WHO or WHAT? Politicians or Ideologies?

There is something about the way people treat politics that I have never fully understood. More specifically, it bothers me how easily people blame all their problems on politicians.
We demonize them, accuse them of sinning against humanity, make them responsible for absolutely all our troubles, and peek into their private lives to condemn them for their mistakes.

Now, while I won’t deny many politicians deserve a mob to raid them off their priviledged positions… Guys, it seems like we’re forgetting the whole meaning behind democracy. WE choose our representatives in the government.

My thoughts regarding the subject started when I was very young. I usually talk a lot about the 90’s and 00’s, when everything here went to hell.
I remember watching people on TV curse the president(s) with all their might, call for the people to go to Plaza de Mayo (from where the president governs), and manifest there, bring the people responsible out. In 2001, Fernando de la Rúa had to leave the place in a helicopter.
“Que se vayan todos” came to be the words by which that time in history will be identified forever -at least to me. “We don’t need politicians”, “they are all corrupt”, “we’re better off without politics”.

Now, granted, those were times of terrible social drama. Many people crossed the poverty line during that time. The manifestations were incredibly violent, and many people died at the hands of the repressive police body.
It was such a traumatic experience for everyone, to the present day there are still social groups that claim to be a-politic with pride holding their heads up, as if that was a compliment to their honor.

Again, I’m not defending the bastards that lead my country to its worst crisis; nor the rest of the corrupt people governing the world through history, and even right now. But I must admit that it’s shocking how people lay the blame so easily on the most visible faces, before looking a themselves and thinking “well, I did vote for the bastard”.

Moving away from my country for a little, where things now are anything but a-political, I find people behave in similar, yet slightly different ways in places like, for example, the US.
Just the other day I found an article that presented the readers with the following question: “how can the people trust a political leader that is known to have cheated on his/her marriage?”. It seemed odd to me that anyone would connect both issues.

I don’t care about this or that politician’s marital life. I care about them being politically honest and similar to my views, and to act according to their ideology. Whatever happens between they and their partners is honestly none of my business.
People might argue: “ah, but if he isn’t loyal to his/her wife/husband” -or something of the sort- “then how can you expect him to be loyal to his ideals?”. Well, since when do they have to be related? If you learned that the cashier at the supermarket is cheating on his wife, would you stop going to that supermarket?

People seem to forget all too often that the political life of politicians is their job. Sure, it’s a complicated world, there is a lot at stake, and they have a lot of personal involvement on it. But it is separated from what happens inside the walls of their homes.

And yet, the media obsesses with stuff like that.

The reason I’m bringing this up, is because I whole-heartedly believe that this way of thinking truly hurts politics. It ends up personalizing political ideals, and that is the worst thing you can do -and one of the points where I differ from peronism.
I think that it’s good to admire politicians, and to support them -but what you really need to fight for is not a leader, but an ideology. People are finite, and imperfect. Ideals can embrace people through generations and bring them together for the future. Depending on a single person is not a smart strategy on a long-term basis.

We need to stop treating politicians as celebrities, as saints, as demons, and start seeing them as what they’re supposed to be: representatives of a political party of this or that ideology.

I don’t know, this really bothers me.
During the year I was chosen to be the student’s centre’s president, I attended many reunions with lots of other centres, and their representatives. There, I saw the same mistake being committed over and over again, only in a slightly different way: the question they wanted to answer was “who are we fighting against?”.
I would usually stand up in the middle of heated discussions of blame being thrown here and there, only to say that looking for an enemy was what a short-sighted organization would do. That we need to find an ideology that represented all students, objectives to fight towards. Sure, it’d be more difficult, because building is always more complicated than destroying. But, in the end, it would be worth it…

Of course, I was epicaly ignored by most people, who only cared about pushing their parties’ structure further into our students’ organizations. Now-a-days these organizations are a mess, and I’m fully convinced that this way of approaching the political fight is one of the main reasons that’s true.

I guess that seeing how that worked was what has kept me from joining a party and working inside it. I love politics, and I want to contribute, but… Being smart.
If political involvement will mean being told who to idolize and who to demonize, then I’m better off walking my own path, even if alone.

