not a pretty girl

a new person with each new experience

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

discovering the movement: the anarchists

While in buenos aires we continued our quest to understand the state of the popular movement in argentina, we decided to talk to anarchists to see what they had to say. We met up wtih this group La Rivolta that does work in the amamblea de almagro. Betty and another guy from la reivolta and this guy from indymedie told us about there assembaly. It was taken spontaniously in 2001. It use to be meat distrobution factory. Some guy bought the space before the occupation. In 2002 there would hvae been 5000 people ther at any given time. Since the economy as stabled some what the middle clesses have stopped participating. La rivolta doesn´t run the place, but works in a few different assembablies. 6 people live there at the moment. The large outdoor space, that use to be used for pick-up is used for party´s, film nights, workshops etc. The day we were there a juggling workshop with about five punks was taking place. Inside there is a meeting space and a small library. Betty said that she came there because that was her area. But you get the impression now that it operates as a libertairan soical centre, not nessissarliy for the local community but for the anarchist community. We went back there a few times shared stories from ireland and gave them some revolt video films.

We did find out much from everyone there. They were critical of some of the other assembalies that have taken government subsidies and food. Other then a few more punk-anarchist squats they were not connected to any other local groups. They were busy at this time with an eviction notice that they had recieved and are fighting in court, they assume that by march they will be fighting in streets to protect there space.

What we did get from them was much anarchist literature and found out about a few libraries and archives. The second archieve and library we visited was brillant, it was the largest I have even seen and a women who is studying and using anarchist historial literature said that she went to spain for her research and was surprised to find that theres was larger and more detailed. They also had a group of computers that had a huge collection of films in the database and you could burn them for free. They burnt a few copies of the revolt video stuff for us and were excited to have us send them literature from ireland, as they didn´t have any. Down stairs was a huge space to watch movies and a cafe that sold veggie and vegan food. We stayed that night for a screening of an action that had happened just a month before. There are this shanty towns outside of the city that open are squated. This particular one as far was we can gather we promised land and houses, but everything was stolen from the houses that were being built. One day they went and took over the land demanding that they can stay there, but a battle with the cops had many of them arrested and injured. It sounds like they are planning to take it over again but havn´t yet. From talking to other people it sounds like usually what happens in these situations is a group takes over the land and starts to build homes and hold the land for a while from the cops. The other moviewere about squats in spain and this fiction something about a snail and its house on its back. The theme was something like space, speculation and squating.

tales of a weathered traveler

I am yet to blog about Buenos Aires, but I better get started. I have been keeping a journal to help remind me of all the adventures.


we arrived at the airport around eight in the morning and could feel the heat press against our bodies. This time of the year averages about 21-25 degrees but the day we arrived it was already 28. we picked a random hostel, it had internet and massages plus breakfast was included. we later discovered that ment there were two slow computers that tended to be broken and always taken. Massages came once a week free for less then 5 mins then arround 15 euro for an hour and breakfast was less then desierable. The place is clean and is one of those places they plan loads of group activities, if we actually took part I{m sure they would be great but 40 paso to get into a club when wages on the low end range between 300-600 pasos. our language teacher told us that to have an apartment and bills on your own would cost 500 p.

We jumped into our bunk beds briefly then eagerly went exploring. The area we are staying is call san telmo. It was a rich area about 100 years ago and has more recently become an artist and antique area. There is a square that has a few markets and where you can sit and get expensive food and drink, or sit of the steps with the homeless and hippies and drink the litre bottles of beer with a friend.

we spent this first day taking photos of all the graffetti, which I would have to say rocks, the stenciling culture here is amazing. We bought a large crossant with hame and cheese and eat it on the street. We wondered towards the centre of town to plaza mayo where many of the protests take place. There are constant bracades up around the pink house and cops a plenty. We stumbled on to a popular assembaly which excited us to no end, we went in and had split a meal that cost 4 p for meet balls, mash potatoes, veggie soup, juice and dessert. (when I say we and meet it is reddy eating the meat bits unless I say otherwise) We continued walking }, talking photos, wondering about the popular uprising and looking for watches since our phones are useless to us here. We ended our longer journey back at the plaza for a late night dinner in the square and split one of the litre bottles of cerveza. Curling up for a much needed sleep on the top bunk in the 6 person room.