Chile. For a month now, massive unrest and protests have been taking place throughout the country. The first explosion of rage triggered by the increase in fares developed into an unexpected and destructive social moment. The first weekend of the revolt ( October 18-20) was the starting shot for an incredible amount of moments of revolt, getting to know each other, solidarity, attack and so much more.
Originally published by Indymedia DE. Translated by Enough 14.
From the beginning, it has been a revolt that clearly raises the social question, that has had the most explosive effects, and has had them in the poor peripheral neighborhoods around the big cities. It is a revolt against the poverty and misery that capitalism in its most unbridled form has established in Chile. One can also observe a certain form of “class solidarity”, the small shops in the neighborhoods are destroyed almost nowhere, but mostly the branches of the big chains. And even if the media desperately try to portray it the other way around, the majority of people are aware of that when violence strikes.
It also seems as if the state and its willing assistants, the media, have lost the sovereignty to interpret certain things: “The real violent ones are the cops and the military, who have already killed several people and for whom over 200 people have lost an eye and not the hooded ones who are pushing them back. The real looting is being done by the multinationals who are devastating Chile’s natural environment as they please, not the people who are reappropriating things from the supermarkets.” This loss of interpretive sovereignty should not be underestimated, as it is the basis for the state’s monopoly on the use of force…
It’s hard to overlook what was unleashed by the revolt, but everyone agrees that there is no way back, the whole social context has changed. A few effects, however, are already obvious. The hatred against the cops by large parts of society has grown immeasurably, trust in the media and the state has been destroyed, many new relationships between rebels, neighbours, etc. have developed, the acceptance of social or revolutionary violence has increased extremely…
Part of this revolt has developed into a social movement fighting for a new constitution (the current one still comes from the military dictatorship and guarantees the neoliberal economic model), including the neighborhood assemblies that have emerged in many neighborhoods. Another part are the burning barricades that block parts of Santiago and the rest of Chile every night and every morning. In the course of those barricades it often comes to looting or arson attacks. The interesting thing is that the state and the media have not yet succeeded in separating the different elements of the movement. Even if they try with all their strength to isolate the violent ones (the “gangsters” and the “masked”), so far there is no distancing, many see violence as necessary, on the big demos thousands cheer when a Molli reaches its goal.
Last Tuesday several organizations called for a general strike and it was one of the most violent days since the revolt started. Almost 100 lootings took place throughout Chile, 350 cops were injured, 19 police stations were attacked and 850 people were arrested. Just to name a few examples: In Concepcion the government building was set on fire, in Santiago during an arson at a bank the approaching police were shot at, in Arica a gigantic supermarket was burned down after it was looted, etc…
At the same time, however, everyday life goes on as usual, at least until the early afternoon, when the protests often start again. That means people go to work, shops open, buses and subways work to a certain extent, in the rich neighbourhoods it has remained quiet anyway…
And we as anarchists, where do we see ourselves in such a situation? In the first lines of street fighting? In the neighbourhood meetings? In spreading anarchist propaganda? Behind the barricades in our neighbourhoods? Everywhere ?
But maybe even where no one is expecting us? At the neuralgic points of this high-tech society?
The only thing that is clear is that we have to think about it in advance, in the heat of the battle we will not have the time and space for it.
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