March 24 – This afternoon we started a walking tour of churches that was conducted by the tourism dept of the city of Buenos Aires. It was a special tour arranged for Holy Week and was part of a regularly series of free tours given every month by the city. The meeting point was the Basilica Nstr. Sr. de la Merced. A surprisingly large crowd showed up for the tour, approximately 50 people. This particular tour was given only in Spanish, though some of the other tours are also offered in English and Spanish. After we left the Basilica, we walked through Plaza de Mayo where we encountered a gathering crowd of demonstrators commemorating the 29th anniversary of the beginnings of the dictatorship on March 24, 1976. Figuring that the demonstrations were much more interesting than the Churches, which could be viewed anytime, we stayed around the Plaza as more and more demonstrators arrived. It was actually a peaceful demonstration despite the presence of the usual masked protestors armed with clubs and large sticks with their faces covered. Seemingly every aspect of Argentina┬┤s modern protest movement was represented: representing the families of the disappeared, the piqueteros, the worker┬┤s party, the student liberation movement, the communist revolutionary party, and a variety of smaller political fractions. Large-scale demonstrations have become an integral part of the fabric that one encounters on a fairly regular basis in BsAs.