What do you think? Is politics all about the ideas, or all about the face who’s representing it? Why?

Thanks for reading my mess,
-Mila.

Here starts the cycle of hate

Today, I wanted to talk about my experience in a little nice cafe in the center of Buenos Aires, and about my thoughts on “certified exams” such as the CAE, which I’m taking today and tomorrow.
But, unfortunately for that very interesting topic, something else caught my eye today.

Rusia, shame on you. This phrase will open and close the topic.
I’m part Russian. My great-grandfather and his wife were Russian, and that shows now-a-days in my very pale complexion, blond hair, and clear grey eyes. His name was Leon, and I really admire his story, as told by my grandma.
Apparently, he was born in a very small town in the big and cold country, with very few people, even fewer kids, and a single teacher who went from neighbor towns to his’ during the week to teach. There, the man discovered that Leon was an incredibly intelligent kid, faster than most children his age, and also eager to learn. His speed usually got him to the point where he wouldn’t have anything left to do while the rest of the kids were still stuck halfway-through, so he got quite bored in class, and soon enough lost all interest in that small school.
You see, Leon wanted more. He wanted to see what was beyond his parents’ field, where they worked all day; he wanted to discover how the world looked like -not by books, but through his very eyes. He wanted to grow as a person and become a successful and knowledgeable man. And, you know what? I’ve felt the same since I was a little kid.

So, as you can see, I really feel I have a strong connection with this man I’ve never met, but who inspires me so. He is almost the only reason why I feel some sort of longing towards Russia, as if something mysterious was tying me to that place.

And, as if he wasn’t enough of a reason, there’s also my father. Did you know he was a militant communist until 1989, an year before the destruction of the Berlin Wall? Even during his teenage years, when the military practically prohibited anything that was red, my father and his parents still read about communism, discussed it, and dreamed of the most widely shared utopia in the world. Russia, for them, was the place where the dreamed land could come true.
Of course, we know how that ended up; but, nonetheless, there’s no denying that Russia was one of the very first communist experiments, and that adds some sentimental value to it.

Once, so far ahead its time. Now, it lives in the middle ages again.

You may be wondering why on earth am I talking about Russia and what connects me to it. To that I answer that you should read the news more.
Today, a law censoring “non-traditional sexual relationships propaganda” towards the Russian children, was passed by the country’s legislative representative, with almost an unanimity.
Now, I won’t talk about how the lack of semantic specificity allows for abuses of this law; I think that’s pretty obvious in and of itself.
This, as you might guess, was an anti-LGBT project.
What Russia is doing, is preparing the way for a generation of hateful human beings to take up the country in the future. And hateful citizens make for hateful countries.
Under the excuse of “protect the children from deprivation”, and using the church as a shield, homophobic groups have put enough pressure on the country’s agenda and representatives to make sure that their children will be able to happily live inside a bubble of racism for the rest of their childhood. Good for them, uh?

“Ignorance is power”, Orwell chose as one of 1984’s fascist government’s mottoes. Like this, Russian kids will grow up separated from those depraved beasts, focusing only in the good ol’ bible’s handful of traditions and morals, and will, thus, have the excuse of ignorance to hate unreasonably on the LGBT community. This is no different from making kids read about how Jews are all greedy and mean, and how they all have big noses with a big nasty hairy spot where they end; the result is the same: blind, unjustified fear. And with fear, comes hate. With hate, comes violence. And then, the cycle of blood starts.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the next nutzo to claim unlimited power in the world and declare war against humanity, had a specially harsh speech against the LGBT. Neither would it surprise me if he/she was Russian.

I’m disappointed, and worried about the future of the children in Europe. With this, and the episodes of violence occurring lately in France, I seriously think any LGBT member in that continent, or any person who supports them there, is going to have some though times ahead.
Be strong. Even though there shouldn’t be a need to even have to explain why everyone deserves the same rights and privileges, you shall. And, as you are speaking from love and respect, you know your arguments will hold up to those who only preach hate towards what they can’t, or refuse to, understand.

