Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Protest On My Front Doorstep...

UPCN Protest 2

My kids starts school tomorrow and we needed to get all of their school supplies. As we walked out to get them, we were greeted with our first Buenos Aires protest... Right in front of our apartment! Sorry for the poor quality of the photos. I didn't have my camera handy and had to use my cellphone.

The protest was organized by Union of Civilian Personnel of the Nation or UPCN. From what I can tell, they are a labor union representing civil employees of Argentina.

I'm no expert on the labor situation here and my Castellano (the local Spanish) is still very poor. But, I think they were protesting the effect of recent inflation on their wages and demanding a bigger Christmas bonus. I'll have to wait and see if the local English language paper explains things better.

UPCN Protest 1

They completely blocked traffic on Callao in front of our apartment and made a bunch of noise with loud drums and fireworks they shot from canons in the back of pickup trucks. Alicia seemed pleasantly surprised by all the commotion unfolding right in front of her.

But before you knew it, they dispersed and life on the street was back to normal.

6 comments:

Pablo Flores said...

Hi! I reached this blog through Bloggers in Argentina. UPCN is the largest civil employee union and they have a lot of pressure power. Some of their leaders are even in Congress.

We don't have a Christmas bonus here, but we do have an annual extra monthly salary divided in two installments, in July and January. They might be demanding for it to be paid before that.

Enjoy the view but be careful with those fireworks — in 2003 these guys accidentally set the Natural History Museum of Rosario on fire during one of their demonstrations.

David Wilbanks said...

Thanks for the scoop Pablo. I'm glad they didn't set my building on fire this time. Thanks for stopping by.

yanqui mike said...

Well boy howdy and howdy damn do! I've been meanin' to mosey by and peek in on youse guys ...I ...I mean ...Y'ALL!

Aaaa, what the use? I'm from Chicago not Texas. But it's nice to see that you're settling into your new city and preparing for what might be the prettiest Spring of your lives!

"A Texan in Argentina" is a great name for a blog and I really like what you've done with the place.

Good luck and love to Herbie,
Mike

p.s. I see you've met Pablo. He's the thinking man's go-to guy for Argentine politics. You can trust him.

David Wilbanks said...

Sorry Mike but that was the worst attempt at speaking Texan I have ever heard.

But, I'll give you some slack because you're from Chicago.. One of the best damn cities in the US.... And well you have a ranch and most Texans including me wouldn't know a steer from a heifer.

BTW... you wouldn't know another Chicago native with a farm/ranch outside the city and place on Callao in the Recoleta? He goes by Andrew. Nice guy. I thought he was you when he told me his life story.

yanqui mike said...

Yer kiddin' me. Another rancher in the neighborhood?

Most ranchers here don't actually live on their ranch ...usually they LIVE in the nearest town. But actually living in BsAs like I do, well, that's fairly unheard of.

I hope you'll forward along my email to him... letters@yanquimike.com.ar

"Grass-fed" ranching is a little trickier than feed-lot or any sort of grain supplemented ranching. I would be pleased to exchange tips on how to improve ..."hasta la victoria, siempre!", as a famous argentino once put it.

In fact, we have just joined a group of ranchers in our area for just that purpose.

If you'd ever like to meet in the smoking-section of La Biela... just let us know.

yanqui mike said...

Oh, by the way... pay attention to this development regarding "The Quaffers"
at ... www.yanquimike.com.ar