Chile simply doesn’t want to fall asleep again: daily protests and riots continue throughout the country. Protests are gradually becoming normal. ANew constitution is being prepared at neighbourhood meetings.
Originally published by Indymedia DE. Translated by Enough 14.
The protests in Chile are still unbroken. Throughout the country there are smaller and larger demonstrations. Again and again there are also clashes with the police, who try to make up for the absence of the military through more violence. Even smaller, peaceful demonstrations are often attacked nowadays – but also huge ones like last Friday in the capital Santiago, where the “biggest of all marches” was supposed to take place and which remained absolutely peaceful, have been dissolved with a lot of tear gas.
Almost a copy of the daily protests in the capital:
Every afternoon thousands gather in Santiago without being explicitly called upon to do so. The demonstration is then attacked by the police because it is not authorised – which often leads to street battles. In this context, looting often takes place.
In other cities like Concepción this is also almost a standard recipe: To defend themselves against attacks by the police, shops are looted and barricades are built with their inventory.
Attacks on government buildings, banks and looting of supermarkets and branches, including smaller shops, continue throughout the country. The police now report almost 1000 injured in their ranks, 87 of them seriously. However, the number seems to be very high and probably wants to distract from the excessive violence with which the police proceed. There is at least one confirmed fatality: Alex Nuñez Sandoval died verifiably as a result of beatings by the police.
The crisis has not been overcome, the normal state of affairs has by no means been restored. This has gone so far that the municipality of Santiago is already closing the current school year today and is letting the school go on holiday:
“We can’t guarantee the safety of students and teachers.”
The missed material will then be made up in the new school year next March.
Meanwhile, in the south of the country, it becomes a popular sport to behead, destroy or remodel statues of Spanish conquerors, creating amusing images and recalling the centuries-old battle that the Mapuche waged against the conquerors of Europe and a reappropriation of history.
The bicycle demonstrations also continue: several critical-mass demonstrations passed through Santiago this week. At the moment the number of participants is still increasing. The largest critical mass so far went to the presidential residence today.
Meanwhile, this same president is using Twitter to swear not to touch the existing economic system and constitution. If that doesn’t give any hope – after all, it was this very president in person who promoted and voted for Pinochet to stay. So if he now calls on capitalism…
In the meantime, the mobilizations of the “Remainers”, who want to leave everything as it is and “simply want to return to normality”, are a barrel burst:
Demonstrations are mostly withdrawn, a demonstration of 500 people in Osorno is pushed in the media. Admittedly, 500 is not bad for Osorno, but in view of the protests that extend from there up to the border with Peru, it is a ridiculously low level of mobilization.
Also the approval rates for the president are as low as never before: only 16% approval rate was recorded for him this week.
Meanwhile, there is growing support for the protests for social change and a new, pinochet-free constitution: More and more sectors are making their own demands and taking them to the streets and the public with demonstrations, such as a caravan of 500 taxis announced for tomorrow in Valdivia. Spontaneous networks and union-like structures emerge, often organized through Whatsapp.
But physical meetings also take place: there are reports of many neighbourhood meetings, especially in the capital Santiago, where neighbours exchange views on their own situation and the current situation in the country and in some cases are already developing ideas for a new constitution. Anarchist and feminist groups play a smaller or larger role depending on the neighbourhood.
Nobody knows how things will go on. When and if it stops neither.
It seems to be a good time frame in which many things are possible. The protests are longer lasting and more intense than everyone imagined. Many things are possible, things remain exciting.
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