In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Argentinians stage protest rally against British-owned companies

Posted by seumasach on February 17, 2012


17th February, 2012

Argentinean activists have rallied in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, demanding the closure of all British-owned companies operating in the South American country following the Malvinas Islands dispute, Press TV reports.

Activists of the Patriotic Revolutionary Movement, Quebracho, on Thursday rallied outside the headquarters of the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline in Buenos Aires as part of their campaign to boycott all British firms in Argentina, which according to the leaders of the Quebracho, “seize the country´s natural resources”.

The move comes after Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez pushed for negotiations with the UK over the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands.

Chanting “English out of Malvinas, Yankees out of Latin America”, the Argentinean activists burnt the British flag at the company´s main entrance and spray-painted graffiti reading “Murderers” as they accuse the company of testing experimental vaccines on thousands of Argentine babies.

“This company has used babies as guinea pigs; babies that are from the poorest areas in this country and gave their parents social plans to run vaccine tests on them with the complicity of local authorities. We have proof that 14 babies have died because of this experience. It’s an atrocity,” said Raul Lescano, a leader of the Quebracho group.

Police, firefighters and the company´s employees also appeared at the scene of the incident. GlaxoSmithKline´s representatives, however, refused to respond to Press TV´s queries regarding the incident and gave no official statement.

Quebracho members also denounced British lawmakers´ visit to Malvinas days before the anniversary of the war Argentina and the UK fought over the disputed Islands in April 1982.

The demonstrators also expressed their support for the Argentinean transport union’s decision to boycott ships flying the British flag, which was announced earlier this week in response to the British ‘militarization’ of the dispute over the islands.

The Malvinas Islands, located about 300 miles off Argentina’s coast and home to about 3,000 inhabitants, have been “occupied” by Britain since 1833.

However, Buenos Aires claims sovereignty over the archipelago as it controlled the islands prior to their colonization by the UK

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