Chile protests: resistance to a failed economic system

Renata Ávila
05/11/2019, Articles
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Over the last two weeks more than one million citizens have taken to the streets in what represents a challenge to an economic and political model that is failing to deliver.

There has been an accumulation of frustration and precarisation of the lives of people who live in uncertainty and fear of poverty. There are no social cushions to protect them from falling, so they struggle to pay for good quality education and have grim perspectives for their retirement. This is largely because the benefits of the privatised system go to companies providing these services. The case of Chile repeats itself everywhere across the World. But today Chile is courageously resisting the system.

A system that is failing to deliver everywhere in the World. A protest not of unity, as those in power desperately tried to portrait it in media, but of rejecting the claim that ̈there is no alternative [TINA].

Chile’s Human Rights Commission Numbers on October 27, 2019

We are angry and deeply concerned about the violence and brutality which citizens encountered. The struggle for a better life has already taken the lives of 20 people, more than 2,500 civilians have been injured by police forces, including children, and 4,000 more detained. Moreover, there are currently over 120 allegations of human rights violations under investigation, including possible homicides by police, as well as allegations of sexual abuse and torture. This, in addition to the hundreds of people whose eyesight has been permanently damaged by gunfire.

The evidence gathered by citizens and Chile’s Human Rights Commission is deeply worrying, with the country under a State of Emergency and military control, causing trauma to the survivors of the dictatorship. But it is also a defiance of a machinery of fear and repression that made the country suffer under Augusto Pinochet.

The moment that Chile lives today is a precious opportunity to change a system branded as the only alternative.

We demand:

To the government of Chile:

  • An immediate cease of violence and repression and full accountability for widespread intimidation, armed violence, repression, and suspects of torture to detainees.

To the European Commission and European Parliament:

  • To host a hearing on the widespread human rights violations in Chile,

To the Chilean people

  • Our sincere condolences for the loss of your citizens.
  • Our full solidarity and support to your struggles for a better life. We will amplify your message to the World.
  • An encouragement to continue the path to self organisation, deliberation and collaborative construction of the alternative you want. All of our policies and methodologies, built as a collective, are at your disposal.

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