Have faith, not in an invisible god, but in the will of those who understand. Look upon Latin America and it’s example of inclusion, and thrive for a similar future for your people.

Oh, and:
Shame on you, Russia.

Thanks for reading.
Mila.

Who shows you what you see?

Ok, so I’ve been “accused” many times of being a kirchnerist by my friends. Now, this isn’t by any means a bad word. It just means you are in favor of the current government. Or, at least, it should mean that.
If that was its only definition, then I would probably say, “yes, I kind of am”. But that’s not what my friends mean when they say that to me. I deny it, and I’m going to explain to you just why I do so, and how this came to be.

Another of Clarín's first pages from those times.

“New Government” Referring to the three representatives of the military that took the power after kicking the democratically elected president.

I’ve talked about the media here, haven’t I? The general picture is: the little group of people that have all the money, also control all the mainstream media. I think some of you must be familiar with this concept, right?
Anyways, that’s how it works here, and how it’s been working since… Well, I’d say since the beginning of this country, but honestly, it only got this bad after the last dictatorship.
The Clarín Group, managed by the Noble family (yes, that’s their family name. I find it ironic), took a hold of Papel Prensa, the biggest producer of paper for the press. How? Oh, you know, by torturing its rightful owners into signing the selling papers.
They are currently on trial for this.
Now, for this to happen, they needed the brute force of the army, which was in the power at that moment. They got to their good side by siding up with them.

Clarin's first page right when the coup d'était started.

“The Militay Council is the State’s supreme organ”

By tricking the population into thinking nothing was going on, and that this was only a peaceful and transitory government, and convincing them that they wanted the military on the power because of the “terrorist threat”, they managed to make a lot of people oblivious of what was going on.
Sounds familiar, whatever US citizen reading this? Well, it shouldn’t surprise you. After all, the US military had a lot to do with the military getting a hold of the government, and of their violent methods once there; but I’ll talk about that some other day.

Anyways, by seemingly becoming one of these people’s tools, they were able to use them to their advantage. After all, one of the people in charge of making the paper producer’s owners to sign, was one of the most important functionaries of the military council (who is now in trial, yes).

Not much later…

And yet another of Clarín's front pages.

“Videla (illegitimate president) inaugurated the Papel Prensa plant”. There, you see Videla, with the Noble couple, re-opening the plant after they ‘bought it’.

Wait, I had a point here…
Ah, yes of course!

After buying the plant which produced the paper for each and every one of the newspapers and magazines of the country, they were legally able to set prices at will. So, for their own newspaper, Clarín, its cousin, La Nación, and to every other newspaper or magazine they liked, the prices were minimal.
But, for newspapers which didn’t share their views, the price was… Slightly… Definitely higher. This meant that Clarín was much cheaper, making it more accessible for the common man.
And that, kids, is how Clarín got so popular, and grew SO big in such little time.

They got so good at what they did, and so close to the government, their lies started becoming more and more reckless.
During the Malvinas War, they actually helped convince the general populi that our country was actually winning! Our country. Extremely unprepared for war. Sending teenage boys with no training over there. With lack of food. Against England. It didn’t take a mastermind to figure out that was pretty fucking impossible.

Guess what?

“Imminent recuperation of the Malvina Islands”. No doubt there.

I’m losing my track of thoughts again…
Oh, righ.

Ok, back to present day. Now that you have a general, very subjective, and extremely opinionated idea of where this group comes from, you can slightly understand what they do, why, and how.
(Seriously, guys, I only know this part of the story. I do encourage you to investigate and let me know what comes across your path).

So, yeah, as you can imagine, they’ve been manipulating the population the same way ever since. They helped to economically overthrow the first democratic government after the process; pushed candidates like Menem into the government; pushed Ministers of Economy like Cavallo into the Ministry (ask Ecuador how much good HE did over there); they were the ideological responsible for the neo-liberal policies applied in my country, and for the epic economical crash of 2001. You might have heard about it.

