Buenos Aires Times


BA’s International Book Fair inauguration gets heated (again)

Protesters flooded the opening of BA's International Book Fair to decry the proposed closure of 29 teacher training institutes.

Friday 27 April, 2018
Culture Minister Pablo Avelluto looks on at protesters who interrupted his address at the 2018 Book Fair.
Culture Minister Pablo Avelluto looks on at protesters who interrupted his address at the 2018 Book Fair. Foto:Twitter

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For a second year in a row, the inauguration of Buenos Aires' International Book Fair was a heated affair as protesters faced off with Culture Minister Pablo Avelluto over the proposed closure of 29 teacher training institutes.

The tension played out in the Jorge Luis Borges Salon at the Rural Society showgrounds in Palermo, where last year printing industry leaders took to publicly criticising Avelluto for a perceived lack of government protection against plummeting sales.

As was the case last year, the Culture Minister did not shy away from confrontation.

Protesters flooded the event with signs and protest songs.

In attendance were City Culture Minister Enrique Avogadro; Book Foundation president Martín Gremmelspacher; Arts and Humanities director of the Municipality of Montevideo, Uruguay, Juan Canessa; and author Claudia Piñeiro.

The protest lasted half an hour with Avelluto giving its leaders the chance to speak over the microphone. “You’re not going to tell me what democracy is”, he yelled at them.

The man who eventually spoke called on the government to refrain from implementing a bill that would close 29 training colleges and, according to unions, cut 12 percent of the education sector's budget.

Avelluto took to Twitter later in the evening, describing the protesters as a “gang of authoritarians”.






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