The suburbs of Buenos Aires prospered and grew as Argentinian trade and
production flourished. Then, the factories began to close. Some facotries moved to other
countries, some were sold to multinational companies which then fired workers, others simply disappeared.
These suburban neighborhoods soon fell into disrepair without resources. Now, in these neighborhoods you find the highest levels of poverty and unemployment in Argentina. More than 80% of the residents are unemployed or only employed part time. Most are young, and have never been able to find a job. Argentina’s unemployed workers movement first emerged in these depressed suburbs of Buenos Aiores in 1997. What began with demonstrations by unemployed Argentinians blocking highways and commercial arteries to demand jobs and unemployment subsidies, has now
grown to serve people’s basic needs.
Residents say most people suffer from hunger and need immediate help. They complain the politicians do not care and only take advantage of the problem of hunger in the poor neighborhoods for political gains. In response, the movements of the unemployed have opened many community dining rooms.
The unemployed workers movement 5 year history has been intense. The Government maintains a constant campaign of criminalization against the unemployed who are organized, especially of those who continue to demand their right to employment. On the 26 of June, the Government dealt its biggest blow yet to the fight of the “piqueteros.” That day, they were attempting to block the roads leading to the capital. At one of the most
important road blocks, the police repressed the action, eventually killing
two young “piqueteros.”
The youth in the movement are the ones who sustain much of the daily work in the neighborhoods, as well as the actions to block roads and organize
marches and other protests. Although poverty grows day by day, and more than
50% of the population is excluded from the economic system, these social
organizations struggle to create new spaces for resistance.
Photos, and text in spanish
dinners rooms in Don Orione
dinners rooms in Villa Lugano
Solidarity activities I
Solidarity activities II