The Uncovered Causes Behind “Riots” & “Chaos” — People Use Indymedia to Report from the Streets of Argentina

  • The Uncovered Causes Behind “Riots” & “Chaos” — People Use Indymedia to Report from the Streets of Argentina
    The streets of Argentina’s cities and towns have been erupting in protests and rioting the past few days over the economic austerity policies the gov’t has implemented in order to qualify for more loans from the In’t Monetary Fund (IMF). In the face of such massive popular protest this afternoon the country’s president resigned. The mainstream press is reporting the story, but primarily as a domestic matter–so many injured, so many dead, which leader is to blame–rather than as a story about the process of globalization, where the Argentine people are being forced to take on rules imposed extra-nationally rather than being allowed any democratic agency in their own economic policy. What’s also left out is any sense of what the situation means for the average Argentine (who isn’t a gov’t official, and isn’t in the ruling class).

    This is an instance where the Indymedia Center paradigm comes through, as the Argentine people themselves have the opportunity to speak directly to a world audience. This post to the global Indymedia site gives one person’s perspective and experience on the unrest. Indymedia is also trying to put together a list of articles and documents providing background into this situation. Because it’s an open system, anyone can contribute to this list. Integral to the nature of the web, there is great value in providing coherent pointers to news and information, in addition to providing that very information.

    By their very nature Indymedia Centers are not connected to power — they are not in the rolodex of government officials, they do not get invited to press briefings. They cannot provide the latest news of the powerful. But they are connected to those who lack this power — which is most of the population — and present the challenge that they’re thoughts, actions, experiences and ideas are important and noteworthy. Especially in a situation like what is happening in Argentina, those people are making themselves known, and arguably what’s going on in the street is as or more important than what’s going on in the houses of government.

    Unfortunately for us mono-lingual Americans, the language divide means that we have to wait for translations of the up-to-the-minute posts from the Agentina IMC — I guess that’s the price for linguistic chauvinism. Luckily the IMC in the heavily latino city of Los Angeles is coming through with translations of some things. Nonetheless, it is also unfortunate that most of this information is unknown to those who don’t get their news from the Internet, or even those who don’t stray too far from their Yahoo or AOL home page. It’s an indication of what can be done, and how far there is yet to go.

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