Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Going bananas

Photo from

The string that holds this place together has frayed in some spectacular ways in the last week.

We're on the third day of yet another airline strike. (Whether you'd want to fly anyway is another story, considering lightning fried the radar months ago and it hasn't been replaced.)

No matter what the government says, there's a milk shortage and it's getting ridiculous.

Trouble with garbage collection unions have threatened to leave half of the city's trash on the sidewalks.

And, oh yeah: Commuters went batshit insane last night at a train station and destroyed the ticket office, public telephones and several kiosks, as well as setting various fires in the station. It took at least 100 paramilitary police to restore order.

The train delays that set off the riot were no doubt frustrating. But -- and this is just me talking here -- I'm not sure my first instinct would have been to rob a motorcycle from just outside the station and set fire to it inside the station. The cops who tried to stop this were outnumbered and had to retreat to their headquarters there, which was also set ablaze.

Of course there's a political angle to all this. I won't get into it much except to say this: Clarín notes that joining the rioting passengers were some homeless kids who live in the station and "activists." You can read that last word as professional agitators who take advantage of the government's reluctance to be seen as quashing popular uprisings, even when shit is getting set on fire.

Two years ago, about five years of restoration work wrapped up on this train station, Estación Constitución. It looked great.

[UPDATE 17 May: Just for good measure, there's a subway strike and a sizable blackout today.]


Anonymous said...

You've neglected recently to add to the lengthy string established on one of your earlier postings. Put down your ice cream cone and start writing!

Dan said...

First eat your current events. Then you can have dessert.

Doug said...

Did the hookers mount any type of protest?

Did they spontaneously put on additional clothing? that would draw attention.

Dan said...

Did the hookers mount any type of protest?

Oh, man. You're killing me here! So many things I could say. But this is not really the blog for low-hanging fruit. Maybe you're thinking of Fruit Slinger?