Archiv der Kategorie 'Only in Argentina'

Atlanta de Villa Crespo vs The Almighty Cub Atletico River Plate

River Plate, Argentinas most successful futbol club, finds itself playing this year for the first time in their history in second division. Their relegation game loss to Belgrano included some spectacular anecdotes, once again very probably unique to the Argentine futbol world.

During the away game, losing 2-0, River fans invaded the pitch…pushed, kicked, and insulted their own players. They then returned to their terrace, without being arrested, and the game continued as if nothing had happened…

After relegation became an unavoidable fact, the riots were of a scale even unusual for the standards of Argentine futbol. These videos dont necessarily do them justice, but you might get the idea…

And so it was, with Atlanta having been promoted and River relegated, that our humble neighborhood club played yesterday against the mighty River Plate…. and lost 7-1!

But at least our fans looked good….

(Thank to Sentimiento Bohemio)

The match was particularly tense because, with the return of away fans to second division matches (thanks River!), Atlanta fans and River fans had had two encounters in the past three weeks. In this one, you can see what appears to be two busses of River fans being chased by…10 Atlanta fans!!??
No vengas mas por Villa Crespo River….

Finally a Game Worth Playing and Racing vs Los Amargos: The Summary

Stereotypes are bad, but sometimes one just cant help it. This is my case with video/computer game prejudices. In typical Argentine fashion, I have always been of the firm conviction that computers are for working and consoles for playing, anybody who plays games on a computer is to be judged a hopeless nerd and be mocked for eternity. And if you play on a console, only futbol games are acceptable, playing (god forbid talking about) other games the equivalent of social suicide. So basically only playing FIFA is acceptable, and even then talking about it while not actually playing it, or even worse posting something about it online, constitutes a mildly serious faux pas.

But if exceptions are what make rules, then this is the mother of all of them, as FIFA12 brings with it groundbreaking news…

(Ok, so maybe this isnt the cover, but it definitely should have been!)

Brutal honesty…Ive even taken the supernerd step of learning how to download music onto the Playstation so that I can play with the songs of our fans in the background. :-)

While on the subject of Racing, a short summary of what was the clasico this weekend…

On the field, 1-1, which was unfortunate. After Racing took the lead in the first minute, we were expecting a historic day, but it was not to be. Off the field of course, the day lent itself to all sorts of, ummm, „colourful“ anecdotes.

Racing fans arriving, with a couple of trophies as well….

Racing takes the field. Not bad, would have been much better though if the cops hadnt got wind of what was planned and „confiscated the materials“ shortly before the game. Unfortunate.

The cops try to enter the terrace to remove some smoke bombs…and quickly realize that this is not a good idea. Notice their retreat from maybe 15 Racing fans!

The Independiente scum, being the cowards they are, shot a Racing fan in the course of a confrontation before the game…

They also entertained themselves during the game by throwing huge pieces of cement from their terrace down to where the Racing fans were. This led to Racing fans trying to exit their section to storm the Independiente section. Of course, they didnt get far, as quickly another confrontation with the cops ensued. Racing fans and cops also had a confrontation before the game, during which the Cops made use of rubber bullets and horse charges.

Finally, it looks like our sour friends lost a little something…

Argentina „Futbol“ Madness Roundup…

Lots has been happening in the wild world of Argentine futbol hooliganism in the past few months, but there has been no time to share. Here is a quick and insufficient roundup for the purpose of getting it out of the way. Not enough time lately to cover everything, and the issue is unlikely to get better in the next few weeks so „it is what it is.“

*Pulling out the Guns at All Boys vs Estudiantes
At the latest All Boys vs Estudiantes match, the Estudiantes hooligans apparently took a wrong turn getting to All Boys stadium, and promptly found themselves in the vicinity of the hooligans of All Boys. A sign of the times in the Argentine futbol violence world, the Estudiantes hools pulled out the guns:

But dont worry, there were neither injuries nor arrests!

These are also, by the way, the same people who last week spent 15 minutes during Independiente – Estudiantes beating the crap out of each other in their own terrace.

