In Argentina, Assemblies of the People Are Formed
A Step Toward Revolutionary Institutions of Power


Neighborhood Assemblies Assert Their Right to Govern, Declare the Right of Workers’ Assemblies to Participate as Delegates


[The following document is based on a translation by Vicente Balvanera, Argentina Solidarity Committee, Los Angeles. The Argentina Solidarity Committee web site is a rich source of information on the current, potentially revolutionary developments in Argentina.

[See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Argentina_Solidarity

[See also Independent Media Center (Argentina), http://www.argentina.indymedia.org:8081

[For an explanation of the Piquetero movement, see the article by James Petras posted previously on the Labor Standard web site, “New Articles for the Week of January 14, 2002.”

[The document below is apparently a summary of motions adopted by the Fourth Neighborhood Coordinating Assembly (Asamblea Interbarrial), held in Parque Centenario (Centennial Park, geographic center of the city of Buenos Aires) on Sunday, February 3, 2002. The author of the “Summary” was listed only as “Marisa.”

[Vicente Balvanera reports that the Asamblea Interbarrial was a “totally democratic meeting,” with thousands attending, which lasted for four hours.

[The New York Times of February 3 ran a story seeking to minimize and belittle this supposedly “middle class” movement, while acknowledging that such assemblies have been formed all over Argentina and are being compared by some voices in the Argentine press to the “soviets,” or workers’ councils, of the Russian revolution in 1917.]


Summary of the Resolutions and Pronouncements of the Inter-Neighborhood Coordinating Assembly (Asamblea Interbarrial)

“Pickets and pots, one single struggle”

 Resolutions of the Assembly

  1. Call for a new Cacerolazo (pot-banging protest) on Friday, February 8. EVERYONE to reach the Plaza de Mayo at 11 pm.

  2. Support March of the Piqueteros (Marcha Piquetera) on Tuesday, February 5. March to be welcomed as it passes through each barrio (neighborhood). Join in the march as it goes on.

  3. Escrache (Demo of denunciation) Tuesday, February 5, at 10 am, at the Courthouse Comodoro Pi against Santos [responsible for repression against the people].

  4. Call to “surround the Congress building” while the 2002 Budget is being discussed. (Attention: this could be on Tuesday.)

  5. Coordinate simultaneous neighborhood Escraches against the banks, privatized companies, functionaries, and the media every Wednesday from 1 pm to 2 pm.

  6. Thursday, February 7, at 11 am, support the struggle of the Municipal Hospitals. In Defense of Public Health. Gather at the doors of every hospital in every neighborhood.

  7. Friday, February 8, at 6 pm. Support the mobilization to Town Hall of the hospital residents [Buenos Aires].

Pronouncements of the Assembly

  1. Repudiation of the Argentine government’s vote against Cuba.

  2. Return of the 13 percent to state employees and pensioners.

  3. Repudiation of the release of Alfredo Astiz [part of the genocidal military regime; court released him instead of extraditing him to Sweden, for murder of a Swedish citizen].

  4. NO to the Federal Law of Education and the Law of Higher Education [enacted by the De la Rua government; it legalized structural adjustment and cutbacks in education, placing education at the service of the imperialist monopolies].

[The original numbering in the Spanish text has been preserved; that is, there was an unexplained shift from numbers to letters with some “numeration” apparently missing.]

  1. For a Free and Sovereign Popular Constituent Assembly.

  2. NO to “superpowers” for Aníbal Ibarra in the government of the City of Buenos Aires.

  3. Repudiate and denounce the repressive measures and the presence of police dressed in civilian clothes.

  4. “Let the people govern through their popular assemblies.”

  5. Minimum salary of $600, unemployment subsidy.

  6. Jail M. Seineldín [fascist plotter of military coups] and all the agents of repression (represores).

  7. Adhesion to the World Social Forum of Porto Alegre, Brazil.

  8. Defense of the Public Hospital and control of the Public Health Budget by the Popular Assemblies.

  9. Control of the “Planes Trabajar” [public works programs?] by the Popular Assemblies.

  10. Nationalization of Foreign Commerce.

  11. Slash the rates of the privatized public services [i.e., telephone, gas, electricity, water].

  12. Implementation of non-payment of services with assessment and special plans of protection.

  13. Resignation of the functionaries of the Regulatory Commission of the privatized companies. “All of them must go” for negligence of their duty.

  14. Judges must pay income tax.

  15. Support for and participation in the Marches for the “kids assassinated in Floresta.”

  16. Plans for [assistance to] street children and adolescents.

  17. NO to the municipalization of education in the Province of Buenos Aires [transfer of responsibility for education from the Province (state) government to the municipal authorities].

  18. Support for the struggle and demands of incapacitated and disabled persons.

  19. Return of bank deposits in the original currency.

  20. NO to the purchase of dollars.

  21. Repudiation of the Corporación del Sur [utilities company].

  22. NO to university fees.

  23. Control of the Health Plans by their members.

  24. Repeal of the Law of Labor Reform.

[The Labor Reform Bill, passed just over two years ago during the De la Rua government, among other things annulled all collective bargaining agreements after two years (now!) and decentralized the trade union movement, making it next to impossible for workers to organize a general strike in any industry; start of the Pinochet-Chilenization of Argentina, at the behest of the IMF and its puppet government headed by the overthrown De la Rua. For one explanation (written after the Ecuadorean revolutionary process in 2000), see Andiamo, May, 2000, http://www.geocities.com/trotskist_1999/ea8/ea8_01_editorial_ing.html and http://www.geocities.com/trotskist_1999/ea8/ea8_ing.html, plus visit sites of PO and PTS, for example, and search for ‘reforma laboral.’]

  1. Repatriation of Argentine capital that has “escaped” abroad.

  2. NO to the installation of a nuclear base in Tierra del Fuego [southernmost province of Argentina].

  3. Publication of the sworn statement of wealth of all trade union officials.

  4. For all students, free bus and train passes and scholarships.

  5. Throw out the trade union bureaucracy.

  6. Direct election of judges.

  7. Repeal of Article 22 of the Constitution “the people govern through their representatives.”

  8. Support for the assemblies of “workers in struggle,” independently of the trade union confederations and their leaders; for their participation with delegates in the Interbarrial of Parque Centenario.

  9. Restitution [to their biological families] of the children kidnapped during the military dictatorship.

  10. Repeal of the Laws of Obediencia Debida [Due Obedience: innocence of genocidal acts during the military dictatorship based on the principle of “just following orders,” passed during the government of Alfonsin], and Punto Final (Final Point: the dropping of all charges for genocidal acts during the military dictatorship, passed during the Menem government) and repeal of all pardons.

  11. Jail those who committed genocide and their accomplices.

  12. Registration of the orders for medical drugs from each hospital, demanding weekly compliance from the Municipal Government. Participatory Budget under the control of the Popular Assemblies and hospital workers in each neighborhood.

  13. Adhesion to and participation in the Asamblea Nacional Piquetera (National Assembly of Piqueteros) on Saturday, February 16, in the Plaza de Mayo.

  14. Call for a NEW NATIONAL CACEROLAZO (pot-banging protest) of neighbors, workers, and piqueteros in the Plaza de Mayo, Friday, February 15, 10 pm (just before the Piquetero Congress on February 16). Automatic call for the “Plaza of NO” for the day immediately following any holding of the pro-Duhalde “Plaza of YES.”

Next multi-neighborhood Assembly:

Sunday, February 10, 5 pm in Parque Centenario