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Cacerolazo


A cacerolazo or cacerolada is a form of popular protest practised in certain Spanish-speaking countries in particular Argentina which consists in a group of people creating noise by banging pots, pans, and other utensils in order to call for attention.

The word comes from Spanish cacerola, which means "stew pot". The derivative suffix -azo denotes a hitting (punching or striking) action, and has been extended metaphorically to any sort of shock demonstration.

It is believed that the first cacerolazos took place in Chile between 1971 and 1973, led by middle and upper class women who were opposed to the socialist Allende government, primarily because of shortages of basic goods.{http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,910156,00.html}

Argentina, 2001

One of the largest and most recent cacerolazos occurred in Argentina during 2001, consisting largely of protests and demonstrations by middle-class people who had seen their savings trapped in the so-called corralito . The corralito meant that many people who needed a large amount of cash immediately, or who simply lived off the interests from their deposits, suddenly found their savings unavailable. As court appeals were slow and ineffective, people resorted to protest in the streets.

As the Argentine peso quickly devalued and foreign currency fled the country, the government decreed a forced conversion of dollar-denominated accounts into pesos at an arbitrary exchange rate of 1.4 pesos per dollar. At this point the unavailability of cash for people trapped in the corralito compounded with the continuous loss of value of their savings, and the unresponsiveness of the appeal authorities (minor courts and the Supreme Court itself) further angered the protesters.

The first cacerolazos were spontaneous and non-partisan. While in Argentina most demonstrations against government measures are customarily organized by labour union activists and low-level political recruiters among the lower classes, and often featuring an assortment of large banners, drums and pyrotechnic devices, cacerolazos were composed mostly of spontaneously gathered middle-class workers, housewives and professionals, who used not to be involved in grassroots political action of any kind.

After a time, however, the cacerolazo became an organized phenomenon, often of a violent nature, directed against the banks. Many of them were attacked, their facades spray-painted, their glasses broken, their entrances blocked by tire fires, or even their facilities occupied by force at times.

In order to avoid further violence, especially with the deadly December 2001 riots still fresh in the memories of Argentinians, the government decided not to use active police force against the cacerolazos unless absolutely necessary, and to restrict most police presence to barricades in critical spots, a policy that was followed also with piquetero marches of unemployed people asking for state welfare and jobs.

Isolated cacerolazos also featured during the apagon ("blackout") of September 24, 2002, to protest against increases in public service fees requested by the providers.

As the financial and macroeconomic conditions became more stable, the government loosened the restrictions on the withdrawal of deposits, and the cacerolazos died out.

Argentina 2008

On March 25, a group led by Luis D'Elia, a supporter of the Kirchner administration, and a cacerolazo violently faced each other during the demonstrations pro and against the export tax policy of Cristina Kirchner's government.

Spain

More than 90% of the Spaniards were against the Iraq War [*] and provoked during 2003 cacerolazo-fashioned protests against the government decision to support it [*]. People protested from their homes turning lights on and off, making noise with whistles and klaxons and hitting stew pots. In Huesca lamp posts of 16 streets were turned off in protest during 15 minutes.

Iceland

The protests fallowing the financial crisis that started in 2008 are sometimes called The Kitchenware Revolution, because people took to the streets banging on pots and pans and other household utensils.

See also

December 2001 riots (Argentina)

Argentine economic crisis

Piqueteros

Horizontalidad

External links

Cacerolazo.com

Articles in Worldpress.org: [*], [*]

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Cacerolazo


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