Hotel Bauen in Argentina has been a wonderful example of workers self management. The original owners destroyed the hotel and almost caused it bankruptcy in 2003. But the workers stood up and refused to close it. Under the motto of “occupy, resist, and produce” they took control and for 11 years the hotel has been under management of working people. This proofs that workers do not need capitalists to run a business. However the wealthy Lurcovich family, the original owners of Bauen, want their hotel back and capitalist lawmakers agree with them!
Workers now face a eviction, as capitalist law dictated that the hotel belongs to the Lurcovich family. Marcelo Ruarte, Bauen’s press representative, says: “The Argentine government has stood with protecting the property rights of individuals instead of protecting the rights of collective members at cooperatives. The right to work and to operate businesses at workplaces that have been abandoned by irresponsible owners is being ignored.”
Here we see how the capitalist state comes to the defense of the owners. For 11 years the workers were able to run the hotel, but now the greedy Lurcovich family has been able to get a court order for a eviction. Revolutionary Socialist Media stands in full solidarity with the workers of Hotel Bauen en calls on them to fight the eviction and the police. If a battle is to be fought, so be it. If the police comes for the hotel let there be a battlefield, because workers must not bow to capitalists or their lawmakers. Hotel Bauen belongs to the people of Argentina and not to some greedy capitalist family!
The hotel was occupied by its workers in 2003, after years of mismanagement by the original owners. With support from the National Movement of Recuperated Businesses, workers created a cooperative to run the hotel. In 2007, the Lurcovich family was able to get the ownership of the hotel back, which the worker-cooperative rejected. A five year battle started with the courts, who in the end ruled in favor of the capitalists. The worker-cooperative was told to surrender Hotel Bauen to the Lurcovich family, which they reject. Now the state can send its police forces to take the hotel back by force, it remains to be see if this is the final outcome. Because the workers will not surrender. Only the government can now decide what will happen!
But Argentina is on the brink of bankruptcy itself. Ruled by a populist but pro-capitalist female president, poverty and inequality are rising since 2001. It is estimated that over 30% of all people live in poverty and have no access to basic human needs. This is the result of the capitalist system and western bankers who hold Argentina in a downward spiral. Revolutionary socialists call on workers to reject the pro-capitalist government and not to listen to the populist rhetoric of their female president. Capitalism is the problem here and it cannot be cured or reformed!
The government of Argentina is now deciding the fate of Hotel Bauen. If they choose side with the Lurcovich family then it proofs that a socialist revolution is needed more then ever. But it is possible that the populist president chooses to side with the workers, which would strengthen the illusion that her government stands with the people. Revolutionary socialists call for the expropriation of all wealthy capitalist families, the nationalization of all major enterprises under democratic ownership of society and controlled by working people like Hotel Bauen!
Should the police choose to attack the hotel, then workers must be prepared to fight. The local community must also be mobilized to rally to the defense of the hotel and all who work there. Police officers must be told how wrong they are and if they choose to support the capitalists, that they will be seen as the enemy of the whole Argentinian people!
This is true class struggle of workers against a powerful family who is supported by the law, which is capitalist. Hotel Bauen has been under workers self management for over 11 years, it does not belong to the Lurcovich family or to any single capitalist owner. The laws of Argentina are capitalist and therefore must be changed. A workers party is needed on a socialist program that rejects the vulture capitalists and struggles for a socialist state with socialist laws!