Dubbed by organizers as “the Protest of 8N” (for November 8), thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of Argentines jammed the streets of Buenos Aires last night to protest against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Argentina’s biggest anti-government demonstration in years.
A spokesman for Buenos Aires’s Justice and Security Ministry estimated the demonstrators in the capital at 700,000 people. Protesters were angry about out-of-control inflation, high crime, and rampant political corruption.
ABC News reports that “demonstrators filled the Plaza de Mayo in front of the pink presidential palace and also crowded into the square around the city’s iconic obelisk chanting: ‘We’re not afraid.’” According to leading Argentine daily Clarin, there were simultaneous 8N demonstrations in other major cities across Argentina, such as Córdoba, Mendoza, Salta, Tucumán, Rosario, and Santa Fe.
As CNN reported, many “demonstrators said a key issue that drove them to the streets was the possibility that President Fernández de Kirchner could push through changes to the country’s constitution and run for re-election. Thursday’s protests came about a week after Argentinian [sic] lawmakers passed a new measure lowering the nation’s voting age from 18 to 16. Some critics have said the voting-age change, a year before a key mid-term election in Argentina, is an attempt by Fernandez’s party to garner more votes and increase the odds that lawmakers will change the constitution to allow her re-election bid.”