The anniversary of Argentina's Independence Day - July 9 - was the excuse for another demonstration against the quarantine at the famous obelisk in Buenos Aires, the Plaza de Mayo and in the main cities of the country, with the chant of "freedom and justice" and demands for the release of former public officials.
The mobilizations began at 4 pm and again included people without social distancing or wearing masks, as required by Covid-19 protocol to avoid spreading the virus. Protests also took place in CÃ³rdoba, Mendoza, Mar del Plata and Santa Fe, with the epicenter in the city of Avellaneda, headquarters of the VicentÃn company.
Although no political leaders were present, there was a tweet from former president Mauricio Macri with Argentine flags and the phrase "Libres", the phrase repeated on the posters. Others alluded to the "haters" that President Alberto FernÃ¡ndez spoke of, or to slogans in support of the republic, or against the "gestapo" and the "KGB," in reference to the strict shutdown.
Perhaps the moment of greatest tension came when demonstrators attacked a C5N television van causing clashes with a number of wounded, provoking a reaction from Interior Minister Eduardo "Wado" De Pedro. "We need to put an urgent stop to hatred and intolerance," the government official said on Twitter.
He was joined by a bloc of congressmen from the Frente de Todos, the political coalition with which FernÃ¡ndez won the presidency last year. "The attacks suffered by members of the press only confirm what we have been saying for some time and which is rooted in an increasingly particular sector of the opposition, which only sees hatred and despair as its reason for being," they said on Twitter.
The march, which was filled with cars on the main avenues, continued to the Casa Rosada, the seat of the presidency. In CÃ³rdoba, the caravan started in front of the mythical Patio Olmos, while in Mendoza the slogans against the quarantine were mixed with protests against the suspension of the Portezuelo del Viento dam project.
In Santa Fe there were demonstrations in Rosario and also in Avellaneda, the town where the emblematic cereal company VincentÃn originated, which the government intervened weeks ago. People there mobilized against the government's decision. "We came because we want to defend democracy. That's how we voted in '83 and that's why we're here today," one woman told the cameras of Todo Noticias.
In Reconquista, next to Avellaneda, where different unions from the north of the province called to mobilize to support the government's idea of expropriating VicentÃn, which was repeated in other parts of the province, with the presence of social organizations.
"We march for freedom, justice and the welfare of the Argentine people. For the shopkeepers who are going bankrupt while the president is engaged in an unsustainable quarantine," was the message promoted by the group CampoMasCiudad to convene the protest.