Talk:Argentinian workers preparing to defend control of factory

Latest comment: 19 years ago by Simeon


What is "UpsideDownWorld" ? Anyone have info, their credibility, etc? Thanx 20:21, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That is, a new site that seems to mainly focus on Latin America and deliver news with a leftist, progressive slant toward activism. The site seems to be about 6 months old, although I have not researched that in depth. Don't know about their credibility. DouglasGreen 23:17, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I dispute the NPOV of this article for the following reasons:

  1. It is drawn entirely from leftist sources
  2. The source of the article appears to be Marxism, and the general tenor of the article appears to be motivated by the positive portrayal of leftist and Marxists, and a negative portrayal of right-wing figures
  3. The claims for torture are not well documented and appear entirely one-sided, being claims of a woman who says she was cut although there are no witnesses to her allegations, even though a policeman was allegedly stationed there [1]
  4. The article, and the others that it is based on, appear to claim that Jorge Sobish, a governor and Presidential candidate of Argentina, and other government and police figures are behind the attack on that woman... this is completely unsubstantiated, and no one is given a chance to refute that charge in the article DouglasGreen 00:25, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Douglas, what would you recommend?
  1. Delete news articles such as this. This means when corrupt officials deny a story, and there is no 'respectable' source that the news is suppressed.
  2. Post articles such as this, reported so that it is clear that the allegations are allegations, and therefore, since this is a wiki, anyone who is able can confirm or deny the allegations, by adding to the story, also using suitable attribution.
One of the key allegations is that the police officer did nothing and is therefore is complicit. How can you then argue that the officer in question should act as a witness?
Unfortunately, in the real world, situations such as this occur all the time. Wikinews is a news forum, not a religion. We should put our desire to tell news above our desire for every article to represent comment from both sides from the start.
If you can add to the story fine. Please please do so. Otherwise, it is told using the information available, which I believe is credible. ZNet is, although openly left wing, as high a standard of publication as I think you would be able to find, probably much more rigorous than many newspapers that are never questioned here as sources.
Your policy if adpoted outside of wikinews would lead to this kind of attitude: 'That "wikinews" is not a respoectable source since anyone can edit it and the contents can change at any moment. We should not accept stories from there.'
I think it would be acceptable to question the NPOV based on what sources are used, if, and only if, the writer deliberately omitted or removed other sources. Otherwise any and all sources should be acceptable, if they are openly attributed. You are welcome to add information to the article, which could include a characterisation for the readers benefit of the types of sources used, if you think that would pass NPOV itself.
Please remove the dispute tag if you think this will solve your dispute. If not, I think you better provide some evidence that these sources are actually unreliable, rather than that they simply cover a particular political agenda.
If you can provide email addresses and translators in order to seek comment from the accused, I will be more than happy to contact them myself, however, based on previous experiences I doubt it will be successful, and certainly not timely. This is why the article was published as it is, in the hope that others would add to confirm or deny, as well as to educate.
By the way, I think if we could attract some spanish speakers that there may be news articles in spanish about this. I hoped that some spanish speaker would read it and add some content, or a follow-up. Perhaps someone may yet. - Simeon 08:12, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I apologize in advance for the lengthiness of my reply...

Here are some links I found searching the web on Jorge Sobisch:

  • International Support for the Workers of Zanon - Zanon workers appeal to "President of Argentina, Néstor Kirchner, the Governor of the province of Neuquén, Jorge Sobisch, Federal Judge Rafael Barreiro, and other members of the government and nation of Argentina" to keep their factory. Don't mention having any trouble with Sobisch at all.
  • Jorge Sobish speaks at investor breakfast - has picture of Sobisch
  • Comments by Sobish and background - Sobish is Croation. He said in this article, "Why should we be prisoners of a system that is inefficient and concentrates all power in the capital?" he asked in an interview. Doesn't sound too power-hungry to me.
  • Former associate mentions Sobisch "In 1985 I founded 'El Diario de Neuquén[vi]' along with other businessmen like Pedro Salvatori, Jorge Sobisch (both former governors of Neuquén) and Amadeo Riva."
  • The Militant - "A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people" - Discusses 2002 activities of Sobisch and factory workers. It describes: 1) People complaining about his cutting health care funding 2) Alleges that he arrested 4 union officials on false charges.
  • Update--Argentine workers take over factories to save jobs "After three years under worker control, the provincial government of Neuquén re-launched an attack against Zanon in the same month where the workers reached a record high in production, sales and quality. In recent, weeks the workers of Zanon have been on alert of a threat of eviction. Neuquén's governor Jorge Sobisch is pressuring the 420 workers in Zanon to leave their job posts inside the factory and work building prefabricated houses in a government sponsored micro-enterprise project targeted for the unemployed. The federal Supreme Court sent a petition to the Neuquén provincial government to put into action an eviction order without any delay. The courts have also refused to legally recognize Zanon's proposal to form FatSinPat (Factories without bosses) as a workers cooperative. Essentially, the government has been planning to open the doors for police to evict the factory. The workers of Zanon are firm in their position to defend the factory at all costs."

