Patricio McCabe
Argentina’s New Forms of Struggle Direct Democracy, Popular Assemblies, & Self-Management

In the late 1990s in Argentina, a new form of struggle emerged from the unemployed workers (who make up 20% of the people while another 20% are underemployed). This expression of resistance came from the provinces to the capital of the country and consisted of blocking roads to claim a subsidy for unemployment. Blocking roads has its origin with the well-known workers’ tactic called “piquete” (picket). It consisted of people preventing the entrance of scabs who were trying to break the strike. Its goal was to prevent production in support of the workers’ demands. Today, thrown out from production, the unemployed block the transportation of merchandise to support their demands. Not only is this blocking of circulation novel, but so is their organizational practice: direct democracy.