July 25, 2005


Lending a Hand to Argentina's Protesters
Foreign Volunteers Glean Perspective On Globalization
(Monte Reel, July 25, 2005, Washington Post)

It's not the usual sort of vacation destination, hidden away among crumbling brick bungalows on a rutted mud road. Accommodation is a bunk in an unheated room. Days are spent working without pay in a neighborhood bakery, or marching in street protests.

But for hundreds of young American and European activists, the new way to spend summer break is living and working among Argentina's piqueteros, or picketers -- the protest marchers who have filled the streets of many cities and towns since the country's massive economic collapse in 2001.

In this ragged neighborhood on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, the college-age visitors say, globalization is more than a vague concept to be criticized from abroad. Here, they say, it has caused real problems and sparked creative solutions.

"In the U.S., you might have a big protest of 200,000 people in Washington, and then everything just goes away," said Tessa Lee, 20, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "But I heard that here in Argentina, they were getting things done. That's why I came."

Making fun of the Left these days is getting to be like booing at the Special Olympics.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 25, 2005 3:05 PM

"sparked creative solutions"

Does that include having American college students doing their work for free?

Posted by: AWW at July 25, 2005 3:50 PM

It's better than free for the "piqueteros". According to the article, the US students are paying for the priviledge.

Posted by: Twn at July 25, 2005 4:03 PM

That was cold.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 25, 2005 4:17 PM

Excellent headline.

Posted by: andy at July 25, 2005 4:26 PM

Anyone read a WSJ ed last week about R. O'Grady and 1 of Argentina's big mucky-mucks?

He's not happy. He also doesn't like the idea of private property.

Posted by: Sandy P at July 25, 2005 4:30 PM

Betcha a non-trivial number of these chumps go there expecting to spend much of their time on the beach, not realizing that it is the Southern Hemisphere's winter, and that B.A. is not Rio even in the summer.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 25, 2005 5:50 PM

"not Rio"

No, it's much better. But granted the beaches are not as nice as Rio, perhaps.

Posted by: h-man at July 25, 2005 6:20 PM

I'm reminded of the NFL player strike where AFL-CIO volunteers would come out to join the picket line and the NFL players would sit on their butts while the AFL-CIO guys marched.

Posted by: bart at July 25, 2005 9:19 PM


A strike that folded as soon as players realized fans were turning out to root for the uniforms.

Posted by: oj at July 25, 2005 11:18 PM

Lizzie Grubman?

Is OJ a closet Page 6 reader or something?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at July 26, 2005 12:07 AM


The scabs drew flies in Giants Stadium. The only place they drew anything was in Denver, but that can be easily explained by the absence of oxygen making clear discernnment impossible. Sort of the same impulse that caused Denverites to put Cryin' Patsy Schroeder in Congress.

The players caved because they are morons. Most were wildly in debt, from multiple car and house payments and the like. Plus, they started owing the cocaine dealers and bookies lots of money. And those folks don't limit themselves to the strictures of the Fair Debt Collection Act and Truth-in-Lending.

Posted by: bart at July 26, 2005 8:31 AM

It was actually the crowds the Cowboys started drawing that broke the strike.

Posted by: oj at July 26, 2005 8:48 AM

What else is there to do in Dallas on a Sunday afternoon? Try to sodomize the mechanical bull?

They were drawing 9000 to Giants Stadium, less in Philly and in Foxboro. They had to pay millions back to the networks because the TV ratings were in the tank.

Posted by: bart at July 26, 2005 8:55 AM

That was early, a few games in fans started to come back and the writing was on the wall. The helmet matters more than the player.

Posted by: oj at July 26, 2005 9:06 AM

Piqueteros! That sound's so romantic, so...authentic! I think that most of them are doing it just for the right to tell the story for the rest of their lives about how they "stood with the piqueteros on the streets of RIO", with an authentic gargling of the 'que' and rollig of the 'r'. This is lefty fantasy camp.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at July 26, 2005 10:29 AM

"sodomize the mechanical bull"

Or vice-versa

Posted by: h-man at July 26, 2005 11:17 AM

"Ouch" (in a high pitched voice)!

Posted by: Dave W. at July 26, 2005 11:31 AM