Reports from Argentina
Posted: Mar. 03 2003, 22:45Today we said our goodbyes to Zanon. I delivered the $311 we had collected in Berlin to Raul Godoy and the Internal Commission. They were really grateful and said they'd write a complete letter of thanks for REVOLUTION Berlin and send it to me in Buenos Aires.
But I think they were even more grateful that another comrade from Germany had brought a flag of IG Metall, the German metal workers' union. They explained that this helps all the compañeros see that their struggle is not limited to the Zanon factory or to Neuquén, or even to all of Argentina; no, their struggle is a part of the worldwide strugge of the international working class.
The IG Metall flag will be added to the "solidarity flags" collection, which already includes a flag from a French trade union and various Italian COBAS flags. Raul was so happy that he took off his SOECN (Neuquén Ceramist Union) shirt and gave it to the IG Metall comrade. We got a number of other souveniers too: a bunch of tiles, including special tiles to made to commemorate the first year of the occupation, and I collected a million of those little ceramic balls they use for slingshot ammunition.
In a few hours it's back to Buenos Aires. I'll be in Argentina for nine more days, i.e. just long enough to catch the solidarity party for the occupied businesses on March 8. Hurray!
Unfortunately I don't have time to write my Detailed Brief Middle-Length History of Zanon. I'll do that sometime later, either in Buenos Aires or in Europe.
Oh, and the elections were yesterday and the incumbent Radical, supported by the Peronists, beat the challenger backed by the provincial cuadillo of the MPN. It was an incredibly polarized election, with 49% going to the UCR-PJ candidate and 37% going to the MPN guy. The "United Left" coalition and the "Workers' and People's Front" got less than 3% each. The ARI, the sort of center-left bourgeois party supported by the "leftist" trade union CTA, did terribly as well. The only parties that got seats on the 9-member city council were the UCR, MPN, and PJ.
No word yet on abstentions. It wouldn't surprise me if 20 or 30 percent of people didn't vote.
See you in Buenos Aires!
– Dzhon Rid