A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 30 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Català_ Deutsch_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ All_other_languages _The.Supplement
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Aufheben #11 "Picket and Pot-Banger Together: Class Re-Composition in Argentina?" II (2/4)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 28 Feb 2003 13:55:48 +0100 (CET)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> 3. The end of the import-substitution economy
By the end of the 1940s, import substitution-led
industrialization was reaching its limits. Concessions for the
working class and the its institutionalized strength
restricted the rate of exploitation and hinder profits. The
State apparatus necessary to Peronist patronage, with its
army of white collar workers employed in the unions,
hospitals, schools, etc, was a growing burden on the realization
of surplus value at national level. Argentina's archaic
agricultural trade, whose profits still constituted
the main source of finance for the State, and which were
challenged by competition from more advanced western
countries, began to impose increasingly pressing limits on the
Peronist system. As a consequence, inflation began to rise and
real wages declined. A mounting petty bourgeois, middle-class
and bourgeois opposition to Peronism emerged,
politically articulated by the Catholic Church and by
increasingly nervous associations of industry bosses.
It was increasingly apparent that Peronist power could survive
only by changing the terms of its 'compromise': In order to
deal with the increasing State deficit, Perón had
to seek foreign investments, and in order to contain inflation
had to discipline the working class. Already by 1948, the
government responded to strikes with repression
more frequently than by making concessions. In 1953 Perón
had to abandon his commitment to his flagship policy of
protectionism: causing outrage in public opinion, he
allowed the USA to invest in a new a steel plant, and started
negotiations with the California-based Standard Oil Company
for the exploitation of oil sources in Patagonia.
All this weakened both the ideological and the material basis
of the Peronist class compromise.
In fact a change at international level in the post-war
settlement presented Argentina with the opportunity to shift
towards export-led industrialization. The Bretton Woods
agreement, together with multilateral agreements promoting
free trade, established the dollar as world currency and
stimulated a sustained recovery in world trade.
Argentina's bourgeoisie could now in principle take advantage
of an opening up of foreign markets, particularly in the USA
and in Europe, to sell the products it could now
manufacture. The governments which succeeded Perón's
would make increasing efforts towards liberalization. But
there was a fundamental problem confronting the attempts to
pursue export-led growth. The industry developed under the
Peronist compromise was backward and inefficient by world
standards. Argentinian industry needed massive
investment to be able to compete on the world market, and
this could only come from abroad. But Western Banks were
not prepared to make large the large scale and long term
investments in Argentina necessary to modernize its plant
and machinery while the post-war boom was generating high
profits in the Western countries.

However, the need to attract foreign investment and to
discipline the working class into better standards of
efficiency, faster work pace, higher intensity of work, meant
that the bourgeoisie had to get rid of Perón and attack the
privileges of a 'spoiled' working class. In September 1955 a
military coup replaced Perón, populistically
playing also on the disappointment of the public opinion
about the deals with Standard Oil. The aim of the new
military government was first of all to redefine the balance
of power between employers and workers, since, according to
the employers' federation of the metallurgical industry,
workplaces were 'like an army in which the troops give
the orders and not the generals' . In the years following the
coup, anti-labour laws were passed; the base structure of the
Peronist union, the comisiones internas, were
subjected to State intervention or forced into clandestinity. In
1958 the Radical government led by Frondizi implemented a
series of privatizations and rationalizations, to
patch up the State finances and encourage foreign investment.
After 1958 production was restructured sometimes with the
introduction of new technology; but often the effort
of increasing productivity just meant imposing a faster work
pace and discipline on the workers.
There was a strong grass-root workers' response to the new
economic measures. Between 1955 and 1959 about four
million working days were lost every year to strikes. In 1959
the days lost to strikes soared to ten million. The workers did
not hesitate to consider occupations, sabotages and the use of
explosives. Despite this resistance, the
bourgeoisie recovered ground. Wage concessions were related
to productivity; piece-work was introduced; speed-ups were
imposed. It was a period of defeat for the class,
paradoxically amidst a level of struggles which we may only
envy today in the UK.