None of these links, some of which are written by militants and Marxists, charge Sobish with anything worse than trying to evict and resettle workers in new jobs, based on a process of law, through court order--at worst they claim he filed false charges against 4 people, which is a claim that they should press in a court of law. In fact this same group, Zanon, has appealed to him and others to keep their factory, and when requested, groups of police have been sent to defend Zanon workers against charges of violence that they raised. The claim that the policeman that the victim called was somehow in league with her supposed attacker is completely unsupported in fact, it is a conspiracy theory.

Now here is my discussion of the sources of this article:

  • Another Attack on Zanon Occupied Factory This source is unsupported and highly biased. "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 compañero, 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. 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." We are supposed to believe that the government is cracking down on an entire factory based on the fact that some woman was assaulted by some people driving a green car? How do we know that this woman, out of all 410 Zanon employees, is not the victim of some other kind of violence? Why would the government repeatedly target and threaten one woman, who is not even apparently in a position of authority?
  • Another Attack on Zanon Occupied Factory This is a reprint of the same exact article as above, I don't know why it is listed twice. In regard to your comments above about ZNet, notice that they are just reprinting the article of Grupo Alavio -- it is not a "ZNet" article.
  • Member of Worker-Run Factory in Argentina Was Kidnapped, Tortured "The woman called the workers at Zanon and the police. Police surrounded her house to protect her family throughout the night. By morning, however, there was only one policeman on guard. At 9 am one of her kidnappers returned through the back door and repeated what he had done to her in the car: insulting her and cutting her with a knife. When the man left, the one policeman who was on guard said he did not hear or see anything." You say this implies that the police are complicit in this woman's attack. It could equally well be taken to imply that her account of the attack is fictitious, given that the only other person at the scene heard and saw nothing. My point is we don't really know what is happening to that woman and who is responsible. Why would the police send a whole group of policeman to protect this woman if their aim is to really ignore what is happening to her? Alejandro Lopez said, "The police have not helped Zanon…nothing goes on in Neuquen without the consent of the local government." Does he mean to imply that every kidnapping or act of torture must be cleared with the local police beforehand? If so, then that is certainly different than the way they do things everywhere else in the world, where sometimes people break the law without prior government approval.

My problem with the article is that, based completely on unsupported allegations in a highly politicized situation, it portrays Sobish as a right-wing bully and thug who is abducting, torturing, and planning to kill factory workers. Absolutely nothing is presented questioning this view, which is taken as proved, factual, and given. In actuality, what appears to be happening, is a legal struggle between some group and their government, in which the group has vested interest in a factory they have occupied. Someone, who may or may not be associated with the government in any way, may have abducted, assaulted, and threatened one of these workers.

I don't think Wikinews should be a forum for anyone to come along and air unsubstantiated charges as though they were fact. I am going to rewrite the end of the article to what I believe is more NPOV standards based on the new sources; if you don't like it, please revert the article and we can discuss why. DouglasGreen 01:00, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

OK, I tinkered around with the end of the article and incorporated new information that I hope is useful. Although it is still a hard-hitting article that raises tough questions, it is more balanced now IMHO and sheds a little more light on the character of Sobisch so he is not just some opaque, threating figure. I myself do not believe that he is behind the violent attack on that woman, or that the factory workers will be forced to "defend the factory with their lives". But I don't think this article should be deleted, only repaired and improved. I have removed the NPOV flag accordingly. Thank you for your patience, if you finished reading this far :-). DouglasGreen 01:48, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I don't have time right now to read any of your work (to article or discussion), but thanks, I am glad you removed the POV flag and worked on the article, not just the discussion page! I think people have become a little tentative to work on articles directly, and I'm not sure why... I will try to look again at this article later and see if I agree with your changes. - Simeon 07:38, 1 May 2005 (UTC)Reply
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