The minute they saw what ideologies Nestor Kirchner, who assumed as president right after that, held high in sight, they understood he meant trouble for their wallet, and empire.
I don’t think there has been a single day passing without the Clarín newspaper, or any of its branches, badmouthing, criticizing, and aggravating him and his wife, our current president. Sometimes the critics were spot-on. And sometimes it was just someone throwing shit at them for no good reason, other than the rage they felt.
And, being this the most popular newspaper, news channels, and celebrities magazines in the country, their ideas spread fast.

“Is she under psychiatric treatment?”. Noticias magazine, under the Clarín Group’s management, accusing Cristina Kirchner, then first lady, of having a bipolar disorder, without proofs, without consulting any of her doctors, without her consent, without anything. Obviously, it was a lie. But the idea was installed in society ever since. This is the power and impunity of the media.

Now, let me make this very very clear. There is nothing I find better than someone making a thoughtful critic about a certain government, policy or ideal, and discussing it with other people. But, and I’m not just talking, this is serious, most people who right-out HATE the Kirchner couple, have memorized this speech, repeated it all over the place, and to themselves, until they believed it, and couldn’t think in any other way. Sometimes this is applied literally. I am not joking.
Most people don’t even realize how deep in their brains some concepts have been carved.

Repetition, impunity, power. These are the elements they have to make people think what they want them to think. They give new concepts to every word they use, and make it so that it’s actually used in a daily basis.

They’ve made words like ‘officialism’, ‘kirchnerist’, and ‘officialist’ into insults. And what I mean by that is that people have actually tried to insult me by calling me all that in debates and forums.
They have divided this country into “K” and “Anti-K”, and then accused the actual government of being responsible for this bipolarity (though they haven’t done much to fight that, really).

By calling yourself a ‘kirchnerist’, some people around you automatically think you are a poor brainwashed person who blindly follows the current government. By calling yourself an ‘oppositor’, some people around you think you are a hateful human being who blindly follows the commands of the Clarín Group.

But, of course, the world isn’t black and white; it’s full of greys, and, quite frankly, that’s probably the only thing that makes it bearable.

I like greys. I enjoy watching them, and I enjoy belonging to them. My thoughts belong to the grey zone. My ideologies aren’t just that or what, they are a combination of ideas, concepts, and knowledge. My way of thinking is unique, and so is everyone else’s.
What bothers me the most about these people, is not only that they claim to be the voice of the whole population, nor really their bloody past, though these things do bug me. What bothers me the most is the fact that they imply you can either be on one side or the other. They deny the greys. And that is not healthy for society, not in the least.

And not only is it unhealthy, it’s proven to be fatal. This is not the first time people like this have tried to divide the society of my country. They have tried, and succeeded before. And every time they did, guess what happened in the end? War. And, in the worst cases, civil war.
Realists vs Autonomists, Federalist vs Unitarians, Conservatives vs Radicals, Peronists vs Gorillas, K vs Anti-K. Our history is marked by the rivalry between two completely opposite groups. And, most of the times, things heated up enough to escalate to wars.
Divide and conquer, you know. As we are too distracted fighting between each other for no real reason, the people who orchestrated all that, swim in their impunity. And money.

By labeling themselves, they usually give up to the possibility of looking at the good attributes of the other side, and actually constructing. Together. Like people who live in the same country. Together.

Taking on definitions like those means not wanting to accept the rest.

Labeling is… Well, I’m short for words. Labeling is stupid. Specially when it refers to political ideologies. It blinds us from our real problems, and from the people we should be looking at with special care.

And that’s why I don’t do that. There.

Well, thanks for putting up with my ranting again.
Take care of yourselves, and remember to pay attention to what you read, what you think, who you side up with, and who you’re really against. What are you not seeing from the general picture? And, who is blocking your sight?

-Mila.

Day of Death of Diverse Cultures

Today at school, we celebrated yet another anniversary of the beginning to what would lead to one of the bloodiest, cruelest, and senseless genocides known in our history: ‘The discovery of America’.

By Rudy and Paz

‘Who are these people?’. ‘I dont know, but they say we have mass destruction weapons’. ‘Oh no’.