At the end of the 50s, however, a peak in militant factory
occupations and strikes encouraged the CGT to get involved,
both to control this militancy and to use it for
achieving more political and negotiation power. With Augusto
Vandor as leader, the CGT made every effort to minimize
grass-root influenece on the assemblies with the use of
intimidation by stewards and impose a total control of the
struggles from the top. The workers' energies were channelled
into 'controlled struggles', controlled in every
detail by the union leaders, which were aimed to gain
concessions for the union's power and for the workers, but also
to weaken the Radical government and pave the way for
a return of Perón. In particular, in 1964 a 'controlled' series of
factory occupations involved eleven thousand factories and
four million workers.
Amidst growing social tension, a students' struggle swept the
country in 1966. A new military regime took power the same
year and smashed the movement, but it could not
stop the process of policitization in universities which had
started with it. The student's radicalization and their
involvement with the workers' struggles would in fact
be an important element in the later insurrectional events of
The new military government, led by General Onganía,
initially presented itself as ideologically corporatist and its
coup was welcomed by most of the unions. But in 1967
the government's economic policies shifted towards
liberalization and rationalization , adopting anti-inflationary
policies which led to the collapse of uncompetitive
businesses, reducing barriers for the entry of foreign capitals,
and cutting the powers and the resources of the CGT.
However, a general strike called by the CGT for March
1967 met a cold response from many unions. In 1968 the CGT
regrouped in a moderate CGT Azopardo and a more militant,
and only initially large, CGTA ('of the Argentinians'),
created by base militants, and involving stalinists, left-wing
Peronists, left-wing Catholics, and groups of the far left.
>From 1968 however the workers rose up again in a crescendo
of strikes which culminated with major insurrectional events
in 1969, the Cordobazo. Tension in the industrial
town of Cordoba built up mainly around the issues of the
abolition of the five-day working week and the establishment
of quitas zonales, regions where the bosses were
allowed pay less than the wage nationally agreed, which
included the region of Cordoba. The metal mechanical
workers, the bus drivers and the car mechanics, and their
respective unions UOM, UTA and SMATA were mainly at the
centre of these struggles. The immediate trigger for the
insurrection was a series of protests after murderous
police repression of student struggles. The 29th May in
Córdoba a march organized by SMATA, Luz y Fuerza (the
local power workers union), UOM and UTA, joined by white
collar workers and by students, soon transformed itself into a
battle on the barricades. The whole town was on the streets
and the centre was seized for many hours. But the
day after the army counterattacked, numerous arrests were
made, and militants were killed. In September a new
insurrection exploded in the town of Rosario, in the Córdoba
region; the town was seized and defended on the barricades
against the police. Police headquarters, banks, shops and
hotels of the city centre were raided.
The insurrections were heavily repressed, but the State had to
restore collective bargaining with the unions and moderate
their new economic policies. The participation of
white-collar workers in the Cordobazo was the first major
instance of participation of this sectors on the barricades.
With the cuts on the state services, the
participation of dissatisfied white-collar workers in the
proletariat struggle was to become increasingly frequent: the
piquetero movement of 1995 emerged precisely from a
combative struggle of teachers. The Cordobazo is also another
example, rooted in the Argentinian tradition, of a struggle
which does not stop at the factory gate but
spreads throughout the town - a tradition which has become
very important in today's movement.
During the Peronist period, the unions' 'corruption' had been
for the workers a comfortable means of obtaining benefits
within a clientelist relation while as a by-product
part of the State finances were redirected to the pockets of
union bureaucrats. But with the political and economic
reorientation of the ruling class, the bureaucratic
union 'corruption' and their collaboration with a system, which
was no longer generous, became a reason for resentment on
the part of the working class. That the union was
part of the bourgeois system was indeed apparent in the fact
that the union bureaucrats were even owners of industries and
businesses. The movement of clasismo which
started in 1970 with the rank-and-file struggles in the Fiat
factory in Cordoba expressed this resentment. The unions of
SITRAC and SIMAC were seized by the workers, who
imposed rank-and-file leaders (mainly Maoist or independent
Peronists), against the resistance of the union bureaucrats and
of the State. A new insurrection in Cordoba,
called the Viborazo, exploded in 1971 precisely around the
new rank-and-file movements and in particular around a
struggle in the FIAT car factory.
This hot climate, which also included raids by Peronist and
Trotskyist terrorist groups ('guerrillas'), could not be defeated
with the army or with the help of right-wing
paramilitary groups. The return of Perón, who could still be
seen by many as 'above the parties', was then accepted by the
bourgeoisie: the Peronist Cámpora was elected in
March 1973, and Perón was president later the same year.