*Newells Old Boys and Rosario Central are the two first division teams from the city of Rosario, and represent one of Argentinas fiercest, most intense, and most violence prone futbol rivalries. It is within this context that the gravity of the images below needs to be understood. How exactly it happened is still a matter of much discussion, rumors, and disagreement. Some say that the Rosario Central hooligans conducted good intelligence, and so were able to find out the location of NOBs banners and flags. The other version is that a faction of NOB hooligans sold the information to RC hooligans in order to discredit their enemy faction. Whatever the case may be, the most representative NOB flags and banners are now in the possession of their arch rivals, and serious trouble is expected to be ahead in Rosario. At the most recent NOB game the club even went as far as to forbid almost 100 of its own members from entering the stadium, in order to avoid clashes between the rival hooligans groups of NOB.
This picture is of Newells banners in the hands of Rosario Central hooligans:

A video:

Security camera footage of the theft:

*El Porvenir Hooligans Interrupt Funeral Procession to Attack own Players

Yes, just like it sounds. The funeral procession for an El Porvenir hooligan (El Porvenir is a small second division club in the south of the province of Buenos Aires) who had passed away was passing in front of the El Porvenir training grounds. Seeing that the players, with who the hooligans dont have the best of relationships, were at practice, the hooligans entered the grounds to „ask“ them to accompany them. The players refused, upon which the hooligans proceeded to threaten them, hit them, steal their belongings, and continue along their way.

*Quilmes Players Attacked by Fans
Quilmes, a team recently arrived in first division, has been having a very poor season. In a show of their „displeasure“ at the teams performance, Quilmes hooligans smashed a players car, and then chased the players bus on motorcycles, finally cutting them off and attacking them with stones. The bus then proceeded directly to the police station, followed still by the hooligans who insulted them and threatened them with death for „ratting them out to the cops.“ As a result of this, Quilmess following home game was played to closed doors. Collective punishment…

*Velez vs San Lorenzo

Incidents during San Lorenzo vs Velez, in San Lorenzo. The Velez fans displayed a provocative banner, making reference to San Lorenzo never having won a Copa Libertadores (basically the south American Champions League). The response from San Lorenzo fans was (mild) incidents inside the stadium, but apparently the worst happened outside, where many a Velez fans tells of being surrounded, not being able to reach their busses, and being hunted across half the neighborhood.

The fools from Velez who refer to themselves as „La Pandilla“ I have a particular dislike for. The name alone should already be embarassment enough, as in English the translation would be something along the lines of „The Rascals.“ But these people seem to go out of their way to cause themselves extra embarassment. At their latest visit to Racing, they almost lost a couple of banners, then seriously overestimated themselves challenging Racing fans, where saved from a very unpleasant evening by the police, and then stood quietly until the rest of the game, probably in silent prayer for a safe return home. A video, mainly of the game, but thats OK because it was a great one. Racing was again doing terribly in the season and the relationship between fans and players was more than bad. The trouble began with Velez leading 1-0, and after the break because of the incidents on the terrace Racing turned it around and won 3-1. It is not crazy to think that the players got the message that there was a lot of frustration and violence in the air. A bit of the incidents can be seen starting at 1:50, but aside from that there is goals, rain, drama, injuries, red cards, you name it…

*San Lorenzo – Huracan: The bannerless derby!
Because Huracan has stolen more banners from San Lorenzo the last few years than they could possibly ever know what to do with, and when they exhibit them during the derby matches the San Lorenzo fans go crazy and the games often end in violent clashes, the Argentine Football Association had for the latest derby a brilliant idea, and yet another great step in the collective punishment of football fans: All flags and banners were forbidden for this match!
And still, where theres a will theres a way:

That covers most of the high/low lights of recent times. Whats with Atlanta and Racing you ask? Exciting news of a magnitude meriting an own post…

Nestor Kirchner: 1950-2010

As an anarchist, the deaths of politicians were usually something I met with something between indifference and joy. Maybe it is the distance to the events, or maybe my Latin American sozialization has created an unconscious sympathy towards the „caudillo“ figure, present emotionally although rejected rationally. Or maybe, even more irrationaly, the reason is his fanaticism for Racing Club. Whatever the cause may be, I cant help but feel that the death of Nestor Kirchner is a negative and unfortunate event.

