Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Buenos Aires Erupted in Protest Tonight
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.
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.
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.
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.