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Summary of the Day's Events (Thursday)
Por Indymedia Argentina, transl. by mahtin - Friday, Jun. 28, 2002 at 9:44 AM

Summary of today’s battle: Massive mobilization, police imprisoned

by Indymedia Argentina • Friday June 28, 2002 at 02:15 AM

A huge mobilization at the Plaza de Mayo has just ended. Contingents of homeless people, workers, assemblies, students, and leftist parties all covered the center of the city for several hours. The roads were again blocked and travel was impeded in Neuquén, Salta, Jujuy, Mendoza, Rió Negro, Chaco, Tucumán, Santa Fe, Catamarca, La Pampa, and various parts of the country.

The media coverage, which twists its reports to please those in power, seems to have fallen into the sewers.

“The crisis has caused two new deaths,” was the title in Clarín this morning, as if trying to make us believe that the crisis shoots lead bullets, without resorting to the services of the police. Right after that, amounting to the intimidation campaign, the same daily said that today “They will try to march to the Plaza de Mayo,” as if this were an exploit, rather than a right.

In addition to that, the media became the vehicle of an unbridled and harsh campaign of intimidating declarations, which in the end turned against the government itself, giving power to the mobilization.

Some of the declarations seem to be courting ridicule. Jorge Matzkin, the Minister of the Interior, said that there is reason to believe that “these are premeditated actions, an organized and systematic battle plan,” as if the demonstrators did not act during daylight, conducting their meetings in front of the press and deciding and announcing their means of struggle with days and even weeks’ advance notice.

All day, using all of the media at its disposal, the government spoke of “armed protesters,” who “killed one another.” But they also have a problem: too many pictures, too many witness’s reports, and too much cruelty was used in killing Darío and Maximiliano. As of this writing, Commissioner Alfredo Fanchioti is detained under preventative arrest. The lying plot started to come apart this morning, paradoxically, with the front page article published in the daily newspaper Clarín. On the front page picture can be seen a scene in which one person is lying on the ground, with several blurry people running, and police officers who have their hands on their guns. Today, at Darío’s wake, every single person whose hand the picture passed through recognized that the person on the ground was him, with his unmistakeable leather jacket. The lie fell apart: the police didn’t find Darío fallen on the ground; he was alive when they arrived shooting their guns. The “hypothesis” of the “murder amongst them (protesters)” that the police have defended and that various media outlets had spread fell apart with the statements of the people who were with him at that time.

Darío, as all of the right-wing journalists in Argentina (such as the infamous Daniel Haddad) could see, had been killed by the police. According to several witnesses to the events, Commissioner Fanchioti himself had shot Darío in the back while he was helping a wounded person. Hernán Gurian, who is being detained on charges that he hit this animal during a press conference - perhaps by intuition, by hitting a cowardly oppressor, he had also hit a cowardly assassin.

This morning, avoiding the avalanche of trash from the media, we went to the La Fe neighborhood in Monte Chingolo. The people there received as never before, silently, sadly. In the community room of the MTD Lanús, instead of children playing and men and women doing their daily work, hundreds of people were saying their final farewell to their coworker and friend. Youth, elders, children, all passed through to express their sorrow, their anger, and their solidarity. Men and women who had been beaten, gassed, shot, detained, and even tortured the day before, were showing the marks all over their bodies.

Cameras are not appropriate at a time like this. We turned ours off, and we felt that the other ones were intruding, and wanted to steal a color piece for the cover of the sensationalist daily paper Crónica. This was not a rational or ethical journalistic action, but rather a way of expressing the pain that we felt.

The walk to the cemetery was a mobilization, like all the ones that Darío was accustomed to participating in- with comrades, full of tumult and the strength of a heterogeneous mass of male and female workers and their children. They took to the street, with cars, ramshackle pickup trucks, microbuses, and bicyclists forming a funeral procession that advanced through applause and slogans.

From there we left on the train to go to the mobilization at the Plaza de Mayo. From La Plata contingents were coming on at each station. A few stops away the whole train was a big contingent, and its bass drums resounded upon arriving at Constitución station.

We could see another sign of the new politics of Duhaldismo. In the hall, street police with sticks received us. Upon leaving, we found that along with the infantry were dozens of police higher-ups, many of whom had clear signs of never having been at a demonstration such as this. They demanded that we let them grope us and search us before continuing the march. They stopped before us; some could push through and many were searched. On the shirtfronts of some officers we could read, “PFA, Dangerous Drug Division”, or “PFA Homicides.” It would seem that the government is preparing itself for one of those wars where they put anyone able to carry a gun into service.

In Liniers a similar situation was taking place, but more violent. There several comrades were detained, and at Puente Pueyrredón the comrades from MTD Solano relived part of the scenes they had suffered through yesterday. Forced to get out of the microbuses, the police chased them with rubber bullets and gasses, and 5 of them were detained for infractions.

Finally we got to the march. The contingents gathered at the Congress, and shortly after we realized that we were thousands and thousands. Stopped at the subway entrance on “July 9th, ” the human wave reached to Congress and even a bit farther. Every person’s long hair and beard reminded us of Darío, and we felt full of chills and mixed emotions.

At the Plaza we tried to get ourselves together. All of the contingents that we could see arrive were enormous, from the piqueteros to the Assemblyists, the students, the left. Some unemployed workers sat down to rest after two days of not stopping for a second. The incredible gathering gave strength, and renewed our spirits.

“The march ended without incident,” is Clarín’s new headline. How much will they spend on writers to think up such flattering titles? Thousands of people demonstrated today, thousands embraced the cause of Maxi, of Darío, and of all the unemployed workers who had been savagely repressed at Puente Pueyrredón. The government’s lies lay maimed on the ground, the efforts to intimidate the population shown as evidence, and the repressive plans of the Duhalde government have suffered a new turnaround. Things seem to be starting to turn themselves around. History is stronger than any press campaign or any band of oppressors.

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