I know full well that the project of „Kirchnerismo“ has very little to do with that of a liberated society, free from capitalism, classes, and state. I know that their politics are often little more than lip service to left-wing ideas, at best a left leaning populism. I know that if I was in Argentina, and when I was in Argentina, my place was never among the supporters of the ruling party, but with the radical left who didnt stop fighting for a better alternative.

And yet, how could one not smile when Kirchner and his government spoke of „redistribution of the wealth,“ and basically declared war on the farmland oligarchy? How could we not be pleased when they pushed forward with the prosecutions and trials of the Generals responsible for the dirty war of the 1970s against the Argentine left? Who didnt feel happy when the picture of Videla was taken down from the walls of the ESMA, and the building handed over to the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo? When the media monopoly of Clarin was challenged, for whatever reasons, and a law was passed to democratize mass communication in Argentina, was that not a positive step? Taking football from private interests, and showing it free of charge on television as „football for all,“ may be bread and circus, but is there anything to criticize in it? The legalization of same-sex marriage, the universal monthly benefit for Argentine children, and the list goes on and on. It is these politics which have enraged the old, the priviliged, and the reactionary in Argentina, and brought a generation who not 10 years ago was chanting „que se vayan todos“ out in the thousands to proclaim their will that Cristina Kirchner continue the „proyecto nacional y popular.“

The Argentina of Kirchnerismo is still an Argentina of capitalism, inequality, and poverty. But the fact remains that the better alternative is not what will follow in the absence of Nestor Kirchner. Just as I am certain that the Argentina of 2010 is a much better place to live in than the Argentina of 2001, I am certain that the reactionary, nostalgic, coup sympathizing opposition would offer nothing better.

Against the status quo of Kirchnerismo and for social revolution, definitely. But in defense of Kirchnerismo against those who want to turn the clock back in Argentina…as well.

Cristina Kirchner in her first speech after Nestors death:

Racing and Nestor Kirchner:

Argentina: Mariano Ferreyra, 23, Shot and Murdered by Mobsters

A young activist, student, and member of the Partido Obrero (Workers Party, Trotskyist), 23 year Mariano Ferreyra, was shot and killed yesterday in Buenos Aires.

He was the shot while supporting, together with other left-wing activists, fired workers who had been subcontracted by a company to work for one of the Buenos Aires railroad companies. He was the fatal victim of an attack by members of the „Union Ferroviaria“ („Railroad Union,“ mainstream railroad workers union) against the protesting workers who were demanding their re-incorporation and permanent contracts and their supporters. One further victim of the armed ambush remains in critical condition, having been shot in the head while a third shooting victim was shot twice, but is not critically injured.

In order to carry out their attack, the „Union Ferroviaria“ mob, a shining representation of the corruption and manipulation rampant in mainstream Argentine syndicalism, enjoyed a „liberated zone“ granted to them by the police, who while the armed gang threw stones at the demonstrators, joined in by shooting rubber bullets at them. To what extent which arms of the ruling elites have an intellectual responsability in this crime is still unclear, but the impunity with which the „Union Ferroviaria“ mob moved can only lead suspicion to government involvement.

In response to this murder, one more in a long line of killings of social activists since „democracy“ returned to Argentina, a nationwide day of strikes and protests has been called for today. Schools were closed, most forms of public transportation were either completely or partially stopped, and road blockades have been erected all over Buenos Aires. As this is being written, tens of thousands of demonstrators are converging on Plaza de Mayo.

In an ironically sad twist of fate, the last time a social activist was so brazenly murdered by the State or its rented thugs of the moment, when Kosteki and Santillan were murdered in Avellaneda by cops during a repression against a bridge blockade, Mariano Ferreyra, then aged only 14, was also present, taking his first steps in activism and accompanying his older brother. Those who knew him say that the incident deeply marked his political activism.