When I was in primary school, this day was known to us as just that, ‘the day America was discovered’. We practised for months to put up a little performance for the whole school, when the moment usually portrayed was the moment when ‘Colon and the indigenes first met’. Sounds like the start of a love-at-first-sight movie, huh?; that is, if we count abuse, rape, mass murder of their children, and constant torture as part of a nice lovely relationship.

When I entered, say, fourth grade, teachers at school were pleased to announce how the commemorative day had been renamed to ‘Day of the Race‘. Now, I know this might sound a little wrong for some of you born-english speakers, but race isn’t such a strong word in our language as it is in yours -which does not by any means disregard the existent and beating racism even the latino community has.
So, now our little performances changed slightly; instead of portraying the ‘conquerors’ and ‘discoverers’ as awesome heroes, we were also starting to see the other side of this history -well, kinda. But it was still kind of an improvement. Indians weren’t just some dumb and ignorant bland characters anymore: we got to see a little of them.

But real change to the way we were used to see this day really happened when it was renamed ‘The Day of Clash of Cultures”. Now, that’s something. Now, instead of just remembering just that sole moment of contact, we got to see this cultures with more depth, and I actually got the chance to study about the people before Colon on this land for the first time -utterly boring at that time, but I really appreciate having had that opportunity now-a-days.

People still kind of thought it was a little unrespectful, or odd, so a few years ago this day got a new identity: ‘Day of Cultural Diversity’.
We now thoroughly study the past of this land, and try to come to terms with the fact that, hey, europeans weren’t the first ones to ever live here, which was kind of jerky from our part.

Although I do think this went through some improvements, I think we will never be able to say we’ve tackled this problem from the right angle until we’ve come to terms with another huge fact: what happened here was a TRAGEDY.
To say it in numbers, when Spain first got here, there were about 80 million aborigines living in all America. By the time of the next count, about a century later, we were left with 3 million. Three fucking million. From eighty. So about 77 million people died during that time, and I think we can all agree it wasn’t because of ‘unfortunate situations’, or ‘many many wars’ -though wars did take their nice number out of it.

Oh no, that’s not even the worst part. What really got these people dying  were things like slavery, forced work in very unhealthy situations, torturous lifes, sicknesses from the europeans, alcohol… All these people had to die and go through all that in order for the Kingdoms of Spain, Portugal, France, Holland, and England to prosper.

From the moment the new people set foot on the new land, they automatically assumed that was just there for them to take as much advantage of it as they could. EVERYTHING there was served for them, and therefore belonged to them. The land, the nature, and yes, even the people in it -men and women they didn’t even consider human at first.

They raped this land and stripped it away from its dignity and beauty for the sake of ‘progress’ and ‘civilization’ -really, if you just stopped to read about this amazing cultures for a second, then you’d even wonder WHO the real civilised person was, which is what I do.

I don’t know about you, people, but I have nothing to celebrate on this day. I do a lot of reflexing, remembering, and reading, to try to honour these past cultures -something which I never truly accomplish. It’s up to everyone to interpretate this date however they want. But, do bear in mind, I’ll feel sick every time I see someone acting as Colon the hero.

Thanks for reading.

-Mila.

Elections and reelections

We all saw it coming, and, quite frankly, I’m relieved such a time of tension and expectation  is over.

That’s right everybody, last week, Hugo Chavez was once more elected, to start his third consecutive presidential stay. This not only means the continuity of Venezuela’s policies regarding economics and politics, both inside the country, as well as with the rest of the Southamerican nations; it also means the people from Venezuela understand what this man means for their country.

For the last decade and a half, Venezuela’s economical standing in the world has been only growing, tackling problems like their many oil reserves, and taking advantage of them to grow even further. Yes, they still have problems; but these people haven’t been better.

There’s also the political half of Chavez’s government. Along the last years, he has been accused not only of totalitarisarism, but also of being a dictator, and a fascist. Quite funny how the people accusing him of such, were the same who agreed with most dictatorships throughout the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s in all Latin America -Argentina included.

