetero movement began to win its first gains and to show the way for
future struggle.

The piquetero movement therefore is a continuation of the historical
tradition of the Argentinian working class - it is linked to the
workers' pickets at the start of the century, the Semana Roja in 1909,
the Semana Trágica of 1919 and and the Patagonian Rebellion, together
with the huge popular demonstrations in the late '60s and early '70s.

Within the movement there is fierce political fighting between
tendencies, programmes and parties.

Why the MTD Aníbal Verón?

By virtue of the fact that it must be considered the most favourable
environment for social construction with relation to our basic criteria
and agreements, and since we had participated within it almost since
its creation, we decided to dedicate a great deal of militant energy to
the social work within the the MTD Aníbal Verón.

The MTD Aníbal Verón gradually differentiated itself from other
piquetero organizations as its proposals go beyond simple roadblocks -
it gets right to the heart of the problems faced by the poor
neighbourhoods and helps to create co-operation and solidarity between
the unemployed workers who live there.

Territorially-speaking, the MTD Aníbal Verón operates both within the
Greater Buenos Aires area and in the city itself. It supports popular
food kitchens, community vegetable gardens, bakeries, clothing centres,
people's libraries, metal workshops, house-building activities,
co-operatives for foodstuff production, cleaning materials, shoemakers
and a range of community micro-businesses.

The comrades who work in these projects receive social security
amounting to €50 a month.

Internal organization and co-ordination

The independence of the class, the rejection of representative
democracy in favour of direct democracy, the use of mass direct action,
neighbourhood assemblies and general assemblies as organs of mass
decision-making - these are the criteria on which the work of social
construction carried on by OSL (A) members is based.

The task of anarchist militants with our MTDs in the Buenos Aires city
and wider region, is to denounce the real nature of unemployment, to
publicize and spread the organizational and struggle experiences of the
unemployed and the labour movement to encourage the struggle for work
and to the promote anti-capitalist aspects of the socialist and
libertarian revolutionary programme.

b) The Labour Movement

The principles which guide our action in this area are: the
class-struggle dimension, class unity, direct action, independence from
the State, bosses and political parties, workers' democracy.

Union work:

We are active within the messengers' union in the city and province of
Buenos Aires.

We are active with teachers in the province of Buenos Aires, in the
union lists of the city of Avellaneda, which has taken part in union
elections and in 2003 was on the point of winning in that area, in
alliance with other leftist and independent forces.

We participated in the conflicts and strikes of school caretakers in
2003 and 2004 in the district of Esteban Echeverría (see "En la Calle",
May 2003).

We participated in the conflicts and strikes of teachers in the
province of Entre Ríos (see "En la Calle", June 2004).

c) Women: Anarcha-feminism is born in Argentina

We working women suffer two types of oppression. Social oppression
which is widespread throughout society and sexism: oppression and
discrimination due to our sex.

The fact that we women are organizing ourselves as feminists,
anarchists and class fighters implies independence and freedom and an
equality of status for men and women. This organization implies that we
women decide for ourselves and we take on responsibility for our own
problems, individually in our personal affairs and together with other
women where other problems are concerned. The struggle against
domination must be conducted individually and collectively if we are to
have an end to proprietary attitudes and control over women, not to
mention repressive laws.

Our female comrades have therefore given themselves the double task of:
creating a specific instrument (the collective for feminist work) and
working towards increasing awareness of gender in all areas of the
organization's work.

d) Human Rights

We have created collectives for struggle in the face of repression in
the province of Buenos Aires and Entre Ríos. We have also created the
"Southern Co-ordination" against repression together with CORREPI.

We are involved in combatting repression is the poor neighbourhoods and
in encouraging the cretion of popular organizations. Due to the urgent
need to counter the trigger-happy culture (police executions), we are
working to develop resistence which can create the necessary strength
to defeat repression and any policy of discipline or social domination.

e) Cultural Matters

Research: Thanks to our contact and work with ex-militants of the
Resistencia Libertaria anarchist organization, we have given ourselves
the task of re-building the history of anarchism in this country, a
history which remains unknown to most militants and has been forgotten
by anarchists themselves.

Book publishing: We participate in the publishing collective "Utopía
libertaria" which enjoys a country-wide reputation. We are working on a
new edition of the "Organizational Platform" by the Delo Truda group,
which will include the debate which was sparked off by its publication,
together with articles regarding its historical context. These are
previously-unpublished works in Argentina.

Document collection: We have published "The Invasion of Haiti, the
dirty side of humanitarianism", a document which coincides with the
decision of the Argentinian government to send troops into Haiti. The
document denounces the devastation of this small Central American
country by imperialist capitalism.

Video: Distribution of "Rotas Catenas" (Broken Chains), the work of
students from the National University of La Matanza which includes
contributions from members of the OSL.

Series of conferences: Anarchism in the history of social struggle in
Argentina. We have already organized 10 conferences and public debates
on this theme, which concentrates on the class-struggle nature of
anarchism and the way it operates in social struggles.

Comrades, we hope that this short review can provide you with some food
for thought regarding the current state of our organization. We will be
happy to provide any further information on request.

OSL <libertaria@infovia.com.ar>

Translation by FdCA International Relations Office

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