Rarely does the mainstream press write something so positive about a left-wing activist. Sadly there is not the time to translate it, but nonetheless it is here reproduced in full in Spanish, from Clarin:

Todavía no comprendía del todo las letras de Spinetta ni había ido a ningún recital de Los Redondos. Todavía no había empezado a estudiar teatro ni tocaba el órgano ni había quedado maravillado con los filmes surrealistas de David Lynch. Todo eso vino después. Mariano Ferreyra era un niño, sólo tenía 14 años cuando el 26 de junio de 2002 acompañó a su hermano mayor a la protesta en el puente Pueyrredón, el día que la Policía asesinó a Maximiliano Kosteki y Darío Santillán . El recuerdo lo iba a acompañar para siempre. Más: sus amigos dicen que iba a ser el símbolo de su militancia. En la secundaria, en los centros barriales y en las fábricas.

“Esas muertes marcaron su destino. Le dieron un envión muy fuerte. Darío y Maxi representaban lo que a él lo llevó a militar. Su militancia no tenía retorno”, contó a Clarín uno de sus mejores amigos, Patricio, aún conmovido por la noticia.

Mariano, Patricio y un numeroso grupo joven del PO se habían reunido por última vez el martes en el local del Partido Obrero en Avellaneda. “Marianito estaba a full con los despedidos del Roca y quería tomar medidas de acción directa”, cuentan. Ayer, antes de recibir el balazo en el tórax que terminó con su vida, se había manifestado junto a las vías del tren.

El día anterior, Mariano había pintado una bandera con vistas a la protesta. Esa misma bandera era agitada anoche por sus compañeros en Corrientes y Callao. Se leía: “Tercerizados en lucha. Pase a planta permanente” . La bandera se alzará hoy al frente de la movilización a Plaza de Mayo.

“Esta lucha tiene que triunfar”, era una de sus frases preferidas, según cuenta Leo, otro de sus amigos. Leo y Ariel lo definen como “un pibe de perfil bajo, tímido, el más politizado de nuestro grupo y también el más solidario ”.

Le gustaba la literatura de no ficción (especialmente los de corte periodístico latinoamericano) y los libros que narran la historia de la revolución rusa. Lógicamente, en su biblioteca se destacaba la obra de Marx, su debilidad. Había llegado a él a través de su hermano Pablo, y ambos antes por su mamá, preceptora del colegio Simón Bolívar de Sarandí.

De ella heredó la vocación por la docencia . Había comenzado a cursar el CBC para seguir el profesorado de historia , pero no estaba muy convencido. Le costaba concentrarse en una sola actividad. Le pasó con el teatro y la música: cursó varios años y dejó sin explicar los motivos.

“Era muy analítico, todo lo pensaba antes de actuar”, dice Roxana. “Era callado y organizador”, sostiene Norma, 34 años mayor que él, a quien había conocido en un curso de oficios en Avellaneda. Mariano se había recibido de tornero . Luego hizo algunas changas en comedores y fábricas, en los que militó. Actualmente estaba desocupado .

Cuando se juntaba con sus amigos a contar historias, se jactaba de haber participado de “la lucha obrera en Sasetru”. Tenía 19 años en el momento que integró el grupo de militantes que en 2006 enfrentó el desalojo policial en la ex fábrica. “Fue una victoria”, decía.

Lo suyo no era el deporte. “En fútbol era el típico patadura. Quería jugar siempre pero nosotros le decíamos que fuera a tocar el piano”, apunta Marcelo, que lo había conocido en una marcha. Marcelo, últimamente, lo iba a visitar seguido a la casa de sus padres. Mariano estaba un poco bajoneado porque se había peleado con su novia.

La frase

„Un zurdito menos“
Esta fue la frase que lanzó un integrante del grupo que ayer asesinó al joven militante del Partido Obrero Mariano Ferreyra. El fotógrafo de Clarín Gerardo Dell’Oro estaba trabajando en el lugar de los hechos cuando la escuchó con total claridad.

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