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Title Another Attack on Zanon Occupied Factory
Subtitle Argentina: Workers Kidnapped/Tortured
Description The workers of Zanon factory, in <a href="">Argentina</a>, and other social organizations mobilized in front
of the central courthouse on April
21 to defend their factory against mounting attacks. At a moment when
the courts and government must make a &ldquo;political and legal
decision&rdquo; concerning the ceramics factory that has been producing
under worker control since 2001 &ndash; legal attacks, death threats and
physical attacks against the workers have increased.
<p>A delegation of 30 workers traveled some 1,200 kilometers to manifest
their determination to defend the factory at all costs. Inside the
courthouse a small delegation of workers presented a petition with
thousands of signatures from all over the world in support of the
workers of Zanon who have set an example that workers can produce and
manage even better without a boss or owner.</p>
<p> Background<br>
Zanon Kidnap/Torture: [ <a
href="">en</a> | <a
href="">es</a> | <a
href="">fr</a> | <a
href="">de</a> | <a
href="">gr</a> ]
March for Expropriation Law: [ <a
href="">en</a> | <a
href="">es</a> | <a
href="">it</a> ] </p>
<p>Links: [ <a
Site</a> | <a
Alav&iacute;o</a> | <a
Indymedia</a> | <a
href=""></a> | <a
Argentina</a> ]<br>
Article Text "With these actions we are marking a playing ground for the judge,"
said Raul Godoy, Zanon worker and General Secretary of the Ceramists'
Union. This week the courts opened up the legal door for a "clamp down"
on the part of corporate speculators trying to usurp the plant,
profiting from the courts&rsquo; precarious legal and financial
treatment of the workers legal fight for the plant. <br>
This clamp down opens the doors for new investors to gamble as new
capital holders or stockholders in the Zanon Company and form another
company in the plant. These new actors include three central interests
who are acting legally:<br>
1.Business interests in Neuquen represented by provincial Governor
Jorge Sobich, with his neo-liberal government and strategic ties to
former president Carlos Menem.&nbsp; Governor Sobich is the number
one enemy of worker self-management/organization. His government with a
ghost company could come in and take over the factory through stocks.<br>
2.The former owner Luis Zanon, who before shutting down the factory and
firing the workers accumulated some 170 million dollars in debt. Most
of this debt was accumulated from government subsidies, international
grants (the International Monetary Fund is the principal creditor),
private companies and unpaid salaries to the workers. Another ceramics
factory, part of the Zanon family bankrupt in Buenos Aires, presented
as a shareholder as a company with a principle capital of 11,000
dollars created in November of 2004 that belongs to a 25-year-old man,
named Gurrumin S.A. (meaning little man). This company had accords with
the former owners so that under these ridiculous circumstances with
little capital, they can take over a plant that is worth millions of
dollars. Clearly this is a project taking a legal detour, to avoid
legal blockades and paying millions of dollars in debt. <br>
3.Vultures, or businesses that buy the debt from bankrupt companies, to
open a legal case or sell assets. <br>
The national government has also acted as an accomplice in the Zanon
conflict. President Kirchner during his presidential campaign tour in
Neuquen, before his election in May 2003 said that if he was governor
he would have solved the Zanon conflict within a month. Clearly, the
national government with its progressive discourse has ignored the
conflict so that the workers wouldn&rsquo;t smear
Kirchner&rsquo;s image as a president who "respects human rights." <br>
In March, the government and security forces representing the factory's
old ownership have used tactics of torture and kidnapping - reminiscent
of Argentina's military dictatorship (1976-1983) in which 30,000
people, mostly activists, were disappeared in the dirty war. These
attacks have continued, targeting the same woman who in March was
followed, kidnapped, tortured and attacked her home. On April 14, this
woman was attacked in her home. While her compa&ntilde;ero, who is
a worker at Zanon went to the supermarket, a man entered the side door
of her house and brutally beat her. She was hospitalized and is in
critical condition. &nbsp;<br>
On March 4 a group of four individuals (three men and a woman)
kidnapped the wife of an employee at Zanon. The forced her into a green
Ford Falcon, a model of car security operatives used to kidnap
activists during the dictatorship, sending a chilling reminder of the
dirty war. They tortured her and cut her face, hands, arms and breasts.
They gave details of how they carefully followed her and have detailed
information about her movements. <br>
"Those in government are rooting for these types of attacks and they
clearly have no intention of stopping them, by allowing the attackers
to go free," said a press release from the factory&rsquo;s press
commission. They added, "the government of Sobisch and his right hand
man, Minister Manganaro are keeping silent as accomplices in the face
of these mounting threats and attacks."<br>
The methodology of using terror to divide and defeat the working class
has carried over from the military junta, 20 years into Argentina's
"democracy." The national and provincial government has no intention to
stop these attacks. They are using these tactics to intimidate and
break unity among the workers inside the factory. Business interests
are waiting for the workers to "burn out" from the campaign to stop the
attacks. &nbsp;<br>
Meanwhile, the attacks have had the opposite effect. They have
generated a furious reaction on part of the workers and social
organizations. An umbrella or network of solidarity, in Neuquen and
throughout the nation, has been created. Subway workers, train workers,
airline workers, other recuperated businesses and many other sectors
have made it clear that the employees at Zanon will not be alone. <br>
"We only trust our compa&ntilde;eros to defend our safety and our
factory," said a worker presenting a film by Grupo Alav&iacute;o in
Chilavert, a printing factory in Buenos Aires. Under this principle the
workers are using to form self-defense teams to protect the workers and
their families. Although it is insufficient considering the tactics and
resources that the state can use for terror, it represents a clear
determination of autonomy and a political decision to defend their
decisions inside the factory. In addition to producing ceramic tiles
inside the factory and maintaining the plant, the workers must also
ensure the safety of the compa&ntilde;eras/os against attacks on
part of the state&rsquo;s repressive apparatus. The workers
consider that they are in a situation of war, where the workers must
take on a clear offensive to defend their factories, with marches,
political actions, solidarity and self-defense. <br>
Currently, there are 410 workers at FaSinPat (Factory Without
Patterns), the company formed by Zanon employees. The factory has hired
over 170 new workers in four years under worker control. The workers
have a long-term objective of reaching a production rate 1 million
square meters of ceramic tile per month, doubling current production.
However, in the midst of attacks, the workers this month have been able
to reach their short-term goal of increasing production from 300,000 to
400,000 meters per month. <br>
The workers have repeated again and again that they are determined that
they are going to defend their factory. "We are willing to defend the
factory with our lives," said a Zanon worker in Chilavert. The workers
at Zanon are aware that they&rsquo;re defending not only their jobs
but also a political alternative for a working class free of
exploitation and building new social relations. <br>
In defense of Zanon and all worker occupied factories! <br>
If they mess with one of us, they mess with all of us! <br>
Permanent expropriation of all factories and companies producing under
worker control! <br>
For the release of all political prisoners! <br>
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