During this period strikes broke out everywhere in the
country, with occupations, clashes with the police, raids on
bosses' homes. 'Guerrilla' actions also multiplied.

While allowing a rise of wages, and making an attempt to
control import prices, Perón carried on a policy in the three
years of his power which was systematically and
mercilessly repressive; he criticized Cámpora for his
'excessive concessions' to the workers. A redundancy law
allowed the State to get rid of militant employees and a new
'Law of Professional Associations' allowed the trade union
leaders to overthrow decisions made by the committees and
increased the bureaucrat's control over the shop floor.
Isabelita Perón came to power after her husband's death, and
prosecuted his repressive policy. The repression had the
consequence of isolating and radicalizing small
vanguard groups - armed 'guerrilla' groups, in particular the
Montoneros, got stronger and their kidnappings and murders
of trade union bureaucrats and other members of the
bourgeoisie earned general public support and sympathy.

> 4. Petrodollars and the restructuring of the working class.

The quadrupling of the price of oil in 1973 precipitated a
severe financial crisis in Argentina. The sharp rise in the
price of oil triggered an inflationary spiral that
soon led to hyper-inflation. At the same time the Central
Bank sank deeper into the red. Yet this oil crisis not only
brought the dangers of debt and hyper-inflation, it
also offered the Argentinian bourgeoisie new opportunities.
The oil price rise of 1973 led to a huge increase in the
revenues of the oil producing States. Unable to spend
or invest more than a small fraction of these revenues at
home, the oil producing States deposited their 'petro-dollars'
in Western banks. As a result Western bankers found
themselves awash with money-capital to invest. Faced with
rising working class militancy and declining profits in Western
Europe and the USA in the 1970s, the Western banks
were prepared to channel a large part of their petro-dollar
funds into the more developed parts of the periphery of the
world economy, such as Latin America. As a
consequence, the oil crisis gave Argentina's economy the
opportunity to present itself as a profitable place for the
Western banks to invest their petrodollars. Foreign
investments could then ideally be used to modernize
Argentina's industry and economic infrastructure so that it
could compete in the world market. But such a strategy
required a further concerted attack on the working class to
guarantee the potential profitability of investments in
Similar calculations were made in neighbouring Chile, when in
1973 a military coup d'état opened their doors to the
'monetarism' of the new bourgeois economists, educated
in the 'Chicago school' of Milton Friedman. The prescription
of the American 'monetarist' economists was to fight inflation
by cutting state spending and privatize state
enterprises; and abolish protectionist policies and subsidies
for state industries, forcing the 'inefficient' industries to close
down in the face of international
competition. In 1974 the average Chilean wage fell by one half
and unemployment exploded, while the welfare system, which
was based on the profits of the national
industries, collapsed. At the same time massive military
repression hit Chilean workers and their organization s. In a
word, the restructuring devised by the Chicago School
was a class counterattack, whose rationale was founded in the
imposition of the 'hard laws' of international competition.
In 1976, using the justification of the need to fight the
'guerrillas', the army took power in Argentina in a coup. The
concept of 'guerrilla' was extended to that of
'industrial guerrilla' to launch a massive attack against
workers? organization s. Indeed it was clear to the military
that the main obstacle to restructuring was the
proletariat. A wave of arrests and murders of militant workers
and union leaders was carried out with the collaboration of
paramilitary groups. A period of terror started.
Militant workers would be sacked or resign for fear of arrest,
torture and death, with a total of 30,000 dead or 'disappeared'.
Laws were passed to attack the militancy of
the rank-and-file (reduction of the number of shop stewards to
half; limitations to the access to the role of shop steward in
the unions, the obligation of a pre-approved
agenda at union meetings).

The CGT was dissolved by the military regime, and legislation
was passed to 'democratize' the unions. The right of collective
bargaining was restricted to weaken the power
and legitimacy of the unions. Their control on welfare and
resources was withdrawn. The interest of the military to
'democratize' the unions was one with the attempt to
break down their power based on patronage, and in the same
time to make the workers look at the State as individuals for
their benefits rather than seeking to belong to a
group. But this attack on the unions had contradictory
consequences. First, by losing the concrete basis for their
power over people, the unions would cease to be an
efficient form of social control of the proletariat. And, second,
losing their privileges, which were the reason of their
complicity with the government, many union leaders
did not have any choice but to be drawn into the struggle and
radicalized their position in an attempt at maintaining control
of the situation.
