Reports from Argentina
¡NO PASARÁN! Party
Posted: Feb. 09 2003, 23:57Last night I somehow ended up at the PTS party headquarters where I found the ¡NO PASARÁN! kids finishing up a meeting.
[For those who don't remember ¡NO PASARÁN! is a movement started by the PTS youth organization JIRCI to organize the hoardes of young people who were "awoken" by December 20 and want to participate in the revolution. About half the kids are from the JIRCI; the rest are from smaller youth groups supporting the project and independents. The program is to defend the occupied businesses and protect people against repression – it's actually fairly straightforward: "¡NO PASARÁN!" means "they shall not pass" and that's pretty much the whole program. "Cuts in social services? They shall not pass! Police repression? They shall not pass! Expelling workers from occupied businesses? They shall not pass." You get the idea. Just like our name is REVOLUTION because that's our program.]
These kids were leaving for a party organized by ¡NO PASARÁN! in the Southern Zone. I have damn good luck: I just showed up in the headquarters and immediately got invited to a party. So we took the train and after getting lost a few times got to the party around midnight. In our group were some JIRCI kids from the Northern Zone, me – the German Yanqui – and half a dozen young comrades visiting from Chile. The Argentinians warned all us foreigners to keep quiet on the street so as not to attract attention, since we weren't the safest part of the city.
The party itself was in a Social Center, an old building that had been occupied by a popular assembly for just this purpose. Well maybe not just this purpose, I'm not sure the motivation was to let young people hold punk concerts and get drunk, but this is what the center was used for. I was surprised how many people were organized within ¡NO PASARÁN! There were more than a hundred people, and besides a dozen or so from the JIRCI there were other neighborhood groups like CONTRAPODER and one I can't remember, something like GRUPO COPIOLIS or something. There were a few hardcore anarchists but most people were interested in studying scientific socialism to learn how to drive the Argentinian revolution forward. That was the coolest part of the party: there was a lot of drinking and talking and flirting and typical party stuff, but there was a steady undercurrent of political discussion until the sun started coming up. The bands were actually pretty bad but I heard some great impromptu speeches about how "they shall not pass!"
And it might work out that I can visit Santiago, Chile with the comrades from the Chilean group. That would be damn neat!
– Dzhon Rid
Edited by Dzhon_Rid on Mar. 02 2003, 17:32