10 November 2012

Cacerolazo - Protest in Buenos Aires

On Thursday night, November 8th (#8N), hundreds of thousands of Argentines and Argentine supporters around the world took to the streets in protest of the government of President Cristina Kirchner de Fernandez. This protest wasn't the first of it's kind, but the largest. We met the majority down at Obelisco in the center of Buenos Aires to check it out and lend our support.

A tiny portion of the protest in Buenos Aires.

These demonstrations, called 'cacerolazos', have become more common in the past couple of years. People hang out their balconies, flood central streets, and meet at significant intersections, banging pots and pans with wooden spoons and shaking water bottles filled with coins to call attention to governmental injustices. The President ratings have plummeted since her second election in 2011 while inflation rates have soared, corruption and dishonesty run rampant, the economy and international trade have been suppressed, and the media has been consistently censored.

Our perception of the cacerolazo was that these protests are peaceful. The protesters come from all backgrounds; mothers with babies, old couples, families, teenagers, locals, and foreigners. The media is present, but it's not about them. The people are organized (these protests are organized through Facebook and Twitter and businesses shut down to accommodate them); they are prepared (there is a cohesive message expressed through signs, banners, slogans projected on buildings and monuments, balloons, air horns, songs, and of course, pots and pans); and they love their country (the Argentine flag represents the strength of the people, not those in power). The problem is the people don't have a strong enough opposition leader, someone to actually run against Cristina in the 2015 election. For now they have their numbers and their voices.

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