But, truth be told, it’s quite contradictory that they accuse him of such, in the first page of the most important newspapers of their country- Not enough freedom of speech? What do you want? Chavez’s approval of your declarations for there to be ‘freedom of speech’?
This same situation developes here, as newspapers of the opposition accuse our government of not letting them speak… In the first page of every single edition. One has to wonder, do they not see this utter contradiction?

Last few months, a topic has been quite hot over here: the opposition fears that Fernandez’s government will try to call for a Constitutional Assembly, meant to change our rigid Constitution into making it possible for any president to be consecutively re-elected as many times as he/she wishes to present him/herself. The limit as of now is twice in a row -you guessed it, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has already been elected and reelected. She herself hasn’t confirmed this was going to happen, something understandable, taking next presidential elections will be held in 2015 (when I’ll be able to vote! :D).

This theory isn’t completely unfounded, as that is the same thing that happened in Venezuela in 2009. A referendum was held then, and the voting regarding the approval or dismissal of different Articles took place. It resulted on the end of the restrictions for anyone to apply continuously to any public charge, as many times as wanted.

But, the situation in Argentina is not the same as it was in Venezuela that time. To start with, we had one amazing phenomena starting the 40’s, called Juan Domingo Peron. People who don’t agree with him, now-a-days, and even then, called him a ‘dictator’. So these people regard the elective restrictions as a way not to let something like that happen again -you know, one can take only that many popular governments before having the urge for a dictatorship.

The other fact to take in account, is the lack of an actual, strong, unified opposition to the officialism here. Quite frankly, they’re a joke, no offense. They make alliances and break up again like eight-year-olds playing boyfriends and girlfriends in the breaks from school. Maybe they have a strong media fortress around them -meaning their ‘popularity’ isn’t even because of their political ideals-, but they have no plans for the country. They only know they hate Fernandez, and think that’s all they need to go up against her. Ah, naiveté.

I don’t know how will Argentina change untill 2015, but I’m not so sure a great political challenge will arise for Cristina.

Going back to Venezuela, though, there’s something else I’d like to comment about the last elections: the participation rate of votants grew up until reaching the 80%. That-is-HUGE, and SO important!

Well, my congratulations to Venezuela, for having held their elections, and having defended their democracy, which is always important for all Southamerica. And I once again express my satisfaction regarding Chavez’s victory in them.

Thanks for reading,

-Mila.

We won’t give in

Yes, yes, I know, I didn’t post last Friday. I’m not a responsible person, yet I made a promise. So I apologize. But gee, have things been crazy here!

So, remember my Staying Strong post? That one was more of a ‘keep it up’ post; in this one, though, I plan on expanding on what’s really going on.

Now, please take in mind, this whole thing may have been happening since this year, but, after all, I’m not in the middle of the conflict, and the information I get is a lot, different, and always confusing. So I’ll act as a filter for you guys, and try and pick from what I know not to make you as confused as some of us are.

To start with, most of us students know since last year about a curricular change in the whole country’s education. It’s a national program that will change the way we study and see school, as well as our preparation for when we finish it. It consists of many new things, but the part that concerns us is the ‘specialization’ of graduations, and their ‘equalization’.

Back in the 90’s, at the peak of neo-liberal policies here, education was seen as a ‘extra spent’ for the central state, for which reason the national government of that time decided it wouldn’t spend any more money on national schools, and would make the provinces take care of them. From there on, national schools ceased to exist, to be replaced by provincial schools. This was awful for education, as there wasn’t a unified curriculum anymore, and people from one province would end up knowing totally different things from people from another. It also meant lesser founds for schools.

This ‘equalization’ program plans to bring the ‘national’ idea of a school back, with the additive of different specializations from each school, that would bring up graduates prepared for specialized jobs.

There are many things right and wrong with this project; but it’s not my job to analyze the national bit of it any further.

You see, every province is meant to apply this to its schools as it sees fits. The Autonomic City of Buenos Aires counts as such too, so it is expected to oblige.

The thing is, the way they’re doing stuff here, isn’t precisely ‘the right way’.

The city’s government has already presented its action plan to apply this measures at the beginning of the year. Without any kind of consultation with the educational community in the least. This isn’t how things are supposed to/have been working all this time. Not only were we not consulted over how we thought they should proceed, but also, their plan of action makes the schools that were ALREADY specialized to lose part of their special education, leaving their graduates with a title that doesn’t let them work when they get out of school.

