Roadblocks and picket lines

Tomorrow, the much-hyped general strike will hit Buenos Aires. What will the city be like? Probably pretty quiet, with a slight ‘day after the apocalypse vibe.’ This is a “strike without mobilization,” which means there won’t be the clamorous, hell-raising, banner-wielding Obelisk-to-Plaza de Mayo march that has marked other actions. Instead, “there will be a total paralyzation of activities”, according to Juan Carlos Schmid from umbrella-union, the CGT.

Still, some of the more gung-ho leftist and community organizations have decided to undertake a series of direct actions, because “the people have to express their anger towards the government”, according to Christian “Chipi” Castillo from the Socialist Workers Party (PTS). This means there will be picket lines and roadblocks in some parts of the city.

Here’s what to expect, and where to avoid (or where to go depending on political proclivities — no judgement.)

Public Transport

There will not be any public transport available tomorrow as workers from the subway, train and bus unions will be joining in the striking action. There is a good chance that there will be fewer taxis than normal, as the multiple taxi unions decide on whether and how to participate in the National Strike. Uber is another potential option, but fares are expected to be high as a spike in demand is almost imminent.

Roadblocks and Picket Lines

Some protestors and community organizations are planning are on setting up roadblocks at a few key access points to CABA. This was confirmed by Left-Front Deputy, Nicolas del Caño, who said that there will be “different mobilisations and roadblocks preventing access to Capital Federal,” as well as in other parts of the country.

According to La Nacion, the main picket line will kick-off at 11am tomorrow at everyone’s favorite politicalized phallic symbol and meeting point, the Obelisk.

However, this picket line will begin brewing much earlier, with organizations putting up roadblocks on various highways and access points to the city from 6am onwards (before then converging on the Obelisk.) According to El Cronista, the roadblocks will occur at the following places:

  • Puente Pueyrredón
  • Puente La Noria
  • General Paz and Constituyentes Avenue
  • Acceso Oeste and Vergara
  • Corrientes and Callao
  • the Posadas Hospital
  • in various legs of the Panamericana.

The Frente de Organizaciones en Lucha will also undertake a roadblock at 6am at the Puente Puerreydon, though it has chosen a different symbolic end point – at 11am, members will converge at the World Economic Forum, which is being hosted at the Hilton Hotel in Puerto Madero. The FOL describes this as “the shop window display where the government will promote its anti-popular policies for the benefit of the concentrated economic groups,” so it’s unsurprising that they’ll be mobilising there.

According to Juan Carlos Schmidt, however, this isn’t as dramatic as it sounds: “the pickets will be innocuous because there won’t be any services or transport…so the pickets are pretty secondary.” Ouch.