Friday, October 05, 2007

Propagandhi in Argentina

Punk rock gurus Propaghandhi played in Buenos Aires this week. I had the opportunity to interview the band and watch the show. I even got to take pictures! Check out the interview in November's issue of Z Magazine, soon forthcoming. Meanwhile, here are some of the pictures from the show.

The band embarked on their first tour through Latin America in October. While in Buenos Aires, Propagandhi stayed at the BAUEN Hotel, which has been under worker control for the past four years in the heart of the city. Enthusiastic about staying at the 19 story hotel with no boss or owner, they asked all kinds of questions about how the cooperative is organized: from how do they make decisions, how has the police reacted, how many patrons stay at the hotel because it functions as a cooperative. Many of the questions were rooted in their own experience self-managing a punk rock band and record label, G-7 welcoming committee.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Recouping Dignity: Argentina’s Worker-Owned Enterprises

Recouping Dignity: Argentina’s Worker-Owned Enterprises

Listen to this segment | the entire program
Uprising Radio

GUEST: Marie Trigona, member of Grupo Alavio, a Direct Action and Video Collective – and a correspondent for Free Speech Radio news, based in Buenos Aires

Workers throughout Argentina are organizing in support of a national expropriation law – even as some of the country’s best-known worker-run enterprises face legal limbo and eviction. The high rise BAUEN Hotel in the heart of Buenos Aires City, which has been under worker control for the past four years, was issued a 30-day eviction by a federal court in July, which the hotel’s 154 workers have so far been successful in fighting. Behind them are the 10, 000 or so workers who labor at one of the nearly 200 worker-owned businesses in Argentina. The BAUEN Hotel has become a symbol of change and resistance. After being built in 1978 under Argentina’s bloody military dictatorship – in which some 30,000 people were disappeared – BAUEN’s original owner, Marcelo Iurovich never made good on bringing the site up to code, and failed to pay back millions of dollars in state loans. The boss fired the remaining 80 workers in the middle of Argentina’s economic crisis in December 2001, but workers organized to recuperate the hotel, their jobs, and their dignity in 2003. Today, they face legal uncertainty, just like many of the other recuperated businesses in which workers took their future in their own hands and continued to produce products and services with a boss.

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