And yes, some types of specialized schools survived the 9o’s. Technic schools here are of much prestige, and VERY hard to finish. People who graduate from a technical school are ‘Technicians’, men and women prepared to lead a construction efficiently, and halfway-through becoming an engineer. They are pretty hardcore, yes.
There are also commercial schools here, with its students being prepared for basic tasks a public accountant can perform.

Now then, why would someone go through that kind of education? Isn’t it enough to just go to a basic secondary school and THEN go to university? They’d end up with a higher title anyways, right?

Well, yes, but there are many kids here who either come from a humble family, or have to start taking care of themselves, or simply don’t want to attend university, which is fine. These schools make sure that, if that’s their thing, they can at least get a well-remunered job doing specialized stuff. Also, in a country which is developing its industry and construction further, having good technical schools is important.

Well, Buenos Aires city’s government’s plan of action makes sure that kids that graduate from these schools no longer have the possibility to access such job positions, making it almost obligatory for them to go to university to get them again. Not cool, is it?

Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if the government just listened to our complaints once and said ‘oh, my bad, come here and I’ll explain what this is about’.
Their attitude, though, was more of a ‘lol, you wanna know? Well too bad! I’ll tell this to you, and this to you, and make you fight over the confusing information I’ve given you. Also, about the participation on the measures? Keep on dreaming, lololol’.

Yeah… Kinda like that.

Since the beginning of the year, technical schools’ students have been protesting in front of the city’s legislative building, and in front of its Ministry of Education, aside from the usual manifestations the students always do. They haven’t been answered- scratch that, they haven’t even been heard yet.

After many months of failed attempts to have a word with the government, of  manifestations and protests, they were pushed to take the most extreme measures: take the schools.

I’m sure I’ve already said so before, but taking a school isn’t pretty, nor fun. It’s exhausting, and very difficult to do properly. The mass media attacks you constantly, not to mention your health goes from bad to worse every passing day, between having to sleep on the cold and hard floors, the crappy food, the staying up arguing in assemblies, etc. Not a nice experience. But sometimes, it’s the only way to make these people listen.

This week, the taken schools counting reached 56. Fifty-six taken schools in all of Buenos Aires. That’s a lot, believe me.

And, as I saw coming, the option to take MY school came up too. These last three days there have been assemblies, discussions, and voting; at the end of the day, the ‘not-taking’ option won, but now, the whole school is movilized by the situation. Yesterday’s students’ centre reunion was quite exciting, honestly.

So yes, that’s pretty much what’s been happening. These last few days, full with fun and interesting debates -of which I clearly took part- and many ideas floating around, only made my decision on life clearer. I really love all this. Call me crazy, I know.

Yesterday, we cut a big avenue and made a music festival there to let people know about what’s going on. Right now, I’m about to leave for a massive march with people from every taken school, and many more, as well as people from universities. Wish us luck!

1- Bellas Artes (Rogelio Yrurtia)
2- Bellas Artes (Lola Mora)
3- Bellas Artes (Manuel Belgrano)
4- Cerámica 1 (Bulnes)

