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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire #298 - Argentina: The FOB, direct action and feminism (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Fri, 11 Oct 2019 09:28:05 +0300

Since 2006 in Argentina, the Federation of Basic Organizations (FOB) has helped to animate the social movement piquetero according to libertarian principles, affirming a class feminist line. While three of his activists will make a tour of public meetings in France, organized by UCL, a FOB comrade explains the meaning of their fight. ---- September 2019: Thirty organizations and thousands of people block traffic and camp on the largest avenue in the country, in the heart of Buenos Aires. This mobilization is yet another response to the situation created by the liberal right in power for four years: austerity policies, debt policy with the IMF, inflation of more than 50% and corresponding increase in poverty, etc. The organizations are asking for a state of food emergency. They want to receive more food and "allowances" for their canteens .

The Piquetero movement
These organizations are part of what is known as the " piqueteromovement ", a conglomerate of social organizations, each with its specificities depending on whether they are structured around political parties, trade unions or other militant groups. It is estimated that they gather about 300,000 people, unemployed and unemployed or precarious. The largest structures are led by Peronists who directly benefited from the resources granted[1].

In Argentina there is no social protection system. The State puts in place so-called "restraint" programs that are aimed at containing social actions and movements, and which are essentially "work-based " trainingdevices(often transformed, in practice). , in simple allocations). Not being universal programs accessible to all, to benefit from it must either enter the clientelist network specific to Peronism, or be part of piqueteras organizations that mobilize - usually by cutting the roads - and obtain these resources by the struggle.

An organization on libertarian bases
During the mobilizations, we can see the banners and red and black flags of the FOB, the Federation of grassroots organizations, born in 2006, bringing together several structures in Buenos Aires (some existing since 2001) and in Argentine provinces. Libertarian in its principles of action and organization, it gathers around weekly assemblies of thousands of men and especially women, living in shanty towns or relegated neighborhoods. They organize themselves and struggle to improve their daily lives, meet with their "peers" to create common, learn to work together and do things collectively, on an equal footing.

Even if these organizations were driven by anarchist activists, the FOB does not claim any specific ideology, even if it has a charter of libertarian principles. It is about organizing outside political parties, being independent of the state, unions and churches, operating without leaders, in the most horizontal way possible. Beyond the goal of improving living conditions, we organize and fight for social change. We seek as much to build a self-managing social force as to develop "prefigurative"practices [2], here and now. Currently, the FOB is an average organization in the piquetero movement since it gathers around 5,000 people. We are constantly seeking to expand the experience by opening new assemblies in other neighborhoods and regions.

The particularity of the organizations of Buenos Aires is that they are composed in their majority of people of immigrant origin (Bolivian, Peruvian, Paraguayan). This is explained by their territorial location (slums) and by the fact that these people live in precarious conditions. But what is obvious to someone outside is the large number of women participating and invested in the different bodies. The movement of unemployed workers "Fight and dignity of Lugano", one of the FOB groups, is made up of more than 90% women, mostly of Bolivian origin. Every FOB organization has a women's or feminist assembly.

Workshops for training, reflection, mobilization especially for the right to abortion or against feminicides: the FOB is a member of the National Campaign against violence against women. What happens in the women's assemblies and the anti-patriarchal axis go through all the instances and activities of the FOB.

Arm wrestling with the state
Resources are therefore extracted from the state through mobilizations and negotiations. They allow each compañera and compañero to benefit from a minimum income. Then, within the FOB, we perform what's called a 'resignificationOf these programs, which means that we empty them of their state logic to use them according to our own interests or those of the neighborhood. FOB organizes its own working groups and commissions. Currently in the three organizations of Buenos Aires, there are groups of cleaning of public spaces, construction-renovation, workshops textile, pottery, graphics, radio, percussion for the demonstrations, school support, as well as health commissions, self-defense (for the demonstrations) and media. We also have a popular canteen open to local people.

October 27 is the first round of the presidential election. Faced with Mauricio Macri, the current president right, a peronist "ticket" - with Alberto Fernández and former president Cristina Kichner as candidate for the vice presidency - has every chance to win. This ticket is supported by all the big Peronist piqueteras organizations . In the event of a victory, it is a safe bet that their leaders get positions in the Ministry of Social Affairs where they can develop public policies for the sector. This would result in a reorganization of the popular camp where, on the one hand, organizations supporting the government and organizations seeking to maintain their independence and autonomy will benefit.

Fabrice (FOB)

[1] Peronism is a central political current in Argentina, patriotic and patronage, with a right wing tied to financial circles, and a left wing that can rely on social movements.

[2] That is to say, to make live in the current society a counter-society on non-hierarchical bases.

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