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A TACTIC EXPANDED

 

   In the early 1990ís in Argentina, people involved in an organization simply called Hijos (daughters and sons), which consisted of people whose parents had been abducted and killed during the military dictatorship of 1976-83, came up with a tactic called the escrache, a public shaming of military officers who participated in the repression of that time. Since the beginning of the uprising in December, the use of this tactic has expanded. Increasingly people recognize all politicians as their victimizers and greet them with shouted insults, jeers, whistles and loud noise when they appear in public places. If the politicians refuse to leave a restaurant , stadium, theater or other public venue that they are visiting, they may be shoved around.

   For example, on March 14, writer Jorge Asis, former ambassador to France and outspoken defender of former president (and Peronist) Carlos Menem, was booed and jeered by fellow diners at a restaurant where he was eating with his wife. A group of customers then approached him and shoved him hard against a table, which broke from the impact of his fall. He was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and treated for injuries to his back and chest.

   It is to be hoped that the "alternative" and "progressive" politicians who hope to build their careers in the popular assemblies will meet with a similar welcome there.

 

 

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