Thousands of demonstrators across Argentina's main cities defied social distancing rules to answer calls to protest against a government announcement last Friday to extend containment measures in the Buenos Aires region until Aug 30 and to condemn a controversial reform of the judicial branch.
Demonstrators in the Argentine capital shouting freedom, freedom gathered around the landmark Obelisk in central Buenos Aires, waving Argentine flags and chanting anti-government slogans.
Demonstrators also protested against president Alberto Fernandez's planned judicial reform to expand the number of federal courts and increase the number of Supreme Court magistrates, in an alleged effort to dilute the influence of judges suspected of making politically motivated decisions.
However the bill which was sent to Congress without consulting political forces, as had been promises, is seen as an attempt by vice-president and two times president Cristina Fernandez to have her several corruption court cases dropped, and likewise with some of her political, financial allies and partners in crime.
The protests in Buenos Aires and other main cities took place despite a recent easing of restrictions, even as the country battles a steady rise in infections.
Earlier president Fernandez, whose judicial reform consensual plans were a key part of his election campaign, called for unity in a speech commemorating Argentine independence leader Jose de San Martin.
We have lived a unique moment of humanity, not just in Argentina, where a pandemic is besieging us, infecting us, sickening us, killing us, he said.
The task ahead was to rebuild a country that has been economically annihilated, by liberal centre-right governments.
They have left behind an impressive amount of debt, they have conditioned the future of many generations and they have plunged more than 40% of Argentines into poverty, Fernandez said.
United I am sure we will win, said Fernandez, paraphrasing San Martin.
The government imposed a nationwide quarantine on Mar 20, (over 150 days) before gradually easing it in much of the country. It also launched a multi-million dollar package of social and business aids to shore up an economy that has been in recession since 2018, and with zero growth from 2012, when the second government of ex president Cristina Fernandez.
Also protests point to the fact that despite such a long quarantine, according to the latest health figures, Argentina has recorded nearly 300,000 infections and 5,750 deaths from the coronavirus, while reporting more than 5,000 new cases a day for the past week.
Although there were no incidents reported and most protestors had face masks but did not necessarily keep the 2 meters social distancing, an uncommon situation took place when several hundred demonstrators marched to the flat of Cristina Fernandez, beating pots and pans, plus calling for jailing all corrupt politicians.
Furthermore a neighbor from the same flats building displayed a huge banner along its terrace with the Argentine flag colors and in black letters said, Democratic Argentine Republic.
This was the third and largest demonstration against the eight month Fernandez administration, all of them on national holidays and called flag waving, 20th of June (Flag Day), 9th of July (Independence Day) and August 17, anniversary of Argentina's Liberator death, Jose de San Martin. None of these rallies had a political party or grouping identification and the call to participate was basically spontaneous through the social networks.