Argentina Prez Rallies as Massive Strike Empties Shelves

Farmers' blockade nears fourth week
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 4:45 AM CDT
Truck driver look at a long line of blocked trucks as they wait at a roadblock caused by striking farmers in Gualeguaychu, Argentina, Tuesday, April 1, 2008.   (AP Photo/Gabriel Piko)
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(Newser) – Argentina's president canceled her trip to London today as a massive farmers' strike neared its fourth week, leaving supermarket shelves bare. Hundreds of thousands of agricultural workers have protested new taxes by blocking more than 400 roads and cutting off supplies of meat, grains and milk. Last night Cristina Fernández de Kirchner called for an end to the strike in a speech to 100,000 people in Buenos Aires.

Fernández angered farmers last week when she accused them of establishing a "picket of abundance" and holding the country ransom, reports the Times of London. That pronouncement drove middle class activists into the streets in support of the farmers—-a scene reminiscent of the upheaval during the 2001 economic disaster.