` Columbia Journal - "Cacerolazo" a success
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BC's first unofficial "Cacerolazo" a success

A liberal fund raiser for MLA Patty Sahota was given a very noisy un-welcome by about 35 demonstrators banging pots and pans and challenging those attending to justify their support for the vicious cuts to social programs by their MLA and political party.

The demonstration characterized BC as "Argentina North" as Campbell's cuts are a dead ringer for the IMF/World Bank imposed austerity and pro-wealthy policies that has driven Argentina to brink of economic and social collapse. Huge cuts to the civil service, civil service wage cuts, drastic cuts to health, education and social welfare, sweeping privatizations, tax cuts for the wealthy - all have been experienced by Argentina and are now threatening BC.

The pot-banging is called "cacerolazo" in Argentina, and when thousands of people take part it is a deafening and unmistakable message to the authorities that people are angry. The cacerolazo at the Nekkei Centre in Burnaby, where the fund-raiser was held, was similar to those in Argentina in that it was spontaneous - no organization officially sponsored or organized it. The time and location was emailed out and posted on a couple of web sites.

The demonstrators confronted some very obviously wealthy Liberal supporters, following them very closely all the way to the doors of the centre while challenging them to justify what their leader is dooing to BC.

They did not seem that pleased.

The entrance to the underground parking was blocked by demonstrators and many cars were forced to turn away. One driver, apparently accustomed to getting his own way, was so furious he attacked the unofficial photographer of the event who was taking pictures of the rich so that ordinary British Columbians could be warned about them.

While the fund-raiser organizers seemed unprepared for the demonstrators, they still had six security guards on hand. This, too, seems a lot like Argentina. Police were called but did not intervene.

Several of the well-heeled party goers were told that they had better get used to the unwanted attention."Your tax cuts are taking food out of the mouths of children, bus passes away from the elderly and talking-books out of the reach of the blind," said one demonstrator to a pinched-looking, over-dressed trophy wife who clung to her goofily coiffed and over-fed husband. "Wherever you rich people gather, we'll be there until you give us back our money that we need for social programs."

Gary Collins, the featured guest, was not identified by the fun-loving demonstrators.

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