Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Buenos Aires Erupted in Protest Tonight

Protest moving up Ave. Santa Fe

My family found ourself in the middle of one of the largest protest in recent history here in Buenos Aires. Evidently (and I don't have all the facts due to my language barrier), Christina popped her head on TV and called the striking farmers spoiled, rich aristocrats—according to a couple I spoke with on the streets, although two newsreporters I talked to later stated she said "they make enormous profits and are very rich."

Whatever she said, It pissed off a lot of people. The march started around 8:00 followed by a counter protest around 10:00 by the Peronist ( I can't really tell who is who on TV). There may be others.

I was at home with my son tonight when my wife and daughter called and asked us to come meet them for diner. About 8:00, I grabbed my son and headed downstairs to get a taxi. As, I was getting in I heard a lot of banging sounds. I looked up to see the maids in my building at the windows banging on pots.

Protest moving up Ave. 9 de Julio

Wow, was there a big football match that I wasn't awear of? As I gave the taxi driver directions, several more women walked by banging pots and pans. We drove up Montevideo and more and more people were filling the streets. Nothing big. A few here and there on the sidewalk. When we arrived at Avendia Santa Fe, there were even more people.

I met my family at the restaurant and we took our seats at the table. We asked the manager what was going on, but no one seemed quite sure why the people were protesting.

Protest at the Obelisco

However, the banging and the chanting grew louder and louder. We left the restaurant and were shocked to see a solid mass of people now marching down Santa Fe. What use to be six lanes of busy traffic was now wall to wall people marching down the center of the street.

A couple leaving another restaurant explained the part about Christina speaking ill of the striking farmers and that people where taking the streets in support of the farmers.

Protest in Plaza de Mayo

At that point (being against the Tax increase myself), we joined the marchers and marched down Santa Fe to 9 de Julio and on to the Obelisco where a larger crowd had gathered. Before heading down to Plaza de Mayo.

It is now 1:30 as I write this and it has started pouring rain. Good thing. The protest, counter-protest, and counter-counter-protest were starting to get heated. The rain will empty the streets in a hurry.

Protest in Plaza de Mayo


Anonymous said...

Hey Longhorn Dave, I've written before. Ask anyone old enought to remember what happened on April 1, 1982..the day before Argentina invaded the Malvinas to reclaim them. There were demonstrations in lots of cities about the declining value of the peso..maybe, I don't remember exactly why. I think 2 people were shot and killed in Mendoza. Around 1500 people were arrested and jailed. Words like Civil War were being thrown about..and then, bam! WAR. The country consolidated, differences were 'forgotten'. Seems like things just don't change much there. Vicky

Anonymous said...

Contrary to what Cristina says, the protesting farmers are NOT "aristocrats" (the big farmers represented by the Rural Society) but small farmers, owners with 50-100 hecters, who are really having a tough time with taxes. They are, inotherwords, the pueblo whom the Kirchners claim to love!

Soulskier said...

Longhorn Dave, Thanks for the first hand footage of the pot banging. I cut and pasted one of your you tube videos for our blogs to see. Gracias, Jamie

Longhorn Dave said...

No problem Jamie...glad I was able to share.

How is the foodstock at your local Todo(a supermarket chain in Bariloche)?

I assume things are much quieter in Bariloche.

Longhorn Dave said...


The video from Thur. night was much better. Be sure to use one of those.


Soulskier said...

Yah, things are mas tranqui aca for sure. We haven't been to the market in a few days, I'll let you know when we go.
Again, really appreciate you keep us in the loop.
I did use Thursdays footage, just posted under this comment entry. Gracias otra vez, Jamie