However, this restructuring and liberalization of the economy
had to be gradual, because of the backwardness of Argentina's
industries in terms of technology and
organization of work, which was the other side of the coin of
the strength of a working class which had not allowed
capitalism completely to follow its laws of free
competition. Indeed when the State spoke about efficiency, it
was the strength of the working class that was under
discussion. The industries doomed by the neoliberal
policies would be precisely those where the workers were
stronger and had been able to gain and maintain high wages
and comfortable working conditions. The restructuring
meant dismantling those industrial sectors which, not
uncoincidentally, were the strongholds of workers' militancy.
The industries which would survive had to be competitive
to face foreign competition, and the workers had to be
efficient to face the pressure of a rising unemployment - this
meant imposing labour discipline and speed ups on the
workers, the reimposition of capital's control on labour. The
introduction of wage differentials was a way of encouraging
efficiency and competitiveness in the workers, and
at the same time a way of trying to break class solidarity in
the workplace.
As in Chile, while productivity increased, wages were halved
in the first year of the coup. Unemployment rose and the gap
between rich and poor increased. In the years
following the coup a third of Argentina?s industrial capacity
was closed down in the face of foreign competition. A large
part of the redundant workforce was absorbed by
self-employment in the tertiary sector, but in 1981 the
government was obliged to admit that forty per cent of the
working population was under-employed, and in 1982 they
had to introduce unemployment benefit. With the restriction
of the state sector, between 1976 and 1980 half a million white
collar workers employed in the state sector were
also made redundant, contributing to a split in the middle
class support for the state.
But Argentinians were not willing to accept their fate of
starvation and submission. Even in a situation of repression
which obliged the leaders not to come out openly,
even if repression and economic blackmail would tend to
fragment them, Argentinians continued their struggles. From
1976 there were hundreds of thousand of workers on
strike every year and a general strike in 1979. After 1979
struggles intensified while the unions were unable to contain
the grass-root activity. In 1980 the government and
bosses of Argentina faced street protests and a solid general
strike in Buenos Aires.
The middle class support for the military regime was severely
undermined by the beginning of the 80s, with a new economic
crisis provoked by the second oil prices surge in
1979 and the subsequent recession in the developed
economies, which caused a widespread debt crisis (Mexico
defaulted in 1982). Facing workers' resistance to their best
efforts towards 'efficiency', and facing falling demand for its
exports in the West, Argentina's economy confronted a
growing balance of trade deficit and a mounting
foreign debt to finance it. Foreign debt rocketed from about
$8bn in the mid-seventies to $45bn in the mid-eighties.
Unrest spread, as far as the army and even in the
police, which came out on strike for wages in 1982. The
government, seeking a desperate way to regain their support,
invaded the British colony of the Falklands/Malvinas to
inflame Argentinian nationalistic hearts and obtain the
support of left-wing workers' organization s (which they
obtained, in the name of the leftist ideology of
'anti-imperialism'!). Unfortunately for them, they lost the war.

> 5. Democracy

For the middle classes the fact that there was a problem in
Argentina was undeniable. But this was not seen to be due to
capitalism, but to moral issues which were
superimposed on it - like the brutality of the military regime.
Furthermore the crisis was not seen as a question of class
struggle, but as the problem of the corrupt
'trade union barons' who were asking too much. In fact, this
perception became the bourgeoisie's pretext for its need to
carry on and intensify its attack against a working
class reluctant to be sacked and sacrificed at the altar of the
new monetarist and neo-liberal policies - as was expressed in
the Radical Alfonsín?s electoral pledge to
'clip the wings of the trade union barons', and to deal with the
problem of 'uncontrolled union demands'. Alfonsín
triumphantly won the elections in 1983 with the support
of the middle classes and the petit bourgeoisie but soon faced
the problems of recession and inflation by prosecuting the
neoliberal policies of his predecessors. In 1987
the Radical government restricted the wages to fight inflation
and it introduced a second currency, the austral, a move which
did not solve the inflationary crisis. Between
1983 and 1989 the wages of State employees were
substantially reduced, while discontent and strikes grew.
Unable to stop inflation, Alfonsin resigned in 1990.