5- Cerámica (Fernando Arranz)
6- Danzas 1 (Nelly Ramicone)
7- Danzas 2 (jorge Donn)
8- Teatro 1
9- Música (Juan Pedro Esnaola)
10- Comercial 8 “Patricias Argentinas”
11- Comercial 11 (Peralta)
12- Comercial 16 (Gabriela Mistral)
13- Comercial 23 (Doctor Luis Agote)
14- Comercial 30 (Doctor Esteban Agustín Gascón)
15- Escuela de Comercio Nº 33 D.E. 18 “Maipú”
16- Liceo 4 (Remedios de Escalada)
17- Jardinería (Cristóbal María Hicken)
18- Lenguitas
19- Lenguas vivas
20- Larroque
21- Juan B Justo
22- Media 1 (Cortázar) D.E. 12 – Bogotá 2759
23- Media 2 (Che Guevara) D.E. 13 – Lacarra 1151
24- Media 2 (Rumania) D.E. 17 – Manuel Porcel de Peralta 1437
25- Media 3 (La Padilla) D.E. 7 – Padilla 1051 :)
26- Media 3 (Antonio Devoto)
27- Media 4 (Nicolás Avellaneda)
28- Media 7 (Falcone) D.E. 9 – Yerbal 25
29- Nacional 3 (Mariano Moreno)
30- Nacional 17 (Primera Junta)
31- Nacional 19 (Luis Pasteur – El Nacho)
32- Normal Superior 6 (Vicente López y Planes)
33- Normal Superior N° 7 “José María Torres
34- Normal Superior 8 (Julio Argentino Roca)
35- Normal Superior 10 (Juan Bautista Alberdi)
36- Normal 11
37- Normal Superior en Lenguas Vivas 2 (Mariano Acosta)
38- Normal Superior en Lenguas Vivas (Sofía Esther Broquen de Spangenberg)
39- Técnica 1 (Otto Krause)
40- Técnica 2 (Magnasco)
41- Técnica 6 (Fernando Fader)
42- Técnica 8 (Paula Albarracín de Sarmiento)
43- Técnica 9 (Ingeniero Luis Augusto Huergo)
44- Técnica 11 (Manuel Belgrano)
45- Técnica 13 (Ingeniero José Luis Delpini)
46- Técnica 17 (Brigadier General Cornelio Saavedra)
47- Técnica 27 (Yrigoyen)
48- Técnica 30 (Norberto Piñero)
49- Técnica 32 (San Martín)
50- Técnica 35 (Ingeniero Eduardo Latzina)
51- Técnica 37 (Hogar Naval Stella Maris)
These are 51 out of the 56 schools taken right now. Keep it up guys! Almost every student in the city supports your cause, and is fighting right beside you!
Thanks for reading.
-Mila.

Staying strong

Ok, I have an hour and twenty seconds left to post something while it’s still Friday. I gotta hurry.

(It’s Sunday now. I’m disappointed at myself)

Usually, I do this while at school, because my philosophy teacher always misses her 80 mins long class on Fridays, thus leaving us with a free hour with nothing to do. So, as my inspiration usually rises at school, I take the chance to go to the library, and ask for a computer to write something quickly.

But, today this friday, I didn’t have any school. Today This Friday was a free day for secondary and university students, as it is was ‘Students’ Day’ -yes, the same day when Spring starts over here.
It’s a pretty big deal for us students of Argentina.

We usually meet up and go to a park, as it’s generally a beautiful day, and spend the day there. We have a little picnic, and then spend the afternoon eating sweets, drinking mate, chatting about whatever, and playing voleyball, or football (what some of you, northamerican readers, sometimes call ‘soccer’. I’m not calling it like that, though, cause it’s football here. Well, actually, it’s futbol, but let’s leave it at that). Almost every group of students in Buenos Aires, and I think in the rest of Argentina happens the same, takes the opportunity to have a nice day out.

This Friday, though, some students couldn’t spend the day outside, in a park. Some students had to spend their students’ day indoors, at school; because, since the beginning of the week, around 20 schools in Buenos Aires have been ‘taken’ by their students, as a protest against this city’s government’s decitions in education.

‘Taking’ one’s school isn’t something pretty, nor funny. It’s a forcefull action full with sacrifice and times of true sorrow. Sleeping on the cold floor, eating crappy food bought with some money from every student there, making sure trouble or disturbs don’t rise up between the students, or the outsiders, taking on the attacks from the media… That’s not something a teen should be going through.
And yet, these students are brave enough to step up, after months of indiference from the city’s government, to take responsability for their own public, free, and dignifying education.

This isn’t a post to talk about what the problem is, but to honour these guys. I’ve been through all that, and I know how much it can hurt. Stay strong. Last time, this was the only way to make people actually listen to us. It’s sad that we had to come to this again, but worry not, as now the city will know.

Fuerza, y no abandonen, que la cosa sigue.

Thanks for reading.

-Mila.