No to get too far off the point of the pilots on strike but...
Back in March I think it was? Whenever the last farmers' strike was, anyway. My wife and I had driven to Asuncion to do various things for about 10 days. About 2 days before we were to return I noticed on the news in Asuncion that the farmers were going to go on strike and block many of the major roads in Argentina as part of the strike. The newscaster mentioned that they would let non-business-related traffic and collectivos through, but hold back trucks and whatever else.
We got to our first roadbloack about halfway between the Paraguayan border and Santa Fe. When I reached the roadblock, I was about 5th in line behind a bunch of trucks.
They had harversters and cargo carriers blocking things, with a tractor/trailer blocking a gap through the center of this. To my right was a grassy flat area in shade, with a bunch of people sitting out there, drinking mate, with parillas fired up, kids playing futbol, etc.
Just as I pulled up, I saw the tractor/trailer move back and let a car go through, coming towards me. I thought "aha - I just need to go up there and find out what's going on." I remembered that the news in Asuncion had said normal traffic would be let through.
So I got out of my car (my wife was pleading with me not to get out, but I didn't know what was going on and I didn't know what I should do! There were no other cars at that point, only trucks). I walked up toward the roadblock and I asked if I could get through.
There was a big burly guy standing up there as the tractor/trailer reclosed the gap. He looked at me and grimaced, said something under his breath and told me to get back in my car. A bunch of other guys to the right side started laughing and pointing at me. At that point, I was feeling pretty weird, so I started walking back to my car, wondering what was going on.
I happened to look on the other side of the roadblock, away from where the farmers were partying, and saw a group of motorcycle cops parked on a dirt road that ran alongside the highway. I went over to them, politely wished them a good day, and asked what the deal was with the roadblock.
There were two male cops and one female. The two male cops (I swear!) snarled at me and looked away, refusing to talk to me. The female cop glanced at them and chuckled, then responded to my saludo and told me there was a roadblock. Aha. Heh.
So I asked her, "is this not illegal, to just block the road like this? What happens when traffic has to get through? What about people that have nothing to do with the argument between the government and the farmers?" Etc, etc.
She just smiled and answered that, unfortunately, if they are registered to strike (and of course, are a recognized group), it was not illegal and there was nothing they could do. The only thing the cops were there for was to keep the peace when tempers flared.
So I asked how long the road was blocked for - I started having nightmares of being there for hours, because that is apparently what they had done the year before when Buenos Aires was basically under seige. She told me that every half hour they were opening the roadblock and letting everyone in line through, so don't worry, I only had about 15 minutes left.
And sure enough, about 15 minutes later, they fired up the tractor/trailer and let everyone on both sides through, one at a time.
I hit 4 more of those roadblocks coming back to Buenos Aires. I was delayed almost three hours from the normal trip due to that. Could have been worse.
What I found interesting was that the way the traffic flowed, the same traffic was at the same stops together, and we sat and talked while waiting for the roablocks to open up. There was a lot of shouting and anger from the people waiting. The people I talked to were white hot that they were being held back like this.
I wondered if the farmers realized that they were not exactly striking at the heart, it seemed to me, where they needed to. They weren't doing anything to the government, but they were pissing off thousands (if not tens of thousands over days) of angry motorists who might have sided with them if they weren't so directly involved...