In the same year the Peronist Menem was elected as
president of Argentina in the midst of the economic crisis,
with the electoral promise to stabilize the economy, devalue
the peso, increase wages, and provide 'social justice' (words
which appealed to the memory of the old Peronist times). On
the other hand, he assured the USA of his
commitment to neo-liberal policies: With this commitment,
the magic word 'justice', key word of the old Peronist class
compromise, was deprived of any chance of a concrete
In fact there was no choice for Menem. During the 1990s the
International Monetary Fund intervened in Argentina in order
to bail the country out of the debts that it had
been piled up since the dismantling of the import-substitution
economy. The enormous loans that were conceded to
Argentina were conditional on the adoption of concrete
steps ('Structural Adjustment Programmes') whose stated aim
was to guarantee the influx of foreign capital to enable
Argentina to pay back its international creditors. In
order to make Argentina attractive to investors, the IMF
recommended the stabilization of the Argentinian currency
with respect to the dollar, a rise in interest rates and
continuation of the process of privatization of state companies
(water, gas, airports...) - together with further cuts in State
spending. Whatever the Peronist promises
might have meant to the electors, Menem had to be
subservient to the IMF's requirements. Under Menem the
austral, which was then worth one ten-thousandth of a peso,
suppressed, and a different monetary strategy was taken. In
1991, the government passed the 'Convertibility Law', which
fixed the ratio between peso and dollar to 1:1. New
laws on state reform sanctioned more deregulation of the
economy, the privatization of gas, water, telecommunications
and the postal service. The government also removed
all restrictions on the transfer of foreign capital in or out of
the country.
Menem dealt with economic 'inefficiency' with a
reformulation of labour laws, which allowed the extension of
the working day to 12 hours with no overtime paid, the
possibility for employers to postpone weekend and rest days
at will, deprived women and young people of labour rights (e.g.
protection against dismissal), took away the
right to paid days off and to strike and gave the employers the
right to define job description to allow for introduction of
multiple tasks. This practice heavily
restricted those collective negotiations which still survived
and rendered the workers more atomized and weaker in their
bargaining with the employers. Industries, above
all textiles, were allowed to relocate from the coastal towns to
inland, where there was a 'more tranquil labour environment'',
and where labour regulations were less
restrictive, with the conscious intent of making the country
more attractive for investment.
Under this neo-Peronist government the exposure of
Argentina to international competition was speeded up. In
1990 the government signed bilateral agreements (the Act of
Buenos Aires) with Brazil that aimed to establish a new trade
bloc modelled on the European Union. The following year
Uruguay and Paraguay joined this agreement with the
treaty of Asuncion which established the Mercado Comun del
Cono Sur (MERCOSUR). Under these agreements it was
decided to establish a custom union between the four
by January 1995. All tariff barriers were to be dismantled
between the four countries exposing Argentina's industry to
the full competition of Brazil . However, Menem's
policy of a highly restrictive monetary policy to counter
inflation meant that capital was unavailable for the medium
and small companies to prepare themselves for
liberalization. The weakest industries were closing while
capitals were concentrated into large Transnational
Corporations and domestic 'Great Economic Groups'.
By 1993 Menem's neo-liberal policies had begun to bear fruit.
This dismantling of financial regulations, along with tough
anti-labour laws, wholesale privatization and the
pegging of the peso to the dollar, had transformed Argentina
into an enticing prospect for foreign investors. With
diminished investment opportunities due to the recession
in the USA and Europe, international capital flooded into
Argentina, preying on the national services, land, natural
resources (oil) sold off by the government. The
government of Argentina was duly praised by the IMF and the USA
In contrast to the period under Alfonsín, in which the incomes
of all but the very rich failed to keep pace with
hyper-inflation, Menem's rule was a time of relative
prosperity for the majority of the Argentinian population.
With the stabilization of the peso the middle class no longer
had to fear inflation eating into their savings and
financial deregulation opened up opportunities for profitable
investment for even small or moderate savers. For the part of
the working class which was still in secure
jobs, wages began to rise faster than prices.
