Pot-banging protesters of the 'cacerolazos' take to streets in Argentina and beyond


Aerial view of Mayo square in Buenos Aires during a 'cacerolazo' (a form of civilian protest where pots are used to make noise) against Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's government on November 8, 2012.



Argentines took to the streets of Buenos Aires on Thursday night in some of the biggest protests in a decade, fueled by opposition to President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's government.

In Buenos Aires, the Associated Press reported, demonstrators converged on the pink presidential palace at the Plaza de Mayo square, many of them joined by "toddlers in strollers and grandparents in wheelchairs."  

The AP cited police officials as saying the crowd numbered at least 30,000, though local media put it at hundreds of thousands.

In keeping with the call for a "cacerolazos," many protesters beat on cooking pots and pans to draw attention to issues like crime rates, inflation and political corruption, CNN wrote.

The pot-bashing protest scenes were be reminiscent of a decade ago, when protesters banging pots and chants of "throw them all out" rendered Argentina "practically ungovernable until Fernandez's late husband, Nestor Kirchner, assumed the presidency in 2003," according to the Associated Press.

This time, marches are expected to take place in not only Buenos Aires, but around the world in such locations as Miami, New York, London, Madrid, Paris and Rome.

The Buenos Aires Herald reported that a group had kicked off the protest in front of the Argentine Consulate in Sydney, Australia.

Banners read and "Freedom of expression and thought," "Stop the wave of Argentines killed by crime, enough with corruption and say no to the constitutional reform," and "We are going to trial you," seen as a clear message to Fernandez, whom many fear plans to alter Argentina's Constitution and run for re-election.

Kirchner, 59, is currently barred by the Argentine Constitution from running for a third consecutive term, but her supporters in the Congress have been lobbying for a constitutional amendment.

The call to protest was sent across the country via social media websites. 

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