Protesters flowed in and out. Workers from the hotel or from other cooperatives and recovered businesses, members of the Argentine Federation of Self-Managed Worker Cooperatives (FACTA), supporters, and activists in solidarity with the BAUEN rotated to assure a permanent presence throughout the whole day, as news and rumors circulated among them. Police watched over the scene and rerouted traffic on Entre Ríos. Congress was blockaded, and there was little possibility of getting much closer to the place where part of the cooperative’s fate was being decided. Expectation was growing, and there was no real news about what was happening inside, where no less than the national budget was being debated. Also, the Senate did not even allow observers, which is why no representative of the cooperative had had a chance to enter so far.
The bill had been presented that morning to the plenary of committees to be taken up, as required, but quorum had not been reached. It then had to be proposed on the floor, which meant it had to be voted on and passed in a sort of first round to reach the possibility of a definitive vote. It was a needle that needed to be threaded before midnight, when the session expired. A nervous joke started to circulate among the protesters, comparing it to Cinderella’s carriage, which turned into a pumpkin at midnight. If the hour passed and it was not approved, the law would turn into a pumpkin, too.