However, a large part of the wave of foreign capital
encouraged by Menem's neoliberal policies did not go into
productive investments. Foreign capital was more interested
in buying up industries if they could quickly make profits by
running them more efficiently - i.e. by sacking half the work
force and making the other half work harder and
more flexibly - rather than in building new factories and
equipping them with up to date machinery. As a consequence,
the inflow of foreign capital tended to increase,
rather than decrease, unemployment at the same time as
depressing wages for those at the bottom of the labour
market. Between 1991 and 1999 both unemployment and
underemployment more than doubled according to official
As a result, the burst in economic prosperity of the early to
mid 1990s was far from being evenly spread. Those amongst
the Argentinian bourgeoisie and middle classes who
were in a position to become local agents for international
capital - bankers, lawyers, consultants, accounts, managers
and politicians - were able to make a fortune. At
the same time those who lost their jobs through downsizing
and public spending cuts found themselves swelling the ranks
of the poor. Inequality rose sharply between the
richest and the poorest. In 1990 the richest ten per cent of the
population had an income fifteen times greater than the
poorest ten per cent. By 1999 the richest ten per
cent had increased their income to twenty three times that of
the poorest tenth of the population.
With many of its more militant sections 'downsized', the bulk
of the Argentinian working class faced the prospect of steadily
rising wages if they kept their heads down or
the poverty of unemployment if they did not. As a
consequence, militancy declined in the workplace and, as we
shall see, the site of struggles shifted to the poor and the
Yet this burst of prosperity under Menem was to be short
lived. The flood of international capital into Argentina had
allowed Menem to adopt more expansionary monetary and
fiscal policies. Although a large part of the money pumped
into the economy by higher public spending or through tax
cuts would end up being spent on imports, thereby
increasing the demand for dollars, this would be offset by
foreign investors wanting to sell dollars for pesos in order to
invest in Argentina. Such expansionary fiscal and
monetary policies then gave a further boost to Argentina's
economic prosperity which in turn attracted foreign investors
anxious not to miss out on the profits to be made
from this 'newly emerging market economy'. However, in the
mid-1990s the dollar began to rise against the other main
world currencies dragging the peso up with it. As a
consequence, Argentina's exports lost their competitiveness
leading to a strong deterioration in its balance of trade.
The rise in the dollar had caused similar problems for the
'newly emergent market economies' in Asia and in 1997-8 led
to financial crises in Indonesia, the Philippines,
and South Korea. After the crisis reached Russia in 1999 fears
spread that next in line would be Argentina. As a result the
financial flows into Argentina went sharply into
reverse as foreign investors sought to get their money out of
the country before the peso collapsed. The IMF stepped in
with a $40bn loan to defend the peso and settle the
nerves of international financiers. But in return the IMF
insisted on major cuts in public spending, further
privatization and more liberalization. As a consequence,
Argentina went into recession. The ?virtuous circle? of high
levels of foreign investment, expansionary policies leading to
economic growth and more foreign investment went
into reverse.
The IMF-inspired austerity measures deepened the recession,
discouraging foreign investment that then led to the IMF
demanding even more austerity measures before it would
roll over its loans. Tension increased between the Argentinian
government, increasingly unable and unwilling to make
further cuts to appease the IMF, and the IMF,
increasingly reluctant to bail out recalcitrant governments.
In 1999 the Radical de la Rúa became President, after Menem
was involved in a corruption scandal. In his electoral
campaign, de la Rúa promised ?order and honesty? in
Argentina?s political affairs. However, the scandals which
were going on discouraged investors and undermined
Argentina's economic credibility. By November 2001, with the
government unable to impose further cuts without causing
public outcry and fearing that the IMF would carry out its
threat of not renewing its loans, (leading to the
collapse of the peso), the well-off started converting their
credits from peso to dollars or other reliable currencies and
withdrawing money from the banks. In order to
prevent a collapse of the banking system, de la Rúa imposed
the corralito, restrictions on the money that could be
withdrawn from the banks ($1,000/month).
The middle classes, who had supported policies of successive
governments since the 1970s, and who had prospered quietly
during the 1990s, were now hit with the full brunt
of the crisis, losing not only their savings but often also their
jobs. Swathes of the Argentinian middle class were
proletarianized almost overnight! Driven in to the
street, the middle class now joined the protests of the working
class (the piqueteros) that had been going on since 1997.

       ****** The A-Infos News Service ******
      News about and of interest to anarchists
  COMMANDS: lists@ainfos.ca
  REPLIES: a-infos-d@ainfos.ca
  HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
  WWW: http://www.ainfos.ca/
  INFO: http://www.ainfos.ca/org

-To receive a-infos in one language only mail lists@ainfos.ca the message:
                unsubscribe a-infos
                subscribe a-infos-X
 where X = en, ca, de, fr, etc. (i.e. the language code)

A-Infos Information Center