Thousands of Argentines gathered this Wednesday in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, guarded by a strong police presence, to protest the latest measures announced by the president, Javier Milei, which seek to drastically cut public spending.
The protesters have tried to cut off one of the main arteries of the capital, the Diagonal Norte, which is why there have been moments of tension with the Police, who have tried to break up the pickets with pepper spray. There are at least two detainees, according to the newspaper ‘Clarín’.
The leader of the Polo Obrero (PO), Eduardo Belliboni, protested upon arrival at the demonstration against the measures decreed by the Executive: Where are we going to put 50,000 people?” he asked, adding that they will not allow the minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich, “declare a state of siege” in Buenos Aires.
“If someone brought a minor, they have the right to have the minor. What do they do? Do they leave it at the mother-in-law’s house?” he said in statements to the media, adding that the “power rests with the parents, not Patricia Bullrich.”
Belliboni had stated hours before that it would be a “peaceful” demonstration not only to protest the “brutal adjustment” against workers, but to “commemorate” those killed during the 2001 protests on December 19 and 20.
Both Milei and Bullrich are monitoring the protests, which are taking place calmly, in the Plaza de Mayo, from the Central Department of the Federal Police, according to the newspaper ‘La Nación’.
The Minister of Human Capital of the Argentine Government, Sandra Pettovello, announced this week that any protester who participated in the pickets and street blocks will be deprived of their benefits and social plans.
For its part, Bullrich detailed last week in a press conference that they will identify the cars and drivers who violate traffic rules, while they will carry out searches on “those people who are carrying a type of material that must be seized, be it sticks.” or “covered faces.”
Likewise, she announced sanctions against those protesters who bring minors as companions. “We are not going to allow them to use children as shields,” she said, indicating that the authorities will ensure that there are no teenagers present at the protests.
“The State is not going to pay for the use of the security forces: the organizations that have legal status will have to pay or the individuals will have to bear the cost of the operations,” she reported then.