Thoughts on Argentina's Conjunctures :: Recuperating Work, Recovering Life (2005-2007)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Music rally in support of the Hotel BAUEN workers' latest struggles with eviction

The former owners of the Hotel BAUEN want it back. And this time they just might get it. The last owners of the emblematic, worker-recuperated hotel in the heart of downtown Buenos Aires recently took the case to court and a local judge decided in favour of the returning patrón who abandoned the hotel in 2001, ordering the eviction of all of the "occupying" workers by the middle of next month at the latest. This decision not only puts at risk the jobs of over 150 hotel workers -- jobs that have been recovered since 2003 (see links below for details) -- but also risks setting a new precedence for more than 180 other worker-recovered enterprises that currently exist across Argentina. In this current conjuncture, as the city of Buenos Aires waits for a new right wing mayor to take office in December and as national elections near, not only is Argentina's best known worker-run hotel at risk, but the very movement of worker-recovered enterprises that spans most of Argentina's economic sectors is once again under direct threat from still-powerful capitalist business interests.

Facing the possibility of imminent eviction, the Hotel BAUEN workers are taking their protest to the streets just outside of the hotel on Callao St. near Corrientes. And thousands of people from a vast swath of Argentina's social movements are joining the BAUEN workers as I write this. Workers from dozens of worker-recuperated enterprises from the city and province of Buenos Aires, social movement activists, and hundreds of other people in solidarity with the BAUEN workers have joined the hotel workers en masse and are swaying to the music of some of Argentina's most popular radical bands and musicians, such as Arbol and Leon Gieco. In between the acts, announcers are reading out the messages of support and solidarity from myriad social movements across Argentina, dozens of academics and political activists from across the world, and even from Lula's Worker's Party.

Activist reporter Marie Trigona's recent ZNet article sums up nicely the current struggles of the Hotel BAUEN workers.

Here are some more images I just took of the rally:

A short history of the Hotel BAUEN's workers' struggles:

Labels: , , , ,