[Marxism] Piqueteros follow-up

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Mar 4 07:29:21 MST 2004

(More on the piqueteros from Grant Lee on PEN-L)

Thanks Louis, for the interesting thoughts on the piqueteros and 
Straub's take on them.

As it happens an Argentine friend referred me to the following article 
from the left/liberal _Pagina 12_, regarding opinion polling on the 
piqueteros. (My friend's take is that the polling is pretty accurate, 
while admitting the potential for prejudice by corporate pollsters.)

Here is my somewhat wooden, modified machine translation of the opening 

"Pickets' tactics questioned"

By Raúl Kollmann, Pagina 12, February 22, 2004

The piquetero movement seems to be in a period of conflict, with a 90 
percent disapproval rating. Nevertheless, almost nobody wants them to be 

Seven out of ten people consider that the "Piquetero Day" on Thursday 
was barely a success, or not at all; at the same time the evaluation of 
the majority is that nobody gained anything, neither the piqueteros nor 
the Government. The piqueteros' organisations are facing deepening 
conflict from society: nine out of ten citizens today maintain that they 
agree little, or not at all, with those organisations, which means that 
disapproval has grown strongly in the last two years. At the same time, 
a broader opinion is that the policy of the Government is too obliging 
to the followers of Luis D' Elía, Juan Carlos Alderete, Raul Castells or 
Néstor Pitrola, although those that would agree with their repression 
are a minority.

The above conclusions arise from a survey by the consultancy Public 
Opinion, Services and Markets (OPSM), led by Enrique Zuleta Puceiro. 
Altogether 800 people were interviewed, on Friday and Saturday morning, 
throughout the Federal Capital district and Greater Buenos Aires, 
weighted for sex, age and zone of residence [.]

According to Zuleta, there is no doubt that the piquetero movement 
recently faced deepening conflict with society. It is enough to see the 
historical evolution which the pollsters witnessed with their analytical 
eyes: in 2001 and at the beginning of 2003, nearly 25 percent of 
interviewees did not see the piqueteros as bad; nowadays that proportion 
is less than eight percent, whereas 90 percent agree little, or not at 
all, with them. Does that negative opinion permeate the opinions of the 
people consulted in the survey and also explain why 70 percent maintain 
that Thursday was not successful?

Even so, the piqueteros are managing to occupy the place of a left 
opposition, mainly because the better known left parties like the ARI or 
the force that Luis Zamora leads are a little hazy. So an opening 
appeared for them to take advantage of other left parties, something 
that citizens perceive, because they believe that the influence of left 
forces among the piqueteros is increasing. In addition, these 
organizations focus on a situation that is most difficult for the 
Government: the social/labor situation. This is obviously a terrain in 
which solutions come slowly, since there are million people who - 
although their situation has improved a little - still do not perceive a 
widespread improvement.

[The rest, in Spanish, is at:]



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